Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Opinion

June 12, 2014

7-on-7 football tells us season is around the corner

Athens — It's always football time in Texas, even if the game is 7-on-7 football.

Sure, some people say that 7-on-7 is not football, because it is touch football with no lineman and no running game.

I think it is the perfect style of football to help the quarterbacks learn the style and timing of their receivers, tight ends and running backs.

It also helps the defensive units learn how to deal with adverse situations in a very fast-paced style of play.

During the month of June, I have had the chance to cover a sporting event that I had not done for at least five years.

Three Henderson County-area teams are taking part in a 7-on-7 football league on Tuesday nights during the month of June.

Watching the athletes from Eustace, Brownsboro and Mabank gets my blood flowing as we get ready for another football season starting Aug. 4 with two-a-day practices.

This is one of the few times where the running back may not be the focal point, as the Eustace Bulldogs can prove during a typical 11-man football game.

Talking with coaches from Eustace, they say it is a totally-different ball game, since you can not blitz on defense, and you have to throw the ball on every play.

When fans watch a Eustace football game, they will see the Bulldogs run the ball more than they pass it against their opponents.

On Tuesday, Eustace quarterback Brandon Morgan threw 47 times, which is close to the amount of attempts he would throw in a 10-game season.

For the Mabank Panthers and the Brownsboro Bears, this is an opportunity for the two teams to make sure their timing is right once they take the month off in July to get ready for two-a-day practices in August.

I never had the opportunity to play in a 7-on-7 league as a child, but I know I would have loved being a part of that atmosphere.

This is the one time where the players have to figure out what works best during the 40 minutes that they are playing the game.

You could have the opportunity to make a quick score, or work your way throughout the field of play with short passes.

I enjoy seeing the players show their intensity during these 7-on-7 games, as they would if they were in a regular season game with time running out on the clock.

Fans can also get an early look as to what they might see during the upcoming football season. Coaches have a chance to watch from the sideline to catch a glimpse of players that could make an impact for their teams in November.

One of the rules in 7-on-7 is that coaches can attend the games, but are not allowed to coach the players during the actual game.

This allows the players to decide what needs to happen to keep their teams within striking distance of picking up a win.

I believe that 7-on-7 also helps in developing leadership capabilities within the teams to decide who can be counted on in key roles.

With two more weeks of the summer league, the three county teams will fight to make a point that they will be a team to watch this season.

By the style of play they have shown in the first two weeks, it could be an exciting year for all three teams.

Joe Elerson is the sports writer for the Athens Review. He can be reached at sportseditor@athensreview.com.

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