Keiser University Holds Annual 7-On-7 Football Tournament

Wellington running back Lenori Williams takes the ball upfield after a reception.

The Keiser University Seahawk football program, which completed its first official season last fall, hosted its annual 7-on-7 tournament on Saturday, June 8.

The event is open to all high school football programs and has caught the eye of many teams from Vero Beach to Miami. Several teams have returned due, in part, to the positive environment the athletes compete in.

“The goal is to get as many prospects in our campus as possible and offering a great event for teams to compete and play together,” explained Seahawks head coach Doug Socha, who serves as tournament director. “We have had excellent feedback, too.”

High schools that played in the tournament were: Miami Christian, Vero Beach, St. Andrew’s, Cardinal Newman, Olympic Heights, Pahokee, Wellington, Santaluces, Glades Central, J.P. Taravella, Jupiter Christian, Palm Beach Lakes and Lake Worth.

School football programs typically prefer to carry over from the 20-day spring season into the summer to maintain team chemistry, especially in the special positions, such as quarterbacks, receivers, running backs, defensive backs and linebackers.

Players get the opportunity to work on throwing, timing routes, coverage and receiving skills. Many players believe it gives them an edge going into the fall season, while satisfying the taste for competition.

“I think it helps, more importantly, what we’re doing wrong,” Wellington sophomore quarterback Blake Kendall explained. “Even though it’s not real tackle football, it still shows us what we need to do.”

Kendall echoed what many believe while competing in these types of events.

Wellington senior Matthew Barrios believes 7-on-7 tournaments help build on team chemistry despite not being with the entire squad. “We are all out here, spending a lot of time together,” Barrios said. “I think the communication is getting stronger. It shows us what we are capable of and what we can fix.”

Local teams seem to prefer to compete in the local events, and for that reason, it provides an opportunity to see what their competition will be like during the regular season, as many will face each other on the field come this fall. The competitiveness is welcomed and does break through during play, but it is not the primary focus, Barrios said.

The Wolverines went 3-2 during the tournament, reaching round two of the playoffs after going 2-1 in group play. They were eliminated by Miami Christian 14-6. Vero Beach concluded the event as tournament champions. Many of the teams on site will soon be participating in team camps at various universities around the state.

“Team camp is Thursday through Saturday, and it has many teams coming back for year two and three,” Socha said.