BHS hits field for 7-on-7 event

Published 1:45 pm Friday, July 19, 2013


BHS’ Victor Bodison

CAIRO, Ga. — Bainbridge football coach Jeff Littleton said his Bearcats were happy to get a “change of scenery” Thursday, as they participated at the annual Georgia/Florida 7-on-7 passing league at Cairo High School’s West Thomas Stadium.

“It was good work for us and it was a nice chance to change the scenery, so to speak,” Littleton said. “It allowed us to play some different kinds of teams and see some different looks on offense and defense.”

A 7-on-7 passing event allows football teams to practice game-like situations, even though the Georgia High School Association does not allow official organized practices until July 25. Quarterbacks, receivers and defensive backs run actual plays, although they are not wearing pads or helmets and there are no linemen — which is why it is called “7 on 7.”

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Littleton said Bainbridge played four 40-minute games in three hours. Although there was no score kept in the games, Littleton said the players still showed great intensity and focus.

“I had no problems with our effort at all,” he said. “We played four games in three hours, and we’ve got a lot of kids playing both sides of the ball. They held up physically and mentally throughout the day.

“That’s really a testament to the kids, for staying hydrated and taking care of their bodies. But it’s also a testament to the conditioning that we’ve done over the summer. It was good to see that we could hold up for three straight hours without kids cramping or any problems like that.

“It tells me that we’re really on the right track, as far as our conditioning program goes.”

Littleton said that 23 players participated in the 7-on-7 passing league, and they included the team’s first and second string offense and defense. The other Bearcats remained at BHS for their regular conditioning program.

In the 7-on-7 games, each team got eight plays on offense, then switched over and played eight plays on defense. The teams then rotated until the end of the 40-minute period. Littleton said his team was able to work on a variety of game situations, including deep passes and short passes, as well as goal-line plays.

The Bearcats were also to work on several different defenses, including both man and zone coverages. If a player missed an assignment and allowed his man to score, a Bainbridge coach would typically have that player immediately do push-ups.

“That’s just part of keeping kids accountable,” Littleton said. “The kids know that if they make a bad mistake, or they don’t give in their best effort, then we’re going to hold them accountable. It’s very important that everyone is on the same page and everyone communicates.”

Other teams who participated in the league included Cairo, Thomas County Central, Berrien County and Valdosta, as well as the Florida teams of Wakulla, East Gadsden and Chiles.

Berrien County is coached by Ed Pilcher, who had been the coach of the Bearcats for five seasons before resigning in December. Littleton said that Bainbridge players talked with Pilcher for a while, after the league was over.

“They all talked after our game, everybody talked to coach Pilcher and coach Pilcher talked with them,” he said. “Obviously they built relationships while he was here, and they were happy to see him again.”

Bainbridge will host Chamblee in a pre-season scrimmage game Friday, Aug. 16. The Bearcats will then open the 2013 regular season by hosting East Gadsden (Fla.) on Friday, Aug. 23.[book id=” /]