Miners win Ute Shoot 7v7 tournament
June 12, 2015
The summer got off to a good start for the Park City High School football team over the weekend at the Ute Shoot 7v7 tournament at the University of Utah.
Playing in a skills-position tournament, without the offensive or defensive linemen, the Park City squad had a long day, with eight 25-minute games on the schedule. Against the other teams in the 2A/3A division, the Miners went a perfect 8-0, defeating Manti in the championship game to win the tournament.
Park City Coach Mike Shepherd said he was impressed with the efforts of every single player the Miners brought to the tournament.
"We had 12 players at the tournament and every single player made contributions," he said. "We were 8-0 — that’s a lot of games to play in a single day. In each game, we had different people who stepped up and made plays to help us win."
The Miners had several receivers help out the quarterback by making outstanding catches, Shepherd said.
"Spencer Zur was our quarterback and did a fantastic job," he said. "His brother, Collin, made some great catches. Harrison Fugate also made some great catches and Harrison Wakefield made the game-winning catch in the championship game. Grayson Maddux also made some nice plays out of the backfield."
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In a 7v7 format, there’s room for offensive players to have some spectacular individual efforts. Defensively, that’s not the case, Shepherd said.
"On defense, it’s a little bit different," he said. "It really does take everybody to stop the opponent. Jack Root and Cameron Maddux were our corners and did a great job. They aren’t too familiar with that position, but to see how much they improved and learned from the mistakes they made was great."
Shepherd said the hard work the Miners have been doing this offseason was on full display at the Ute Shoot tourney, especially when it comes to conditioning.
"There are two things that go along with that," he said. "One is the fact that you are fit enough to be able to play eight games in one day. The bigger factor was they didn’t want to quit and they didn’t want to give up. They didn’t take off one play in any of the games.
"You have to give it everything you’ve got every single time. We got to the last couple games and you could tell everybody was tired, on both teams. We really came out aggressively and it was a cool thing to watch. Every game we won, the confidence rose and the enthusiasm grew."
Shepherd said he’s excited to see what this tournament victory does for the team’s confidence heading into the fall varsity season.
"The biggest thing is that any time we have success at anything we’re doing within the program, it makes the kids believe that what we’re doing is the right thing," he said. "It makes them believe the hard work and dedication pays off. When you believe in each other, positive things happen. It was a good day for our program and it was a lot of fun."
The way the players worked together and supported each other was the best part of the day for Shepherd. He said the Miners are turning the corner and starting to put the recent string of bad seasons behind them.
"I think these kids have seen over the last couple years that being selfish doesn’t really work in a team sport," he said. "They’ve made a commitment to each other this offseason to be the right kind of team. As a coach, you can’t ask for anything more than that. I firmly believe if players do that, no matter what happens, it’s a positive experience."
Next up for the Miners is a team camp in Idaho on the campus of Boise State University.
"Sunday morning at 6 a.m., we’re taking a bus of about 40 kids up to a Boise team camp," Shepherd said. "Boise State’s staff will help coach the kids and they’ll get to scrimmage some other high schools. We’ll stay in the dorms and eat in their cafeteria. They’ll get to experience the college life and play a little football, too. It’s a great experience."
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