Tigers take part in seven-on-seven camp

BOONEVILLE — Saturday, Ripley High School participated in a seven on seven football camp hosted by Northeast Mississippi Community College. The camp was part of the Tigers’ summer workout program as they prepare for the upcoming 2009 football season. Other area schools at the camp included Alcorn Central, Amory, Holly Springs, Southhaven, Tupelo, and Vardaman. “Seven on seven drills are designed for the offense and receivers,” said Tiger assistant coach Stan Robertson. “Offensively, we don’t throw the ball a lot, but we have won some games with the pass where everybody thought we were going to run it. Everybody puts nine or ten in the box to try and stop us running that ball, and that’s when we throw it. “Defensively this helps us because we’re going to play Corinth and Pontotoc and both teams throw the ball, so it’s good for us in that setting as well.” In a seven on seven format, the teams are allowed to play with seven offensive players, comprised of a quarterback, wide receivers, and running backs, while the defense plays with linebackers and defensive backs. Only passes may be attempted and the quarterback has approximately five to seven seconds to release the ball before a sack is called. Each game is played for 15 minutes, and points are accumulated by stopping a team on defense with an interception (2 points) and by scoring touchdowns on offense (6 points). Extra points are worth one or two points based on where the ball is spotted. The Tigers split four games on the day. They opened the day with an 8-0 win over Alcorn Central and a 12-10 loss to Vardaman. After an afternoon break, the Tigers returned for a single elimination tournament. The Tigers avenged an earlier loss to Vardaman before falling to Southhaven. Sophomore Devin Jones accounted for all the scoring in the Tigers’ win over Alcorn Central. Jones intercepted a pass one possession before hauling in a 35-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Acie Vance. Jones also intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown in the Tigers’ game against Vardaman. When asked about his defensive prowess on the day, Jones responded, “I just watched the quarterback, and I got a couple of good breaks on the ball.” In addition to the seven-on-seven drills for the skilled players, the Ripley linemen got their share of work as well. The offensive and defensive linemen worked on blocking drills, fundamentals, and conditioning as part of the camp. Robertson said in addition to helping the Tigers improve their various offensive and defensive techniques, the day would also go a long way in helping with conditioning, as temperatures stayed in the high 90s for the entire camp. “This camp gave our guys a good workout,” said Robertson. “This is the last weekend of June, and most of the guys are in pretty good shape, but for some of the others, it lets them know that they have about a month until fall practice begins.”

Kedrick Storey/Southern Sentinel