CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – 7-on-7 football hasn’t been around that long but it has quickly become a necessity for player and team development.
“You know with football evolving into almost a year’round sport it’s part of the game now,” said Chapel Hill head coach Isaac Marsh.
The game is played in the heat of summer.
The offense features a quarterback, running back and receivers.
The defense counters with linebackers and defensive backs.
Passing is the name of the game.
“7-on-7’s are essential in the summer since we have such a limited spring,” said Cardinal Gibbons head football coach Steven Wright. “Being able to come out here and work with each other and against other teams is critical for being ready for August one.”
August first is the official start of high school practice. In years past that was the beginning of football season. Not anymore.
7-on-7 drills fill an athletes summer. In the past that time was devoted to summer baseball leagues, AAU basketball and travel soccer. Now football has muscled its way into the dog days.
“I don’t want a player to choose ‘you know coach wants me to do this but I’ve got this game,'” said Marsh. “So I tell them be a student athlete.
If you want to play baseball during the summer play baseball. When you’re not playing come to our workouts.”
Most football coaches are happy to accommodate the duel sport athlete. But still, now, more than ever, getting that player on the football has never been more important.
“If you lie idle in the spring and anytime in the summer you’re too far behind in the fall to catch up to your opponents,” declared Wright. “So there is a bit of pressure on but it’s a good pressure. I think it’s making the teams around here and the players around here much better.”
And that’s exactly what coaches hoped 7-on-7 would accomplish.