And for the second summer in a row the usually run-happy Camdenton Lakers stole the show at the pass-happy event.
“We are run heavy and set up our pass with the run, so to come out and throw the ball a little bit and have some success is definitely a positive for us going into the fall,” said Camdenton coach Jeff Shore.
After a mediocre showing in pool play, the Lakers got hot in the tournament format, dispatching of Lebanon, West Plains and Kickapoo in dominating fashion.
“We had a good run,” said Shore. “I thought that we threw and caught the ball well and got better as the day went on. I’m happy with it and the kids are up, it was a great experience.”
Camdenton’s senior receiver duo of Ryan Elliott and Kullen Carlock helped lead the way for the Lakers.
“Ryan really carried us at split end at the beginning of the season, then Kullen got healthy and he carried the second half of the year,” said Shore. “Both are outstanding kids and really good football players, really good high school receivers. It really makes things easier when you have a couple of guys like them.”
Although the Lakers took the team title, the day’s most impressive player was Kickapoo quarterback Anthony Cooper.
The senior-to-be flashed signs of big-time arm strength and accuracy to go along with his speed in the open field.
In what will be a year of great area quarterbacks, the Chiefs will need a big season from Cooper to get where they want to go.
“He is coming off of a great year last year and we’re expecting big things out of him this year,” said Kickapoo coach Joel Wells. “He needs to lead us with his legs and his arm. He’s showing out here that he can really throw the football around. “
The most surprising team was the West Plains Zizzers.
Although they have been down in recent years, West Plains came out to play on Thursday. Their motion heavy offense, mixed with unbalanced formations caught opponents off guard.
Quarterbacks Jacob Mitchell and Ransom Nichols found receivers Jacob Womack and Gaige Moss in zone gaps and behind the defense.
Although it is only June, West Plains looked the part of a much improved football team.
For the second year in a row Parkview Coach Anthony Hayes hosted a great event for the players, fans and media alike, even treating the players to a box dinner from Chic-Fil-A.
Although most teams want to win, Hayes knows the most important aspect of the event is the experience gained by his players.
“It is a competitive event, and we want to win the tournament, but it’s really about getting everyone involved, getting reps and teaching guys our offense,” said Hayes. “It is a great teaching tool, because not only can we teach, but we can also teach under fire against guys in different colored jerseys.”
The high school football season kicks off August 30.
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