Cavaliers win Georgia Tech tourney
Published 11:51 am Saturday, June 22, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
In their final seven-on-seven passing tournament of the summer, the Callaway Cavaliers surged to the top spot at Georgia Tech on Thursday afternoon.
Callaway went 6-0, and it beat South Paulding in the finals.
Callaway competed in seven-on-sevens at Auburn and the University of Georgia earlier this month.
“This was our last college seven-on-seven. This was our third one, and we were looking to improve,” Callaway offensive coordinator Matt Napier said. “We weren’t perfect by any means, but we definitely improved from when we took the field down at Georgia, and that’s what we were looking to do, and that’s how it worked out today.”
With quarterback Demetrius Coleman spreading the ball around to talented play-makers including wide receiver Jacob Freeman and running back Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby, the Cavaliers were hard to stop.
“There’s still a lot of work still to do, but it was a good day,” Napier said. “We went down there and the kids had a really good time. Georgia Tech really put on a good camp. They had the music playing, they had all of their coaches out there watching our kids, and it was a really well put-on camp. We were excited to go down there and have an opportunity to play.”
Pete Wiggins, Callaway’s head coach, said Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins “and his staff did a great job. They were all out on the field with the kids, and I felt like the staff did a tremendous job with the event. Also, it’s just building relationships.”
Wiggins added that “the kids worked hard today. I was really excited about some things that we saw today. It was good stuff moving forward.”
Wiggins appreciated the way the tournament was run, ensuring that the players wouldn’t spend much time standing around.
“I felt like the way they moved teams around was great,” Wiggins said. “The down time was minimal. It was a really good experience for us.”
Napier said one of the stars of the day was Jacob Freeman, a senior wide receiver.
“In particular, Jacob Freeman really showed out,” Napier said. “He was really on his game. He was making a lot of plays on the ball.
“He does such a good job for our team, making plays, and the kid didn’t hardly come off the field. We were short a couple of players, and he ended up playing wide-out and safety. So he had a really special day. Tank always does a really good job, and Demetrius was on today and played really, really well.”
Freeman made such a positive impressive that he left Atlanta with an offer from Georgia Tech.
Freeman’s brother KeShun Freeman was a four-year starter on the defensive line at Georgia Tech.
“Georgia Tech ended up offering him,” Napier said. “That’s a big deal with the Freemans, and KeShun going there. They were really excited about that. Jacob was excited about it.”
Last week, Callaway went to Auburn for a seven-on-seven competition, and it was a successful day.
Callaway stumbled early, but it ended up reaching the finals in bracket play before losing to Parkview.
“We saw a lot of good teams,” Wiggins said. “Coach (Gus) Malzahn was on the sideline with us along with several other coaches. It was good exposure for our kids, and we got a lot of good work in. I’m really proud of our boys for the way they competed throughout the day. They could have hung their heads early when we dropped two games, but they didn’t. We caught a little rhythm, and they played well throughout the day.”
Wiggins added that “the Auburn staff was on the field interacting with the kids. It was a special day for Callaway High School.”
Win or lose, Wiggins is huge believer in the importance of the seven-on-sevens.
“Competing against other schools is very valuable for our team,” Wiggins said. “Building the chemistry between the quarterbacks and the wide-outs is really important. But also on the defensive side, it’s a learning process as far as different coaches and understanding leverages. I think it does a lot for us. I think it makes our team better.”
While the Cavaliers don’t have any more seven-on-seven tournaments on the schedule, they still have plenty left to do this summer before the start of official preseason practice on July 25.
Callaway’s players will continue to have daily workouts at the school, and the team will host a 11-on-11 padded camp on Wednesday.
The Cavaliers are coming off another banner season that ended with a close loss to the Rockmart Yellow Jackets in the Class AA semifinals.