Wildcats throw, catch and develop chemistry in 7-on-7

Oh yeah, they win, too

From Staff Reports

May 19, 2008 - GILMER - Sulphur Springs worked on throwing and catching the football on Saturday in Gilmer's 7-on-7 Tournament, but they played their best as their chemistry got better.

The Wildcats came out of the tournament with a 41-32 victory over Spring Hill in the championship game, but the medals they won were not as important as the experience they gained, said SSHS offensive coordinator Jeff Riordan.

"We got a lot out of it," Riordan said. "We found some areas we need to work on and fitting some kids in the right spots to get the best team out there.

"Right now, we're just trying to get everyone on the same page and get that chemistry. I think that's the thing we were missing most was the chemistry. I think we gained some of that, and I think during the summer, we'll continue to get better in that regard."

The 7-on-7 game is all-pass, one-hand touch football played on a 60-yard field.

The Wildcats went 2-1 in pool play, sandwiching a 59-12 win over Daingerfield and a 32-12 victory over Harmony around a disappointing 19-13 loss to Spring Hill. They got their revenge over the Panthers in the championship game. They also beat Gilmer, 48-22, in the semifinal contest.

Riordan said after the easy victory over Daingerfield - in which quarterback Tyrik Rollison threw just one incompletion - the Wildcats came out without focus against Spring Hill, leading to a couple of stalled drives.

"That woke us up, and we played much better the rest of the day," Riordan said.

Jace Jackson in the only starting receiver back from last year's record-setting offense. Rashad Hall, a converted running back, Shane McQueen and Ben Barrows along with Jackson were the starting quartet of receivers for Rollison. Ryan Young, a transfer from Alba-Golden, started at running back and caught six TDs in the last two games on Saturday.

Sulphur Springs had three other teams in the tournament. They divided the varsity team into two teams because another school did not show up. Plus, they played a JV team and a freshmen team (eighth-graders right now), who ended up in second place in its division.

The Wildcats will play in a tournament in Royse City on Saturday, gearing up for a state qualifying tournament in Tyler on June 21.

SSHS will also once again host a 7-on-7 league, starting June 5. There will be 10 varsity teams and six JV teams in the league.

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