As a linebacker, Yorkville senior Chris Galloway likes to hit people and make tackles.
Unfortunately for Galloway, he can’t deliver any big hits during 7-on-7s this summer.
“A lot of us still hit guys,” Galloway laughed. “Or, at least we try.”
Galloway may be laughing about the softness of 7-on-7s where a tackle is the equivalent of a one-handed tap on the back, but he’s Mr. Serious when it comes to the upcoming season.
The Foxes are coming off a 2-7 campaign, but Galloway feels they could’ve easily have been a 6-3 team and went to the playoffs.
“Coach got us these shirts 6=6=10 because with six more points we would’ve been in a 10th week,” Galloway said. “So it’s always on our mind. Before practice we do everything in six to remind us that we were right there to being in a playoff situation. It keeps us focused and it’s always on our mind.”
Yorkville coach Dan McGuire said the program’s numbers are solid and that he and the rest of the coaching staff have been able to get alot out of the players this summer.
“Our buy-in has been great and the weight room has been great,” he said. “I don’t think we’re doing too much and not too little. I just hope the kids are hungry when the season comes around.”
Wednesday’s 7-on-7 at Aurora University afforded the Foxes with the opportunity to take on Oswego East and Marmion.
A fourth team, Bureau Valley, had to bail out because it was short players so Oswego East also brought along its sophomore squad.
The Foxes will have two more 7-on-7s next week as well.
“The one thing you worry about with these is picking up some bad habits, and as you know, at Yorkville we try to run more than pass, or at least go 50/50,” McGuire said.
“The main thing is to learn formations offensively and then defensively to adjust to formations. It helps to see teams like Oswego East and Marmion because they do two different things and it lets us see the spacing and how to adjust to it.”
Galloway considers these 7-on-7s as an opportunity to see what teammates have really dedicated themselves in the offseason and are ready to go. Since he’s in his final year, Galloway is hungry and wants to get to week No. 10 rather than turn in his equipment prematurely.
“We’re getting a chance to see our competitive edge and what kids really want it and which ones just are here to be here,” he said. “This is a learning time as team, to see how we’re starting to play as a team, what we need to do and fix and to ask questions to get better.”
Galloway and the team also are bonding under the hot summer sun.
“These are good for the kids,” McGuire said. “It’s like a reward to showcase all the hard work they’ve already put in and we try to get as many kids in. It’s like the cherry on top of the summer.”
In a few weeks, the real work will take place during practices in preparation for week one and West Aurora.
“I’ve never been more excited to play football in my entire life,” Galloway said. “I think we’ve been able to show how competitive we can be, especially coming off a 2-7 season. Everyone wants to be in that playoff game. That’s where I want to be.”