Momentum is a big factor in football. Even before Westwood donned full pads for the first time this offseason Monday, the Rockets started making friends with Mr. Momentum. Westwood Middle finished third in a 7-on-7 passing tournament held in Tullahoma Saturday – including a win over cross-county rival Coffee County Middle School. Westwood also beat North Franklin and Moore County. The Rockets fell to Tullahoma 14-7 in pool play and lost to Harris Middle out of Shelbyville in the tournament semi-finals. “In our offense we like to control the ball,” said WMS head coach Chad Dyer. “We like to use our offense as our best defense. But this gives us some confidence that we might have been lacking before [in the passing game]. Granted there are no linemen, no rushing. All of those elements are taken into consideration. But when it’s all said and done after 7-on-7 I’m more confident and most importantly the kids are more confident in themselves.” Quarterbacks Zach Vaughn and Lucas Ramsey split time under center for the Rockets throughout the day. “Zach looked really good throwing the ball,” explained Dyer. “He didn’t throw any interceptions and Lucas is really the heart of our offense and he looked good out there.” The solid performance Saturday was a nice prelude to Monday’s first practice in full pads. Westwood was the first local team to hit the practice field,
going for about an hour at lunchtime. “In 14 years of coaching I can’t remember getting on the field and the weather being this nice,” said Dyer. “When the kids come out and the weather is cool like this they come out with extra pep in their step and that’s good, especially on Monday, because Monday can be a drag.” The Rockets are trying to bounce back from a 2-6 campaign last year. But Dyer likes his team’s chances with starters returning at 12 positions. The annual Blue-White game coming at 7 p.m. Friday will be the Rockets’ first chance to get under the lights and in front of people…. Read the complete story in this week’s (July 31) print edition of the Manchester Times.Click here to subscribe to the print and/or online edition of the paper. Click here to see a photo gallery from Monday’s practice.