CHHS hosting Wiregrass 7-on-7 Tournament Thursday

Published 10:31 pm Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The sounds of quarterbacks barking signals, referees blowing whistles and coaches yelling instructions will echo off every corner of Veterans Memorial Stadium Thursday afternoon.

Charles Henderson will play host to a dozen of the top football programs from around the area in the Wiregrass 7-on-7 Tournament.

Trojan head coach Brad McCoy feels the tournament will be a good event for all the teams involved, especially Charles Henderson.

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“We have put on this tournament down south of here for the last couple of years,” McCoy said. “It is really a great tournament because we are able to have the FCA devotion in the middle, we feed the player and we feed the coaches. Now we are a place like Troy, where we have a beautiful stadium across the street, artificial turf and fields galore. We have ample space, and could possibly grow the tournament in the future from 14 or 16 teams to possible 32 teams or more in the future. We want a great tournament where teams are getting to play five or six games, as well as raising some money for our program.”

7-on-7 tournaments feature offensive and defensive skill players – quarterbacks, receivers, running backs, linebackers and secondary players- in simulated games. The games are played with 22-minute running clocks and teams start at the 40-yard line on each possession.

Touchdowns are worth six points, interceptions count for three points and turnover on downs nets the defensive unit two points.

Point-after-touchdowns are worth a single point in pool play, and teams are allowed to attempt a two-point conversion in the elimination rounds.

Charles Henderson returns a strong core of its skill players from the 2013 4A runner-up squad, including quarterback Austin Ingram and running back Mondarius “Duke” Dixon.

However, the Trojans are in search of receivers to replace Josh Noel, the school all-time receiving yards leader, and John Johnson, the 2013 All-Area Player of the Year.

“We are looking to try to find some guys to put out wide in those void areas to replace the guys that graduated,” McCoy said. “We also want to work our JV guys some in order to build some depth. When the fall gets here, we are only one snap away from having to plug a younger kid in to be a contributor, so we want them to be ready if and when their number gets called.”

With so many new players out for Charles Henderson, McCoy said 7-on-7 tournaments offer the best gauge of where his team is as the summer draws to a close.

“The state gives your four days during the summer to throw and compete against other schools,” said McCoy. “We want to get our QB-receiver timing down, and work on running better routes and work on our quarterback’s drop backs. We are going to work on what we can in the limited amount of time we have. We are going to get the linemen to camps next week to get them some work as well.”

The Trojans welcome in teams from Headland, Greenville, Dothan, Chipley, Florida, Ariton, Elba, Northview, Andalusia, Slocomb and Geneva County. In addition to the varsity teams, Dothan and Charles Henderson’s JV teams will take part in the tournament.

Over half of the participating – Elba, Andalusia, Dale County, Slocomb and Geneva County – made the Alabama High School Athletic Association playoffs in 2013.

“There are some really good football teams coming here this week,” McCoy said. “We are getting close to August and everyone is getting a little more fired up everyday.”

Admission to the tournament is free, and games will be held at Veterans Memorial Stadium and the adjacent Troy University intramural fields.

The tournament is set for a 2:30 P.m. start Thursday afternoon.