JULY 31, 2018
By KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT
Rutherford County Schools
It’s not every day Rutherford County athletic director Tim Tackett responds to an unsolicited phone by saying, “This is a great idea and it makes perfect sense.”
After all, there are a lot of opinions when it comes to high school football in Rutherford County.
And Tackett, who has been teacher, coach, principal and school board member, has heard just about all of them and will be the first to admit, while the ideas are always well-intended, unfortunately, a lot of them are shortsighted.
That was not the case last spring when Williamson County athletic director Jeremy Qualls, who was named to the position in July 2014, first called with the idea of having a joint jamboree with football teams from both Rutherford and Williamson counties.
“I hope our coaches are interested,” Tackett thought to himself.
In fact, a poll of head coaches indicated they were overwhelmingly interested.
This year’s RUCO/WILCO Jamboree will take place Thursday, Aug. 9 and Friday, Aug. 10.
Thursday’s jamboree celebration will take place at Nolensville High School, while Friday’s will be in Murfreesboro at Oakland High School. There will be four halves played each night featuring eight teams and 16 teams over the two nights.
Each night kicks off at 5 p.m. with two new teams set to play one half of a game at the top of every hour.
“A football junkie can sit there and watch eight different teams play within a span of three hours,” Tackett said.
A game-situation practice in front of a crowd gives each team an opportunity to suit up prior to the regular-season, added Tackett.
Siegel athletic director Greg Wyant said the two counties are compatible because of proximity and the caliber of football is on par with each other. Despite only playing a half of football, Wyant said fans and supporters still have an opportunity to see “quality athletes” play against one another on the football field.
Tackett hopes the jamboree will became an annual two-day event. He said athletic directors from both counties are also exploring the possibility of scheduling games the opening week of the season. He likened it to the various college matchups between power conferences.
“In college, the SEC and ACC sometimes do one night together, where they all play each other,” Tackett explained. “We’re looking at something like that.”
For now both counties are committed to the jamboree.
“To me, it’s the competitiveness between the two counties,” Wyant said, “and the caliber of football players in both counties. I think that’s exciting.”
He added, “It’s good for our county to be able to showcase what they’re able to do on the football field."
SCHEDULE for the 2018 RUCO/WILCO JAMBOREE
Thursday, August 9 at Nolensville High School
5 p.m. – Fairview vs. Cascade
6 p.m. – Summit vs. Blackman
7 p.m. – Independence vs. LaVergne
8 p.m. – Nolensville vs. Centennial
Friday, August 10 at Oakland High School
5 p.m. – Riverdale vs. Brentwood
6 p.m. – Stewarts Creek vs. Franklin
7 p.m. – Siegel vs. Page
8 p.m. – Oakland vs. Ravenwood
PHOTO CREDIT / KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT