Winter Blast opens 7 on 7 circuit

01/19/2015 3:34 PM - The high school football offseason has become an in name only time period as the 7-on-7 circuit is set to start in the Metroplex before the calendar turns to February.

Arlington Lamar will host the first tournament of the year — the PrimeTime 7 on 7 Winter Blast — on Jan. 24. According to PrimeTime Sports Director of Football Robert Densmore, the event will be expanding to Varsity competition.

“We are really excited to get things started for 2015,” he said. “We have gone from 28 to 40 teams for the this event and we added a Varsity Division for the first time ever.

“We kept filling up with Junior Varsity and youth teams but the coaches continued to ask us about adding Varsity. We initially stayed away from it but the requests kept coming in and so we decided to make the change this year.”

The event at Lamar is the first in a series across the state. The winning team from each stop becomes eligible to compete in the Tournament of Champions — a complete schedule of 7-on-7s can be found here.

Each tournament is broken down into Division — Varsity, JV, 9th-, 8th-, as well as 6th-grade — and Densmore said that the competition is fierce.

“People are out there to win,” he said. “The explosion in 7-on-7 has been viewed like a supplement to the program. It is like being in the weight room, really. So many teams are looking to compete in these events and use it as a way to get reps for their quarterbacks and a way to get timing in with their receivers.

“You see so many Texas-born quarterbacks in the NFL now and those numbers have been tied right back to when 7-on-7s started to get big. We expect that trend to continue because of how many programs are involved and how many youth programs are involved to start developing those passers earlier.”

A regular participant in the Prime Time Sports events has been Highland Park.

The Scots will have a Varsity, two JV, its 9th and 8th-grade teams as well as two 6th-grade entrants.

This year it will be able to start the process of replacing passer Brooks Burgin — who has led the team for the last two seasons — but will be graduating with Henry Allen.

“We have seen Henry come up since the seventh grade so it will be great to see him with the varsity team,” Densmore said. “Brooks threw for over 3,000 yards as a senior and Highland Park has a pretty impressive history of producing quarterbacks.”

The Varsity Division is comprised of Arlington Lamar — which placed third in the 2014 Tournament of Champions at the JV Division and was second the year before — as well as Denison, Highland Park, Mansfield High and Mansfield Lake Ridge.

Densmore said his staff has calls out for a final varsity team to get the field up to six but any interested parties can reach out to fill the spot.

He said that there is also a spot available for one more 9th grade team.

“We have two spots to fill right and expect to get that taken care of,” he said. “There are a lot of teams interested and we are ready to get rolling.”

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