GRC football prepares for season with 7-on-7, Big Man’s Challenge

Published 3:59 pm Friday, July 15, 2022

Alexander Graham Bell once said, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

So was the case for the Cardinal football team at George Rogers Clark High School on Friday.

Different position players competed with up to 10 neighboring schools from the state of Kentucky in both a 7-on-7 tournament and Big Man’s challenge, everyday summer activities that help get high school football players and teams ready for their upcoming season.

“We’re just trying to get some reps,” said GRC Head Football Coach Joe Chirico. “We’ve got a lot of teams down here. All of them [are] just trying to get reps, [and] get football going again. It’s just exciting for all our kids.”

Among other teams present at the camp were Harrison County, Corbin, Madison Southern, North Laurel, Frankfort, and Southwestern.

While some came out in full force, others could make do with what was available to them.

“We couldn’t get a bus yet, so therefore we had to get parents. So, it’s only me and [Head] Coach [Marshall] Graham here,” said David Conner, defensive line coach at Harrison County High School. “We actually carpooled to get the kids here.”

At Cardinal Field, non-lineman participated in 7-on-7 drills.

In this exercise, after one player snaps the ball to the quarterback, the QB will have up to five different receivers to connect with on a pass and eventually try to get to the endzone.

The play starts at the 25-yard line, and each offense is allowed four opportunities.

Conversely, a set of defenders made up of defensive backs and linebackers will attempt to prevent the offensive team from scoring.

Four dual players, it can be an opportunity to practice in more ways than one.

“It prepares us a lot because we’re getting a lot better. We’ve got more talent”, said incoming senior running back/defensive back Kareem Guerrant. “We’ve just got to fix up on some things, but we’re doing pretty good overall.”

Elsewhere, a lineman from several schools participated in a bevy of skillful competitions making up the Big Man challenge.

These included sled push, tug of war, agility training, and – perhaps most notably – bench press.

The contest allowed more than just coaches to see development.

“They’re trying to lift a cumulative score of 10,00 pounds, [and see] who can get there first,” said Tim Gibson, whose son Cody is a freshman player at GRC. “This is kind of showcasing the work they put in in the offseason.”

The competition also took place Thursday night at George Rogers Clark High School.