Park Hill South shines in 7-on-7 tourney
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
The summer provides teams many opportunities to practice and test themselves. Most of those opportunities come in the form of practice and team camps along with some league 7-on-7 competitions.
Last weekend Lee’s Summit North hosted one of the top 7-on-7 tournaments in the Midwest and 19 Metro schools got a chance to get off of the practice field and into some competition. When the dust settled Park Hill South won the tournament. The Panthers earned the title when Shawnee Mission East decided against playing one more game in the heat after a long week of team camp.
The Panthers may have been able to skip the final game but their victory was a solid one having beaten Shawnee Mission East earlier in the tournament.
For Park Hill South coach Mark Simcox the tournament was a good chance for his team to get out and see other teams in a highly competitive tournament.
“This is the first thing we’ve done all summer where we have been keeping score,” Simcox said. “Whenever you are keeping score the goal is to win more than you lose. We are real happy with it. The competition part is something you can’t replicate in practice, you can try but to play other schools and to play well and come out on top on the scoreboard is always a real plus.”
The Lancers had a strong run before reaching the finals. Shawnee Mission East topped Blue Valley Southwest in the semifinals in a matchup of two of the top quarterbacks in the Metro heading into the upcoming season. The Lancers were led by Jordan Darling and the Timberwolves were led by Aaron Ramsey.
Shawnee Mission East coach Chip Sherman said his team got a lot out of the tournament even though they chose not to play the last game.
“We were real busy this week and got a lot done,” Sherman said. “We played all the way through to the final round and it was just a long week. We were in pads banging around with some pretty good competition on Thursday and Friday and by the time we got to that seventh game we were pretty tired.
“The kids are doing well and competing hard and doing all of the right things.”
For Blue Valley Southwest the wide open style of 7-on-7 isn’t exactly what it will be running when the season starts but it is still an important part of what they need to work on in the summer.
“This just helps us get the foundation for passing down,” Ramsey said. “We all know we run the triple option so we have to be good at that. Getting better at this is going to make the team so much better and having both to go to.”
The other semifinal featured Olathe South losing to Park Hill South. The Falcons won a state title in Kansas last year on the strength of their running game but the 7-on-7 is still a part of the offseason preparation.
Other strong performances were turned in by Raytown South, Lee’s Summit, Lee’s Summit West and the host school Lee’s Summit North.
Broncos coach Ty Kohl said this was another great year for the tournament.
“We had great weather and a great day for football,” Kohl said. “We had 19 teams out here. We competed well and so did everyone else. There were a few injuries but nothing major so a great day.”
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