By Jeremy McDonald
WOODBURN, Ore.— As we enter the Dog Days of the summer, football is too entering this period.
This period, that separates Spring Football to Fall practice; you have to be doing something, anything, to keep that competitive edge.
For the Vikings of North Salem, they’re entering their second night of 7-on-7 football at Woodburn High School, this is just another piece of the puzzle for an exciting season to come.
“It’s a piece that we use, it allows our kids to be competitive in the summer,” said North Salem Head Coach Jeff Flood. “We work on some skills that, most re transferable in the fall. Any time you can compete it’s a good thing.
“We have a lot of sports that are going on in the summer, summer basketball, baseball games everyday. Our kids, want to play a lot of sports, so if they’re going to put their time into football, they’re going to want that competition piece. So I think it helps us a lot too.”
For the players, it’s about getting that chemistry down with one another.
“It helps us getting better as a team, we’re really excited for it because it gets us in the mood,” said Alex Vasquez. “We have a lot of athletes right now. We’re working hard, we’re really getting our chemistry down really well and we’re just gelling as a team.”
Gelling, building chemistry during this time is huge as North went up against teams like Woodburn and Gervais as the Viks hope to keep their competitive edge during this down time leading into the season.
For Quarterbacks, like North’s Hunter Sullivan, it’s important to get to know your receivers and get the timing down now during 7-on-7’s so that by the time Fall practice starts in August, everyone’s hitting their strides.
“It’s huge because every receiver is different. You got guys running different speeds and run routes differently; it gives us a chance to get to see how they’re running,” said Sullivan. “I went to a couple camps and you don’t know how these guys run routes, there were so many drop balls.
“I came back to these guys and I knew how fast one guy is or how one guy runs one route. It’s super easy to know where to put the ball and timing, that’s huge thing.”
And though the ‘official’ start of the season does not begin with two-a-days until later next month, excitement is there already as North wraps up another successful 7-on-7 practice.
“We’re super excited,” said Sullivan. We’ve been really blessed to have the guys we have here. We have a lot of guys who work hard, we got a lot of guys that are here that are the hardest working. I’ve been part of this program for six years, since my seventh grade; and I’ve never seen a hardest working senior class than this one.”
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