SCHS football team shaking off rust with summer work

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By Todd Martin

The SCHS football team is trying to shake off a little rust while getting ready for the season.

This past  weekend the Rockets traveled to the University of Louisville for the team's first passing tournament of the summer and started that process of getting the parts in tune.

The U of L tournament consisted of 10 pools of four teams each. Each team played three pool games, and if a team finished undefeated, it advanced to tournament play.

Passing tournaments are seven-on-seven games played without pads and as two-hand touch.

"I thought we did pretty well," SCHS Coach Todd Shipley said. "I thought we were a little hit-and-miss early on, but most of the teams were that way."

The Rockets opened up with a victory over Anderson County.

"We weren't as crisp as I thought we could be, but we made some defensive stops and scored when we had to."

After Anderson, the Rockets squared off against Seneca, a team that returns to the Rockets' schedule for the first time in three years.

"They have this all-world quarterback, and he can probably throw it a mile," Shipley said. "But it turned out to be a defensive battle. It was, I think, 6-6 at halftime, but in the second half we made some plays. I think Seneca started to get frustrated, and we ended up winning by about 15."

In the final game of pool play the Rockets played an over-matched Bourbon County squad that had lost by more than 40 to Seneca.

"I was a little disappointed in that game," Shipley said. "We came out and got up about 10, but then we played down to the competition after that. We were a little too lethargic. We need to develop that killer attitude, so we can put people away early when we have the chance."

With a 3-0 pool record, the Rockets and six other teams advanced to tournament play.

Shelby drew Fort Campbell, the defending Class AA State Champion, in the first round.

"It was back and forth to start, but then the floodgates opened late in the first half. All of the sudden we were down 17," Shipley said. "They didn't do anything fancy. They just had some better athletes."

Being the first week of possible practice for the summer, this tournament didn't show too much, Shipley said.

"The thing I love about the passing tournaments is seeing the kids compete," he said. "The Seneca game was intense from the start, so it was good to see how they responded. The Fort Campbell game wasn't great, but it was good to see how the kids respond in a tough situation."

Shipley said his receivers -- Tavis Elzy, Edwin Thomas and Matt Page -- looked sharp, but they're still working out timing with returning quarterback Branden Cresap.

"He was up and down, but had some really good moments," Shipley said of QB, who is recovering from a season-ending knee injury. "Overall, for just coming back and throwing, he looked good. He's had a really long layoff, so it's going to take a little time."

Defensively, Shipley noted Elzy and Quinten Cottrell in the defensive backfield and Chris Taylor at linebacker as strong contributors.

He also said Tyler Phillips looked very good to start the tournament, but a broken wrist in the first game forced him out.

The Rockets will be off this weekend but will head to the University of Kentucky June 20 for another passing tournament and a big man's challenge.