Stepping Up To The Plate

By Jeremy McDonald

SALEM, Ore.–  The big thing of note this past weekend’s Oregon 7’s 7-on-7 tournament was that of North Salem.

Playing without two of their receivers and their quarterback in TC Manumaleuna out due to an combine happening Sunday, the Vikings ‘North Salem Football Club’ as they are playing under in the league had locked up the number three seed entering the Iseula Division bracket.

At quarterback was Brody Burr, standing at about five-seven and not having much experience playing the position had guided the ‘NS’ to wins of 21-14 (Pro Baller 7v7 White) and MVP White (16-14) to set up a big Semi-Final game with the Titans Black squad from West Salem.  North buckled down and got to work nonetheless.

“I mean for a quarterback like Brody having not anytime throwing the ball in the game, personally I think he did pretty good.  We played hard.  We played our hearts out and we left it out all on the field,” said Vance Lund.  “Losing our first game this morning against (West Salem) and meet up in the semi-finals, we knew it was going to be a tough challenge.  But we stuck to it and put our nose to the grindstone and work our butts off.”

Lund (34, center) looking to the sideline’s during Sunday’s games (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

For Burr, there was some nerves taking over the reigns for the weekend from Manumaleuna.  Burr pointed to how Manumaleuna has taught him a few things, confidence one of them as he stepped up to the plate Sunday.

“I was nervous, but felt like I could do well.  TC has taught me a lot of things, he’s told me about keeping my confidence up and I really took that to heart,” said Burr.  “I’ve been thinking about taking reps since we’ve started and I really feel like I got my respect.  To be able to take reps, I feel like I’ve been doing pretty great out here. I can improve on everything, there’s nothing not to improve on.  Just keep stepping up to the plate.”

The North Salem Football Club’s defense kept themselves in the ball game, keeping the powerful Titan Black team with Jackson Lowery, Nate Garcia and Jack Bennett to two scores for much of the game.  But slowly, fatigue set in as the 14-0 lead slowly turned into the 30-0 result down the stretch.

The North Salem Football Clun celebrating an interception as they wheeled off back-to-back wins Sunday afternoon at McKay City Park (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

The Titans would go on to win the Iseula Divison Championship, but fell to the Southridge Club for a chance to go to the overall tournament Championship.  Being three wins away from that final game is a big step for the North Salem Football Club, slowly coming along since Week One as they have two more weeks left in the 7-on-7 season.

“Keeping up with those guys (in West) kind of shows how much heart and how tough we like to play.  In the end, we’re just here to play football, this is just for us to get practice,” said Lund.  “We’re running our playbook.  These plays that we’re running, this is our playbook.  But we’re just out here just to have fun.”

The next Oregon 7’s 7-on-7 tournament will be on Sunday November 1 in Springfield.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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