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Faith Academy 7-on-7 football a preview of what’s to come in regular season, coach says

JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF

MARBLE FALLS — The Faith Academy 7-on-7 football team’s season was as long as a regular 11-man season.

The Flames played in the Burnet league in May and the Austin-area league in June and July.

Head coach Russ Roberts said his wife, Tricia, called it the longest 7-on-7 season of which he’s been a part.

Roberts said he saw a lot of positives from the Flames in the past three months.

“I’ve been really impressed by the commitment of our kids,” he said. “We’ve had lots of kid that committed to play every week. And we don’t all live in Marble Falls. We live in Central Texas — Lakeway, Burnet, all over. That’s impressive.”

Senior Austin Ellis and junior Magnum Burcham each spent time at quarterback. But Roberts also asked other players to throw the football, he said, which isn’t unusual. Last fall, running back Jason Bird had more touchdown passes than quarterback Ellis, the coach said.

Roberts recalled using four different quarterbacks during a night of 7-on-7.

“I’m not in a situation where I can afford to leave good athletes on the bench,” he said. “I’m going to find a way to get them on the field.”

The coach was equally enthusiastic about the receivers, including sophomore Jacob Metcalf, junior Hanner Shipley and senior Matt Manley.

Observing 7-on-7 helped Roberts figure out ways to take advantage of his players’ strengths for the upcoming season

In addition, he was happy to see so many of his players on the defensive side of the ball.

“We saw the exact offense we’ll see week in and week out,” Roberts said. “We worked on our man technique, we worked on our zone, we worked on our combo techniques.”

The Flames start two-a-days Aug. 5. They open the season against Austin St. Dominic Savio at Dragon Stadium on the Round Rock High School campus, 300 N. Lake Creek in Round Rock.

jfierro@thepicayune.com