On Saturday January 30th, Level Up 7on7 program travelled to Iowa Western Community College, in Council Bluffs, to compete against some of the best 7on7 programs in the region. It was the first time these young men had the chance to play a game of 7on7 football with this group of guys. The competition in the facility was so prevalent, you could quite literally feel it. Teams from Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska brought their best to prepare for this coming 7on7 season where all roads lead to Florida for the Championship 7on7 National Title. All in all, I am extremely proud of our three teams for competing and playing hard while representing themselves, their schools, their families and this program with high character.
Our 14u Gold team started the day off at 12:15 playing 785 Elite out of Manhattan, Kansas. I have a lot of familiarity with many of these athletes coming over from Team Iowa, but we also took 4 7th graders who are new to the offense. Mind you they are playing in the 15u bracket, so my concern wasn’t winning, I was focused getting concepts installed and having fun competing. Zander Freeze found Zay Robinson on 2 straight plays, a post for 16 yards and a corner route for the touchdown. I knew we were going to have a great day. The team finished 3-0 and everyone on the team served a valuable role in each victory. Both Quarterbacks did a great job leading the offense and skill guys played fantastic on both sides of the ball. The 14u MVP of the day was Zay Robinson! Not once but twice, Zay climbed the ladder and plucked the ball out of the air over top kids 2 years older than him. Congratulations fellas let’s keep our foot on the gas this season!
Next up, our 18u Select team was the first High School program to get a chance to compete and didn’t disappoint. 2-1 on the day, with some great plays made across the board. Both QB’s, Zay Arguello and Tyler Smith, displayed their elite arm talent and found their playmakers. Big time plays were made by Cam Guenther on both sides of the football. Coming off a broken back, he showed his grit, competitiveness and athleticism all 3 games. I was again impressed by everyone's ability to make plays when they were called on. The MVP of the day for Select was WR/DB Keith Moko. His ability to both stretch the field and go up over top defenders is something not only I and our coaching staff took note of, but several coaches from other programs made comments to me about. With the All-State and All-District talent on this team, I have no doubt in my mind that when all athletes know the route concepts and defensive coverages, we will be loaded up to win a Regional Tournament and primed to compete at Nationals.
The 18u Elite team was the second High School Program to compete on the day. Starting 1-0, Elite played against one of the best programs in all of America, in Emp1re, from Kansas City, Missouri. The game came down to the last play, where we would end up losing by just one point. Finishing the day at 2-2 and losing by a combined 6 points, Elite is a couple plays away from being National contenders. Both QB’s did a great job spreading the football around and allowing the athletes on the team to go make plays. Nolan DeLong is an absolute animal from Durant in the class of 2023 and was great at Linebacker and RB for us all day, Jahsiah Galvan showed everyone why he is a Power 5 football talent and Griffin Greiner proved that big time football athletes can come from small town Iowa! The MVP on the day for Elite was Dawson Forgy. His ability to create separation on the field was unmatched and may be the most explosive athlete I have ever shared a field with. Put kids in the blender in open space, caught the deep ball and had a number of YAC Touchdowns!
A big thank you to Coach Strohmeier and the Iowa Western family for letting us use their facility and hosting such a competitive event. Also thank you to Warren Academy, Emp1re and 785 Elite for the tune up before the season. I can’t wait to see our Level Up 7on7 program back in action soon!