Kingwood hosts passing camp

ALABASTER &8212; It was uncharted territory for Cornerstone Christian and Coosa Valley Academy as they stepped onto the field for Kingwood Christian&8217;s second annual 7-on-7 passing camp Thursday.

Neither team had participated in such an event before, creating nerves and anticipation among both teams.

&8220;They&8217;ve been excited for two weeks,&8221; Cornerstone head coach Tim Smith said of his team that is known more for its ground game more than its passing game.

As the Chargers huddled up for their first game of the day against Isabella, Smith called out the play &8212; a toss sweep.

The nerves were broken with a laugh in the huddle, as quarterback Zach Ray moved under center to prove that the Chargers might have a passing threat this fall. Ray tossed two touchdown passes to start a day that impressed other AISA teams in attendance.

&8220;We didn&8217;t keep any stats, but he played really well,&8221; said Smith. &8220;He had at least 700 yards on the day.&8221;

Camp director and Kingwood head coach Jerry Stearns recognized the performance, seeing Cornerstone as the surprise of the day.

&8220;I thought Cornerstone did well not to have a passing offense.&8221; Stearns said.

In addition to the comeback win against Isabella, which included a long touchdown reception by Cory Woodall after tip-toeing the sideline, the Chargers defeated Coosa Valley with four touchdowns and a strong performance by Ray, who tossed 10 consecutive completions following an early interception.

Coosa Valley was 0-5 on the day, losing to both Kingwood and Cornerstone.

&8220;We had a long day and our kids are tired, but I think we got a lot out of it,&8221; CVA head coach Steve Mackin said.

Whit Lovelady led Mackin&8217;s Rebels at quarterback, tossing two touchdowns to Chase Lacey and others to J.B. Ripley and Brian Hurst. While Mackin enjoys the Lovelady-to-Lacey combination, he doesn&8217;t want it to be the only go-to situation this fall, as he hopes to have a three or four-receiver front.

&8220;I&8217;d like to see (Lovelady-to-Lacy) but in a way I hope not to,&8221; Mackin said. &8220;I&8217;d like to see Chase get a lot of touchdowns, because he&8217;s a very good receiver. But if Chase is our only go-to guy, then he won&8217;t be catching a lot of touchdowns because (our opponents will) have him covered up.&8221;

Host team Kingwood (2-4) defeated Coosa Valley to start the day and watched for a new leader at quarterback, dividing time between Nathan Pearce and Andrew Steele.

&8220;I saw a lot of good things and some bad things. A 7-on-7 passing camp is exactly what it says it is,&8221; Stearns said. &8220;Both quarterbacks had some good moments.&8221;

All three teams will attend more camps this summer, and will meet again at the CVA camp July 23.