Cards, Mohawks air it out

FSU 7-on-7 camp helps players gain valuable experience

BIG RAPIDS — Mitch Cuming and Clark Huntey agreed: Saturday’s Ferris State University 7-on-7 passing camp was a chance for their teams to get better.

Both Big Rapids and Morley Stanwood competed in the 11-team tournament that helps high school football teams gain experience and timing before heading into fall camp in early August.

Big Rapids, which split its roster up among two teams, went 3-1 and 2-2 before the two teams merged later in the day for a first round playoff loss to Holton. Morley Stanwood, which won the event the past two years, went 1-3.

FIRING IT IN: Big Rapids quarterback Quinn Tyson delivers a pass during the 7-on-7 passing camp at Ferris State University. (Pioneer photo/Martin Slagter)

“The biggest thing is just to compete, and we did that against a lot of good teams (Saturday),” Cumings said. “We have a lot of juniors on the team, so that’s good to just get them out here and get experience.”

Cumings thought his Cardinals improved from the beginning of the day to the end.

“All that matters is for today, so we wanted to win it, but we got so much better (Saturday) and got a lot of reps in,” he said.

Replacing a number of key seniors from a team that reached the regional finals last season, Morley Stanwood was breaking in a number of new players at the skill positions for the 7-on-7 tournament after participating in a tournament the day before.

“The biggest thing is getting the kids to try and communicate with each other,” Huntey said. “We’re making sure all the guys on the field are on the same page. If we have a breakdown mentally, we make sure we correct it and move forward.”

Huntey’s son, Chase, who competed as the Mohawks’ quarterback for much of the day, said the camp is important in learning the intricacies of the quarterback position.

“For me it’s mostly mechanics and working on chemistry with the wide receivers,” he said. “It’s a lot of me knowing where they’re going to go and them knowing that I’m going to throw.”

BIg Rapids also will be breaking in a new quarterback, while it returns skill players like Nick Baldwin and Dario Williams.

Baldwin said he thought the team improved throughout the day, showing signs of being able to shut teams down defensively.

“Throughout the day we got a lot better,” he said. “Early in the day we looked pretty good, but as the day progressed we just got better and better.

“We had a strong defense, our defense played really well (Saturday),” he added. “Defense wins championships so I hope our defense is like that through the season.”

Morley Stanwood will attend a pair of 7-on-7s in the coming weeks leading up to fall camp, while Big Rapids will take part in a traveling 7-on-7 tour this week that will make stops in Harbor Beach, Shepherd, East Grand Rapids and Muskegon.

“Just getting the kids together and playing together is the big thing,” Cuming said of the 7-on-7 tour. “With next week, it will be all about the bonding.”

Visit the photo gallery to see more photos from the camp.

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