Members of the Madisonville Mustangs football team will compete in a number of 7-on-7 matchups in College Station this summer and use it as an opportunity to hone their skills for the upcoming 2019 season this fall.
Two Madisonville 7-on-7 teams, a varsity and a JV squad, have competed in College Station for two straight weeks and will make two more trips back in June.
“More than anything it is just getting guys out there to throw the ball around and work on route running and our reads,” said MHS football coach Russell Urbantke, who took over the position in November. “We do practice for it, but I am more concerned that they show up and play and that I see our effort is where it needs to be. A lot of coaches will change up their offense, but what we do in the fall is what we are doing in 7-on-7.”
The Mustangs are competing against College Station High School, A&M Consolidated, Brenham and Huntsville.
Their first trip happened to fall on the same night as graduation. Since a number of players had family members graduating or were participating in the ceremony itself, the Mustangs were shorthanded. Still, they managed to split a pair of contests and leave with a 1-1 record.
“We cannot coach but we are still out there watching,” said Urbantke. “We take our base passing game and that is how we start offensively. On the defensive side, we work on playing some man coverage with some two high safeties and that sort of thing. It is a little more of a relaxed environment for the kids.”
Urbantke and his fellow coaches are mainly looking for effort when their 7-on-7 squads take the field. They do not keep stats.
7-on-7 is essentially football without guards, tackles or contact. There is one center that will snap the ball to the quarterback, who is required to pass on each play. The remaining five offensive skills players match up with seven linebackers and defensive backs on the defense side of the ball.