McKenzie’s first 7-on-7 ‘a success’
The end of July is quickly approaching, and that means high school football is just around the corner.
With that in mind, many area schools are making their final preparations for what is sure to be an eventful autumn season.
McKenzie served as hosts for the school’s first 7-on-7 tournament earlier this week and, according to head coach Miles Brown, it couldn’t have gone any better.
“It was the first time we’ve ever done something like this, and it really turned out great,” Brown said. “A lot of coaches even bragged about our setups, and they said that they would come back next year.”
However, Brown’s pride in the fluidity and efficiency of his camp pales in comparison to the pride he has in his team’s continued progress.
The decision to invite several tough teams in the area paid off in dividends, Brown said, particularly for his young quarterback, Terrance Clemons.
“He’s progressed a lot with these 7-on-7 games we’ve been playing,” Brown said. “It helps a lot that we’ve invited teams with high athletic ability and great coaching to compete against.”
Improvements have been just as steady on the other side of the ball, and the 7-on-7 games have proven an excellent test for McKenzie’s secondary and linebackers.
“Our defense has gotten a lot better, and we’ve started to communicate a lot more with one another, which is key in any sport,” Brown said.
Brown said that there’s still a lot of work to be done, but one of the most impressive accomplishments his team has made over the summer is how well-conditioned they’ve become in spite of adverse weather conditions.
However, Brown was also quick to note that the weather didn’t seem to faze other teams very much, either.
“Tuesday, the heat index was 105, and I don’t think anyone had kids that were cramping,” Brown said.
Despite the success on the field, Brown thought that the most important result of the tournament was how all of the area coaches worked together to make the event a success.
Greenville head coach Earnest Hill echoed Brown’s thoughts.
“It was great to get all of the schools together in the same county to compete against each other,” Hill said.
Greenville’s varsity team won the tournament, and managed to do so without a single loss.
While Hill was proud of his team’s performance, he was happy that his players enjoyed themselves.
“There was pretty good competition and the kids had fun,” Hill said. “They actually got to hang out and compete with other kids that grew up in the same county as them.”
Georgiana head coach David Watts was similarly happy for the opportunity to compete.
Watts said that it gave him an opportunity to mix and match personnel to find some combinations that worked, but the most important thing his team took away from the tournament was experience.
“These 7-on-7 games are not about winning or losing as much as they are about competing,” Watts said. “And the camp gave our kids a great opportunity to do that.”