More reps, more chances

Jon Mitchell
Post Independent Sports Editor

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — There’s a lot of things high school football coaches would like to work on prior to their team’s first game of the regular season. Tuesday’s 7-on-7 drills at Stubler Memorial Field gave area teams a chance to do that.

“It’s all about getting a lot of [repetitions] for the young guys,” Coal Ridge High School football coach Kyle Sager said. “Every kid gets an opportunity.”

Summer football camps across the state are common, but Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Coal Ridge and Basalt have given some structure to the camps. The teams meet up with each other at their respective home sites, giving players on each team a chance to learn the playbook — the passing playbook, at least — well before the official first day of high school football practice on Aug. 12.

That’s where the opportunity comes for younger players. Not only do they have a chance to step into spots graduated seniors left behind, but it gives them a chance to impress coaches while potential starters are either on vacation or playing summer baseball or basketball.

“It’s all about getting [repetitions] for the young guys. Every kid gets an opportunity.”
Kyle Sager
Coal Ridge High football coach

“It does give them a chance,” Glenwood coach Rocky Whitworth said. “We’ve also been running two groups with younger guys and older kids, and so far it’s worked out real nice.”

The term “7-on-7, ” however, is a bit of a misnomer. When teams play each other, they’re allowed to use a quarterback and five wide receivers — for six players — while the defense implements seven players, mainly safeties and cornerbacks. The Colorado High School Activities Association began allowing players to wear helmets at 7-on-7 camps and workouts in 2010. There is no tackling, as players are ruled down by touch.

The four schools are in their third summer of working together to put on the drills. Passing is the primary emphasis the offensive teams emphasize on, but it also gives coaches a chance to also give more one-on-one coaching to players in the defensive secondary.

The four teams play each other in a round-robin format, with workouts going no more than two hours. Next week, each of the four teams will meet in Basalt.

Of course, other camps over the course of the summer will be geared toward linemen rather than skill players. Some linemen showed up at Tuesday’s sessions anyway, however, reinforcing the opportunity teams have to bond before two-a-days begin in August.

“This gives players a chance to amp up their game, but it also gives us a chance to come together sooner,” Sager said. “Both are really important.”

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