The team didn't win a trophy, but Elizabeth's first-year football coach Mike Zoesch watched player performance at the May 30 Englewood seven-on-seven tournament and hog relays.
“We will be young this year with three returning starters on …
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“We will be young this year with three returning starters on offense and four returning starters on defense,” he said during a break in the action. “So we want to take every opportunity this summer to work to get better for the coming season.”
He said his team's strength will be the skilled position guys playing in the backfield and playing the receiver positions. The coach said there are a small number of linemen, but that the guys they have are doing a good job.
The Englewood invitational involved two very different competitions.
On the gridirons, the focus was moving the football in the seven-on-seven competitions, which are all-passing, touch-football matches involving backs, receivers, linebackers and defensive backs.
The 15 teams were divided into three pools of five teams each for round-robin competition. Based on pool play record, the top teams advanced to a tournament to determine the event champion.
Elizabeth was 2-2 in pool play with wins over Littleton and Jefferson. In the single-elimination tournament, the Cardinals lost to D'Evelyn in the quarterfinals and finished sixth in the final standings. Fairview was the tournament champion, and Kennedy took runner-up honors.
At the same time, the field house weight room and a grassy area near the baseball diamond were the locations for tests of strength and endurance for offensive and defensive linemen.
The weight lifting challenge was to do as many bench press repetitions with 185 pounds. The action then moved outside where each member of the relay teams of linemen flipped a 300-pound tractor tire end over end for 20 yards and tossed a car tire over their heads. The final event was a tug-of-war.
Cardinal lineman R.J. Wagner said he felt pretty good coming into the season.
“A lot of time in the weight room has put me ahead of a lot of linemen,” the junior said as he waited for the next hog relay event. “I play offensive tackle, and I am the noseguard on defense. I like playing offensive tackle because it is a team effort and I can help my team put points on the board. I like defense too because I like to hit people.”
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