Wildcats get competitive at football clinic
Wildcat Football in Lawrence usually adds up to one victory every two years.
Despite the presence of Kansas University Head Football Coach Terry Allen at the field site, it was not another Wildcat-Jayhawk mismatch as the De Soto High School Wildcats defeated the Ottawa Cyclones 33-12 Saturday at the seven-on-seven summer tournament.
Junior quarterback Greg Francis connected with juniors Michael Allen and Nick Ingala and seniors Justin Haub and Jake Hodge on touchdowns during the victory.
Seven-on-seven football is a game comprised of skill players including a quarterback, running back, receivers, linebackers and defensive backs. The game features touch methods instead of tackling.
The Wildcats finished 1-2 in the round robin section of the seven-on-seven football tournament on the Kansas University campus. After losing 39-18 to Bishop Miege, De Soto romped Ottawa 33-12 before losing 26-19 to Olathe North's junior varsity team.
Head Coach Brad Scott said the seven-on-seven tournament helped the team develop its offense before the season kicks off.
While the skill players played the seven-on-seven tournament, the linemen worked out in the DHS weight room, Scott said.
DHS participates this week in the Gardner seven-on-seven league at the league's new Basehor site. The Wildcats will field a team in both the freshman and upperclassman league entries.
"I love this tournament because half of our football plays are installed in the summer," Scott said. "The pass and the pass coverage game gets started earlier. Every time we do this stuff it is a chance to get better."
The three tournament games showcased junior quarterback Greg Francis and junior running back Michael Allen. Scott said the duo's improvement would be a major factor in the team's success next season.
"Francis looks a ton better now," Scott said. "He has stepped up and is now one of the leaders of this football team."
Scott also attributed Allen's success as a track athlete to part of his improvement in football. Allen qualified for the state track meet in Wichita and was also a De Soto High basketball team member as a sophomore.
"Multiple sports always help kids, because no matter what they do, they'll be better," Scott said. "If we have any one-sport kids on the team, it is not very many."
Assistant Coach Toby Weir said team members' off-season improvement was evident during the summer football camp last week.
"We noticed their speed, strength and athletic ability," Weir said.