Pirates begin gridiron preparation

Englewood finishes third in 7-on-7, fourth in hog relays at tourney

Tom Munds
Englewood's Kyle Robideau flips a heavy truck tire down the field as part of the Hog Relays hosted by the Pirates on May 31. The Hog Relays are a series of physical challenges for offensive and defensive linemen. The Pirates finished fourth in the 15-team field.
Tom Munds
Englewood coach Jay Graves talks to his players during a break in th action at the 7-on-7 tournament and Hog Relays the Pirates hosted on May 31. There were 15 teams in the competition. Englewood was third in the final 7-on-7 standings and finished fourth in the Hog Relays.
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The Pirates proved poor hosts as they mounted a storybook finish to finish third in the May 31 Englewood 7-on-7 football tournament and fourth in the accompanying hog relays.

“We are young again this year but the kids have worked hard in the first week of camp,” said Englewood Coach Jay Graves during the event. “In our 7-on-7 games, we are completing passes on offense and our defense is playing well. This is a good first look at our kids going against other teams to help us evaluate them. Now we have four days practice before our summer full-contact scrimmage.”

Because Englewood's school year goes into June, Graves was able to hold the state-approved summer camp sessions after school. The final practice is scheduled for June 5 and, on June 6, the Pirates travel to Littleton Public Schools Stadium for full-contact scrimmages with Jefferson and Littleton. The scrimmages start at 5:30 p.m. and they are free to attend.

In 7-on-7, teams compete on 50-yard fields in an all-passing competition between one team's quarterback, running backs and receivers and the other team's linebackers and defensive backs. To advance the ball, it must be thrown downfield within five seconds. The receiver may continue to gain yardage until touched by a defender.

A total of 15 teams competed in three pools during the May 31 round-robin competition. Teams with qualifying records were then seeded in a tournament bracket based on their pool record.

Englewood went 3-1 in pool play to advance to the tournament. The Pirates lost in the first round to D'Evelyn but went into the consolation bracket, where they beat Front Range Christian to advance to the third-place game against Elizabeth.

With third place on the line, the Cardinals had the lead with time running out. But, the Pirates connected on a 40-yard halfback pass play from Nick Bersegal to Jake Ward for a touchdown. Quarterback Sean Bowering then completed a pass for the extra conversion to give the Pirates a 23-22 win.

Bowering played receiver last season and said he agreed to play quarterback because no one else stepped forward to fill the position.

“It was a steep learning curve going from getting open to catch the ball to throwing the ball on time and accurately to complete a pass,” he said. “I am getting used to the position but I still have a lot to learn and a lot of things to work on. For example, I want to work on being able to accurately throw the ball on the run.”

And while Bowering and his teammates were busy playing 7 on 7, the hog relays, a series of physical challenges for offensive and defensive linemen, were in full swing.

Each event is a relay where teammates take turn completing challenges ranging from individual sled pulls to flipping a huge truck tire over and over from the starting line to the finish line. The competition continues until all the linemen have completed the task. Englewood's linemen finished fourth.