Tigers go 3-1 in Wetumpka-hosted 7-on-7 competition

Published 4:42 pm Tuesday, July 14, 2015

This week has been a busy one for the Greenville Tigers, has the team prepares for its second of two planned 7-on-7 tournaments at South Alabama Thursday.

But the team recently returned from a trip to Wetumpka, where the Tigers went 3-1 at another 7-on-7 tournament.

According to Josh McLendon, Greenville High School’s head football coach, he was happy with the performance despite a slow start.

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“I thought we were a little sluggish to come out and we started off a little slow; it was very, very hot,” McLendon said.

“But we picked it up and got better each game, and that’s the main thing we wanted.  I was pleased with how we played and how we competed.”

The team finished 3-1 in Wetumpka, walking away with wins against both Wetumpka teams, as well as Elmore County.

The Tigers’ sole loss came at the hands of Booker T. Washington, a regular season area opponent that the Tigers razed 58-14 last season.

McLendon added that the 7-on-7 experience was a good opportunity to get a sneak preview of the Golden Eagles, as they will serve as the Tigers’ first area opponent on Sept. 4.

The problem inherent to smaller 7-on-7 camps is that the skill position players receive all of the experience, leaving offensive and defensive linemen out of the festivities.

Marlon Davidson, Greenville’s own five-star defensive end, was able to flex a different set of defensive muscles as a linebacker during Wetumpka’s camp, but South Alabama’s camp is set to provide a more balanced experience for the whole team.

“Thursday, when we go to South Alabama, they’ll have an O-line and D-line camp at the same time that the 7-on-7 tournament is going on,” McLendon said.

“That way, you can get those guys some reps.”

It’s been a gradual process since McLendon’s arrival at GHS in April, but the day-by-day approach has borne fruit three months later both on the field and off.

The Tigers’ sizeable bunch of 23 seniors, up two from last season, has taken command of the field and weight room.

Instilling a sense of leadership was one of McLendon’s biggest priorities.

“I think we’ve got a really good group of seniors, and we’ve challenged them as a group to take hold of the team and make it their own, and I think they’ve done that,” McLendon said.

“We meet once a week with our seniors to do a little character education, and we’ve got Pastor (Herbert) Brown from Southside Baptist Church to be involved with us, and we just talk about different aspects of life.  That’s one of the things that I’ve been the most proud of so far.”

The days are ticking down until the start of the season, a fact that everyone in the GHS field house is keenly aware of due to a ticker counting down the kickoff until the season opener on Aug. 28.

Forty-three days remain, and only two weeks of summer are left before fall camp begins in earnest on Aug. 3.

Though there are a few wrinkles to iron out, McLendon is confident his team is where it needs to be.

“As far as the weight room goes, I’m pretty satisfied,” McLendon said.

“I think we’ve still got some things to clean up with offense, defense and special teams, but for the most part, I feel like we’re headed in the right direction to be prepared for the fall.”