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Chisholm participating in inaugural Skordle 7-on-7 Tournament

Enid News & Eagle, Okla. — Tim Godfrey Enid News & Eagle, Okla.

May 17--By Tim Godfrey

Staff Writer

The Chisholm Longhorns football team will head to Norman this summer to take part in the inaugural Skordle 7-on-7 Showdown.

The day-long competition, held on June 23, will be hosted by Norman North High School and will see 17 other teams -- including Chisholm and Alva. The top four teams in the Skordle Showdown will then compete with the top four teams in Bixby's 7-on-7 tournament the following day.

The 7-on-7 style of football is played without offensive or defensive linemen. Offenses will consist of a quarterback and position players, while defenses will primarily carry linebackers and defensive backs.

While the Skordle Showdown is in its inaugural year, the 7-on-7 competition itself is in its third year. Co-director and Norman North head football coach Justin James has been hosting an annual 7-on-7 tournament since he was the head coach at Bishop McGuinness when it was known as the Shamrock Showdown.

"Every year we've always looked for maybe a sponsorship for it," James said.

The tournament has expanded from 16 teams, and James said he hopes to see the tournament grow to 24 in the future.

James said while 7-on-7 tournaments allow for extra time between coaches, quarterbacks, and their position players on offense and defense, it also provides teams a chance to work on game-time situations with real competition.

"It's just a competitive thing. It gives our teams a chance to get out in game situations and make good decisions and compete," he said.

Chisholm head coach Joey Reinart agrees.

"It gets us outside of our neighborhood and the people we know really well," Reinart said. "It gets us to see different things, offensively and defensively. It really helps our kids get out there and throw them out in the fire with the best guys around."

This will be Chisholm's third year participating in James' tournament. Last year, Chisholm was among the top four teams to qualify against the top four in Bixby's tournament.

While some defensive coverages might not mirror the kind of coverages or defensive set-ups offenses will see in the fall, it does give players reps against live competition.

"It kind of hurts you a little bit, but it allows you to get a whole bunch of reps offensively and develop a bit of timing with your quarterbacks and wide receivers and know who is going to step up in the fall," Reinart said.

On the defensive side of the ball, players can sharpen their reaction timing to opposing quarterbacks and cut their teeth guarding wide receivers on passing routes.

"We're asking them to be real aggressive in the summer so they can develop some break on the ball tendencies," Reinart said.

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