May 26, 2013

Coming back for more: Southeastern 7-on-7 will expand in 2013

The Daily Citizen
sports@daltoncitizen.com

— The journey to a high school state championship or any successful season on a football field begins almost as soon as the previous season ends. From working in the weightroom and doing conditioning drills over the winter to on-the-field work during spring practice, the pursuit of titles and playoff spots is a constant journey.

But more and more, coaches and teams are getting their best work done during the summer as players get to face other teams and other players in situations they are likely to see under the lights on Friday nights in the fall.

For more than 40 teams, those workouts will include the annual Southeastern 7-on-7 Championship presented by AstroTurf.

The tournament, presented by The Daily Citizen and in its third year this summer, will be held July 13-14 at three locations across Dalton. The tournament has steadily grown since its beginning in 2011 with 20 teams. After 32 teams made the trip to the Carpet Capital last year, this year’s event will feature 42 teams from eight states — stretching from North Carolina all the way west to Missouri and north to Indiana.

The countdown to the tournament begins in Monday’s edition of The Daily Citizen as we unveil this year’s competitors with a feature on each school daily over the next six weeks.

Like the work football teams go through every year, work on the third edition of the tournament began almost as soon as the first ended.

“It has really grown into a first-class tournament for both the teams that come here to Dalton and the community itself,” said Gary Jones, advertising director for The Daily Citizen. “The feedback we get from the coaches who have come to the tournament praises the facilities here in Dalton and the way the community makes them feel so welcome. It just keeps getting better and better, and the quality of this year’s field is outstanding.”

AstroTurf has joined with the event as its signature sponsor, and the tournament will be played on fields at Dalton Parks and Recreation Department’s James Brown Park, Christian Heritage’s new turf stadium and the turf practice field at Dalton High School, which is currently in the process of being installed.

“This is an event that the community has really taken ownership of, and we are thrilled so many local businesses and organizations want to be part of it,” The Daily Citizen Publisher William Bronson said. “It is a great event that showcases exactly what makes this community and this area so special.”

Seven-on-seven is a version of touch football featuring offensive and defensive skill players in passing-only competition, and it has risen in popularity over the past decade as a summertime option for improving skills on both sides of the ball.

Once again this year, the first day of the weekend tournament will feature pool play as teams battle for the chance to make it into the second day’s championship chase. The top half of each pool on Saturday will advance to the championship bracket on Sunday, while the bottom half in each pool will also play on the second day, competing in a consolation bracket. Both of those will be double-elimination brackets.

To learn more about the tournament and its sponsors, check future editions of The Daily Citizen and go online to southeastern7on7.com.