Washington working out the kinks|Pack auditioning players during passing league

Published 2:25 am Thursday, July 1, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
Looking to get a jump on the upcoming football season, Washington, West Craven, Riverside and North Pitt squared off in a round-robin style, 7-on-7 passing league game on Wednesday at Washington High School.
The four teams are part of a 10-team league formed this summer to help each of the participating squads work on their passing and pass defense.
The four teams battled each other for nearly two hours, rotating opponents every 30 minutes.
Pam Pack coach Sport Sawyer, whose team played its fourth game of the season on Wednesday, said that the exhibitions are very helpful in terms of evaluating his players.
“The goals right now are just to be able to put the right people in the right positions while learning the players,” Sawyer said.
Washington lost a lot of skill positions players from last year’s team, so the passing league offers the players looking to fill those spots a head start.
“We have a lot of new positions that are open,” Sawyer said. “Quarterback is one of them, running back and wide receiver too. … So right now we are just looking to see how they react in game situations.”
Sawyer said so far his team has been up and down, which is expected in a summer passing league.
“Mistakes made in the summer are forgotten; mistakes made in a game aren’t forgotten,” Sawyer said. “Right now we are making some mistakes, but we are doing some good things too. That’s the advantages of coming out in the summer.”
The passing league will be extremely beneficially for those who wish to fill the vacant QB position.
“Right now we got a three-man crew looking to compete for quarterback in Jimmy Williams, Johnny Broadway and Jack Rodman,” Sawyer said. “It’s good that they can play now because two of them are young (Williams and Rodman are sophomores) and Johnny (a senior) has been a receiver. … So right now we are just looking to see who steps up.”
Riverside coach Asim McGill said the passing league offers a good chance to work on some game-type situations while working the rust off the players.
“This is our second passing league game and I think our kids are getting better,” McGill said. “I have seen some of our kids do some good things. We have some guys stepping up and making plays, and that’s what it’s all about.”
McGill said progress is the main goal every time his crew steps on the field.
“It’s like I tell the kids, ‘You don’t win championships in the summer, you just try and get better,’” McGill said. “I tell the guys ‘If you are going to make a mistake, make it now and not Friday night.’”