Isabella to host 7-on-7 camp Thurs.

Published 11:08 pm Thursday, July 10, 2008

The 7-on-7 passing camp hosted by Isabella on Thursday represents a trend in high school football.

There was a time when the only way players could participate in this sort of competition, which basically amounts to games of two-hand touch with no defensive or offensive linemen, was to visit a college team’s camp. No more.

Camps such as Isabella’s are becoming more popular and more prevalent.

“Basically, it just started with your colleges,” Isabella coach Lanny Jones said. “But it gets so expensive by the time you drive there and have to pay so much per player. We just started our own last year to keep from having to drive anywhere.”

This time around, teams are apparently happy to drive to Isabella. Eight teams competed in last year’s camp. This year, Jones said he had to turn teams down just to keep the playing field at a manageable 12 squads.

The teams – two for Isabella and one each from Billingsley, Chilton County High, Jemison, Thorsby, Leeds, Livingston, Shades Mountain Christian, Shelby Academy, Vincent and Wadley – will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday split into two pools.

Each team will play four games in pool play that will determine seeding for a single-elimination tournament that is scheduled to begin at 1:15 p.m.

No admission will be charged, so football fans have two rare opportunities in one: to satisfy their pigskin craving during the summer and to do that without having to fork out any cash.

The winner will receive a trophy, which the Mustangs hope they can keep from leaving the premises. Isabella has done well in such competitions this summer, finishing third in one at Shades Mountain on June 20 and winning one at Kingwood on June 23-24.

“Now, after winning one, they want to win their own,” Jones said.