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O.C. teams gear up for Adidas 7on7 event Sunday

STAFF WRITER

Three Orange County football teams are slated to participate in the inaugural Adidas 7on7 Passing Tournament on Sunday at the StubHub Center in Carson.

The event, which is expected to last most of the day, is being coordinated by Long Beach Poly coach Antonio Pierce. JSerra, Santa Margarita and Los Alamitos were invited to participate in the 16-team tournament, which includes Long Beach Poly, Narbonne, Loyola, Westlake and Chaminade.

“They invited us because we’re good,” Los Alamitos coach John Barnes confidently stated when asked how his team got involved with the event.

Barnes confirmed that running back/free safety Schuyler Whitehead, wide receiver Jacob Gasser, quarterback Hayden Smith and defensive back Darien Cornay are expected to participate.

JSerra coach Jim Hartigan said he expects to bring 20 to 25 of his top players to the event. This will be one of several opportunities for quarterbacks Matthew Robinson and Riley O’Brien to set themselves apart in the competition for the starter’s job.

“We’re hoping to get more experience (from the tournament),” Hartigan said. “We’re very young at QB. It’s a passing tournament, so we’re going to get a lot of looks at different types of coverages. We’re going to be going against quality players and different nickel and dime coverages.”

Hartigan said middle linebacker Kyle Adams will participate in the tournament, but the Lions will be without running back Avery Williams. Hartigan said the transfer from St. Francis is in Florida this week with his travel basketball club.

Santa Margarita coach Rick Curtis has a clear idea of what he hopes to improve on and accomplish Sunday.

“Fundamentals and technique,” Curtis said. “That’s what we build our program on. No matter how successful we are, we’re always going to instill fundamentals and technique.”

Curtis said the Eagles have had to deal with a few injuries, including one to WR/CB Maxx Lewis, who pulled a groin muscle and won’t be able to participate in the tournament.

A few names who have caught Curtis’ eye this summer are wide receivers Grant Calcaterra and St. Francis transfer Dylan Crawford, whom Curtis called a big-time athlete.

“(Calcaterra) has really opened some eyes,” Curtis said. “He could be an additional threat for our offense.”


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