By Kris Freeman for The White House Tribune
CROSS PLAINS – A Middle Tennessee showcase will converge upon Cross Plains Friday night when 14 teams compete in the East Robertson Jamboree for high school football.
The annual event has grown in success over the past few seasons and now features teams from seven counties including locals in Sumner and Robertson. The night is hosted by East Robertson High School at the field located behind its school on Kilgore Trace near Highway 25 in Cross Plains.
Admission is $7.00 at the gate for all games which are two 12-minute quarters, with the clock starting on the set of the ball, and stopping on incomplete passes, penalties and out of bounds plays. Each team gets one timeout.
“That’s what we are excited about, to see so many teams committed, and this is great for Cross Plains and good for our businesses and community,” said East Robertson head football coach Jay Pierce, in his second season for the Indians. “We will get a lot of people coming out to see East Robertson High School and our facilities, and I think overall this is just a good thing for football.”
With the shift of classifications by the TSSAA in 2013, the jamboree will provide a playing field in exhibition football for former rivals. The games do not count in the standings. The host Indians open the night at 5 p.m. against White House Heritage, as the Patriots meet a former District 10-A foe. White House Heritage moved up in classification for this coming season.
“You know, when the TSSAA shifted classifications, we had no choice but to add two more teams to this event to make it 14 teams because of the new matchups,” Pierce said. “We get to see Jo Byrns and Houston County, for example, and teams like White House and White House Heritage will get a look at pretty much their whole district on the same field.”
Cheatham County plays Houston County at 5:45 p.m. followed by Page and Sycamore at 6:30. Greenbrier takes on West Creek at 7:15, then Jo Byrns and Stewart County hit the gridiron at 8 p.m.
White House High School will make its way to the field at 8:45 against Fairview, as the Blue Devils tune up for their home opener on August 30, against Portland. White House will not play a week zero game. Every team from the new District 9-AA is there except for Harpeth.
The final game of the night features the largest classification schools, as Springfield takes on Hendersonville at 9:30 p.m.
Parking will be at the school but because of the recent weather, no parking will be allowed on the grass. Coach Pierce expects there to be a premium on spots as fans come to watch many teams.
“We are assuming a few slots will open up through the night as different games are played,” he said, “but because of the matchups and rivalries, we also expect a lot of fans to stay around and watch several teams.”
One week later, the Indians have to be ready to host Donelson Christian Academy to officially open the season, and Pierce is thrilled to have so many fans coming to Cross Plains.
“Where else can you go and see seven halves of football for seven dollars?” he said. “If you were to try and see all of these teams individually it might cost you 30 or 40 bucks and here you can do it all in one setting. This is just great for high school football, all around.”