Lebanon Reporter

Local Sports

July 15, 2014

Inaugural Pearson 7-on-7 tourney a success

More than 130 former Western Boone football players representing five decades ventured onto the Western Boone practice fields one more time Saturday to partake in the inaugural Jeff Pearson 7-on-7 alumni tournament. Fourteen teams ranging from the Class of 1978 to the Class of 2014 played in the tournament, with the Class of 2012 winning. Teams were put together by graduation year, or with years close to theirs, so that no "super" teams could be formed. Current Western Boone head coach Justin Pelley said that helped raise the interest. "It was awesome," Pelley said. "I wasn't really sure what we were getting into. This idea came to me in February and I ran it by our defensive coordinator Travis Brunes and he said that he thought it would turn out OK. He did a great job of getting a hold of all the people I couldn't get a hold of and we ended up with 138 participants and it went all the way back to 1978. They (that class) had 13 guys show up and they played four games so they may be hurting a little bit tomorrow." Pelley, who is entering his second season at the helm of the Stars, said he thought the tournament was a great way to honor Pearson as well, who served as Western Boone head coach from 1984-2009. He attended the event. "I think for a lot of people that is why they came back and he deserves it," Pelley said. "He has been around, he was the coach here for 25 years and so many people respect him. I have been able to become friends with him in the one year I have been here and what a great resource to have as a young coach, being able to see him every day and bounce ideas off of him. I thought it would be nice to honor him in a way where he could see all the guys he coached before." Western Boone was 141-139 in Pearson's 25 years as head coach. His teams won seven sectional titles, four regional titles, two semi-state titles and the Class 2A state title in 1988. They also won five Sagamore Athletic titles. Pearson said it was fun to see so many of his former players. "This doesn't happen everyday," Pearson said. "It was a good event. It is different than a golf tournament where you only play with three other guys and you don't get to interact with everyone. These guys are all competitive, they're having fun and they aren't as good of players as they were in high school, but everyone had a great time." Pearson said that besides the wins and the state championships, some of his favorite moments as coach were being able to play across the state and spread Western Boone football. For more of this story, read Tuesday's Lebanon Reporter.

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