Dylan Blake...

An unidentified Richlands player covers PikeView receiver Dylan Blake during the Concord University 7-on-7 football tournament held at Callaghan Field in Athens, on Saturday. 

ATHENS — The Concord University football team successfully held its first 7-on-7 high school tournament of the Dave Walker era on Saturday. The fact that it even happened after all that went down in 2020 is inherently an uplifting thing.

Eleven squads drawn from eight participating high schools made up Saturday’s field. 

Bluefield’s squad, which was quarterbacked by Ryker Brown, collected the tournament championship. The Beavers won 2-out-of-3 in the finals versus Class AAA powerhouse Martinsburg, the vaunted program Walker skippered to eight state championships prior to being named Concord University’s 20th head football coach.

This, of course, settles nothing about the eagerly awaited  2021 season. The Bulldogs were working out two quarterbacks on Saturday: Ezra Bagent and Murphy Clement. July is a time for experimentation.

Tazewell finished third in the competition, with Princeton finishing fourth. Richlands was fifth and Herbert Hoover was sixth. Wyoming East was seventh and PikeView was eighth. Martinsburg B, Princeton B and Montcalm rounded out the results.

Spectators were allowed to attend the day-long showcase of area skill players, which was shadowed by a concurrent skills clinic for offensive and defensive linemen.

Folks who missed the chance to see Saturday’s tournament will get two chances to see a little pitch and catch in the coming week. Princeton will be hosting its own informal 7-on-7 scrimmages at Hunnicutt Stadium on Tuesday and Thursday after 5 p.m.

“We obviously need to work,” said Princeton head coach Chris Pedigo who returns school single season passing leader Grant Cochran quarterback along with a mix of returning seniors and younger prospects in the receiving corps. 

“We’re going to have a couple of 7-on-7s at our place. I think Richlands is coming in and Wyoming East is coming in. I think we’ll have five or six schools on Tuesday and maybe three or four on Thursday,” Pedigo said.

“It’s just to get some work in [on the passing game]. So far, we’ve minimized our time on the field so we can maximize our time in the weight room.

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