Against higher level competition and with low turnout, the Sedona Red Rock High School football team’s skill players held their own during a final afternoon of 7-on-7 competition at Mingus Union High School.
The Scorpions took on the 4A Marauders as well as a 6A team from Phoenix in Cesar Chavez High School on Thursday, July 13.
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“There were a couple of good-looking football teams out there,” Red Rock first-year head coach Tom Miller said. “But when it came right down to it our guys competed really well and I’m proud of how they performed.”
Miller recognized his team’s effort and playmaking potential, but also remained realistic.
“We were more than competitive, but unfortunately this isn’t real football,” he said.
In the 7-on-7 game the quarterback is never touched and play stops when a receiver is touched with two hands. Come Aug. 25 at St. Johns High School, the Scorpions will need linemen to protect the passer, and of course there will be contact.
That is where some concern befalls the former Air Force Academy special teams coordinator and defensive line coach: A lack of bodies.
Players who said they will come out have not done so. Only eight players were present at Mingus on July 13.
But come July 31, the first day of preseason camp, Miller expects full attendance.
“I expect everyone to be here on a daily basis,” he said. “There’s no excuse .... That’s an issue we have to overcome. You can’t run a program that way, with no consistency at practice.”
On the flip side, Miller is happy with what he sees from the players who have been working out. The former NCAA Division I assistant coach sees potential in a number of the skill guys who have gone to Cottonwood throughout the summer.
“We have some guys who are playmakers, and that’s encouraging,” Miller said.
Assistant coach Jeff Rescigno has been working in the weight room with the players, and the new material Miller has introduced is taking its roots.
“Coach Rescigno has had a positive effect in the weight room, and that’s really important,” Miller said. “We’ve got a new scheme, new terminology — especially defensively — they’re getting accustomed to. I think the guys are picking it up. They’re working hard.”