The North Marion Colts continue to up their marquee value. Months away from breaking in a newly upgraded football and track facility, the Colts, on Sunday revealed new threads that they will wear this fall.
North Marion will wear Nike uniforms after previously wearing Under Armour.
North Marion has made the state playoffs 15 seasons in a row and will be entering its second season under head coach Stephen Field, replacing Craig Damon now with the FHSAA. Damon was recently promoted to the position of Assistant Executive Director for Eligibility and Compliance Services.
North Marion, which is in Sparr, FL despite being listed as Citra, FL nationally, will play their first-ever out-of-state game this fall when they travel to Hoover, AL to take on nationally known and respected Hoover October 30th.
North Marion wide receiver Freddie Swain and Hoover defensive back PJ Hall will highlight the matchup. Both are being recruited by multiple colleges despite not being household names.
Hoover is the defending Alabama 7A state champions, North Marion bowed out in the regional quarterfinals last season in Florida.
The Atlanta Phoenix Women’s Professional Football won its opening playoff game in the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) defeating the Jacksonville Dixie Blues 48-9 Saturday. All-American fullback Dana Green scored two touchdowns including this long touchdown run in the second half that busted open what had been a close game at halftime with Atlanta leading 12-9.
It was the third meeting of the season between the two teams. They split both regular season meetings as each won on the others home field, Jacksonville won 24-10 in week 2 while Atlanta won 13-6 in the regular season finale. With the win the Atlanta Phoenix win their second straight Southeast Region Championship
During the regular season the Atlanta (6-3) averaged 22.1 points while allowing 17.8 points against in 7 regular season games played (they were awarded a forfeit victory over Orlando in week 3). Their lone shutout came in a 66-0 win over the Daytona Wave Runners. The most points they allowed in a game was 54 to the DC Divas (9-0) in a 54-0 loss.
The Phoenix will hit the field again on July 11th in the National Conference semifinals against the DC Divas in Washington.
The host Spartanburg Vikings won their second straight National Select 7-on-7 South Carolina qualifier in dramatic fashion Friday over Valdosta (GA). The Vikings entered the tournament portion of the event as the three-seed after posting a 5-1 record in pool play, their lone loss was a 26-13 setback to Valdosta.
Valdosta posted a 6-0 record in pool play and entered the tournament portion of the event as the top-seed after winning the tiebreaker with Union County (SC). Valdosta found itself in the loser’s bracket after falling 21-20 to fifth-seeded Hillcrest (SC) in the winner’s bracket semifinals. The Wildcats won the losers bracket by defeating Jefferson County (GA), Union County and Hillcrest to earn them a shot at Spartanburg in the finals where they would need to defeat Spartanburg twice to win the championship.
Spartanburg and Valdosta went back and forth the entire championship game as each made key plays in the waning moments of a highly competitive contest.
Tied at 23 with just under 3 minutes remaining Valdosta took its first lead of the game by forcing a turnover on down by Spartanburg. Spartanburg’s defense responded by forcing Valdosta to turn it over on downs tying the game at 25-all with just over 40 seconds remaining. Spartanburg was unable to cash it in as Valdosta intercepted the first pass of the drive to take a 28-27 lead. The Vikings defense held forcing Valdosta over on downs to pull within one, 28-27 with 18 seconds remaining.
This time the Vikings would cash in on the extra life as Austin Scott found Marsalis ‘Pops’ Wilson in the left corner for a touchdown with three seconds remaining for the 33-28 lead after the failed conversion. Valdosta would get one last shot but Seth Shuman’s desperation heave into the end zone fell incomplete and the Spartanburg bench erupted in celebration. Spartanburg finished 9-1 overall while Valdosta finished 11-2.
Spartanburg’s high octane offense has been well documented over the past calendar year and with much of the offense returning from last season state championship team, expectations are sky high around the program. Quarterback Austin Scott is the engineer of said offense and passed for 42 TD 4 INT while completing 63% of his passes during the two-day event.
5-star recruit and the No.1 All Purpose Back in the country according to 247Sports Tavien Feaster is the headliner for the Vikings. Feaster completed the tournament with 33 receptions and 11 TD. Tavaris “Pee” Scott led all Viking receivers with 46 receptions and 13 TD. Up and coming receiver Marsalis ‘Pops’ Wilson finished with 31 receptions and 6TD, Byrnes transfer Josh Johnson tallied 14 receptions and 3TD while Eric Rice finished with 12 receptions and 4 TD during the event. Rice, who was a reserve defensive back last season, moved back to offense during the spring and looks to be the back up running back for the Vikings this fall.
With the victory Spartanburg earned a berth in the National Select 7-on-7 National Championships in Hoover, AL July 16-18. It is the second consecutive summer the Vikings will play in the National Championships. Last season they bowed out in the loser’s bracket finals and played the entire event without receiver Tavaris Scott who was out with a hand injury.
Valdosta, with it’s runner-up finish, received an invite to the event during the trophy presentation and they confirmed they would attend for the third consecutive summer.
Spartanburg will open their regular season Saturday August 29th on the road against Wakulla (FL). Valdosta will open their regular season Saturday August 22nd against Norcross in the Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome.
As pool play wound during Adidas 7-on-7 at McEachern mother nature decided to intervene. WIth less than three minutes remaining in the final pool play games play was halted after McEachern officials detected lighting in the area. Play resumed a little more than an hour later allowing for the final pool play games to be completed to set the brackets for the elimination portion of the event.
Langston Hughes and McEachern each finished pool play undefeated with Langston Hughes winning the tie-breaker for the top seed. South Paulding, Kell, Parkview and Wesleyan rounded out the tournament seeding.
Wesleyan pulled the upset defeating South Paulding while Kell held serve defeating Parview. Those would be the last games played as another lightning delay ended the event.
McEachern officials met with the remaining teams coaches and all agreed to call the event as the delay would go longer into the evening than expected.
“We were able to get our work in so it was ok, we going to leave anyway if there was another delay”, Langston Hughes Offensive Coordinator Travis Smith said.
“We aren’t doing anymore (7-on-7 passing tournaments) the rest of the summer, we have some team camps lineup and this is just practice for us”, McEachern head coach Kyle Hockman said.
The Colquitt County (GA) Packers have experienced a series of thrilling outcomes the last two weekends on the 7-on-7 passing league summer circuit.
Last Saturday the Packers fell 37-21 to North Marion (FL) in the semifinals of the University of Alabama 7-on-7 and finished 6-2 in the event.
Six days later the Packers made the familiar trip north to the Atlanta-area for the 2nd Annual Corky Kell 7-on-7. Colquitt used back-to-back thrilling late game heroics in the semifinals and finals to finish a perfect 8-0.
In the semifinals a touchdown pass from Chase Parrish to Ty Lee with no time remaining gave the Packers the 30-25 victory over Byrnes (SC).
In the finals it was the defense that stepped up. After surrendering a Peachtree Ridge touchdown in the waning seconds, the Packers knocked down the conversion attempt to preserve the 23-22 victory and championship.
The Packers boarded the bus and headed to Auburn University’s 7-on-7 event. Again the Packers found themselves in a championship game coming down to the wire, this time against Westside (SC). However this time it was Westside coming through with the late game heroics completing the game-winning touchdown pass on the games final play to earn the 27-21 victory. It was a sweet victory for Westside, who fell in the championship game of the event last summer.