In what has become a Southland tradition, 10 high school football teams competed Saturday in Richards High School's 26th annual 7-on-7 football camp.
The no pads, no helmets, no offensive linemen camp has been helping teams develop the chemistry needed for the upcoming season for years. The elite field included Hinsdale Central, Richards, Mount Carmel, Marist, Sandburg, Thornton Fractional South, Loyola, Chicago Christian, Lemont and Harlan Community Academy in Chicago.
With each team playing five sessions, the offenses ran a set number of plays before being switched out for the defenses. No official scores were kept, and one-hand touch stops were whistled dead. A 45-minute time limit kept the action fast paced.
Making it to the second round of the 6A playoffs last season with a record of 6-5 the Richards Bulldogs are looking to improve every day at this year’s camp.
With 15 returning starters from last year, the 7-on-7s offered a great preview of how their guys stack up now, one year older.
“We have a lot of competition for positions this year,” Richrds coach Tony Sheehan said. “And that is really making camp fun and competitive.”
Marist brings its 7-3 winning record to the camp but also has nine offensive and five defensive players returning for the season.
When asked just what his team was looking to get out of this year’s 7-on-7, Marist coach Pat Dunne replied, “We are looking forward to seeing a lot of competition in this year’s camp at all positions.”
With last year’s 6-4 record and only two starters returning to the field in August, the Sandburg Eagles look to build a new dynasty.“We have to develop a lot of new talent with limited playing experience” Sandburg coach Dave Wierzal said.