Peanut City Shootout shows gridiron progress
Published 9:14 pm Tuesday, June 24, 2014
The abundance of 7-on-7 football tournaments likely contributed to lower participation at King’s Fork High School’s ninth annual Peanut City Shootout on Saturday, but Bulldogs coach Joe Jones said attendance was still strong.
All three Suffolk public schools contributed to the field of 16 teams that took the opportunity to compete.
“You get to work offensively, you get to work on your passing and catching skills, your route-running skills in a very competitive-type atmosphere,” Jones said.
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He said on defense, teams can work on their coverage and fundamentals.
The 16 squads were broken into four pools of four teams apiece, each playing each other once.
After rankings were done, the top eight competed in the gold bracket of a single elimination tournament, with Salem High School topping First Colonial High School to win it. Teams ranked 9-16 competed in the silver bracket, where Western Branch High School defeated Deep Creek High School.
King’s Fork fielded two teams. Both went 2-3 on the day, and both were led by rising junior quarterback Ryan Kluck.
Jones said Kluck has been working hard, and “now, it’s his turn to show what he can do.”
He took the majority of snaps at a recent 7-on-7 camp the Bulldogs attended at East Carolina University, and he took all of them on Saturday.
The day’s event also featured a lineman challenge, with 55 competitors. Players were awarded points based on their performance in events testing their strength and speed. Friendly High School rising senior Kendell Robinson won the challenge’s overall individual award, while King’s Fork won the overall team honor.
The top six Bulldog linemen contributing points to the team win included rising seniors Steffen Bruce, Brock Gochenaur, Brandon Babbs and Justin Calhoun, rising junior Justin Knight and rising sophomore Travius Cheeks.
Bruce, KF’s returning center, won the 100-yard obstacle course and the 20-yard tire flip and tied for the win in the pro shuttle run.
Lakeland High School coach Bryan Potts noted his team is installing a new offense.
“I think the 7-on-7 showed us that we’re on schedule, but have a lot of work to do to be where we feel like we need to be to be successful,” he said.
The Cavaliers went 2-2 on the day, as rising senior Miles Goodman took most of the snaps, and rising freshman Tyquan Holloman took the rest.
Potts wants better play out of his defense than what he saw in tournament play, but praised rising junior Jaquan Yulee for some excellent plays. He also highlighted rising senior Isaiah Williams on both sides of the ball and rising sophomore Alajuwun Langston on offense.
Nansemond River High School went 1-3 on Saturday.
“It gave us a good starting point of what we need to do to get better,” Warriors coach David Coccoli said of the event.
He was particularly impressed with the play of rising senior quarterback DeShon Saunders and rising senior wideout Keion Roberts.