Wrapping Up the 7-on7 Tournament

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 12, 2009 – 11:40 am

The NFL HSPD 7-on-7 National Tournament, presented by the National Guard and hosted by the Vikings at Winter Park, wrapped up yesterday as the team playing under the Miami Dolphins banner marched through the round robin and single elimination rounds undefeated.

The Dolphins squad is made up of players from Glades Central High in Belle Glade. They marched to the championship with wins over Cleveland (24-0), New England (31-14) and Houston (34-10) before facing Atlanta. The Dolphins defeated the Falcons 38-28 in the championship game to wrap up the tourney.

The team playing under the Vikings banner was from Lakeville South and was coached by Larry Thompson. Thompson’s team was competitive during the tournament, earning the NFC bracket’s #5 seed.
The 16 teams participating represented 8 AFC and 8 NFC franchises. The 16 participating teams won regional tournaments in their markets to earn a spot in the national contest. To qualify to represent a market in the National Tournament, each player will have completed the NFL HSPD program that includes a character development program.

Click here to view photos and video from the event.

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Mark Wilf Addresses Participants

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 11, 2009 – 2:01 pm

The tournament has moved into the single-elimination stage, with the Vikings team qualifying as the #5 seed. They will face the #4 seeded Saints team in a little bit.

Prior to the single-elimination format beginning, Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf arrived at Winter Park and addressed the young athletes. Wilf thanked the athletes and their coaches for their participation and example. He also thanked the National Guard for their role in helping to put on the tournament.

After Wilf’s remarks, the National Guard presented the Vikings owner with a trophy, thanking him for his service to youth football. Following the trophy presentation, the National Guard presented the colors and sang the National Anthem.

The Dolphins were the top seeded team in the AFC and the Panthers were the #1 seed in the NFC. The championship game will likely begin around 4:00 p.m. CT.

We’ll have more updates for you later this afternoon.

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HSPD National Tourney Underway at Winter Park

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 10, 2009 – 10:25 am

The 16-team 7-on-7 High School Player Development (HSPD) National Tournament is well underway at Winter Park. Day 1 of the tournament features a round robin style format, which will result in seeding after today and then a single elimination format on Day 2 (tomorrow). [UPDATE: The round robin format actually concludes around noon tomorrow and then the single elimination tournament takes place.]

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress has been out on the fields this morning visiting with participants and folks from the league office. I also had a chance to speak with Jerry Horowitz, who is the NFL’s Director of Youth Tackle Football. He was extremely upbeat about the event this year, saying that Steve Hutchinson was the best speaker in the history of the event and that the support the HSPD National Tournament has received from the Wilf ownership group has been “tremendous.”

I also wanted to note that this tournament is serious business. The young men competing here this weekend are very gifted, and many of them will be playing big-time college football soon, with the hope of playing on Sundays some day. The Vikings facilities staff has done an outstanding job of preparing the fields for play.

The players aren’t wearing helmets, but they are equipped with mouthpieces. There are 3 referees per field and NFL Films is on-hand capturing all the action.

Here are a few scores from the 8:00 and 8:45 games…keep in mind that TDs are worth 7 points and INTs are worth 3 points.

Browns 24, Broncos 14; Falcons 14, Cardinals 7; Dolphins 67, Colts 7;  Panthers 24, Giants 21; Patriots 24, Jets 14; Redskins 35, Rams 28; Ravens 40, Texans 27; Saints 24, Vikings 21.

We’ll have continuous updates today and tomorrow, so stay tuned.

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