Pigskins replaced horsehides for Highlands Ranch athletes on June 3 as they took part in the 7-on-7 tournament and hog relays hosted by Englewood High School.
Linemen took part in the hog relays, testing their strength and endurance by events …
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Linemen took part in the hog relays, testing their strength and endurance by events like the driving the blocking sled, the giant tire toss and the bench press.
Falcons linemen took runner-up honors, finishing behind Columbine. The Highlands Ranch effort was aided by the first-place finish in the bench press.
While the linemen met their challenges, footballs filled the air in the 7-on-7 games. A 7-on-7 game is an all-passing, touch football tournament involving backs, receivers and linebackers and defensive backs.
There were 12 teams competing in the tournament. Teams were divided into two pools of six teams each for round-robin play. When pool play was completed, the teams were seeded according to pool play records. The top eight teams then competed in a single-elimination competition to determine the tournament champion.
Individual team records weren’t available but D’Evelyn won the 7-on-7 team title while the Falcons finished tied for fifth place with Englewood.
The high school football season is in the fall but coaches are allowed to conduct some programs in the summer, such as the 7-on-7 leagues, tournaments and the hog relays. Also, several years ago, the state high school activities association permitted teams to hold a two-week camp during the summer that can include a scrimmage. Like many teams, the Falcons came to the Englewood tournament in the second week of their summer camp.
“We are pleased with how camp is going for us so far,” Drew Millburn, Falcons defensive coordinator, said during the tournament. “We had a lot of young kids playing for us last year so we feel we are starting to see the dividends of that experience as we practice.”
The coach said he expects 70 to 80 athletes to come out for football at Highlands Ranch.
“We have a decent size senior class, quite a few juniors who saw varsity playing time last year, plus we have a lot of good young kids coming back. We also have a lot of freshmen at camp. Overall we are pleased with the direction of our program.’
Millburn said the size, talent and strength of the offensive and defensive linemen will be a plus for the team this season. He also said the Falcons have a new offensive coordinator so there will be changes in the Highlands Ranch offensive plans.
The Falcons employed technology to help coaches evaluate the performances during the 7-on-7 tournament, as a volunteer operated a drone over the field. The drone was equipped with a video camera that sent the signal back to a screen and data storage device in the controls. Coaches will be able to look at a bird’s-eye view of the play of the offense and defense during the 7-on-7 games.
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