LaGrange fares well in seven-on-seven tournament
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The day didn’t end with a championship, but LaGrange High head football coach Matt Napier had no complaints.
From the first game to the last, Napier was pleased with the effort and his energy his players showed during the Southeast Shootout seven-on-seven tournament on Thursday.
The tournament, which was hosted by LaGrange College head coach Earl Chambers, was held at the LaGrange College soccer field and Callaway Stadium.
LaGrange went 3-1 in pool play before being eliminated with a loss to Central-Carroll.
“We had some guys make some big-time plays, and I was excited about how we competed, and how our kids responded,” Napier said. “Things weren’t perfect, but it was definitely a good day for our football team. We got better today.”
With 2020 starter Jaylan Brown unavailable, Tae Snead took the bulk of the snaps at quarterback, and he did a solid job delivering the ball to a handful of wide receivers.
Snead is part of a gifted group of returning wide receivers including Kobe Jones and Magic Johnson.
Jones is also one of the leaders on defense from his secondary position, and Montavious Martin and Parker Shattuck are other defensive standouts.
All of the players were put to the test against some top-notch opponents.
“The games are a good bit different than what you’ll see on Friday night, but in reality, it’s still competition,” Napier said. “it’s still throwing and catching, it’s still all those things, overcoming adversity, dropping a ball, missing a read, or not covering the right guy. Those things are a part of the game, so you get to learn and grow as a team, and we did that today.”
In pool play, LaGrange beat Harris County, Trinity Christian and Temple and lost a heart-breaker to East Coweta on the final play of the game.
East Coweta went on to beat Trinity Christian in the championship game.
“If you come out and don’t play, you don’t win, but our kids competed (against East Coweta),” Napier said. “It came down to the wire. They just made a couple of plays we didn’t late in the game.”
Napier was glad to not have to leave LaGrange to participate in a tournament, and he was glowing in his praise of the way Chambers and the other LaGrange College coaches ran the event.
“They did a phenomenal job,” Napier said. “Their coaching staff, they ran it really well. That’s something I hope we get to be a part of for many years. They ran a first-class deal.
“They were organized, and it’s definitely good to be able to stay in your backyard and compete. Coach Chambers, and coach (Kendall) Todd, they did this thing the right way.”
LaGrange will be on the road next week for seven-on-seven tournaments on college campuses.
“We have Georgia Tech and Auburn next week, so we get to go to those two places, and the kids are excited to go and compete,” Napier said. “It’ll be fun, and we’ll continue to grow.”