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story.lead_photo.caption Blake Adams of Central Junior High looks for a receiver during a 7-on-7 tournament for ninth grade teams Tuesday at Harmon Field in Fayetteville. - Photo by J.T. Wampler

FAYETTEVILLE -- The first Fayetteville Bulldog Freshman 7-on-7 Tournament drew rave reviews from coaches Monday, as the new event brought together 12 teams for a full morning of pool play and tournament bracket competition in the afternoon.

Photo by J.T. Wampler
Fayetteville’s Darius Bowers rolls out to pass during a 7-on-7 tournament for ninth grade teams Tuesday at Harmon Field in Fayetteville.

"This was a great tournament with a great turnout," Fayetteville coach Daryl Patton said. "Now that most of the ninth grade teams are up at the high school we felt like we wanted to do something for those guys and get them more involved in the summer.

1st Annual Fayetteville Bulldog 7-on-7 Tournament

Where: Harmon Stadium

Pool Play Results:

Pool A

Springdale Central^5-0

Bentonville Black^4-1

Siloam Springs^3-2

Fayetteville Purple^2-3

Rogers High^1-4

Springdale Lakeside^0-5

Pool B

Fayetteville White^5-0

Bentonville Gold^4-1

Springdale Southwest^3-2

Rogers Heritage^2-3

Springdale George^1-4

Shiloh Christian^0-5

Tournament Results

Semifinals: Springdale Central def. Bentonville Gold; Fayetteville White def. Bentonville Black

Finals: Springdale Central 21, Fayetteville White 10

"We talked about a tournament and talked to all the other ninth grade teams and they said let's do it, and I thought it was a big time success."

Springdale Central and Fayetteville White both went undefeated through pool play and advanced to the championship game. In the finals, White took a brief 8-0 lead on a defensive stop and a touchdown pass from Darius Bowers to Augie Bradach. But Springdale Central took over in the final 10 minutes of the 20-minute game. Warriors' quarterback Blake Adams threw two touchdowns and Central's defense came up with two interceptions to finish off a 21-10 victory.

"In the morning session we gave up one touchdown," said Central coach Fred Hartsfield, who is entering his 36th season with the Warriors. "And then we gave up the one touchdown in the last game. A lot of people say 7-on-7 is an offensive game, but it works a lot on your defense too. It teaches you a lot about your zones and when you play man-to-man it teaches your kids to get up and be aggressive and stay with them.

"So it's a great benefit for your kids."

Ninth-grade players have participated in Monday skeleton drills in the past, but the Fayetteville 7-on-7 was the first tournament for freshman. All teams from the Northwest Arkansas junior high conference participated, along with Shiloh Christian.

"This is definitely year one of something we will build for the programs in Northwest Arkansas," Fayetteville White coach Spencer Hill said. "This is something we want to build up because if we get those kids excited about football in the summer, that's what we want.

"And being a feeder team to the high school program, to Fayetteville High, just getting the kids exposed to 7-on-7, it's good stuff."

Sports on 07/15/2015

Print Headline: Freshmen 7-on-7 tournament a hit

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