Johnson City Press Friday, October 31, 2014

Sports High schools

Seven-on-seven magic numbers for football teams

July 7th, 2014 10:18 pm by Douglas Fritz

Fourteen doesn’t equal 22, but Science Hill and other area high school teams believe a compact version will eventually make the full-sized football squad better.

Seven-on-seven football is the top choice for the next couple of weeks as teams await the July 28 start of full practice.

“I just think it’s good to get out and play,” said Science Hill head coach Stacy Carter. “The skill guys can learn how to break on the ball, and we can install our passing game. It helps defensive backs, and it helps receivers. Any time you’re throwing and catching, it’s a big thing.

“And competition is always good. We don’t travel like everybody else. We just stay around here to save money. And we have a lot of kids, so we can do it by ourselves, too.”

Science Hill dives into 7-on-7 action Wednesday as it takes on Elizabethton at 10:30 a.m. at home. On Thursday at 11 a.m., the Hilltoppers will play Sullivan South along with Thomasville (Ga.) Brookwood ? which is led by former Tennessee High coach Shane Boggs.

The Hilltoppers have two competitions set for next week, traveling to Sullivan North on July 15 and Sullivan South on July 17.

For Daniel Boone, it’s an even more involved scheduled. Head coach Jeremy Jenkins said he has a lot of reasons to like 7-on-7 events.

“From the offensive standpoint, you get your timing down,” he said. “Seven-on-seven is designed for offense, but defensively you get to recognize what kind of routes you will be seeing. You can scheme that stuff, and see different things that will help you in the games. But it’s mostly offense running down the field and throwing down the field.”

Jenkins said he doesn’t take his team to outside-the-area tournaments because he likes to focus on the teaching aspects.

“If we want to stop and show corrections, we can do that,” said Jenkins.

Boone will travel to face Morristown East on Tuesday, and then meet Cocke County on Wednesday before heading to Sullivan North on Thursday. The following week Boone will face Morristown East (Tuesday), Cocke County (Wednesday), Morristown West (Thursday) and Sullivan North (Friday).

One area team that is traveling is David Crockett. The Pioneers have a competition at home today against North Greene, but will be leaving Thursday for the Palmetto State Showdown, which will be held at Beech Springs Schools Fields in Duncan, S.C., on Friday and Saturday.

“We got invited because they saw us on Twitter,” said Crockett head coach Jeremy Bosken. “They saw our kids’ videos on there, they liked the way we used social media in a positive way. They waived our entry fee, and gave us discounts on hotels. It was pretty cool.”

Bosken said 20 teams from six different states will be competing in the event, and the Pioneers will play 11 games.

Traveling to play in 7-on-7 events helps the overall team, said Bosken.

“I like the 7-on-7 competition as a team-building exercise,” he said. “When kids have to room together, and they are out of their comfort zone, and don’t know the kids around them, it makes them grow closer together. I love the competitive atmosphere, but it’s one of the best team-building exercises we do.”

Next week the Pioneers will take on Johnson County on Tuesday or Wednesday, and are also trying to work out a date with Elizabethton. Then they will hit the road again for the Tennessee Tech Fellowship of Christian Athletes tournament July 17-19 in Cookeville.

Elizabethton head coach Shawn Witten said his team will focus on fundamentals, techniques, plays and weightlifting in the morning, and then do 7-on-7 mostly in the the evenings.

Included on the Cyclones’ schedule are Gatlinburg-Pittman’s tournament (today), Science Hill (Wednesday), Volunteer (Thursday), Morristown West (Friday) and a tournament at Maryville College on Saturday.

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It’s official. The calendar has turned.

The new high school sports year began Monday as area teams were allowed to begin practice for golf season.

While there won’t necessarily be a mad rush to the links today, it’s the symbolic athletic start to the 2014-15 school year. Golf teams are allowed to begin their seasons on July 21.

Science Hill, the area’s premier golf program, won’t hold tryouts until next week. They will be at Buffalo Valley Golf Course from July 15-17. Interested players should bring an updated physical form, and parents will need to fill out a mandatory concussion form before players will be allowed to participate.

Players should arrive at the course at 9:15 a.m. For more information, contact vannoyk@jcschools.org.

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Athletes in other fall sports are looking forward to July 28. That’s when football, girls’ soccer, volleyball and cross country can have their first practices.

Each of those sports can begin their seasons the week of Aug. 18. Week Zero football games will be played on Aug. 21 and Aug. 22.

Included in the early openers are David Crockett at Sullivan East, Elizabethton at Daniel Boone, Volunteer at Happy Valley, Tennessee High at Johnson County, Hampton at Unicoi County, Cloudland at Avery County, N.C., and Unaka at Oliver Springs.

The Tennessee Baseball Report handed out its postseason awards recently, and here’s the list of local players who were honored:

All-State (first team)

Kyle Ouelette, IF, Science Hill; Logan Gentry, P, Dobyns-Bennett; Zane Britton, OF, North Greene; Zack Finchum, Greeneville, two-way player

All-State (second team)

Christian Bailey, 3B, Dobyns-Bennett; Cameron Clabough, C, Daniel Boone

Two-way team

Daniel Cox, Daniel Boone; Russell Koesters, Sullivan South; Tory Hall, North Greene; Lincoln Bowman, Greeneville;  Finchum, Greeneville; Matt Barham, Greeneville

Super freshman/sophomore team

Pitchers ? Brandon Garland, Unicoi County; Reece Westmoreland, Science Hill; Bowman, Greeneville, Zach Hall, Tennessee High.

Position players ? Jordan Holly, Science Hill, SS; Ryan Burger, 3B, David Crockett; Bo Pless, OF, Elizabethton; Bowman, 2B; Chase Wagner, OF, Greeneville; Braxton Potter, SS, West Greene.

Douglas Fritz is a staff writer for the Johnson City Press. Contact him at dfritz@johnsoncitypress.com.

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