Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Sports

June 20, 2014

CHS Football: Tigers aim high in 7-on-7 football

Corsicana — It's only their second season of summer football, but for the Corsicana Tigers, everything is  about the same thing: Improving.

No one knows that better than Tiger quarterback Kishawn Kelly, a fresh face and fresh arm who takes over this fall as a sophomore.

A year ago Coach Steve Hoffman was excited about getting his team on the 7-on-7 field. He wasn't hired until April and didn't have spring football or a chance to get to know his kids so 7-on-7 was all about teaching the Tigers his offense and taking the first steps of bringing Corsicana back.

The Tigers will play in two state-qualifying tournaments. They travel to Arlington Bowie on Saturday and travel to Midlothian on June 28 for a state-qualifying tournament. Every game the Tigers play this summer carries a lot of weight.

This summer the 7-on-7 leagues have been invaluable for Kelly.

“I think it's very important for him,'' Hoffman said. “Just having him out there and giving him a chance to get used to his receivers. The 7-on-7 games gives him an avenue to get to know his receivers and for them to get to know him.''

Hoffman put together an ambitious 7-on-7 season and the Tigers played in two different leagues, including an early league in Fairfield and an incredibly competitive league that includes Class 6A powerhouse DeSoto and 5A powers from Dallas Carter and Waxahachie.

As expected, DeSoto has dominated the 7-on-7 league, which ends next week in DeSoto, but Hoffman doesn't mind going against tough competition.

“It's all about us getting better,'' he said. “We just have to get better and we need to have a good summer to be ready (this fall).''

There was nothing wrong with Corsicana's offense last year. The Tigers averaged more than 400 yards a game, but finished at 2-7 because teams simply outscored them.

But with a new quarterback, there are questions about the offense this season, and the 7-on-7 season benefits the Tigers and their young QB.

“He has come along this summer,'' Hoffman said of Kelly, who has a strong arm and can also run. “He gets better every time we go out there.''

Hoffman knows his team will live on the run as much as anything, especially with a healthy Tray Owens, who gained a school-record 467 yards against Sulphur Springs in one night as a sophomore. But he sees Kelly as a threat to run, too.

“There's so much he can add to our offense other than just in the air,'' Hoffman said. “Our quarterback is going to run.''

And for Kelly this summer has been about feeling comfortable behind the center and growing as a quarterback.

“I think his reads are getting better, knowing where to go with the ball and reading and taking what the defense give you,'' Hoffman said. “In 7-on-7 you have four seconds and you have to get rid of the ball. It definitely helps him to go through this.''

Kelly was the backup last season as a freshman, but didn't get a lot of playing time with the varsity.

“The great thing is it keeps the kids involved over the summer. Our goal this summer is to grow and get stronger and get better.''

 

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