Monday, June 30, 2008

NWA 7-on-7 League Schedule

18 Teams will play 3 Monday nights in July. Each week, teams will play each team at their location one time. Thank you to Fayetteville Head Coach Darryl Patton for his cooperation in providing this schedule for us.

July 7
Elkins / Pea Ridge / West Fork @ Bentonville
Huntsville / Lincoln / Northside / Siloam Springs @ Fayetteville
Farmington / Gentry / Har-Ber / Shiloh Christian @ Rogers
Gravette / Greenland / Heritage @ Springdale

July 14
Bentonville / Huntsville / Siloam Springs / West Fork @ Har-Ber
Farmington / Fayetteville / Heritage @ Gravette
Greenland / Lincoln / Northside @ Rogers
Elkins / Gentry / Pea Ridge / Springdale @ Shiloh Christian

July 21
Bentonville / Farmington / Rogers / Springdale @ Fayetteville
Elkins / Gentry / Huntsville / Lincoln @ Gravette
Heritage / Northside / Pea Ridge @ Har-Ber
Greenland / Siloam Springs / West Fork @ Shiloh Christian

Friday, June 27, 2008

Why 7 on 7?...Receivers

This is the second of a series of articles about reasons why teams should participate in 7-on-7 football during the summer. This article discusses the benefits for receivers participating in 7-on-7 competitions.

From the time kids begin playing football, they practice being receivers. From running routes for their dad, brother, or other buddies, they are learning to catch the football. All successful receivers must practice catching the ball as often as possible which can be done just about anywhere. However, 7-on-7 competitions give receivers access to practice many other aspects of their job. Learning the offense, adjusting routes, and catching the ball against a defender are just some of those.

Although some basic offenses are simply a route numbering system for receivers, many of the spread offenses are so complex that the athletes must diligently study their playbooks in order to know how to run the plays. Still this doesn’t enlighten them to all they need to know about a play. The receivers have to understand how to run a route based on the combination route that a fellow receiver is running as well as the coverage of the secondary or linebackers. Talking about and writing all this information up on a white board is helpful, but true understanding comes when a receiver is able to experience these things live.

One of the most important things receivers learn from 7-on-7 is how they have to run routes based on a defense. Many kids will learn their routes, but are ineffective in games because they do simply that – run the route. Here is an example.

This is a five-receiver set in which we are running 3 verticals against a cover 2. The read will be for one of the inside receivers on the strong side. The weak #2 receiver is running a flag to pull the weak-side safety. The #3 receiver has to get inside the strong-side safety, then get vertical so he doesn’t get to the other safety and has to get over the dropping linebacker. The strong #2 receiver has to get deep and stay outside the safety, but cannot get too far outside to draw the flat corner deep. The other key is for these receivers not to get caught up with any linebackers that can knock them off of their route. Good route running will give the quarterback an easy read of the strong safety and an easy completion down the field.

Here is the same play against a cover 3. Everyone has the same assigned route, but our #3 and #2 receivers on the strong side have to run their route a little differently. First, they will both may have a defender lined up on them that they will have to maneuver against. For instance, #2 needs to know that in cover 3, that SS will have flats, so he will need to get inside of him but then will need to get vertical keeping two things in mind: first, stay away from the free safety and second, get far enough inside the cornerback who is playing the deep outside third. The #3 receiver must get off of the linebacker and go hard in front of the free safety. Again, as long as the receivers are not held up by the underneath coverage and they run good routes, this is an easy completion for the quarterback.

Another plus of 7-on-7 for receivers is catching a ball in the presence of defenders. Most receiving drills are simply for catching the ball, maybe sometimes a distraction is thrown in, but rarely are there drills ran with a receiver having to catch a ball over a defender or with defenders going after the ball as well. Being able to make a grab in traffic is one key for finding out who can be relied on in a game situation. A player may have the best hands on the team, but if he chokes in a game situation, it would be nice to find that out in the summer as opposed to when football begins.

Although there are several other benefits of 7-on-7 for receivers, we believe the greatest are the three discussed above. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Still Alive During the Dead Period

Just wanted to let you guys know that we have been having some down time after the Shootout of the South. The AAA is mandating a two week dead period, so we are taking the time to write some "Why 7-on-7?" articles, discussing the possibilities of a "Coach's Corner" where we talk about player development, and just kicking back a little bit.

We thought another post dedicated to reader suggestions, comments, or complaints would be a good idea. So, have at it! We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lake Hamilton Wins Again

The 4th Annual Shootout of the South was completed Saturday June 14, 2008. A huge thunderstorm flooded Mighty BlueBird Fields Friday night forcing the tournament hosts to modify the tournament play from a unique "modified guaranteed two-game" format to a single elimination tourney.

