By: Josh Beavers
Summer training is in full swing for local football teams, and Minden High is traveling the interstates competing in 7-on-7 games in preparation for fall.
Spencer Heard, who is entering his ninth season as Minden’s head coach, said the 7-on-7 games are all about personal growth and the players improving.
“Some people get caught up in wins and losses when it comes to 7-on-7,” Heard told the Journal. “I really just see it as important practice for our quarterbacks and receivers and for our linebackers and defensive backs.”
Minden typically runs an offense where the pass is dependent upon the run, so some of the aspects of 7-on-7 will not directly correlate to success for the Tide. However, Heard said the summer work is a useful tool for players to hone some of the skills they will need under the Friday Night Lights.
“It’s excellent for the quarterbacks and receivers to practice timing,” he said. “The receivers get to run their routes over and over and practice catching the ball in traffic [which means catching the ball while in a group of defenders].”
As for the defense, Heard said defenders have to hold their coverages much longer during 7-on-7 than in a regular game. “The quarterback has four seconds to throw in 7-on-7, which is a very long time in a real game,” Heard said. “That forces our defenders to cover for a long time and that’s good, especially since we have some young guys in the secondary.”
Minden has played in two of three tournament style 7-on-7 events so far this summer. Last week, the Tide participated in a 16-team tournament in Natchitoches. This past Tuesday, the Tide was one of five teams in Ruston for a similar event. They have one more event for the summer, another trip to Ruston, before focusing on conditioning and prep for games this fall.
Fall practice begins August 9.