By David Bonner
The Bellevue Steelers kicked off their 42nd season this past Saturday at Nissan Stadium in the annual Tennessee Titans Youth Football Jamboree.
Players old and new were chomping at the bit to shake off their summer boredom and knock some dust off their shoulder pads. It was a typical hot August day in Nashville as the boys marched down the tunnel and sprinted onto the lush green grass of Nissan Stadium.
To the roar of hundreds of fans, the players were in awe of the enormous jumbotron that was about to capture their every move. Although just a friendly preseason scrimmage, coaches and players alike were on the big stage and trying to impress.
In the first game of the day, the Steelers Pee Wees faced off against the Joelton Vikings in a battle of the little fellas. New Pee Wee quarterback Gavin Van De Pitte had a long touchdown run for the Steelers, scampering around the right side and into the end zone.
Next up was the Steelers BBB in a match-up against the Music City Firebirds. The Steelers defense held the Firebirds to just one score on the day while tallying two of their own. Christian Blivens and Mechki Elliott both had touchdowns for the Steelers BBB.
The Steelers CC team had a tough match-up with an older Pleasant View squad but got some good work in against some tough competition. Marcus Hill, Jr. scored the only touchdown for the Steelers CC.
In the final games of the day, the two Steelers varsity teams, one led by Adam Gregory and the other by James Reese, controlled their scrimmages with efficient offense and great defense.
Facing Pleasant View, Coach Reese’s offense was on point, led by Joshua Reese and Jaylen Spring. Coach Gregory’s squad was led by Reshad McDowell, Kaleb Johnson, and Martez Lamb, as they took on Joelton.
Both varsity defenses held their opponents scoreless. Coach Gregory was impressed with his team’s performance after three weeks of hard practice.
“I was very proud of the defense. We hadn’t worked on defense that much before Saturday’s dress rehearsal. The entire defense was swarming to the ball and gang tackling. It was rare to see less than 3 black helmets making a tackle every play,” he said.
“The defense really set the tone for the game,” the coach added.
“On offense we scored first, fast, and often. All the backs ran hard and with great physicality. The offensive linemen had tremendous push off the ball and dominated the line of scrimmage. It was an all-around solid performance, but I told the guys we still have a lot of work to do if we want to be a championship caliber team,” he said.
It was truly a great event put on by the Titans and a great experience for the boys. This week all Steelers teams will play in the TNYFL Jamboree.
There’s still two weeks left to register to play this season. For more information on games and to register, please visit www.bellevuesteelers.com.