It may be the height of the baseball season, but for 40 high school football teams and 800 skilled position players, Oliver Ames High School in Easton, was ground zero last Sunday, for the Under Armour 7v7 Northeast Regional (South section) passing competition.
The tournament, which was formally known as the Swampscott/Lynnfield 7 on 7 Shootout, has been sponsored by the popular sports clothing and equipment giant, Under Armour, for the last eight years and has grown to include 120 high school teams in the Northeast Region.
The other venues in the North East are Exeter (N.H).High School and Bishop Fenwick High School in Peabody.
Tournament Director, Steve Dembowski, believes the partnership with Under Armour has taken the tournament to a whole new level.
“This passing tournament is incredibly popular in the South,” said Dembowski. “It has really started to take off in the North East. We were completely sold out this year.
“The tournament began as a way to get high school teammates together in the summer to compete. Our mission is to help all involved; players get to work on team concepts, coaches get to see the development of their players and everybody has a blast!”
A number of local area teams were well represented including teams from Braintree, Marshfield, Duxbury, Whitman-Hanson, Cardinal Spellman, Catholic Memorial and last summer’s champs from Franklin High School.
“This was an easy sell for our guys,” said Braintree head coach Brian Chamberlain, who is only an observer at the competition. Volunteers coach the teams and each team has a 20-man rosters. Each player pays $20 to participate in the competition.
And best of all, Under Armour provides two compression shirts, a pair of black shorts and other surprises for each athlete.
“The competition is excellent and for myself and our coaching staff, we get a chance to see the guys in competition. It’s a great environment.”
The Wamps were competing for the first time and impressed the third-year coach in their opening game against Framingham High School.
“I believe we have significantly upgraded our team at the skilled positions. Our tight end, Derek Anson, is looking really good,” said Chamberlain. “Anson has put a lot of time and effort in the off- season and it is paying huge dividends. He is poised for a big season.”
The Sectional finalists (South, North and East) along with the wild card selections will compete for the North East Regional title on Tuesday, July 30 at Bishop Fenwick High School. The competition begins at 5 p.m., and continues until completion around 10 p.m.
“I love the competition,” said Rockland resident and Cardinal Spellman senior Austin Joseph.