By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.—With Moratorium Week coming next week, there was one last go around with 7-on-7 before the ‘week-off’ starts to close out the month of July in Oregon.
With McNary, South Salem and Stayton coming to West Salem for one last adventure before August rolls around and the Boys of Fall really start popping the pads for the start of the season.
Though 7-on-7 is hard to dicate how a team will look with a line in front of them and the elements of the game, it still serves a purpose with terminology with the squads espically with the Eagles who are relatively young compare to their 2017 counterparts last season with them opening the season against former Oregon West Conference opponent in North Marion on August 31.
“I thought it was a good opportunity to compete and learn, we have a bunch of young kids playing and the only way they’re going to learn to get better is to play,” said Stayton Head Coach Randy Nyquist, who’s 4A squad went up against the Titans, Saxons and Celtics Tuesday night on the west of Salem-side of Highway 22. “I thought it was good. I thought it was good to play against good competition and I like what I see with our kids.”
For West Salem, they had two squads going against their peers on the Black Turf. One more experienced with guys like Simon Thompson, Alex Hulburt and Jamal McMurrin and the other more of the incoming sophomores like Jack Livengood and company as the Titans progress through the summer training program.
“I thought they did a great job, it’s just keeping it in perspective,” said West Salem Head Coach Shawn Stanley as he looked at it as a good stepping stone for next month when they put on the pads and prepare for Lake Oswego on August 31. “Just a great group of kids that did some good stuff, we got some reps in and our quarterbacks did a pretty good job.”
With Erik Barker and Ryan Bamford switching out series at quarterback for McNary Tuesday, the Celtics carried last week’s momentum against South Salem and Skyview into the technical last week of July for the Fall programs as they stepped up to their competition’s level with plays being made even though there was a sense that they could have done better against on this week’s edition of 7-on-7 as they enter August.
“I think once we put in a few more coverages and disguising our coverages, it’ll make it a little more difficult for the offense,” starts Bamford who also got a nice interception in the final 7-on versus Stayton to close out the night. “Offensively, tightening up routes. Just making sure our routes are sharper.”
McNary opens the season at home versus North Medford on August 31.
South Salem, who had a tough week last week against the Celts and Skyview, came back stronger to close out July with a few Saxons coming back after last week’s absence to finish off the month off right.
“It was huge because we had a lot more guys here today. We looked a lot faster, a lot crisper and I think that’s good because it’s early in the season, we got a month before our first game so I think it’s good. It shows progression, it shows maturity and we’re ready to go,” said Diego Fuimaono. “I think the key is instead of sitting around playing video games and whatever, we got to get out and have team meetings. Got to get some team workouts, get some passes thrown out because the 7-on-7 is huge, we need to throw the ball next season and so I think it’s huge not to sit around.”
With next week just signaling another big step closer to the season, the Boys of Fall in the area are just awaiting for that time to continue to get better and countdown the days in which they’ll put on those gameday uniforms and start the season.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald