Chandler Tygard and Chris Hammon, the new head football coaches at North Jackson and Section, saw some good and some not-so-good things during their team’s first taste of 7-on-7 competition.
The Chiefs and Lions competed in the North Jackson 7-on-7 Invitational on July 9 at R.D. Hicks Stadium in Stevenson.
North Jackson, Section, North Jackson’s junior varsity, Geraldine, Sylvania and Tennessee’s defending Class 1A state champion, Whitwell, participated in the round-robin format 7-on-7 event.
“It was everybody’s first 7-on-7 since being off for the holiday (the Fourth of July), so it was good for everyone to get back to competing,” Tygard said.
The coach said the event provided his quarterbacks some needed experience.
“It’s not real football, there’s no rush and the QB gets to sit back there looking pretty, but it is good for them to experience going through their reads, through their progressions, are their heads in the right spot,” Tygard said. “Our quarterbacks haven’t been throwing the ball. They threw 16 passes here last season, and we’re going to be more balanced. So it was good for them and good for our receivers to work on routes and to compete when that ball is in the air.”
Hammon said the competition the event provided benefited his team.
“It was good for us to get out and compete and see good competition from those teams,” Hammon said. “We’re not going to be a big passing team, but it was good to get out there and throw the ball around a little bit. (Quarterback) Jace (Holcomb) threw the deep ball well; we had two or three touchdowns on deep throws.”
Both coaches believed the event was as helpful for their pass defense as it was for their passing offense.
“Defensively it was good for us, learning to do different coverages and work to get better,” Hammon said. “We ran a lot of Cover 2, just working the basics, and we played some man (-to-man coverage).”
Tygard said his team ran the defensive coverages they will run in the fall.
“We didn’t put in defenses to for 7-on-7, to win 7-on-7s,” he said. “It’s not about winning. It’s about competing. Defensively we competed pretty well. We’ve just got to catch a few more of those contest (passes).”
North Jackson’s next 7-on-7 event is the Albertville Invitational on July 23. Fellow Jackson County teams North Sand Mountain and Pisgah also scheduled to compete in that event. North Jackson is also looking to add some Offseason Training Activities with other teams over the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, Section’s next 7-on-7 event is July 25 with Valley Head.
Tygard plans to make the North Jackson Invitational at staple on the 7-on-7 circuit each summer.
“We’re going to keep it right around the same time on the calendar and make it a bigger deal every year,” he said. “It was free for all the teams to come and compete and I think all the teams enjoyed it.”