House Calls: First day in full pads

The first day of practice in full pads can only mean one thing – football season is nearly here.

We’re taking you throughout the day on July 26, visiting more than two dozen teams to check out the unofficial start of the preseason.

Here’s how the first day in full pads unfolded around the area:

12:01 a.m.: The first area team on the field is Rockvale, as the Rockets began their first fully padded practice at 12:01 a.m., the earliest allowed time they could do so.

12:25 a.m.: The Rockets, after a spirited inside running drill, break out into position group drills. Though they’ve beaten the heat with their midnight start, the humidity is very much a participant as well.

White House head coach Ryan Hamilton (right) works with Ranen Blackburn on a drill during the Blue Devils’ first fully padded practice of the 2021 preseason. (Scott Burton/615 Preps)

6:11 a.m.: White House is on the field as head coach Ryan Hamilton works with the Blue Devil quarterbacks in drills.

7:17 a.m.: Brentwood’s offense and defense battle in a 9-rep competition that involves three one-on-one drills, with the losing side responsible for field cleanup. The Bruins’ defense won, 5-4.

7:18 a.m.: Franklin’s varsity is in the weight room, while younger Admirals begin stretching on the field.

7:30 a.m.: Practice gets started at Riverdale in the weight room. Players will hit the field around 8:30.

8:00 a.m.: Greenbrier begins practice with four stations of tackling dummies as the Bobcats, led by head coach John Elmore, begin their first fully padded practice of the 2020 preseason.

8:10 a.m.: Skill players at Middle Tennessee Christian work in position groups focusing on ball security.

8:21 a.m.: Nolensville’s linebackers are going through a loose ball drill, while receivers such as Fitzgerald and running back Samson Johnson take passes from several quarterbacks.

Nolensville’s Chance Fitzgerald hauls in a high pass during the Knights’ morning workouts on Monday. (Chris Brooks/615 Preps)

8:42 a.m.: Centennial takes a short water break during its first fully padded practice of the season.

9:14 a.m.: Reigning 5A champion Summit works on special teams during the second hour of the Spartans’ on-field work, followed by approximately 45 minutes of team defense.

9:27 a.m.: Summit’s defense works on defending against screen passes while other position groups get additional work.

9:35 a.m.: Northeast had its varsity on the field going through running plays before giving way to junior varsity players for morning reps during the Eagles’ first practice.

9:42 a.m.: Green Hill’s practice is wrapping up, and head coach Josh Crouch stresses the importance of being in ‘game mode’ to his team following their on-field session.

10:10 a.m.: West Creek head coach James Figueroa works with linemen while other skill groups go through drills during the Coyotes’ first fully padded practice of the preseason.

10:22 a.m.: Donelson Christian Academy is practicing at the Fraternal Order of Police camp in Mt. Juliet, and head coach Paul Wade works the Wildcat offensive linemen through drills on the first day of fully padded practices.

10:25 a.m.: Storms passing through Nashville sent some teams indoors for practice, such as Lipscomb Academy and region rival CPA.

Centennial players take a water break during their first practice in full pads on Monday, July 26, 2021. (Alivia Schwan/615 Preps)

3:15 p.m.: Macon County begins its first practice in full pads inside its facility due to inclement weather. They split into two groups, with one going through drills while the others hit the weight room.

3:19 p.m.: Overton first-year head coach Arcentae Broome sends the Bobcats to the weight room after lightning is detected nearby. Practice had only been on the field for approximately 15 minutes.

3:52 p.m.: Father Ryan players have to turn around as they’re heading onto the field for their practice as lightning is detected a few miles away. They take their workouts into the gym to work on short-yardage offense and hope to get on the field at some point before 6 p.m.

4:00 p.m.: Kenwood head coach Les Greer came out on the right side of the storms, pushing on-field work to 4 p.m. to allow the weather to pass. The Knights did have to move practice to their game field due to standing water on their practice field, however.

4:41 p.m.: Rossview head coach Todd Hood was a late arrival to practice due to a doctor’s appointment, but when he arrived on the field, he immediately made his presence known, calling out one of his defensive ends for being lined up offside as he made his second stride through the gate.

4:45 p.m.: Gordonsville head coach Scott Clemons installs a new play for the Tigers, who like many of their counterparts in the afternoon, are practicing indoors due to bad weather.

5:30 p.m.: Lebanon splits into four groups to go through drills during the Blue Devils’ first fully padded practice. They are on the field for now as they’ve managed to dodge bad weather long enough to get work in outside.

5:30 p.m.: Sycamore head coach John Harrison worked with his offense in passing drills after a water break. Harrison summed up his team’s performance in practice by calling it “a case of the Mondays.”

5:40 p.m.: Those looking for Antonio Patterson during offensive drills wouldn’t find him there in Oakland’s first fully padded workouts. The Patriots standout took reps on defense for the day, head coach Kevin Creasy noted.

6:26 p.m.: Springfield’s players work on defensive hand drills, before skill players split off for passing drills a few minutes later. Linemen worked on blocking and shedding blocks.

7:02 p.m.: DeKalb County defensive coordinator Michael Shaw rallies the Tigers at the conclusion of Monday’s practice in full pads.

Chris Brooks, Annette Burton, Scott Burton, Tom Duggin, Alivia Schwan, Kevin Smith and Drake Williams all contributed to this report.

Rockvale players work on inside running during the early portion of their first practice in full pads on Monday, July 26, 2021. The Rockets began their full-padded workout at 12:01 a.m., the earliest allowed time they could do so per TSSAA rules. (Kevin Smith/615 Preps)
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