Down, set, hike: Skyline 7-on-7 goes off without a hitch

Summer hasn't even arrived, but it's certainly not too early for area high schools to start thinking football.

Summer hasn’t even arrived, but it’s certainly not too early for area high schools to start thinking football.

Defending 4A champion Skyline hosted its largest ever 7-on-7 passing event, “Skills and Drills on the Hill,” over the weekend. Twenty-one high school teams, and over 400 athletes converged at Skyline High School for the first-ever two-day passing tournament, and lineman challenge.

“It went great,” Spartan head coach Mat Taylor said,” noting there were roughly 30 to 40 volunteers helping out on Saturday and Sunday. “We had a tremendous amount of community support.”

Last weekend’s passing event had no official winner as it was played under a round-robin format with each team playing five to six games a day. Taylor noted that most teams have just started spring workouts and the goal was to keep the passing portion of the event more informal.

“I didn’t really keep track of the scores, but I’m sure the kids did,” he said.

The second-year head coach did note, however, his team looked sharp.

“Offensively, we scored on every possession except for one,” Taylor said. “We were very excited with how we did.”

While scores weren’t kept in the passing portion of the tournament, they were in the lineman challenge. Skyline won the 11-team event, besting other competitors in a bench press, tire throw, truck push, agility course and a tug of war.

Along with Skyline, three other area schools participated, including Eastlake, Eastside Catholic and Issaquah.

“It was good,” Issaquah head coach Chris Bennett said. “It’s another year, and we’ve got a lot of new faces. For us it’s a great chance to get guys reps and get them to understand the system better.”

Others high schools that competed included, Archbishop Murphy, Bellevue, Bethel, Bonney Lake, Ellensburg, Evergreen, Glacier Peak, Graham-Kapowsin, Inglemoor, Interlake, Kamiak, Kentwood, Mercer Island, Meridian, Mount Tahoma, Mount Lake Terrace and Wilson

There are already larger plans for next year’s event. Taylor said he hopes to increase the field to 32 teams, and add a kicking competition.

Up next for Skyline and Issaquah is the UW Passing Tournament, June 19 and 20 at Husky Stadium.