Popularity of summer footballl means schools are get offenses into shape
While the sight of a football, helmets, and scrimmages isn’t common until the fall, the increasing popularity of 7-on-7 football means local high schools are lacing up their cleats this season.
The game, popular among schools with small populations, has been embraced in Louisiana as a way for large high schools to stay connected with the game while improving their skills during the offseason.
“It helps with our spread style offense. It helps our guys develop their timing and run better routes, to understand the spacing on the field and know where they need to be,” said Benton High School Head Coach Reynolds Moore.
7-on-7 football is a fast paced mini-game played on one half of a field, without pads. There are no time outs, just one continuous clock that runs. Each half is 20 minutes with a 10-minute half-time. It is designed for the passing game and no running plays are allowed. Tackling is not allowed.
In is his first year coaching for Benton, Moore is starting work early.
“Our first game was last week against Plain Dealing,” he said. “I believe it will help our kids get better. It’s a fun thing for them to do in the summer, something other than the two-hour weightlifting,” Moore said.
The 7-on-7 games allow players to play all year round without taking the normal pounding on their bodies while bringing excitement to fans.
“They are exciting, people like to watch it. No matter what time of the day, people show up ready to watch. There is a lot of points being scored, which amps up the fans excitement,” said Moore.
He said his players enjoy it because they score more in these games then they do in a real game on Friday nights, but warned that those scores do not translate to touchdowns in the fall.
“It teaches our kids how to compete. My focus is on my team, seeing how players are stepping up and catching the ball.”
Quarterbacks and receivers are the main benefactors on the offensive side of the ball allowing quarterbacks to focus on the timing of the passes and receivers polish up their passing routes.
“It’s harder on the offense, because we throw short passes, it easier to touch somebody with one hand than to bring them down. That is what we teach our offense to do is to break tackles”, he added.
The offensive nature of the game means the defense only gets to hone some basic skills.
“It doesn’t really benefit the defense because they cannot tackle,” said Moore. “It does help them work on their positioning and their technique. Linebackers and defensive backs also benefit by focusing on picking up coverage, reading the quarterback, and defending the pass.
This early taste of the upcoming season has got the coach ready for August.
“I am really looking forward to this year’s season,” said Moore.