Once the Arkansas Activities Association’s mandated two-week dead period ends this week, El Dorado’s football program will be back at work. The team will host the annual Wildcat 7-on-7 Tournament with the varsity set for Friday. The junior high tournament will be held next Friday.
“We will split time between Memorial Stadium and the high school for the morning portion of it,” said El Dorado coach Steven Jones. “We’ll go from there in the afternoon. If it’s hot, we’ll probably play at the high school in the afternoon on the grass.”
The morning session kicks off Friday at 9 a.m. The afternoon session is scheduled to start at approximately 1 p.m.
Ouachita Christian, Warren, Smackover, Crossett, Camden Fairview, Monticello will join two El Dorado squads for an 8-team tournament.
El Dorado enjoyed the early portion of its 7-on-7 schedule. The Wildcats won the consolation bracket at the Shootout of the South, hosted by Pulaski Academy.
“We’ve been really pleased with our progress so far. I feel like with our install, we peaked right before the break, before the two-week dead period. We really like where we’re at,” Jones said. “Our kids are going to come back (today) refreshed and ready to roll. It’s going to be good moving forward, building on what we have already. They’ve done a good job of adapting to what’s new, having fun and getting there every day and working hard.”
As far as expectations for this week, Jones said he wants his team to compete and, of course, win. But everything the Wildcats do this summer will be in preparation for the upcoming season.
“We want to win every time we go out there. But, it’s 7-on-7 and, at the end of the day, we’re not going to look like we would on a Friday night where we can hand the ball off and have a good pass rush and all that. I wouldn’t say 7-on-7 is what we’ll look like on Friday night, but we definitely want the reps to try and get better,” said the coach, who believes his team will be ready after the two-week break.
“I expect them to be ready to roll. After that dead period is over, it’s really football season. We’ll show back up and be full force until we play Conway on August 31. Our guys, I expect them to show up with a lot of focus.”