McPherson takes Blue Valley 7x7 title
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
In one of the last big summer team competition it was a team outside the Metro that took home the honors Saturday at Blue Valley High School.
McPherson High School won the Blue Valley 7-on-7 tournament that featured eight teams from the Metro on a hot July day. The Blue Valley tournament was the unofficial end of multiple team competition in the Metro as most teams on the Missouri side shut things down until practice opens Aug. 8 while Kansas has mandatory dead period until practice begins Aug. 15.
The win by McPherson over Shawnee Mission East in the finals came right down to the last play. East scored to make it 19-14 with about four minutes left in the game giving McPherson time for one last drive. McPherson quarterback Tyler Matthews used up almost every second before throwing the game winning touchdown with just seconds left.
Even though East came up short the tournament did pay dividends for the Lancers. With the opening of practice less than a month away the seven games allowed new East quarterback Dakota Collins to work with his receivers. Collins moved over from Wyandotte and said that this tournament was good but they still have things to work on to get ready for the season
“There is always room for improvements,” Collins said. “I feel like we’ve got a bunch of things to work on. You can’t stop getting better.”
Joining McPherson and Shawnee Mission East in the tournament was the host Blue Valley, Blue Valley West, Shawnee Heights, Harmon, Blue Valley North, Shawnee Mission Northwest, Olathe South and Lee’s Summit.
After pool play in the morning the teams were placed into brackets. Two play-in games featured Lee’s Summit against Shawnee Mission Northwest and Harmon against Blue Valley North. Lee’s Summit and Harmon both won to advance to the main bracket. Lee’s Summit stayed hot in the main bracket beating Olathe South before falling to McPherson in the semifinals.
For a very young offensive Lee’s Summit team the tournament was a good chance to get a lot of experience. Tigers coach Eric Thomas said they are still learning but he saw a lot of good things.
“I think we got better through the day,” Thomas said. “It was a good way for us to finish up the summer. We go into some camp stuff here at the end. I was proud of our kids, proud of our effort on a hot day. We played hard and fast the whole day with great enthusiasm in the heat which is a good thing.”
Blue Valley West drew McPherson in the quarterfinals but came up short even though the Jaguars didn’t win any games in bracket play coach Scott Wright said his kids had a good day and are having a good summer.
“This was a great tournament,” Wright said. “We’ve had a great summer, we really have. I’m really pleased with where we are at.
“We’ve got to get things turned around and start playing the way it is supposed to be played. That’s what we are working on more than anything. We can’t worry about anybody else’s schedule or anybody else’s record. We just have to worry about ourselves.”
Blue Valley topped Shawnee Heights in the quarterfinals but fell to Shawnee Mission East in the semis. Tigers quarterback Kyle Zimmerman said it was good to get a lot of games in despite the heat.
“I think we came out today and got a lot better,” Zimmerman said. “We started out a little slow but after a little while we got into a good groove and got better.”
Dion Clisso is the Managing Editor of PrepsKC. To reach him send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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