View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 6/23
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
There was a little bit of everything for the high school football fan in the Metro last week. From team camps to the Blue Valley King of the Trenches Lineman Challenge to the Country Mart Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game and the Lee’s Summit North Midwest Classic 7-on-7 tournament.
PrepsKC was at all of those events continuing to bring you the ultimate and most complete high school football coverage of any media outlet in the Midwest.
It was a great week highlighted by a down to the last play All-Star Game won by Missouri 22-21. It felt like a playoff game with the fans on their feet for the final minutes making Peve Stadium at Blue Springs High School feel more like November 19 instead of June 19.
The events were capped off Saturday at Lee’s Summit North with 22 programs battling it out in the sun for 7-on-7 supremacy. Lee’s Summit West won the title beating Fort Osage in the finals. It was a spirited battle and one that I wish could have taken place on the field the last two seasons.
I enjoy 7-on-7 because it is competition and it gives you something to follow in the summer season. At the same time there is a little bit of deception that can come from watching teams work through their passing game.
You see there are a few different ways to play 7-on-7. A team can play it just like they would during the season and truly work on its routes and timing. It can be run pretty close to what a team would do on Friday nights only with a line in front.
At the same time a team can turn it into something else. You will see teams that will run routes and formations they would never run during the season. In fact, depending on the state of their offensive line, a team might never even come close to having enough time to get the ball out of the quarterback’s hand let alone stand there for 3-5 seconds and go through three or four reads before delivering the ball.
The final mirage that can happen in 7-on-7 is can the players make plays with the pads on. You see what may look impressive in shorts and a tank top in June may not even be possible in September. Once the pads are on some receivers may never be able to get off the line or even get their hands high enough to make that great catch. Same for the quarterbacks as that pretty throwing motion may get a little more choppy as the adjustment is made with shoulder pads and helmets.
Look I enjoy 7-on-7 but as time goes on the importance seems to diminish. Fifteen years ago if you weren’t playing a ton of 7-on-7 you were falling behind. As the passing games were developing with the spread and other wide open attacks time spent in passing competition was vital.
To me the importance is not as much these days. Everyone has seen a spread or has some type of four or five wide formation they use in their offense. It’s something that is worked on at every level so the familiarity is there. In my mind 7-on-7 is just another tool in the box for coaches and players to get better. Not the biggest, not the smallest but a tool that works well with others .
It’s fun but a win in June doesn’t mean much in October.
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