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We are heading into the 3rd Annual O-Zone Classic 7-on-7 Tournament this weekend. This event has featured many local teams from around the area in a competitive 7-on-7 Tournament that includes Oxford. The last two years have been played during the month of July but for whatever reason moved it up to the middle of June this year. Likely because where they wanted it in July this year is where the mandatory "dead week" period the MHSAA sets out every year where no activity can take place on school campus or by a school for a week.
Besides the point, this event normally features potent offenses shown by area schools like New Albany, Southaven, Oxford and Lake Cormorant. Lake Cormorant, who was a new school in 5A, won the inaugural O-Zone Classic. Lafayette won it last year, defeating Saltillo to do it even though they had beaten them twice before they were able to beat Saltillo in that tournament.
Oxford will not have the services of Senior QB Parker Adamson for this tournament as he is on a college-camping tour for the past week and this week. Although I do expect Oxford to compete like always. 7-on-7's have always been more like passing practice on not just offense, but on defense for the linebackers and the cornerbacks/safeties. According to a few recruiting sites, Adamson is being looked at (but not offered) by Alabama, Vanderbilt and Duke and does hold an offer from UT-Martin according to Oxford Eagle Sports Editor John Davis. He's being looked at by Duke likely because of Oxford Wide Recievers coach Chris Cutcliffe's dad is Duke Head Coach (and former Ole Miss Head Coach) David Cutcliffe.
There will be plenty of officials this weekend (64 according to the Oxford Eagle), that includes 5 NFL Referees and 4 SEC Referees. This is all made possible because of the man that runs FNC Park Brad Freeman is an SEC official and his dad is an NFL official. Freeman was able to get the head of SEC officials to come down here along with some other NFL officials to teach the younger officials wanting to coach High School football games the dos and don'ts of officiating.
This event is not just a great experience to play on some EXCELLENT fields at FNC Park (and I mean excellent, the way they keep the fields over there is like you are playing on carpet or artificial turf, but it is actual grass). The players get to play against other teams beside your next-door school neighbor on fields that are well maintained. The officials are very good because they are learning on how to officiate. The younger officials are being overshadowed by the NFL and SEC officials so they will know right away what they are doing wrong or if they are pinpoint on their calls and they are where they are supposed to be.
This event is a win-win for the players, coaches (so they don't have to argue near as much with officials) and the officials. Everyone can learn what they are supposed to do and there is a trophy at the end of this too. So come on out to FNC Park this weekend and have some fun and hope your team wins.
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