Thursday, July 19, 2012
Teams get 7-on-7 work in summer
By BARRY BURLESON
High school teams have been busy with some touch football this summer.
H.W. Byers, Potts Camp, Byhalia and Marshall Academy have visited Oxford High School to participate in the 7-on-7 league.
The friendly competition doesn’t include the full squads but it’s good work for quarterbacks, receivers and defensive backs.
“It’s going all right,” said Shane Stone, head coach at Potts Camp. “I’ve got mixed feelings about it (7-on-7). Come the regular season, we won’t be throwing every down. But it’s definitely helpful to the defensive backs.”
James Kimbrough, head coach at Byers, said his Lions have improved at 7-on-7.
“We’re better now than when we first started,” he said. “A couple of years ago, we had no clue. Now we can score a lot of points.”
He said it has been good for quarterback Trelorenz Stephen.
“He is learning not to force the ball in there (to his receivers),” Kimbrough said. “One of his greatest skills is tucking the ball and picking up 10 to 12 yards. He has the potential to turn a bad play into a good play. He’s figuring that out.”
He also said his defensive backs are getting valuable lessons, through 7-on-7 action, in both zone and man-to-man coverages.
Head coach John Danley at Byhalia High School said he’s not a big fan of 7-on-7 but the players like it and it “helps build their competitive nature.”
His Indians went to Oxford just once but he said he filmed the live action to get a view of what his players need to improve on before the season starts.
“The brightest spot for us, I think, was the way Markeise Rodgers threw the football,” Danley said. “He probably threw the ball 12 times total last year (in a different offense). It was good to see him complete passes and gain his confidence.”
High school football players have also been busy this summer in the weight room and running.
“It’s not mandatory for our guys,” Coach Stone said, “but we’ve had more participation this year than ever before.”
Believe it or not, preseason football practice cranks up in just a week and a half – July 30.
Jamboree action will be August 10. The Cardinals will play Houlka that Friday at 6 p.m. at Ole Miss. Byers will host Benton County at 7:30 p.m. Byhalia visits DeSoto Central for jamboree competition at 7 p.m. on August 10. Holly Springs will not play in a jamboree.
The real season kicks off a week later – August 17. The biggie will take place at Potts Camp. The Cardinals will play their first game on campus in a brand new stadium versus their cross-county rival, the H.W. Byers Lions.
Other openers are Magnolia Heights at Marshall Academy, Holly Springs at Coldwater and Byhalia at Tishomingo County.
A new addition to the local football slate this year will be an intra-county matchup between Marshall Academy and H.W. Byers. Each had two open dates, and a few weeks ago agreed to play on October 5 at MA.
The Holly High Hawks and the Byhalia Indians will renew their annual intra-county rivalry on September 7 at Byhalia.
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