The heat was on at Clinton High School on Tuesday morning as the Red Devils, Laurens Raiders and five other football squads got together for the brand of pitch and catch known as “seven on seven.”
Contact is not allowed in the summertime, but the seven-on-sevens provide a way for teams to work on as much as the South Carolina High School League will allow.
Also being parched in the unforgiving sun were teams representing Daniel, Emerald, Ninety Six, Union County and Woodruff. A similar affair is scheduled for LDHS next Tuesday, also beginning at 10 a.m. At any given time, for a period of about two hours, 15 minutes, three games were going on, and one team was mainly sucking down water. It was sweltering.
“It’s almost too hot,” LDHS head coach Chris Liner said. “I think it got better as the day went on. The heat index was probably over 100. Not just us, but that probably got in everybody’s head. I told them, ‘Guys, it’s going to be extraordinarily hot the first game (in August), and it’s going to be extraordinarily hot the first day of practice, so you’ve got to learn to block that out and just play and not have a built-in excuse for making mistakes.
“You’re going to make mistakes in seven-on-sevens, and that’s the whole purpose of correcting them now and not having to deal with it in August, but you don’t want to see someone making the same mistakes over and over. As it moved forward, we got better and better with that.”
The Raiders and Raiders face each in Clinton’s Wilder Stadium on Aug. 24 to open the season.
“We were better today than we were Friday,” Clinton’s Andrew Webb said. “We improved on a lot of things, both offense and defense, this week over last week. We got some stuff in our notebooks, trying to get better. A lot of mental mistakes we corrected.”