Rejoice, fans! Slowly but surely, football is coming back into our lives.
August is around the corner and with it jamboree football, but for those of you who just couldn’t wait, the Quick Slants 7-on-7 tournament provided some action to whet your appetite Thursday night.
Although every coach out there says that 7-on-7 isn’t real football and not to put too much stock into it (and they’re right) it does provide a little insight on how offenses are progressing through the offseason.
So here are some quick observation from the teams on display Thursday night.
1. St. Thomas More
The Cougars looked like a typical St. Thomas More team, moving the ball up and down the field (all 40 yards of it) and scoring efficiently.
Both quarterbacks flashed more than adequate arms and the Cougars should have an effective, if not explosive, passing game.
Senior quarterback Matthew Gardner seemed like he had a little more zip on his intermediate passes, and lofted a couple of pretty deep balls, but incumbent starter Will Bellamy was more accurate on the underneath passes.
Senior receiver/running back Trevor Begue received the most attention from opposing defenses, Carencro went as far as pressing him on the line of scrimmage, and didn’t find much space throughout the early games. But he flashed a solid set of hands — well, hand — on a sweet one-handed grab over the middle in traffic for a first down against Carencro.
The Cougars defense suffered another blow when senior linebacker James Brauns went down with what appeared to be a head injury. Brauns and another player inadvertently collided on a crossing route and Brauns was woozy leaving the field.
St. Thomas More is already down two defensive backs on the season, Quentin Olivier and Alex Hannie, so any more losses on that end could really hurt the Cougars.
2. Teurlings Catholic
As expected, senior quarterback Cole Kelley displayed an advanced arm and looked every bit like the future SEC quarterback he is.
Kelley showed impressive touch on his deep ball, good footwork and made a couple of impressive throws on the run.
He struggled a little the accuracy of his underneath routes, but that can probably chalked up to not quite developing the right chemistry and timing with his receivers.
But, boy, when Kelley launched a 45-yard bomb and hit Hayden Cantrelle on the run in the back of the end zone, it was easy to see why he’s received the accolades he’s gotten.
And Kelley is going to have to put up crazy numbers in the beginning of the season while the Rebels get their defense together.
The front seven will probably be fine — the Rebels return some starters there — but the secondary was a bit exposed during the course of the day.
That will be the biggest question mark for Sonny Charpentier’s squad heading into the season.
3. Notre Dame
The Pios looked like a typical Lewis Cook squad, nothing flashy but they seemed to get the job done.
Senior quarterback Bryant Thevis looked poised, no pass rush aside, and the offense moved efficiently on seemingly everyone they faced.
They tied Teurlings, and looked good on the back end of their defense.
The Pios have experience and will be a tough opponent every week.
It’s tough to judge Cecila in a 7-on-7 because its biggest offensive weapons is rendered essentially useless in the glorified passing practice.
But the Bulldogs have talent on the outside and an experienced starter in Landon Roberts at quarterback, which means Raymond Calais Jr. will have plenty of running lanes through the middle once real football starts.
The Bulldogs passing defense looked a little shaky, they had a couple of miscommunications in coverage and lost some receivers on simple route combinations, but it’s still early enough that they might be able to figure it out by the time the season rolls around.
Keep an eye on the Bulldogs, if they can work out some of their issues they might surprise some people in the regular season.
Carencro’s biggest strength looked to be its secondary.
The Bears have a slew of top-level athletes on the back-end and should be able to run with just about anyone in the state.
Quarterback Gabe Duffy will provide athleticism from the quarterback spot, if not all that great of an arm from the look of some of his throws, but the Bears have another one of those offenses that is tough to judge in 7-on-7.
Running back Tyriek Campbell will be the focal point of the Bears offense, and they will go as far as his legs can take them.
Northside will have nights where they will be able to compete with anyone in the state and then nights where they will struggle against low-level competition.
A quarterback battle is brewing, and neither did a great job of separating themselves in today’s action.
The Vikings defense will be fun to watch purely because of big Tyler Shelvin mucking up the middle for opposing offenses.