Competitiveness on display during Tigers 7-on-7 summer season
Aaron “Tricky” Stokes cut inside a Union receiver, who had a five-inch height advantage, leaped into an Air Jordan-like pose as he snatched and secured the football for an interception.
Plays like this were the norm on both sides of the ball for the Tigers during the seven-on-seven passing league this summer. Those high-energy, acrobatic, risk/reward moments are encouraging to Broken Arrow head coach David Alexander as the 2018 season’s first game is just six weeks away.
“This is not how anybody plays on a Friday night, but there is still individual competition and who is going to compete for the football when the ball is in the air,” Alexander said after the Tigers hosted the final seven-on-seven games of the summer Monday night. “Every time we went out there we were going against Jenks, Union and Owasso, really great football teams, and our kids just competed their butts off for an hour-and-a-half all four of those seven-on-seven days.”
Competing on the summer playing field is a holdover from what coaches saw on the practice field during spring workouts in May and team camps in June.
“We have depth in a lot of places, so competition in that wide receiver sport, that corner spot, our safety spots or at quarterback puts a little heightened awareness on the fact that you better perform,” Alexander said of the positions that were part of the seven-on-seven experience. “It’s not a senior competing with a sophomore. We’ve got guys in the same grade who can play that are competing with each other. As coaches, we love that. We don’t have to push the kids to compete. They know starting jobs are on the line.”
When the season kicks off Aug. 24 against Union, the Tigers will have their third different starting quarterback in three years. The summer league allowed coaches to evaluate options and have it narrowed down to two, Tate Robards and Quintevin Cherry, both of whom moved into Broken Arrow after last season was over.
“I see, starting the season, there will probably be a role for both of them,” Alexander said. “We’ll see how things play out through the non-district. I know that’s not how you want it to work out, but both those guys have kind of earned that.”
This weekend offers coaches another opportunity to evaluate the two quarterbacks. Broken Arrow will play 12 games in the Elite 7-on-7 Tournament in Springdale, Ark., Friday and Saturday.