• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports Editor

Hundreds attend the first Woodford County 7-on-7 Tournament

Large crowds attended the first annual Bojangles Woodford County 7-on-7 Tournament Saturday, July 14. Sixteen teams competed on four fields in 25-minute games. The games feature only passing plays with no contact other than old-school, two-hand touch. "This has been a big event for our school and the county," said WCHS football Coach Dennis Johnson. "We wanted to see where we were as far as organizing something this big. Next year we have bigger plans for making this a destination weekend for football families. We have a large facility and plenty of room for everyone to be comfortable. It helps our economy, but it also helps our kids get ready for the season ahead. A tournament like this will help show some things we need to work toward. We have great leadership coming into this season. We have a great group of seniors, they have played a lot of football and been through many wars. They are determined to change our culture, and these kids really do enjoy each other. It's going to be fun this year." "It's fast-paced out here," said WCHS senior Ryan Duke of 7-on-7. "It's cool to see so many good teams come out to compete here at our field. You always want good competition, and there is plenty of that here today. I think this was a great idea to have so early into our training camp." Regular season football kicks off in four weeks, and 7-on-7 gives quarterbacks and receivers an excellent chance to get in sync on the field, according to Johnson. WCHS seniors Ben Nash and Kam Sunbom took snaps under center for the Jackets. "I think it's a good chance to make sure we understand the plays and guys can work on their routes. Our goal everytime is to go out and have fun and do what we are supposed to do. I've played in six or seven of these events in the past, and it's always good going up against someone new that you don't know what their tendencies are. Maybe you can beat them on a route, or maybe they will jump the coverage and pick off the ball. Getting reps like this early-on in camp is big for us." The heat was oppressive by early afternoon when the pool play had wrapped up. Many fans had pop-up tents and umbrellas to fight off the sun. Despite the heat, the Jackets brought in a large crowd. "This was our first time traveling to Woodford County," said parent Jennifer Manchester. "My son plays for Clay County, and we could not get over how gorgeous it was as we drove through Versailles. We plan to come back if they have another event next year. Someone mentioned it might be an all-weekend event next summer. We would come to that for sure." The Henry Clay Blue Devils won the tournament by beating the Ryle Raiders in the championship game.

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