7-on-7 League helping South Jersey teams prepare for the football season

by Marc Narducci | Jul 17, 2023
7-on-7 League helping South Jersey teams prepare for the football season
With the start of high school football practice beginning as early as Aug. 7 for some teams, now is the time that players are putting on their final touches before reporting to training camp.

There are many ways teams prepare for a season. An offseason weightlifting program is mandatory for any team looking to be competitive. Some teams even focus on the coaching aspect of the game, opting to meet off the field to discuss strategy and plays.

Other teams keep their skills sharp by participating in 7-on-7 leagues.

At Lenape High School, seven teams have been competing this summer with Burlington City participating as an eighth team over the final two weeks. The goal of this league isn’t to win, it’s to train players and refine their skills. 

There is no score kept and no champion is named. 

The teams have been competing each Wednesday night, playing three, 25-minute games with a running clock. If a coach wants to stop the action to teach his player something related to the previous play, so be it. 

“We’re here to practice, to get better, that’s what it is all about,” said Lenape coach Joe Wojceichowski, whose team went 6-5 last season and advanced to the Central Jersey Group 5 championship. “We want guys competing in a competitive setting, but really it’s just about getting good reps against quality competition.”

In this league, it is ultra-competitive, even without keeping score. It shows that good athletes want to do their best in each and every play and that pride is more than enough motivation. 

Plus teams want to use concepts that they will utilize during the season. 

“With so many 7-on-7 tournaments, you are worried more about scoring and winning, so teams run all these empty sets and Air Raid concepts that they may not truly do on a Friday night (during the season),” Wojceichowski said. 

Joining Lenape in this league are Seneca, Delran, Steinert, Northern Burlington, Rancocas Valley, Camden Catholic and Burlington City. 

For a school like Camden Catholic, this is especially helpful because the Irish are being guided by a first-year coach, Wayne Gilliam. 

“This helps not only from a football sense, but also for team bonding,” Gilliam said. 

The league really helps a team in both its passing game and pass defense. The reps each week and the instruction that comes from the coaches are invaluable. 

Any edge that teams can get in the summer is needed, especially with the season’s beginning on Aug. 25.

By then, nobody will remember what happened in the summer 7-on-7 league, but the lessons learned there will help carry into the season. 

 

 

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Author: Marc Narducci

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