Mr. Clutch

By Jeremy McDonald

jeremymcdonald73@gmail.com

SALEM, Ore.– Throughout the Fall, it seemed as if McNary’s Jack McCarty had that ‘Clutch’-factor.  That ‘Joe Cool’, Mamba Mentality-approach to these 7-on-7 tournaments.

Yes, it’s 7-on.  You don’t get 250-, 300-pound lineman flying around you, but you still have to work through that pass coverage progression against a four-second clock.

What’s better, McCarty gets to do it twice.  Once with his McNary teammates and another with the GymClub team.  Getting those valuable live reps he otherwise would be missing out on if it wasn’t for the Oregon 7’s 7-on-7 league he is playing in.

“It’s super ideal to play for two teams and especially when we’re able to schedule them not at the same time and to get in six games as opposed to three,” said McCarty.  “As much as we would like to play in bracket play, it’s not what we’re able to do with as many reps as we can (is good).”

This past Sunday, each team got only three games instead of weeks past where you’d have two or three pool play games before hopping into a single-elimination bracket.

McCarty (left) celebrating with West Albany’s TJ Zimmerman after a TD Connection Sunday afternoon at McKay City Park (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

McCarty, who saw some action last year at Varsity Quarterback for the Celtics, will be taking the reins from recently graduated Erik Barker and to guide the McNary offense for hopefully his Senior season with The Big Blue Machine.

With the quirks of weird pass coverages and weird window openings during 7-on, McCarty nonetheless knows it’s good practice working through those pass coverages for when hopefully the season kicks off in March.

“It’s really good practice to get to throw against pass coverages, especially with some of the weird stuff people throw during 7-on.  If I can figure out what they’re throwing during 7-on, I’m sure I can figure out during regular football,” said McCarty.  “They’ll throw some weird stuff in 7-on, some roll stuff.”

And McCarty has found a niche against those weird coverages.  He did it in Springfield back in August and again the first week of the Oregon 7’s in Amity with the clutchness and has just built off of that.  Undersized in terms of the ‘traditional’ quarterback standards, but has that traditional QB arm and IQ you want regardless.

“Definitely good practice, there’s a lot of great competition out here.  We’re playing against the guys we’re going to play against in-season almost every week, it’s really good practice,” said McCarty. 

With the last week of the 7-on season on the horizon before a little lull going into the New Year, the last crack at competition has continued to motivate the Celtic Senior to keep driving to get better.

“I’ve been working on quickening up my release a little bit and my deep ball needs a little bit of work.  That’s what I’ll work on next week,” said McCarty.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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