As expected after the results of pool play, Allen TX fought their way to the championship game to face one of pool play's disappointments, Lake Hamilton. After a poor showing on Friday, the Wolves returned to their winning ways and won the Shootout in a nailbiter (38-37). The Shootout win marks the 2nd consecutive tournament win for Lake Hamilton after they took home the Sonic Air Raid title last Saturday.

Allen TX's Steven Terrell was a highly touted defensive back coming into the Shootout, and he didn't disappoint. Terrell took home the Defensive MVP.

Josh Proffit of Lake Hamilton showed outstanding ability as a wide receiver. He took home the MVP trophy for Receivers.

Finally, the Top Gun (QB) award was captured by the Allen TX field general, Matt Brown. He was very impressive as he called the plays on the field with no in-game input from the coaches. This approach is dictated by Texas UIL rules, but also makes for a very fast pace on the offensive side of the ball.

Check the Shootout of the South website for full tournament results.
Josh Proffit

Friday, June 13, 2008

End of Pool Play at the Shootout

Pool A: Warren 49, Arkansas Baptist 42
Pool A: Lakeside 42, Springdale 28
Pool A: Allen TX 21, Heritage Hall OK 14
Pool B: Miami 21, Lake Hamilton 14
Pool B: Rogers 35, American Heritage TX 14

Pool A: Lakeside 44, Arkansas Baptist 21
Pool B: Shiloh Christian 41, Pulaski Academy JV 7
Pool C: Pulaski Academy 27, Fayetteville 26
Pool C: Hall 30, Russellville 23
Pool A: Heritage Hall OK 18, Parkview 14

Pool A: Allen TX 39, Springdale 22
Pool B: Rogers 37, Lake Hamilton 35
Pool B: CAC 25, Miami OK 2
Pool C: Fountain Lake 16, Russellville 14
Pool A: Warren 30, Parkview 23

Pool C: Pulaski Academy 42, Hall 30
Pool A: Heritage Hall OK 37, Arkansas Baptist 28
Pool B: Pulaski Academy JV 30, American Heritage TX 15
Pool C: Fayetteville 32, Magnolia 8

Pool B: Lake Hamilton 30, Shiloh Christian 13
Pool A: Springdale 37, Warren 35
Pool A: Lakeside 39, Parkview 14
Pool B: American Heritage TX 28, CAC 28
Pool B: Rogers 29, Miami OK 23


Pool play is complete, and here are the standings.
  • Pool A
    1. Allen TX (6-0-0)
    2. Lakeside (4-1-1)
    3. Heritage Hall OK (3-2-1)
    4. Springdale (2-3-1)
    5. Warren (2-4-0)
    6. Arkansas Baptist (2-4-0)
    7. Parkview (0-5-1)
  • Pool B
    1. Rogers (6-0-0)
    2. Shiloh Christian (4-2-0)
    3. CAC (3-2-1)
    4. Miami OK (3-3-0)
    5. Lake Hamilton (2-3-1)
    6. Pulaski Academy JV (1-4-1)
    7. American Heritage TX (0-5-1)
  • Pool C
    1. Pulaski Academy (5-0-0)
    2. Fayetteville (3-2-0)
    3. Hall (3-2-0)
    4. Magnolia (3-2-0)
    5. Fountain Lake (1-4-0)
    6. Russellville (0-5-0)


As you can see, three teams finished pool play undefeated (host Pulaski Academy, Allen TX, and Rogers). The surprises in pool play included Lake Hamilton (coming off a win in the Sonic Air Raid last weekend), Russellville, and Warren. Allen TX (led by QB Matt Brown) put on an impressive fast pace offensive display the likes of which have not been seen at the Shootout in past years. The unique feature of the Shootout of the South is that a poor showing in pool play does NOT eliminate a team from title contention, but it is a tougher route than the higher seeds. See the link to the Shootout website under our "Featured Tournaments" for the unique tournament bracket. As noted in our preview, tournament play starts at 10:00 am Saturday.

Good luck to the teams during tournament play!

