LaGrange College hosting 7-on-7 tournament
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The first ever Southeast Shootout championship will be up for grabs on Thursday.
The seven-on-seven passing tournament, which will be hosted by LaGrange College head coach Earl Chambers, begins at 9 a.m., and games will be held at Callaway Stadium and the LaGrange College soccer field.
After pool play is completed, the double-elimination portion of the tournament will begin, and a champion will be crowned Thursday afternoon.
Among the teams competing after the Callaway Cavaliers and the LaGrange Grangers.
LaGrange head coach Matt Napier is a major proponent of seven-on-sevens, and he’s looking forward to seeing how his players perform on Thursday.
“You get to compete, and get our kids in front of college coaches,” Napier said. “While there are some things that are no realistic from a football standpoint, there’s also a whole bunch of stuff that is. The competition, the adversity, there’s a winner and a loser. I really like that. I always like to go compete, and the kids are excited about it.”
This will be the Cavaliers’ second seven-on-seven tournament of the week after they went to the University of Georgia on Tuesday.
“There’ll be some good football teams there, a lot of good programs,” said Callaway High offensive coordinator Zach Giddens. “We’re looking forward to it.”
Giddens, who played quarterback at LaGrange High, is a strong believer in the benefit of seven-on-sevens.
“I remember it kind of breaking out when I was in high school, and I loved it. I looked forward to it,” Giddens said. “It’s a great opportunity for them to go out and play, and what an opportunity to go out and compete against somebody else, and you kind of see what the kids are made of. You get a good pulse of where your team is, and who is going to step up. It’s a great evaluation tool for the upcoming season.”
This seven-on-seven tournament was the idea of Chambers, LaGrange College’s head coach since 2018.
His hope is that, down the road, the tournament becomes a showdown between cross-state opponents.
“I want it to be a Georgia vs. Alabama kind-of shootout,” Chambers said. “Hopefully in the future we can get half Georgia schools, and half Alabama schools, and make it a seven-on-seven battle of the border.”