Field Goal(s) – 3 Points from Pasco’s Tuesday Night 7v7 League

The 7v7 circuit may be in full swing when it comes to the national travel clubs, but don’t think for a second it’s the only game in town with team events taking place all over the region in the form of one and two-day weekend tournaments and weeknight passing leagues. First stop this week is Pasco County followed by a visit over to Skyway Park on Wednesday to check out the Hillsborough County teams involved plus Clearwater.

The teams involved in the action in West Pasco were Hudson, Fivay, Bishop McLaughlin, Wesley Chapel, Land O’Lakes, Zephyrhills, Wiregrass Ranch and River Ridge. Here now are three points of interest from the action that took place up in Hudson on Tuesday night at Veterans Memorial Park.

The score doesn’t matter, BUT…
Just because it’s better NOT to emphasize the final scores in the weekly 7-on’s doesn’t mean there’s a lack of drama to be had. The emphasis is always going to be on getting better each week during the summer and gaining much needed reps, but with the exception of Bishop McLaughlin and Wiregrass Ranch all of these teams involved are district foes come this fall in District 8-5A. The most “interesting” interaction of the night came between Z-Hills and River Ridge in what could be a precursor to a night of fireworks when these two lineup with the pads on come October 16th in Zephyrhills. Players from both sides were definitely talking, but once the head coaches decided to “discuss” a few things regarding the situation things began to heat up. Cooler heads prevailed in the end, but there’s no doubt that the Royal Knights following their run to the second round of the playoffs and the return of the vast majority of that squad from 2014, that this season will see River Ridge with a huge bullseye on their backs week-in, week-out.

About that bullseye…
With success, there usually comes some responsibility and accountability. It’s actually a REALLY GOOD problem to have if you’ve been tucked away in relative obscurity for the past years. River Ridge’s HC Ryan Benjamin explained this to his squad following their final contest against Wesley Chapel on the evening. He carefully chose his words, but gave his young men some sage advice. He told them that every single team they play this season will go at them with the same intensity because NOW they have everyone’s attention. He told his team to channel that anger and frustration they dealt with last night and to let that burn their fires from the inside instead of letting that emotion get the best of them on the outside. We’ve already seen what they can do when the pads are on, so a learning experience of this kind could signal the next stage of total team development from the Royal Knights.

It was a good night for some familiar faces…
There were numerous BCP campers and others we’ve mentioned before in action on the evening. Wiregrass and Wesley Chapel both displayed excellent QB play, especially WC’s Jacob Thomas who is scheduled to be in attendance on Sunday at Xecutives. Land O’Lakes’ Safety Douglas Farmer (e7 Summer MVP) made a beautiful read on a Trevor Hawks (River Ridge) pass making an interception to help his squad. Thomas has played just one year of high school football heading into his junior season after sitting out a year due to transfer rules, but the light is turning on and starting to burn brighter and brighter for this signal-caller. He had a few throws he probably wished he had back, but overall there wasn’t a throw that Thomas looked uncomfortable with and it appears his progression just keeps-on-keepin’-on at this point. Asked what his feelings were looking ahead to this weekend, Thomas simply had this to say: “I CANNOT WAIT!” –that pretty much sums it up for us, too. See y’all next week…same time…same channel