Hounds, Cards play 7-on-7 ball

North Surry’s slot receiver catches a short pass from Avery Smith on an out route for a first down in Tuesday’s 7-on-7 scrimmage.

The Hound receiver bobbles the ball, but pulls it in for a touchdown against Northeast Guilford to cut the score to 13-12. The Hounds got a two-point conversion to go up 14-12.

East Surry’s Blake Marion completes a short curl route underneath the West Stokes defense.

East Surry junior Andrew Hooker lofts a fade ball to the end zone against West Stokes.

North Surry and East Surry got a sneak peek of their football teams at the Greyhounds’ 7-on-7 competition Tuesday.

On the first snap of the day, North Surry’s Avery Smith dropped back and lofted a deep ball down the left sideline. Colton Acord hauled it in at the front pylon for a touchdown to get the Hounds off a great start.

This was the third year that North has hosted a 7-on-7, but this one was different in that the teams kept score and played a tournament format.

West Stokes went 5-0 to win the event, beating North Surry 13-6 in the final — albeit with a questionable ending.

Acord caught a pass at the back of the end zone that would have given the Hounds a chance to win with a two-point conversion, but the officials ruled the receiver out of bounds, said Lyons.

That was the only loss of the day for North to finish 4-1.

North didn’t trail in three of the 30-minute scrimmages; and when they did trail, the players didn’t give up, the coach noted.

Northeast Guilford led 6-0 and then 13-6, but North Surry got a TD and a two-point conversion to win 14-13.

Avery and Colton had a good connection on the day, the coach said. They teamed up for seven or eight TDs on the day, but plenty of other people caught the ball too. He said there were 10 or 11 guys who made a catch.

On defense the Hounds had about six interceptions on the day.

The coaching staff made a change in the offseason to put more emphasis on the passing game.

Lyons said he remains the offensive line coach and will work to get as much as he can out of the ground game. However, Patrick Taylor is better versed in the passing attack, so Lyons appointed Taylor as offensive coordinator this year.

Lyons will take Taylor’s place as defensive coordinator, while the rest of the coaching staff remains stable.

After the first three 30-minute sessions, the teams all took a long break to cool off in the shade and get rehydrated.

Some of the teams were shorthanded with vacations and other obligations, so they wore down quicker, said Lyons.

Still, all four teams in the competition at the end were very pleased with the event and eager to do it again next year.

East Surry was one of the teams that was a bit short on depth.

The basketball team is at Guilford College for a camp, which includes starting QB Tyler Smith, noted East coach David Diamont.

Instead, this gave Diamont a chance to get a long look at backup QB Andrew Hooker, a junior, and JV quarterback Connor Sheets, a sophomore who is related to former Card baseball players Logan and Cameron Sheets.

“We started extremely slow,” Diamont said. This was East’s first 7-on-7 of the season.

“We got better each game,” he noted. With the temperature in the 90s, Diamont subbed players frequently so that everyone got plenty of repetitions.

Over the course of the evening, the East coaches saw improvement, which is all they can ask of the players at this time of year, Diamont said.

The Cardinals have only two other 7-on-7 events lined up this summer: West Stokes in mid-July, then Mount Airy on July 31 before the first official day of practices begins on Aug. 1.

Diamont said he doesn’t schedule a lot of events in the summer because the players usually focus their time on hitting the weight room and getting in better shape.

Lyons said North also will be at West Stokes and Mount Airy and might just squeeze in one more scrimmage.

Next up for the Hounds is going to Averett University in Danville, Virginia, on Friday to play six or seven games in that tournament. Averett has field turf, which will be new for a lot of players.

North Surry also will take part in the annual Wildcat Lineman Challenge July 9 at West Stokes.