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Commanders 3-1 at summer gridiron tourney

Kennedy advanced to final day of Broncos 7-on-7 event

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Kennedy High School athletes won all of the three June 14 pool play games at the Broncos 7-on-7 tournament at Denver All City Stadium. As pool play winners, the team advanced to the June 17 championship tournament at the Denver Broncos training facility at Dove Valley, where the Commanders' tournament experienced ended in the first round of the competition when they lost to cross-city rival Denver East

The 7-on-7 event is an all-passing, touch football tournament involving backs, receivers and linebackers and defensive backs. The 7-on-7 games provide coaches an opportunity to work on passing offense with quarterbacks, running backs and receivers and with defense with linebackers, cornerbacks and safeties.

The game is played on half the field. The offense starts on the 40-yard line, the quarterback has four seconds to throw the ball and it takes 20 yards to earn a first down. A team earns seven points for a touchdown and three points for an interception.

About 100 team from 1A through 5A schools entered in the Broncos June 14-17 tournament. Teams were divided into four-team pools for round-robin competition. Pool play took up the first three days of the tournament with 22 pool-play winners advancing to the June 17 single elimination tournament. Denver South won the tournament championship by outscoring Legacy.

During the June 14 pool play, Commanders assistant coach Scott Kinder said participation in the 7-on-7 tournament is part of Kennedy's summer football program.

"We urge the players to come in for weight training and we take part in the 7-on-7 camp to keep kids keep in shape and help them keep working on football skills during the summer," the coach said. "Our full-contact camp is scheduled in early August when we will go to Pueblo for four days of training, including scrimmages to help us get ready for the season."

He said expectations are that 65 or 70 athletes will come out for football and there will be 18 to 20 freshmen, which includes some who are playing football for the first time.

"We have some kids with varsity experience back with us which helps," Kinder said. "I think we can be a pretty good team if the kids step up like we expect they will."

Diontaye Wallace will be the Kennedy quarterback in the fall.

"I played quarterback last year and I feel I am a much better quarterback now than I was at this time last season," the senior said. "I have worked hard and I feel I am better at reading the defenses and I feel my timing is better throwing to my receivers."

He said he also has spent time in the weight room and is stronger.

"I ran track in the spring and I think that was a plus for me," he said. "It helped me keep in shape and it made me faster. Playing quarterback is fun. I like to run the ball and I like to pass the ball, but the most fun and what I like the most about playing quarterback is when I help our team get the ball into the end zone."

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