Teams prepare for season with 7-on-7 football passing camps

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2006

Several high school football teams participated in seven-on-seven camps this summer to work on their passing offense and defensive game.

One such camp was that held by new Birmingham Southern head football coach Joey Jones.

Among Shelby County teams attending the camp were Spain Park, Oak Mountain, Thompson, Pelham and Chelsea.

Thompson head football coach Brian Maner said he took between 28 and 30 players, linebackers, secondary, quarterbacks, running backs and receivers to the camp.

He said his team finished the camp with a record of 7-3.

&8220;We&8217;ve seen some good things and some we&8217;ve got to correct, but the effort has been there,&8221; Maner said.

He explained that in the seven on seven camps the field of play is 40 yards long and it takes 15 yards to get a first down. He said games last 20 minutes each.

Jep Irwin, new offensive coordinator for Pelham High said the camp was kind of hit and miss for his team. &8220;We&8217;ve done quite a bit of seven-on-seven,&8221; he said. He said Pelham had been at Hoover, won a two-day tournament at Spain Park in June and then went to Troy University for a camp.

Irwin said seven-on-seven is really an offensive set up without a pass rush. But he said Pelham had been inconsistent at the Birmingham Southern event and that he was disappointed in that.

He also said he had to sit a couple of guys and play some younger players for disciplinary reasons and was also disappointed in that.

&8220;You know we won the tournament at Spain Park… I&8217;m just not very happy with our consistency today,&8221; Irwin said of the last day of camp. &8220;But this is a great thing for high school football to get to work without pads on and to get to work on your passing game and your pass defense.&8221;

Irwin said Wes Holland, Isaac Bivens and Mike Stephens have all played pretty well. And he noted the play of Josh Thomason at quarterback.

&8220;But, you know, we haven&8217;t found that one guy that&8217;s going to consistently make the plays for us all the time in the passing game. And, you know, we&8217;ve got to find that really soon.&8221;

He said sometimes Bivens looked outstanding and sometimes the team had trouble getting him the ball.

&8220;We just have to be much more consistent if we&8217;re going to win.&8221;

He said, Holland is coming out of the backfield as an H, but also splitting out wide.

&8220;Wes (Holland) will be a top playmaker for us this year… We&8217;re counting on him to do lots of things for us, pass receptions, blocking, running the ball…&8221;

At first Chelsea head football coach Wade Waldrop could find little positive to report. &8220;Nobody&8217;s getting hurt,&8221; he said.

But after a scrimmage with Pelham he said, &8220;Oh, I felt like the kids played hard… I thought Coty McLaughlin our quarterback had a good ballgame. And I thought our defense played well. Guys played hard and that&8217;s what we&8217;re asking them to do right now.&8221;

Coach Jerry Hood of Oak Mountain also said his team had mixed results. &8220;We played great one day and terrible the next,&8221; he said.

However, he acknowledged the play of wide receiver Michael Connell and the play of Marshall Houston on defense. Overall, he said, &8220;We felt good about some of the things we did. But we had some not so great games that will teach us lessons for the coming year.&8221;