FRISCO – It’s summertime in Texas, and if you’re a native of the land, you’re familiar with the above-average temperatures that the state experiences during June and July. With the sun beating down consistently at 90+ degrees every day, it is hard to even retrieve the mail, let alone exercise.
Even in the sweltering heat, however, the Prosper Eagles are out on the field. The football team is looking to improve their 7-4 record by practicing over the summer in preparation for fall ball.
But rather than just conditioning or practicing running routes in the mornings, the team is actually competing against other teams in the surrounding area on a much smaller scale: 7-on-7.
7-on-7 football has made its rise in popularity over the last decade in high school football. It has become a common way for coaches to observe individual performances, while also evaluating their offensive and defensive prospects. Additionally, it gives the players a chance to shake some of the rust off from the long break away from the field.
The sport is a non-contact, all-passing game played on a 40-yard field plus the end zone, and allows scoring on both offense and defense, according to the AAU Football website. Teams have three downs to achieve the first down, until they advance up the field into touchdown range, in which they get an extra down to score. Once a touchdown is earned, players have the choice of a one or two extra point attempt. The game is played with a running clock, and the team with the most points at the end of the time is the winner.
Last week, the team gathered up some of the boys to play in a tournament hosted by Lone Star High School in Frisco. Little Elm High School and Frisco Independence High School were also in attendance, giving Prosper the chance to play against four quality opponents. The Eagles were the victors in most of the matches, but offensive coordinator Tyler Moore says he’s not worried about the score for the tournament. Rather than worrying about running up the scoreboard, he said they are just looking to improve their game.
“They competed (today) and that’s kind of the most important thing,” Moore said about the team’s performance on Tuesday. “We don’t emphasize the score, winning or losing … we want them to get reps, and we want them to get better at what we do.”
With the season just weeks away, the players are committed to improving during the summer. Prosper running back Caleb Adams said 7-on-7 gives his team the ability to work on their communication going into the fall.
“7-on-7 is about working towards the real season and getting better as a team and communicating,” Adams said.
His teammate, Wayne Anderson, agreed, but was proud of the way the team made adjustments to the game. The corner said some of the players were playing in positions they don’t normally play, but the team was able to adapt quickly on the field.
“We didn’t let up a lot, and overall I think we did really good,” the junior corner said. “We’re getting better and preparing because once the season comes, we already know what we’re doing.”
Prosper will play in the same tournament on Tuesday, July 18 at Lone Star High School. Games are free and open to the public, and will begin around 6 p.m.