Joaquin, Shelbyville take part in 7-on-7 football

With things heating up in Texas, it’s only a matter of time before high school football makes its triumphant return.

Although school has only been out for a couple of weeks, local teams have already begun preparing for the upcoming football season.

For the second year in a row, the Shelbyville Dragons have hosted 7-on-7 football drills. 7-on-7 football isn’t full-contact in the way that a normal football game is. It’s played without pads, and ball holders are marked down by the two-hand-touch approach. 7-on-7 is all about speed, route running, and conditioning.

This year Shelbyville is playing host to the Garrison Bulldogs and the Joaquin Rams. Joaquin, although not known as a passing team, showed well in their June 10 meetings with the Dragons and Bulldogs.

Chandler Prichett delivered well-placed passes throughout the 7-on-7 meet. A few of those passes went to Ram standout “Boogie” Lane who was no stranger to the endzone during these drills. The combination of Prichett and Lane could prove dangerous for opposing defenses expecting that patented Joaquin ground-and-pound approach.

Jordan Boykins and Ja’Kory Standley split time for the Dragons at the quarterback position. Jarod Perez appears to be a wide receiver to keep an eye on for Shelbyville, as he pulled down several passes one of which he secured at the back of the endzone.

The 2A State Basketball Tournament MVP Jay Buckley made a good showing. He was able to snag a one-handed catch with two Bulldog defenders draped over him before taking it to pay dirt.

“This stuff here is so valuable for our kids. Just being able to get to line up and compete. The biggest deal for us is some of our younger guys, this will be one of the first times that they get to line up against other varsity kids and compete against other varsity kids. Our freshmen, our sophomores, our younger kids, they get so much experience just coming out here and doing this stuff. It’s always good to get out here and see a little football before football actually starts. It kind of gets you a little bit excited about the season coming up,” said Joaquin defensive coordinator Jon Jones following the 7-on-7 drills.

Head football coach David Benbow of the Dragons shared just how important these summer games are to a program.

“Conditioning. Team building. Reps. Those are the things that we get out of it. Today especially, we got to see some of our younger guys compete that don’t always get a chance to get those reps, even during two-a-days or scrimmages, so it’s a good opportunity for them to see what the speed of the game looks like at a different level.

“You’ve got Garrison and Joaquin over here, so that’s two solid programs that we get to compete against every week, Benbow said. “It’s all about the speed of the game, because some of them are eighth graders coming up playing out here on Mondays, and that’s what we want.

“We just want them to compete, because we think we have an opportunity to take a step forward this year as a program and the way to do that is to compete against programs that are where you want to be. Garrison and Joaquin are those type of programs that have that long-term success.”

After interviewing two coaches from two different programs, it was made clear that these 7-on-7 meets are hugely beneficial to underclassmen. Spending time on the football field can only improve your program, and it’s clear from the turnout that Joaquin and Shelbyville athletes are hungry for success. Dragon fans and Ram fans alike have a ton to be excited about this fall.

For more photos from 7-n-7 football please click here: