FOLEY, Ala. – The wait is almost over, and in a few short months, football will be back for a new season. Those looking for a preview of the 2019 high school football season should look no further than the fourth annual “Foley Showdown” taking place at Foley Sports Tourism (FST) June 27 – 28.
The Foley Showdown is a seven on seven football tournament that also offers offensive and defensive line competitions. Foley High School Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, Tad Niblett, is the Showdown’s director and explains that teams from four different states (Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama) will compete. Teams registered include Hoover, Hewitt-Trussville, and last year’s Showdown winner, Thompson. The competition also includes a number of local teams by design.
“That’s how we wanted to build it. We wanted to get as many of our local teams as possible to branch out,” Niblett explained. “When you go to these seven on sevens, you want to compete against people you wouldn’t normally see during the regular season. It’s interesting to watch teams that are not in your area, or maybe from out of state, to see how they do things.”
In an effort to give as many players a chance to shine as possible, Niblett encourages teams to participate in the offensive and defensive line competitions. The Foley Showdown event staff is always looking for ways to make the competition stand out from other seven on seven tournaments. By offering opportunities for additional players to be involved, the tourney allows teams to develop better chemistry but also helps to grow the Foley Showdown.
“One of the [goals] when we started the [Foley Showdown], was to make it possible for more team members to be involved. With the offensive and defensive line competition taking place, we wanted teams to have an opportunity to bring their entire squad to the event if possible,” Niblett said. “The other thing was that we didn’t want it to be just about football. We partner with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) to provide a meal and program for the first night of the tournament.”
The meal provided by FCA also features an inspirational speaker. This year, former NFL General Manager and former Executive Director of the Senior Bowl Phil Savage will speak to Foley Showdown participants.
Foley’s Director of Recreation and Sports Tourism, David Thompson, said the Foley Showdown is one of his favorite events on the calendar.
“The Foley Showdown fits perfectly with FST’s mission to drive economic impact by bringing sports tourism visitors to the city,” Thompson said. “But it’s more than that. This event is committed to helping its participants grow as people. For better or for worse, you only get one shot at your high school years, we are proud that we get to be a part of memories that these players will carry with them for the rest of their lives.”
The Foley Showdown is free and open to the public. June 27 will feature seven on seven pool play as well as the offensive and defensive line competition. June 28 will be seven on seven bracket play.