NORTH LITTLE ROCK — Over the last two days, the Bryant Hornets football team visited North Little Rock High School for competitive workouts against several other teams including the Charging Wildcats. On Monday, the teams engaged in 7-on-7 workouts against each other, though it was not a competition with scoring and stats. On Tuesday, they returned for a team camp.
“I thought we did well,” said Hornets head coach Buck James of the 7-on-7 on Monday. “There were some really good teams. Pine Bluff, North Little Rock, Conway, McClellan, Parkview were some of the schools that were there, very athletic football teams. It gave us a chance to see a lot of speed, something we can’t simulate to that degree on the practice field. So, it’s a win-win situation for us.
“It wasn’t really even a 7-on-7 tournament,” he acknowledged. “It was just like us having practice against each other. But we more than held our own.”
James made sure everybody got in on the action.
“We took three groups both days where most teams only take one,” he related. “So we played a lot of kids. That’s something to try to help us down the road. We’re trying to get as many kids as we can ready for football in August. The only way they can do that is get reps in June.
“We’re going to turn around and do the same thing on Monday (June 12),” the coach mentioned. “We’ll have some going to team camp and some going to 7-on-7, but we’re going to have every kid involved in something. Our goal is to try to get as many reps as we can for as many kids as we can.”
Regarding Tuesday’s team camp, James said, “We got a lot of looks. The team camp was really physical. There were some big, strong kids. We got to go against different looks against every team. We had the two teams from our conference there with Conway and North Little Rock. We got to compete against them and all the other teams as well.
“I thought it was really good,” he continued. “We had some 7-on-7 with that. We had some inside drill, which is the inside running game. And we had a team competition where they kept the chains and made it as close as you can to football without tackling to the ground. It was good to get to do that.
There was a lot of learning, the coach said. “It gave us a chance to hopefully get better. That’s what we’re hoping, that the amount of reps that we can get — these two to three weeks of June are huge for us as far as reps for a football team until we get to go back into pads in August. This is something that I feel like, since we’re still relatively fresh to hitting in spring football, that we can go out there and try to stay injury free and be able to get better while simulating the game of football rather than just running through it in shorts and stuff by ourselves.”
The summer schedule lists a trip to Hendrix for the Arkansas 7-on-7 competition on Thursday. Monday, the varsity is set for team camp back at North Little Rock with the junior varsity at team camp at Maumelle. The JV team will play 7-on-7 with Benton on Tuesday, June 13.