LYMAN, MS (WLOX) - The heat index was 95 degrees. It was hot and so was the competition.
High school football players from East Central, Pass Christian, Vancleave, Pearl River Central, St. Martin and home standing Harrison Central battled in a 7-on-7 tournament in Lyman.
It was hot and so was the competition. Each team played four games. There was no championship game.
Two games were played at the same, starting from the 40-yard line.
PRC head coach Eric Collins says summer football gives his Blue Devils a golden opportunity to get ready for the 2014 season.
"First of all I think it's about competition,"Collins stated. "You want to have your kids competing all the time throughout the summer. You're going to get your competition during the season, but in the off-season you compete in the weight room and this is an opportunity to come out here on the field and compete against other teams and compete in a real football venue."
East Central head coach Seth Smith says the 7-on-7 competition helps his defensive players.
"You know we're a predominately running team so it doesn't benefit us much on the offensive side, but defensively, you know, you see a lot of spread teams these days, so it kind of helps you get ready for these spread teams when the season starts,"stated Smith.
St. Martin was coming off an impressive showing at a 7-on-7 tournament in New Orleans. Coach Eddie Wayne Whitehead's Yellow Jackets lost to Tylertown 28-24 in the championship game, an event that was hosted by the New Orleans Saints.
Eddie Wayne Whitehead said,"We really had a good time in New Orleans. The kids competed and went again a lot of new teams. We threw it well, caught well. Played defense pretty aggressive, it was a real good experience for us."
St. Martin has loads of skilled offensive and defensive players and they'll be a factor in the Region 4-6A ranks this coming season.
Harrison Central head coach Steve Jones 7-on-7 events have become another way to evaluate talent.
Jones said,"The kids need to compete during the summer so it's not just the football season they're competing and for us it's really better for our defensive guys and really for our offensive guys we're not a spread team, we're a shot-gun, double-wing teams."
Jones says Harrison Central will host a 7-on-7 tournament July 8th with 10 teams vying for a championship.