This gave the Tigers their first 7-on-7 championship of any tournament that we have on record. They generally only compete in one or two tournaments each summer and usually do not fare well. However, they made a statement this weekend, and I'm sure it's a statement that their 7A foes received loud and clear. Quarterback Dallas Hardison did what he had to do to win, and receiver Desi Smith was a playmaker all weekend. That tandem will be tough to stop in that Bentonville offense this fall.
Here are some of our notes on the tournament:
- First of all, kudos to Bentonville. They've been ragged on about the way they play 7 on 7, but now they showed they can do it if they focus on it.
- El Dorado's talent at the Shootout of the South was evident, but they made too many mistakes in dropped passes and some bad decisions throwing the ball. QB Lucas Reed is a very good quarterback with lots of weapons, and that combination was much more consistent this weekend. The strength of their team, however, may be their secondary.
- Our favorite going into the tournament was Fayetteville. They had a rough day one, but had big wins over previously unbeaten Olive Branch and Bastrop on day 2 before their showdown with Bentonville.
- Rogers Heritage had another great tournament, only losing to Midwest City in pool play and in the quarterfinals to Har-Ber in a controversial ending as they were stopped on the half yard line as time expired.
- Har-Ber's only losses were to Bentonville, but we felt that Fayetteville, El Dorado, and Rogers Heritage may be the only ones to have a shot at them, but they were challenged in a few games. And that was before we realized that Bentonville had other ideas.
- I don't think you can help but notice Shiloh's performance. Everyone knew this was going to be a rebuilding year, but we thought they would be much improved by this point in the summer. They finished the tournament at 4-5. The only glaring loss was to Charleston, but we are used to seeing Shiloh take down or at least compete with the big boys, and that just didn't happen this weekend.