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Battle Ground Wins Seattle 7 on 7 Tournament

Battle Ground Wins Seattle 7 on 7 Tournament

Jul 14, 2014

Saturday Battle Ground took up 18 players and 6 coaches to the “Rip-It” 7 on 7 Passing League Tournament at Chief Sealth High School in Seattle.

The Tigers went 8-1 on the day and took home the championship trophy with a title game win over Kentwook High School.

“It was a tremendous experience for our kids,” said Mike Peck, Battle Ground’s Offensive Coordinator.

The experience started very early as the team had to wake up around 4 am to make it up to Seattle for the 8 am start.

“It was a long hot day from the very start of the morning till the end of the day,” said Gunner Talkington, a Sophomore Quarterback.

Senior Wide Receiver Caleb Johnson also noted how the heat had an affect on the team early.

“It was something we weren’t used to,” said Johnson. “The mixture of heat plus the lack of sleep kind of got to everyone, yet we all knew we were there for business!”

While Battle Ground only took up 18 players to Seattle, they still managed to get a lot of kids reps at multiple positions, including that of Quarterback.

“On offense we were the only team to rotate three quarterbacks,” said Peck. “We were still able to put up a good number of points will all three.”

The Tiger gunslingers included Senior Nick Manuel who is battling back from an off season knee surgery and Sophomores Gunner Talkington and Curtis Stradley. All three are competing for the starting Varsity Quarterback spot.

Stradley wasn’t afraid to admit he was a little nervous early in the day.

“To be honest I had the butterflies before the first game, then as the day progressed I got more confident and relaxed.” said Stradley.

In addition to giving three players reps at Quarterback, many players used the day to continue their transition to a new position. None more drastic than that of  Johnson who is transitioning from the Tigers starting Center and Defensive End last year to playing Slot Reveiver and Outside Linebacker this year.

“This tournament, in addition to our summer 7 on 7 league, gave me the extra reps at game speed to really showcase what I had to offer to this team,” said Johnson. “it allowed me the chance to work on my movements and control of my body in order to be more effective out there.”

The Tigers went 4-1 in pool play with their only loos coming at the hands of Meadowdale (Lynnwood). However, the boys would get another shot at the Mavericks in the playoff portion of the tournament.

“We ended up playing Meadowdale again in the semifinal game and beat them,” added Peck. “It was really cool to see your kids battle back and avenge a  loss from earlier in the day.”

“I feel like our coaches did a great job of keeping excuses out of our heads and really helped convince us that if we believe we’re the best team here, we’d play as if we’re the best team here, and we did,” added Johnson.

Following the rematch victory over the 3A Wesco team, Battle Ground took on and defeated Kentwood from the 4A South Puget Sound League.

The Conquerors are the two time defending 4A SPSL North Champions and have taken their league 3 of the last 4 seasons.

“Kentwood is a very good football team with a rich tradition,” added Peck. “Their coaches had nothing but high praise about our players.”

Stradley was very happy with his teams effort as well. “Our performance was great, we had some struggle here and there, but we fought our way through to win it all.”

Earlier in the day Battle Ground defeated Kennedy Catholic in the Quarterfinal round of the playoff.

Getting to travel outside your league and see different teams was a plus for the boys.

“The tournament gave me different looks than I have seen in the past,” added Talkington. “Now I will be able to look back and see what I did right, and what I did wrong to keep improving.”

While 7 on 7 games typically lead people to talk about the offensive side of the ball, Peck was quick to point out how well the Tiger defense played Saturday.

“For me the true Brightspot was the play of our defense. Everybody flew around and made plays. We faced a variety of different offenses and skill sets and our kids managed to play a very high-level all day on that side of the ball,” Peck said.

The tournament featured 16 teams including Kentwood, Kennedy Catholic , Chief Sealth, Ballard, Lakeside, Renton, Mt. Si, Meadowdale, Rainier Beach, Kent-Meridian Liberty and Auburn Riverside.

Coach Mike Peck was very proud of the kids all around.

“In the end, it was just a tremendous effort by our kids. Not only did It show our kids that they could compete with the states best but it was also great bonding opportunity. We left closer as a team and felt like we took a big step forward to a successful 2014 season.”

“Rip-It” 7 on 7 Passing League Tournament

View all of the 2014 “Rip-It” 7 on 7 Passing League Tournament photos on Facebook.

 

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