Early Friday Results at the Shootout

Here are some early Friday results:

Pool A: Allen TX 60, Arkansas Baptist 20
Pool A: Heritage Hall OK 14, Lakeside 14
Pool C: Pulaski Academy 38, Fountain Lake 30
Pool B: Miami OK 18, Pulaski Academy JV 9

Pool A: Allen TX 45, Parkview 7
Pool A: Magnolia 21, Hall 14
Pool B: Shiloh Christian 25, CAC 7
Pool C: Fayetteville 30, Russellville 0

Pool A: Lakeside 36, Warren 35
Pool C: Pulaski Academy 40, Magnolia 21
Pool B: Lake Hamilton 15, Pulaski Academy JV 15
Pool B: Rogers 42, Shiloh Christian 14
Pool A: Arkansas Baptist 43, Springdale 42

Pool C: Hall 27, Fountain Lake 14
Pool A: Allen TX 55, Warren 7
Pool B: CAC 45, Lake Hamilton 29
Pool B: Rogers 22, Pulaski Academy JV 9
Pool B: Miami OK 23, American Heritage TX 14

Pool C: Magnolia 15, Russellville 14
Pool C: Fayetteville 42, Fountain Lake 28
Pool A: Springdale 30, Heritage Hall OK 7
Pool A: Arkansas Baptist 28, Parkview 21
Pool B: Shiloh Christian 20, American Heritage TX 0

Pool C: Pulaski Academy 38, Russellville 26
Pool B: Rogers 42, CAC 7
Pool A: Heritage Hall OK 35, Warren 20
Pool C: Hall 21, Fayetteville 14
Pool A: Allen TX 46, Lakeside 15

Pool A: Springdale 21, Parkview 21
Pool B: CAC 34, Pulaski Academy JV 14
Pool C: Magnolia 30, Fountain Lake 21
Pool B: Shiloh Christian 51, Miami OK 36
Pool B: Lake Hamilton 32, American Heritage TX 14


We will have more results later along with pool play standings at the end of the day.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Shootout of the South Preview

The 4th Annual 7-on-7 Shootout of the South will be hosted by the Pulaski Academy coaching staff this Friday and Saturday (June 13-14, 2008). This year's Shootout features the 3 past champions among the 20 teams competing for the title. Some of the top passing teams in the state of Arkansas as well as some top offensive teams from Texas and Oklahoma will compete.

  • Allen High School (Allen, TX) -- [2006 Champion]
  • American Heritage Academy (Carrollton, TX)
  • Arkansas Baptist (Little Rock)
  • Heritage Hall Academy (Oklahoma City, OK) -- [2007 Champion]
  • Miami High School (Miami, OK)
  • Central Arkansas Christian (North Little Rock)
  • Fayetteville High School
  • Fountain Lake High School
  • Hall High School (Little Rock)
  • Lakeside High School (Hot Springs)
  • Lake Hamilton High School (Pearcy)
  • Magnolia High School
  • Parkview Magnet School (Little Rock)
  • Pulaski Academy (Little Rock)
  • Pulaski Academy JV (Little Rock)
  • Rogers High School -- [2005 Champion]
  • Russellville High School
  • Shiloh Christian School (Springdale)
  • Springdale High School
  • Warren High School

There are several highly regarded players scheduled to compete:
  • QBs
    • Phillip Butterfield, Lake Hamilton HS (committed to Tulsa)
    • Spencer Keith, Pulaski Academy
    • Matt Brown, Allen HS
    • Ashton Glaser, Springdale HS
    • Hayden Smith, Warren HS
  • WRs/RBs
    • Neal Barlow, Pulaski Academy
    • Quinn Franklin, Warren HS
    • Courtney Haskell, Warren HS
    • Ben Crumpton, Lakeside HS
    • Uzoma Nwachukwu, Allen HS [Likely sidelined due to injury]
  • Defensive Players
    • Steven Terell (safety), Allen HS
    • Jeremy Reeves (safety), Allen HS
    • Mitchell Roberts (linebacker), Shiloh Christian
    • Chase Richards (linebacker), Shiloh Christian
    • Antonio Harding (linebacker), Warren HS
    • Jasper Lee (linebacker), Central Arkansas Christian

The event will take place at Mighty Blue Bird Field located on Pinnacle Valley Road in Little Rock. Pool play begins Friday at 11:30 am (Pool Play Schedule PDF). Tournament play begins Saturday at 10:00 am (Tournament Schedule PDF) and the tournaments are seeded based on pool play results. Cost for the event each day is $5 per car for all day admission. Concessions will be provided. Randy Rainwater (DriveTime Sports) will be broadcasting from the Mighty Blue Bird Field Friday afternoon.

The Shootout of the South was chosen as a regional qualifier for the NHSCA National Championship. The winner will receive an invitation to compete in the Select 7-on-7 National Championship in Hoover, Alabama on July 24-26.

We will have updates during the weekend. Good luck to all the teams making the trip to Little Rock!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lake Hamilton Wolves Claim Sonic Air Raid Title

The Sonic Air Raid was held at Harding University in Searcy on Saturday, June 7. The 16 teams that participated teams can be found in this previous post. The Air Raid features a fairly standard setup for deciding a champion and providing a lot of games for all the teams involved.

