Pinecrest to Host Fourth Air Raid Tourney
The air will be filled with footballs when the fourth annual Pinecrest Air Raid Passing Tournament gets underway at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning.
The field of 16 teams for the 7-on-7, touch football competition includes two teams from Pinecrest, Union Pines, defending 4AA state runner-up Jack Britt and 10 other schools that qualified for the 2009 state playoffs. They will try to unseat the Patriots as tournament champions.
Admission is free for the event, which will be held at the Pinecrest practice complex, with a number of games also being played on the football stadium field.
Heading into his fourth season as the Patriot head coach, Chris Metzger has held passing tournaments for 12 years, going back to coaching stints in Maryland and Florida.
“We’d much rather strap up and go 11-on-11,” he said, “but at this point it’s a great way for the kids to get some reps and compete. We’ve got a great line-up of teams coming. Seven of them have D-1 players that are committed or have received offers.
“It’s a great Saturday for the whole community to come out, and we’ll have the concession stands open.”
Quarterback Ben Williams and top receiver James Baldwin III have graduated, but Metzger is optimistic about the weapons he has left to manufacture an effective aerial attack. Junior Travis Scales, who recorded 61 tackles and a team-high seven sacks as a defensive lineman last season, is expected to take over for Williams.
Others likely to see action behind the center for the Patriots include rising senior Kyle Ocheltree and rising sophomores Aaron Reimer, Matt Epley and Eli Black. Leading targets include seniors Damion Pride, Raphael Alston, Patrick Moore, Steven Dean, Marshall Smith and Ocheltree, and juniors Dannie Monroe, Kurt Wohlrab and Michael Johnson.
The games will be played on eight 40-yard fields set up at the practice complex and in the stadium. The offensive team has four downs to go 20 yards for a first down or score a touchdown. Teams are awarded six points for a touchdown and two points for an interception in 30-minute games with a running clock.
Pinecrest No. 1 is scheduled to meet Jack Britt at 9 a.m. while Pinecrest No. 2 faces Fairmont. Round robin action continues into the early afternoon. The tournament is to conclude with semifinal contests at 2:30 p.m. and a championship game at 3:15 p.m.
Douglas Byrd, Hillside, Scotland County, Ashley, Carrboro, Southern Durham, Chapel Hill, Middle Creek, Broughton, Ben L. Smith and Kestrel Heights are the other schools scheduled to participate.
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