• 72°

Georgiana heads to Flomaton for 7-on-7 competition July 14

Georgiana junior Jamichael Stallworth returns to the quarterback position for the Panthers offense, and starters both new and old look to get a jump on the fall with a pair of 7-on-7 competitions on July 14 and July 25 in Flomaton and Luverne respectively.

Georgiana junior Jamichael Stallworth returns to the quarterback position for the Panthers offense, and starters both new and old look to get a jump on the fall with a pair of 7-on-7 competitions on July 14 and July 25 in Flomaton and Luverne respectively.

The Georgiana Panthers’ summer season has been largely one of preparation, but the team will put that preparation to the test next week.

The team’s first 7-on-7 competition will be held in Flomaton on July 14, and Georgiana head football coach Ezell Powell said that his team has made the most of an unreasonably hot June.

“It’s been rough out there,” Powell said. “We’ve sort of gone in between morning workouts and afternoon workouts trying to not be in the hottest part of the day. It’s still been warm out there, but the guys have done a great job of keeping the kids hydrated and trying to make sure nobody goes down during this heat.”

Though much of the Panthers’ summer has placed an emphasis on getting bigger, stronger and faster, the team has also made a concerted effort to get smarter, as well.

“We understand the big picture about what we do,” Powell said. “A lot of times, we’ve made mistakes on the little things that should be done when it comes to player assignments on each play and the details on passing routes—why we run certain pass plays and why we run our yardage on certain routes for certain distances to create space in the zones and in between man-to-man.

“We’re just trying to teaching our guys the details of the game, hoping that as they become more knowledgeable of the hows and the whys, it makes executing for them a little easier.  They play with a lot more confidence, they think less and they play with a lot faster, and that results in better production.”

And therein lies the importance of 7-on-7 competitions for the Panthers, as they offer several snapshots of opposing defenses and offenses, and give the team an opportunity to put what they’ve learned into practice.

And though 7-on-7s primarily deal with receivers, quarterbacks, defensive backs and linebackers, Powell has found a way to make sure his linemen—and everyone else—get something out of the experience.

“We do quite a bit with the offensive and defensive line in just trying to teach them their assignments on third-and-long situations,” Powell said.

“We work on stunts for the defensive line and pass protection for the offensive line.  And after we get done with that, we have a little fun by letting our linemen be the secondary in 7-on-7s.  It gives them the chance to compete, have fun and play positions they wouldn’t normally play.  It makes things a little more enjoyable for all of us.”

The Panthers are virtually picking up where they left off in the spring, with the team’s personnel largely set for the fall.

The bulk of the team’s work this summer will lie in finding new complementary weapons in addition to returning offensive weapons, including quarterback Jamichael Stallworth, Cameron Longmire and others.

“We’ve got linemen back that we didn’t have healthy in the spring, and we’re just trying to continue to get better and move forward,” Powell said.

“We don’t have the two explosive guys on the outside that we had last year, so we’re trying to figure out other ways to get guys and space and let them do what their ability allows them to do to make us just as successful as last season, if not more.  The young men have been working really hard this season, so we’re excited about it and we’re eager to get started.”

In addition to July 14’s Flomaton-hosted event, the Panthers will also travel to Luverne for a second 7-on-7 competition on July 25.