By Jeremy McDonald
SPRINGFIELD, Ore.– It was a bittersweet way to end the Oregon 7’s 7-on-7 league for South Salem freshman Parker Williams and the Valley Capitals at the State Championships at Hamlin Sports Park Sunday. Knowing they could have done better following their first-round defeat Sunday afternoon.
“We didn’t have a great game in the last game, I didn’t do too well either so it’s kind of sad to go out like that for our last tournament together. But we’ll come back better,” Williams said.
For Williams, a part of the strong freshman class coming into the Saxons football program this year, picking up some valuable reps with Varsity guys this Fall during this ‘extended offseason’ of sorts has opened his eyes to what his game could be. Going up against Varsity-caliber athletes on a weekly basis.
Playing with guys like a Logan Smith (Sprague), fellow-Saxon in Drew Gertenrich, and Zachary Dodson-Greene (West Salem) on the offensive side of the ball with South Salem assistant coach Billy Musgraves as Head Coach has taught Williams a few things moving into his freshman year.
And though the season for football isn’t until February, so it gives someone like Williams a chance to continue to improve to help out the South Salem frosh team when the opportunity to pop the pads comes around after the New Year.
To take away what he had learned against guys that are, or going to be, Varsity guys this upcoming season.
“Just being able to know what certain techniques to use while going up against players that may be bigger or stronger than you,” Williams said. “Things like that and mental stuff too like how to keep your head high after bad plays and stuff like that.
“It’s really fun and it’s really great to get some experience from very skilled one’s for sure. To learn from them and have them help you through it. It has helped me a lot, we have a lot of really talented players too so it helps a lot.”