Elizabeth High School senior Willie Weber focused on completing passes during the June 17 Broncos 7-on-7 competition, but he also thought about the minor surgery planned on his knee the next day.
“I broke my kneecap in practice and couldn't play last season. Doctors repaired my knee by wiring it back in place but I broke it again during Thanksgiving break. So the doctors used bigger wires to wire my kneecap and keep it in place,” he said June 17. “They plan to take some of the wires out tomorrow so I can start rehab. The expectation is I can start running and I should be ready to go come football season.”
Cardinals Coach Chris Cline said Weber is fine playing 7-on-7 because he doesn't have to run or move around a lot. The coach said the senior has a strong arm and the 7-on-7 helps him sharpen his passing skills.
The Cardinals are one of 64 teams playing in the Broncos 7-on-7 tournament. Teams are divided into four-team pools for round-robin play. Elizabeth is one of the 16 pool winners that advanced to the single-elimination tournament on June 21 in Dove Valley. The June 21 tournament winner will represent the Broncos in a national 7-on-7 tournament.
Passing is the name of the game in 7-on-7 competition. No one rushes the quarterback, but if the pass isn't thrown in five seconds, it is ruled a sack. Yardage is gained by a pass completion and the yards the runner gains until he is touched by a defender.
Weber shared quarterbacking duties with a teammate during the June 17 competition and, between them, they guided the Cardinals to three victories to earn the spot in the June 21 tournament.
The Cardinals senior ran the first offensive series of the day against Mullen. He completed five consecutive passes for a touchdown. He said he sat out all of last season, so he likes working with teammates in the 7-on-7 games because it helps him improve his football skills to get ready to compete in the fall.
“Playing football and playing well this season is very important to me, not only because it is my senior year but also because this probably is my last season playing football,” Weber said. “That is because, when I graduate next June, I plan to play college baseball. Circumstances could change, but those are my current plans”
The senior said baseball is his sport. He usually plays shortstop but occasionally will play third base.
“I love baseball because it is so much fun. It's fun playing defense and it is a lot of fun to hit the ball and hit it hard,” he said. “I like to play football, too, but I don't like it as much as I like baseball. I like football because I like to throw the ball, and I think football is fun, too, because you get to hit people.”