CHS to host annual 7-on-7 prep football tourney July 17

As reported to C-T

The Chillicothe High School-hosted annual 7-on-7 high school football tournament is scheduled for Saturday, July 17, new CHS head coach Chad Smith has announced.

Rechristened the Phil Willard 7-on-7 Tournament, in honor of the now-retired long-time CHS head coach who initiated the event nine years ago, it will involve teams from nine schools split into three "pools" for round-robin preliminary-round competition.

Due to be involved, in addition to the host Hornets, are Hamilton: Penney, Trenton, Carrollton, Cameron, Boonville, St. Joseph: Lafayette, Marceline, and Richmond.

The pool groupings are: 1. Chillicothe, Carrollton, Trenton; 2. Boonville, Cameron, Hamilton; 3. Richmond, Lafayette, Marceline, Smith disclosed.

The first of the three rounds of "pool" games are to begin at 9 a.m. at Chillicothe's Jerry Litton Memorial Stadium II and the nearby CHS practice field.

Chillicothe will face Carrollton at 9 a.m. on the north end of the stadium's artificial-turfed Bob Fairchild Field. Carrollton and Trenton will square off after that at approximately 9:45 a.m., followed by Chillicothe and Trenton meeting at about 10:30.

Results from the "pool" games will be used to help seed the teams for afternoon, single-elimination, bracketed play. The eighth- and ninth-seeded teams will have a "play-in" game to the bracket, starting at about 11:45 a.m. Once the eight teams for the bracket are finalized,the quarterfinal-round games will start at approximately 12:30 p.m.

The championship game should begin at around 2 p.m. on Fairchild Field.

The Chillicothe Football Moms organization will operate the concessions stand during the event, Smith notes.

The July 17 tournament will continue the offseason development of Smith's first CHS squad,  which is expected to have a strong 2021 season with the return of many of the Hornets' 2020 starters.

Smith told the C-T in an interview last week he was been very pleased with the turnoot and enthusiasm of the prospective members of his first squad during weight-lifting sessions and various instructional opportunities to date.

A final "camp" prior to the summer's first "dead" period (no contact between coaches and players) this week was held last Friday morning.

Following the 7-on-7 tournament here, there will be two more "camp" and  7-on-7 "league" nights at the stadium July 20 and 27.

On Wednesday, July 28, another 4:00-6:30 p.m. "camp" instructional session will take place, followed two days later by a 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. extended camp that will wrap up summer activities for the Hornets.

Following another "dead" week Aug. 1-7, the first date for preseason practices for the 2021 high school fooitball season in Missouri will be Aug. 9.

The Chillicothe Hornets'  varsity gridiron season is slated to have its first game at Marshall Friday, Aug. 27. The first home game will be the next  Friday, Sept. 3, vs. Kirksville.