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7v7 FOOTBALL FILLS 1ST QUARTER VOID

By Ben Leon Guerrero

No high school football yet? No problem.

Team Boom Boyz and Team Officials took part in the first ever GameTime 7 on 7 Championship game Saturday afternoon at the Tiyan football field. Boom Boyz beat the Officials 3 scores to 2 to claim the title.

Boom Boyz wide receiver Robert Ellis scored two touchdowns and a 2-pt conversion to claim the
tournament’s first Offensive MVP award while teammate and cornerback Joseph Delia grabbed three interceptions to take the first Defensive MVP award.

“It was a fun experience and a great opportunity to get some football in especially since the season has been pushed back to the 4th quarter,” said Ellis. “Being able to put some work in as a team and have some competition after practicing weekly was good too. We had pretty good practices.”

Team Officials started the game off on defense and managed to hold the Boom Boyz for a turnover on downs after three plays.

After Delia’s first interception of the game., the Boom Boyz offense went to work marching down the short field and scored on a wide-open pass down the right side of the field to Ellis for his first of the game. Delia collected his second INT on the very next possession.

With no high school football until 4th Quarter, some of the athletes took in a 7on7 tournament. (photo by Tanya Gillins)

As time was winding down in the first half, the Officials finally got on the board when their
quarterback found a wide open receiver streaking down the right sideline catching the open pass and driving into the endzone to tie the game at 1-1.

According to Boom Boyz Coach and main league coordinator Jacob Dowdell, this event is only one of a hand full of camp series that will be taking place this year to help prepare football athletes for the upcoming football season.

“These 7 on 7 tournaments are done in all 50 states to help young folks to 1) stay out of trouble, 2) keep them as athletic as possible during the offseason and 3) helps them develop their skill set,” said Dowdell.

The flip flopping of the high school football schedule provided Dowdell and fellow event coordinators (GameTime Athletics and Soldier for Life) with the opportunity to come together to put together the 7 on 7 tournament.

“We put it out to everyone, and the kids didn’t need to be linked to a high school football team to participate and we are very happy that we have athletes from Southern High School and FD to name a few, as well as students from schools who don’t have football teams, who came out to participate,” he added. “It was a great chance for us to get our skills guys to get some work in and we want to try and get some film together for them,” added Dowdell.

Upcoming Hope Camp Series
Dowdell’s 67ONE Recruiting along with GameTime Athletics and W5 Soldier for Life were the sponsors of the tournament. According to Dowdell, the three companies will be working together to put on the remaining events for this year with till include the first of the Dante Banes Hope Camp which is slated for October 12.

The October 12 camp will feature Coach Bob Harmon from the Olivet Nazarene University which
currently has 11 Guam kids as athletes. Harmon will be on island from October 9-15.

Growing Faith in Sports
One of the biggest elements that this tournament pushed was the importance of Faith in the lives of the athletes and was evident with prayer being done before the game and after.
“It’s about God first and about them developing a relationship with God,” said Dowdell. “It’s to that end that we are aligned with Coach John Diaz, CEO/Founder of an organization in California called Young Athletes for Christ (YAC).”

Young Athletes for Christ is a Faith Based 501(c)3 non-profit organization that empowers youth through sports, teaches life lessons and gives them the resources to succeed in all areas of their life.  Coach Diaz will be on island for the December series of the Dante Banes Hope Camp. Diaz’s YAC foundation will be partnered with Coach Chad Ikei from the Ikei Sports Hawaii to put on the camp.

All are welcome to participate
The October and December camp series along with any future 7 on 7 tournaments will be open to the public and provides aspiring collegiate football athletes the opportunity to work at making their dreams of playing colligate football a reality.

“If anyone has any words of wisdom or has things, they would like to offer that could be included in the next one, we welcome it and we welcome as much participants as possible,” said Dowdell. “Because at the end of the day, its about the kids of Guam, all the kids of Guam having the opportunity to excel in their faith and through athletics.”
“I’m just trying to use every avenue I can to give our kids the opportunity to play on the big stage. We have great athletes here on Guam and I want everyone to see them.”
Honoring a former Guam athlete
This year’s tournament was also in honor of former Guam High athlete Dante Banes who was a Staff Sergeant in the United States Air Force when he passed away September 10 at the age of 25.

“How fitting is it that we something that is faith based at a time where we are honoring the life of a young man who while serving his country lost his life,” said Dowdell. “So, I just think that this is all in God’s timing.”

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