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Season prep continues for Pioneers at Showdown

Given the option to stay local and compete for a 7-on-7 trophy at John Battle high school or travel to South Carolina to play against some of the best athletes in the country at the Palmetto State Showdown, the Pioneers of David Crockett chose the tougher road of the two.
The Pioneers 7-on-7 squad played 11 games from July 10-12 at the Showdown and, although the losses piled up, the experience gained could prove invaluable.
“We took the best tail whippings we have ever taken,” Crockett Head Coach Jeremy Bosken said. “We played seven teams that were in a state championship game within the last two years and our kids went toe to toe with teams ranked in the nation, as well as a dozen players ranked in the ESPN top 300.”
Crockett logged over 250 snaps on each side of the ball which equates to almost four full games.
“That many reps at that level of competition is priceless,” Bosken said. “Every kid we took was able to play at least 20 minutes and we found positives for every one of them.”
The Pioneers brought 24 players with them to field seven positions on both sides of the ball.
Offenses use a quarterback and a center along with five eligible receivers and defenses field a combination of defensive backs and linebackers.
Crockett was able to run the passing plays and defensive schemes that they will be using when the first game of the season kicks off against Sullivan East on Aug. 21.
Bosken says the biggest improvements from the first to the last game was the speed at which the Pioneers executed plays and the confidence gained in their pass defense.
Most importantly however, the Showdown was also another opportunity to build team chemistry, just another example of Bosken’s coaching style which puts top priority on unity and a team building philosophy.
Standouts for the Pioneers at the event included Michael Moffitt who shut down a 6-foot, 4-inch receiver from host school Byrnes who has already received 23 division one offers and Justin Wade and DJ Britton who had several multiple touchdown games and big defensive plays. James
Center Tyler Paden didn’t have any bad snaps and quarterback Ryan Burger hit 11 different receivers on passes.
The Pioneers didn’t just bring veterans to the competition either.
Sophomores Darian DeLapp and Justin Eib showed tremendous promise in the secondary, and Cole Ricker also made his first appearance at quarterback, proving he could run the Pioneers up-tempo offense.
Two of the best conditioned athletes at the Showdown were James Midkiff and Ruan Phillips who displayed tremendous physicality despite rarely coming off the field during the 11 game stretch.
Bosken was also encouraged by the linebackers who he said grew during the competition as much as any other Pioneer unit.
Next up on the Pioneers summer schedule will be the FCA team camp at TN Tech. Crockett will bring 70 players to the event which begins on July 17 and offers more 7-on-7 competition as well as a lineman strong man contest.