Pool play (4 pools with 4 teams in each) was used to decide the seeding of two tournament brackets (Championship and Consolation). Each of the tournament brackets was an 8-team double elimination tournament. Pool play plus the tournaments guaranteed a minimum of 5 games for each of the participating teams.

After a long day, the Lake Hamilton Wolves emerged from the Championship bracket defeating Little Rock Christian Academy in the finals to claim the 2008 First Security Bank championship tournament title.

The Watson Chapel Wildcats ended their day on a high note as they fought through the Consolation Bracket to claim the 2008 Land O'Frost tournament win. The Wildcats defeated the Searcy Lions in the finals of the consolation bracket.

Congratulations to the Wolves and Wildcats on hard fought tournament wins last weekend!

Why 7-on-7? -- Quarterbacks

This is the first of a series of articles about reasons why teams should participate in 7-on-7 football during the summer. This article discusses the benefits for a quarterback participating in 7-on-7 competitions.

From Burt Reynolds to Adam Sandler, Kurt Russell to Keanu Reeves, the quarterback is the glamour position in almost every football movie (Rudy and Waterboy are the obvious exceptions). Although real high school quarterbacks are not looked at in that high esteem, they do carry a lot of weight on their shoulders. When you start talking about any team, often one of the first questions people ask is “Who is their quarterback?”. Although usually unjust, the success of a team is often placed squarely on the shoulders of their signal caller.

The purpose of this article is to chat about the importance of 7-on-7 in the development of a quarterback. A quarterback can use these opportunities during the summer to help his timing with his receivers, learn to read defenses, and gain invaluable experience leading his team.

The timing between a quarterback and his receivers is obviously a key in being successful in the passing game. Although receivers can go run routes and catch just about anytime, 7-on-7 competitions allow them to do this against a defense. A 10-yard out may be an easy pass to complete against air, but can they do it with a defender right on the receiver’s heels?

Simply talking about secondary coverages and seeing them drawn out on paper doesn’t really give a true feel of what they’ll see on the field. However seeing different coverages live, as well as different ways those coverages can be played by different teams they’ll face is a huge plus in the development of a quarterback. I realize Madden is a great tool as well, but nothing beats having to recognize live what the secondary and linebackers are trying to do to you.

Lastly, I want to show you why I think the competitive experience of 7-on-7 can be extremely beneficial for a quarterback. With these events being so reliant on the performance of a quarterback, he really is forced to step up and be a leader. I think 7-on-7 is advantageous because he could get any or all of these situations in a single weekend:
  • His team gets a big early lead, and he needs to go for the jugular.
  • His team gets behind big early, and he needs to get them back into the game.
  • He is in a nail-biter in which he has to score every time just to keep up with the other team.
  • He has a small lead late and needs to learn to be smart to protect it.
  • He is behind late and has the ball one last time while running short on time.

There are many other things that I believe helps a quarterback in his development by competing in 7-on-7. We will uncover many of those in our discussions throughout this series as we delve into the benefits other positions gain by playing 7-on-7 football.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sonic Air Raid

This weekend (Saturday, June 7) will feature the Sonic Air Raid at Harding University in Searcy. The following teams are scheduled to participate:
  • Gosnell
  • Des Arc
  • Central Arkansas Christian (2 Teams)
  • Greene County Tech
  • LR Christian
  • Lake Hamilton (2 Teams)
  • Harding Academy
  • Nettleton
  • DeWitt
  • Watson Chapel (2 Teams)
  • Russellville
  • Searcy
  • Mayflower
Good luck to all the team and enjoy the weekend of competion. Anyone who has updates please send them to us at


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Helmet Stickers

In our meetings, we have been discussing the concept that 7-on-7 competitions emphasize the importance of skill position players. They also allow the skill players to develop that all-important concept of timing between quarterback, running backs, and receivers. However, what eventually came up in the discussions was what should linemen (both offensive and defensive) be doing during the summer while the guys with the eligible numbers are "playing catch?"

We came up with very few ideas other than conditioning and weight training. So, we are looking to you guys out there for some fun ways of making sure that these big guys are involved. We are interested in how coaches make these guys understand their importance to the success of the team. Along those same lines, how do you reward OL/DL during the regular system because the media tends to concentrate on the stats of the QBs/WRs/RBs?

For example, do you make the internal team recognition (e.g., helmet stickers) more obtainable for the linemen? We are stumped by this one and would welcome your suggestions. Please submit your thoughts and ideas for discussion fodder.