NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Titans hosted more than 200 high school football players and their respective coaches at the team's inaugural 7-on-7 Passing Tournament at Saint Thomas Sports Park this week.
Twelve middle Tennessee high schools were represented at the tournament, which is designed to provide student-athletes with the opportunity to sharpen their athletic skills and prepare for them for the upcoming season.
"We are always looking at ways to develop and grow the game of football, especially in our own community," said Titans Director of Community Relations Tina Tuggle. "With the competition here today and the character development aspect, our hope is they walk away from this experience knowing what they need to do to get better as a team, a player and a person."
The increasing popularity of summer 7-on-7 tournaments and the commitment of the Titans organization to provide opportunities to grow and develop the game of football made this event a popular draw for some of the best high school football programs in middle Tennessee.
The Tennessee Titans host their first 7-on-7 Passing Tournament for local high school athletes at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
"This is a day that we are going to spend several hours working on football and seeing how things are done on a professional level," said Oakland High School head coach Kevin Creasy. "We are honored to get to come in their facilities, listen to a motivational speaker, compete and get better. It shows us they [the Titans] value football in Tennessee, even at the high school level."
Prior to the start of pool play, players and coaches heard from Titans safety Michael Griffin.
"Just come out here and have fun," Griffin advised. "This is an opportunity to see where you're at and what you need to work on before the season starts."
Tight end Delanie Walker also made an appearance, watching the majority of the afternoon championship bracket games from the sidelines.
Unique to other 7-on-7 tournaments, the Titans offered a character and leadership development seminar during each team's bye period, led by former Titans fullback Casey Cramer.
"Today we see so many athletes struggle to handle the trials associated with the limelight of professional sports," said Cramer. "It is important we start teaching young athletes to develop their character, so that when they are tested they are prepared to make the right decisions. Hopefully, they walk away with something today that will help them at some point down the road."
Murfreesboro's Oakland High School – last year's Class 6A state semifinalist – was crowned champion of the inaugural tournament. Bryce Vickers, a senior wide receiver from Father Ryan, earned the Most Valuable Player award.