ROCKLEDGE, Fla. --Ten teams showed up at Rockledge Park, located just 19 miles south of Titusville, to participate in the biggest 7-on-7 tournament in the Space Coast area. There were a lot of evenly matched teams which made for a great event and gave an opportunity for any team to take home the gold.
Early favorites formed after pool playing in the earlier part of the day. It was Team Fire who jumped out to a 4 and 0 record earning the number one seed. However, in the end it was Team Orlando Top Recruits who took home the trophy and bragging rights by defeating the South Florida Express in the hard-fought finals.
Shortly after registration, teams began to size each other up and talk about their opponents. One team was on most minds, the South Florida Express Elite. They had won the IMG 7-on-7 just two short weeks earlier in Bradenton (Fla.) For all intents and purposes, they were the champs to beat. The South Florida Express boasted such Division 1 athletes like linebackers Jermaine Grace (who won the Defensive MVP) and Anthony Walker, quarterback Akeem Jones and wide receiver Dionte Taylor among others.
The underdogs going into this tournament had to be the recently formed Space Coast All-Stars. They haven’t had nearly as much time to prepare as most of these teams and this was their first competition together as a unit.
So how did they do?
They made it to the final four during the playoffs only to lose against the highly touted South Florida Express by one touchdown. All day long, it was quarterback David Dessent to receiver Antoine Griffin for touchdown after touchdown. Griffin, who had five TDs in the first two games, looked untouchable during the entire event and went on to win the Offensive MVP Award.
Team Fire had their share of impressive athletes and one of them came in the form of linebacker turned wide receiver George Williams from Hialeah (Fla.) High School. He awed the crowd with a series of one-hand catches that usually only happen once a tournament, Williams had at least five of the jaw-dropping grabs. Dr. Krop standout athlete Jovan Durante was also standing out. While Durante is only a freshman, he was competitive with anyone on the field.
The champs, Team Orlando Top Recruits, wanted to prove they have what it takes to win after coming up short at the IMG 7v7. They are a team that consisted of top level talent in their own right. A team that demanded respect and got it. Throughout the day, they were quietly working their way through the bracket defeating team after team, one game coming down to a last second touchdown to keep them in the playoffs. It wasn’t until the final four teams were going at it that you began to take notice of how talented this team’s roster really was. It consisted of former USF quarterback commit Assiantii Woulard, tight end Blake Orvis, FSU linebacker commit Ro’Derick Haskins, defensive back Blake McClain and wide out Dominic Walker. All of these prospects were impressive as well as the rest of Team Orlando Top Recruits.
After a great day of 7-on-7 play, some of these teams who fell short were already looking ahead to their next competition down in Miami April 14th. With a day of competition in the books, it is safe to say that the first annual Space Coast Shootout Elite 7-on-7 Tournament was nothing short of a success.
Stay logged onto CaneInsider.com for breakdowns of top performers from the event.