WEST ALEXANDRIA — Twin Valley South concluded its seven-on-seven summer football on Tuesday, July 21, when the school hosted several local teams, including Eaton, to compete in drills and games.
Seven-on-seven football games look more like a backyard two-hand-touch games than a Friday night game, but they still provide valuable time on the field for both players and coaches.
“It is not real football so we go into it understanding that, but the value seven on seven brings for us is just to go out and compete against somebody else. The boys have been just practicing with themselves and it is nice to go against an opponent,” said Twin Valley South Varsity Head Coach Ty Cates.
The style of play features games without offensive or defensive lines and pits a quarterback, wide receivers, tight ends and running backs versus defensive backs and linebackers. Players wear only helmets so there is no tackling, only two-hand-touch.
Eaton head coach Brad Davis said seven-on-seven games provides an early look on how his team will handle different situations, “It gives us the chance to see how guys are going to compete – with each other, with the opponent, and with themselves. We can see how guys react to some adverse situations, such as a blown coverage, or a dropped ball.”
Cates said this style of play is designed to help his quarterback and receivers develop chemistry as well as make reads when running routes.
“It gives us a chance to see our Quarterback’s decision making as well as timing of our routes from our wide receivers, how well they run their routes, and if they are catching the passes or making plays,” he said.
Cates continued by saying he finds out a lot about his defense, explaining they are at a huge disadvantage in the seven-on-seven setting.
“We get to see how our athletes match up against other teams, see how our secondary are covering guys in a huge disadvantage because of no lineman or running game. We can learn how we are communicating on defense and if guys are getting lined up correctly,” he said.
Cates acknowledged most of the summer is about learning and developing chemistry, but something he is always happy to see from his team is effort and improvement.
“The effort is there and that’s the most important part,’ Cates said. “We started off slow on offense, but got better as the days went on and were much better after the first seven-on-seven. Defensively we have looked solid besides a few mental breakdowns. It’s early, but I am happy with the progression I am seeing thus far. We are getting better all the time.”
He said much of what he sees in seven-on-seven games helps him know what he needs to work on during the upcoming two-a-day practices.
Davis said he was happy his teams effort and has a much better idea of areas to work on during camp, “Overall, I was impressed with our effort. We had a hard day with a speed and strength session in the morning, then an offensive and defensive practice before getting to the seven-on-seven. I think our guys were excited about the opportunity to go against different teams and players, other than our own. We saw some good things and some things we need to work on. We looking forward to fix some of those issues heading into the rest of camp.”
For the two teams , summer seven-on-seven is a good learning experience, but the coaches knows they will really find out about their team once two-a-days start and the pads go on.