BY LOGAN MCCOURTNEY –
After participating in several 7-on-7 camps across the state, the Mena Bearcat Football team is ready to take their talents north. June 23-24th the Bearcats will play in a USA Football 7-on-7 camp in Kansas City Missouri. The camp will be held in the raucous Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Coach Harper will take 20-23 players to compete in the event and he is excited for his players, “We have competed well all summer in our team camps and I think that the boys will compete well here as well. Not only do they get to play against some of the best teams in the Midwest, they get the opportunity to play in an NFL stadium. Not too many of these kids would ever get that opportunity.” The tournament is hosted by USA Football, a national organization that builds these tournaments for high teams. Other host sites for the camps are New York, Alabama, California, and Texas just to name a few.
Playing in this tournament will expose the Bearcat team to talent from surrounding states that will help them prepare for this upcoming season. “We are guaranteed to play five to six games while we are there before we enter the single elimination tournament. This is kind of exposure and competition only prepares us to play one of the toughest schedules in our conference this year,” remarks Harper. The team will start pool play Saturday around 9am and will play until 2pm. Afterwards, the single elimination tournament will consume the rest of the Saturday.
In addition to playing in Arrowhead stadium, the football players will have some fun during the trip as well. While they drive up Friday, the team will stop in Joplin Missouri and visit the Missouri Southern campus where they will have lunch and visit with the football coaches. “That will give us a chance to rest on the way up and allows for a couple of our guys to be around some college coaches,” explains Coach Harper. Once arriving in Kansas City, the Bearcats and the other teams competing will have an opportunity to tour the stadium and football facilities.
Look for an upcoming edition of the Pulse for follow up on the Bearcats and their 7-on7 camp in Kansas City.