Northwest High School Bruins

July 6, 2014

Bringing in the best

Top teams keep coming back for Southeastern 7-on-7 Championship

When high school football coaches look for events to take their teams to during the summer, they are looking for three things — top competition, organization and hospitality.

For The Daily Citizen’s Southeastern 7-on-7 Championship, the Dalton community and local business leaders take care of the latter. The tournament officials work tirelessly to provide the organization. And the two combined assure the top competition will show up.

The high school football teams in the Southeastern 7-on-7 Championship come from many directions and states.

However, all those who are returning this summer for the fourth-annual tournament do so because of positive experiences in years past.

And the new sign-ups, having heard of the splendid reviews second hand, want to see whether it lives up to the hype.

The tournament, sponsored by Astroturf, returns Saturday and Sunday with 32 teams coming to the Carpet Capital from 10 states. Twenty teams are returning and some have bookmarked the tournament as a must-do each summer.

“I thought it was a really good experience,” Jackson (Mo.) coach Brent Eckley said. “It was outstanding for our kids to come down. It was great facilities and well organized. ... The neat thing was we had parents who wanted to come down, so it ended up being a neat family experience for us.”

Seven-on-seven competition is the pass-only version of football. There aren’t any offensive or defensive linemen, and the quarterback has a slew of wide receivers and running backs cutting, slanting, curling and sprinting through routes against the opposing side’s linebackers and defensive backs.

It’s a pass-oriented drill, which many coaches say helps with timing between quarterback and receiver. Teams incorporating spread passing attacks don’t need to change their styles to fit the seven-on-seven model.

While the number of seven-on-seven tournaments is growing — Northwest Whitfield, one of the five local teams in this year’s tournament, hosted a seven-on-seven tournament for the second consecutive summer — some coaches are wary of competing in too many during the offseason.

“To be honest, I’m OK doing one or two seven-on-seven tournaments a year,” Pace Academy coach Chris Slade said. “I like going to the Southeastern one. I think it’s well organized.”

Colquitt County, the defending champion, returns to the field for a second summer.

“We put a lot of stock in it,” said coach Rush Propst, who won five state titles at Hoover (Ala.)  High School before taking over at Colquitt County in 2008. “It was a good tournament and well-run with a lot of good teams. We feel good about it, and it is a fun tournament. The competition is outstanding and we get a lot out of it.”

The tournament’s field includes 15 schools from Georgia. Other states represented are: Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina and Tennessee.

“Coming to a great tournament like the Southeastern, you’re able to play against different styles,” Victory Christian (N.C.) coach Dee Brown said. “It’s different schemes and areas you’ve never heard of. For a quarterback, it’s great. You shouldn’t do a lot of them, but it’s still great. It gives the quarterback a realistic look at what happens for the routes in the plays.”

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Northwest High School Bruins
  • 7on7 championship game6.jpg Bringing in the best

    When high school football coaches look for events to take their teams to during the summer, they are looking for three things — top competition, organization and hospitality.
    For The Daily Citizen’s Southeastern 7-on-7 Championship, the Dalton community and local business leaders take care of the latter. The tournament officials work tirelessly to provide the organization. And the two combined assure the top competition will show up.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • NW softball state championship file 1 mlh.jpg In the lineup again

    When Northwest Whitfield repeated as the Georgia High School Association Class 4A softball state champion last fall, that appeared to be the last time the majority of the Lady Bruins’ senior class would be teammates on the diamond.
    Now, thanks to the Stump on Sports All-Star Softball Classic, five of those six seniors will reunite to play together one more time.

    June 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Junior golf: Hicks able to hang for final round

    Despite giving up a few strokes from Monday’s opening round of 4-over-par 76, Dalton’s Landon Hicks was the only local competitor to advance to the third round of the Georgia Junior Championships.

    June 18, 2014

  • Isabel Salinas 5 mlh.jpg All-Area Spring Female Team: Salinas hoping things keep getting better and better with age

    Isabel Salinas’ freshman season for Southeast Whitfield High School’s track and field team wasn’t up to her standards, and she really isn’t sure why it ended up that way in 2013. It could have been her injuries. It could have been not being in proper shape.
    One thing Salinas, nicknamed “Izzy” by friends and coaches, does know is that her sophomore year went a lot better.

    June 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • poty seth.jpg All-Area Baseball Team and Player of the Year

    As a freshman at Northwest Whitfield High School, Seth Pierce came out of nowhere and was as dominant a pitcher as the area had. Finishing his “rookie” season with the Bruins, the left-handed Pierce led the area with nine victories — he also had one save — and showed overpowering dominance with a 9-3 record and 89 strikeouts in 73 1/3 innings. He finished his first season on the hill in Tunnel Hill with a 1.71 ERA while allowing 61 hits and 23 walks. Those numbers were also recorded against competition in a higher classification as the Bruins were playing Class 4A ball when the state had just five classifications. His performance earned him honors as 2012 The Daily Citizen All-Area Baseball Player of the Year.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Coach brown file mw.jpg NW to continue established offense with new OC Brown

    There may not be anyone better than Greg Brown to continue the Northwest Whitfield football team’s fast-paced, fifth-gear style.
    Greg Brown, the girls basketball team’s head coach, will be Northwest’s offensive coordinator for the 2014 season after Crane accepted the Greenville (S.C.) High head coach position earlier this week. Brown has been an assistant football coach at Northwest for five of the past six seasons.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • daltongirls.JPG Dalton girls finish second in Class 4A

    In the Class 4A girls state golf tournament last year, the Dalton High School team finished third at Nob North Golf Course. Monday, playing in the state championship at Waynesboro Country Club, the Lady Catamounts finished second by just two strokes.
    “There is just one more place left to win,” Dalton coach Nancy Hallsworth said. “They have the time ahead of them to do it.”

    May 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Good day sends Dalton boys to state golf tourney

    With a spot in the Class 4A state tournament on the line, Dalton High School’s golf team put together one of its best rounds this season on a course coach Hunter Johnston said was as demanding as any the Catamounts had played this year.

    May 6, 2014

  • Hopkins sisters 2 mlh.jpg Sectionals for sisters

    TUNNEL HILL — When you consider all of the hours of practice, all of the years of gymnastics training and the physical demands of being a cheerleader, the last word you would expect to hear an athlete use to describe herself is “lazy.”

    April 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NW at DHS baseball (g3) 1 mlh.jpg Whatever it takes

    Northwest Whitfield High School’s baseball team has been successful this season. But at the same time, no one said success would be easy.
    Several times this year, the Bruins have fallen behind early in the first few innings before answering with a rally to ensure the wins keep coming. On Friday, that formula delivered a Sub-region 7B-4A championship for the second year in a row.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo