A few days ago Blitz broke down some of what he saw at last week’s OPS 7v7 Shootout at Columbia City High School.
As promised, here are some additional observations from the 16-team tournament.
The most over-analyzed position discussion in the SAC every year leading into the season is who will be Homestead’s starting quarterback.
Really, does it matter?
Whoever it is each year, you can bet that person will throw for 2,500 yards and be a big problem for opposing defenses in the conference. Last year it was Evan Ormsby, who skeptics thought could not replace Luke Goode from 2019. All Ormsby did was throw for 2,587 yards and 36 touchdowns while helping the Spartans win their second-consecutive SAC Victory Bell.
With Ormsby gone, folks are again wondering who will be behind center off Homestead Road.
Based on what Blitz saw at Columbia City, it appears that junior Peyton Slaven will be the guy. Senior Grady Swing, who was also considered to be in the conversation, lined up at wide receiver.
Slaven looked confident in his throws, but did show a bit of hesitancy when it came to decision making. That’s expected out of a new varsity starter, but Slaven has the skill set to be the latest in a long line of successful Homestead QBs.
While Slaven will be joined by additional newbies in the offensive backfield, he will have one of the top wideouts in the area at his disposal with the return of Nate Anderson, who hauled in 49 passes for 1,130 yards and 17 touchdowns last year.
So don’t fret, Homestead’s offense will be just fine.
Will North Side slip as the regime changes from Mike Brevard to Coach Ben Johnson?
Early indications are that the answer is no.
The Legends captured the large school division championship with a victory over Bishop Luers in the final. While the team lost some playmakers from a year ago, Wednesday showcased that North is still loaded at the skill positions with the likes of Branutae Johnson, Jordan Turner and Rodney Woods.
The biggest unknown in 7v7 is also North’s greatest question – the trenches. There is no doubt that the Legends can match up when it comes to athletic talent, but can it contend with the likes of Bishop Dwenger and Homestead up front?
Conversely, how will that line be in protecting junior quarterback Brashawn Bassett? We watched Duce Taylor time and again make something out of nothing with his scrambling ability. Will Bassett have to do the same?
Once again, we will not have to wait long to find out as North Side begins the season with its ridiculously annual first three games of Snider, Bishop Dwenger and Carroll.
Yes, the ultra-talented Class of 2021 is gone from Berne, the catalyst that led the Starfires over the last few seasons. But there is plenty to be excited about still.
Aidan Wanner takes over at quarterback and showcased his skill set on the very first play of the small school division final against Garrett, connecting with Trey Schoch over the top for a touchdown.
That duo, coupled with senior Jordan Hinshaw, will be looked upon to be the bridge to a younger crop of stars-to-be.
Sophomore Owen Wanner (no relation to Aidan), will step up at wide receiver and could see some spot action at quarterback when Aidan moves to wideout. Junior Brady Beall showed flashes at Columbia City as he takes on Nick Miller’s role at the halfback/tight end spot.
Another player to watch is junior Maverick Summersett, who will look to emulate older brother Christian at running back and linebacker.
South Adams turned some heads in the event in reaching the finals as many expected it to drop off more after losing so much production. While Adams Central appears to be the favorite in the ACAC entering the fall, if the youth can grow up quickly, the Starfires won’t be far off the Flying Jets.
Sometimes, a day in June can pay off big come August and September.
That’s the hope for first-year coach Kyle Booher and the Bulldogs after the OPS 7v7 Shootout.
Quarterback Jakar Williams is now a senior, and it is his offense. While having to replace top receivers Lane Woodson III and Jalan Carpenter, two sophomores to watch will be Latrevion Bates and Mylan Graham. Both got some snaps on offense last season and could be thrust into bigger roles this fall.
New Haven is another program that may look completely different when you add linemen, but Booher has the advantage of an experienced quarterback whose time is now. Can the Bulldogs thrust themselves into the NE8 conversation?
These opinions represent those of Blitz and Outside the Huddle. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. Follow Blitz on Twitter at Blitz_OTH