Thomasville Times Enterprise

Local Sports

July 15, 2014

Changes in store for Cairo's annual passing camp

THOMASVILLE — Cairo’s annual 7-on-7 passing camp is back for a seventh summer.

However, the event will have a different look Thursday when it begins at 9 a.m. Usually split between Georgia and Florida schools in a Georgia vs. Florida challenge, Wakulla will be the lone team from Florida playing. Also, the event has cut back from eight schools to six and from two fields to one.

“We’ve cut it back and are only doing three teams where in the past we did four on four,” Cairo assistant coach Tommy York said. “Our game field was in such a predicament that we just went ahead and planned not to use our game field. So we scaled it back to three teams.

“We’ll go back next year where our game field will be hopefully better conditioned than it was coming off this year.”

While just Cairo’s practice field will be in use, the participating teams — Bainbridge, Thomas County Central and the host Syrupmakers getting to throw against Wakulla, Berrien, headed by former Central coach Ed Pilcher, and Miller County, which is now coached by Thomasville native Jeremy Rayburn — will still get in plenty of work. From four games in the past, each squad will now get three 40-minute games.

“We’re going to do the same thing we’ve always done, rotating it but just using the one field,” York said. “We’ll have two games going on at the same time, four teams playing at one time.

“It’s a great teaching day. We don’t keep score. It’s still competitive because you’re going against somebody you don’t normally see, but we don’t leave our feet and don’t try and get anybody hurt.

“It’s like sandlot football where it’s organized in the backyard.”

Berrien made its first appearance in the camp last summer after Pilcher moved to Nashville from Bainbridge. Miller County will be making its initial trip to the passing league after Brooks County was a late cancellation. Other past participants were unable to attend for a variety of reasons, including Valdosta advancing to the National Select 7-on-7 championship in Hoover, Ala., this weekend.

“There was some coaching turnover in Tallahassee and Chiles, they usually come, and Leon’s come, but they’ve got some new coaches and I was never able to get them locked in,” York said. “But it worked out well because we didn’t need to get on the game field.”

Still, the teams that will attend will find a fun, busy way to conclude their summer work and get ready for fall practices, which are allowed to begin in Georgia on July 25.

“We’re excited and we’re ready,” York added. “Everybody and their kids that come, they’re always jacked.

“You start winding down, your 7-on-7s and things like that because you’ve got to start getting ready for your other phases. We’re kind of like

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