7-on-7 goes big

Published 10:05 pm Friday, June 18, 2010

The Peanut City Shootout’s heading into its fifth year, but King’s Fork’s football program has already established one of the best one-day passing tournaments in the area each summer.

With the success of the first four years and by taking a page from a camp the Bulldogs traveled to in Pennsylvania last summer, KF head coach Joe Jones has added another exciting competition to the Shootout which is set this summer for Saturday, June 26.

By definition, 7-on-7 passing games leave out the big linemen on both sides of the ball. That’s why Jones is bringing in the First Annual Lineman Challenge.

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Six linemen from each of the 22 teams playing in the Shootout will test themselves in a series of events, such as bench pressing 185 pounds for reps, pushing weighted sleds and flipping large tires for time. Individual event champs, an overall individual champ and a team title will be decided.

The main event, and what will be going on all day on fields all over King’s Fork’s campus, is the 7-on-7 tournament.

“It’s a good way for our wide receivers, quarterbacks, linebackers and defensive backs, it’s a good way to get them back into a football frame of mind,” Jones said.

The competition runs as hot as the action and the usual June weather.

“Some of the games, they get pretty physical,” Jones said.

Certainly getting the players out for a day full of exertion is part of the benefit for each team. It’s just as much a mental exercise a couple months ahead of when the games really matter.

“On offense, we get to see who runs good routes and who throws well into pressure, and who catches well under pressure,” Jones said.

“Defensively, everyone can work a lot with their kids on their footwork,” Jones said.

Each game is 25 minutes, with a running clock until the last two minutes of the game. Games are played on a 40-yard field. Each series starts with 1st-and-15 and the offense has three downs. The offense can score points, but the defense scores with turnovers or holding the offense on downs.

Pool play will go through the morning. A higher-seeded group and a lower-seeded group will be decided from the pool games and a single-elimination tournament in each bracket goes from there. Grassfield is the defending champion.

“Lots of parents come out of course, but so do people just coming out to watch football because it’s become a pretty good event. The football in this area speaks volumes with the athletes we have,” Jones said.

The Shootout, with concession sales throughout the day, mainly with cold drinks, has become a good fundraiser for King’s Fork’s athletics department.

Exciting, fast-paced, high-flying action is the norm and all 22 teams will play at least four games during the day. The schedule is set to start at 9 a.m. and the final game will start around 6 p.m. Admission for spectators is free.