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River Region teams move closer to preseason workouts at Faulkner’s 7-on-7 camp

Quarterback Chandler Taylor and Alabama Christian were part of several teams participating in Tuesday’s 7-on-7 Tournament at Faulkner University. (Staff Photo)

Staff Report
(July 8, 2014)

Alabama Christian Academy quarterback Chandler Taylor hasn’t spent much time on the gridiron this summer. Considering he is one of the top baseball prospects in the state of Alabama, it makes sense.

But, when he’s in town, he spends time on the ACA campus for workouts and throwing to receivers.

On Tuesday, he joined his teammates at Faulkner University for the annual 7-on-7 tournament.

It was a nice change.

“I’m still enjoying football and want our team to improve this year,” Taylor said between games. “It usually works in a two-week cycle. I’m in Georgia for a week and come back for a week. Coach (Bill Moore) has been real good about my time away but he knows if I’m here, I’ll be on campus.”

Taylor has split time between playing in the local Montgomery Metro League and with a team in Atlanta where he spends much of his time traveling across the southeast. He will play in a tournament this weekend in Birmingham.

But on Tuesday, his focus was helping ACA get better as it moves towards preseason practice in August.

“The attitude is better,” Taylor said. “We want that attitude that we expect to win. We know we can win, but a lot of doubt creeps in and there’s been a lot of that in this program over the years.”

ACA was one of several teams participating at the tournament, most from the River Region. The Eagles lost to Holtville in their opener before facing Capital City Conference rival St. James in the second game.

Squads from Trinity, Prattville Christian, Mobile Christian, Bullock County and Montgomery Catholic also participated.

Mobile Christian beat Trinity in the finals to win the tournament.

“It allows us to work on some things you really can’t do when you are scrimmaging against your own team,” Catholic coach Gregg Baker said. “It makes a big difference. It’s good for the kids and the coaches because it lets us see where we’ve progressed and where we need work.”

New PCA coach Chris Jones was looking for something to build on after tangling with larger schools in the Prattville 7-on-7 tournament two weekends ago. Early in the day he didn’t get the level of intensity he wanted.

“We played three schools (in Prattville) and I thought we played with more intensity then against bigger opponents than we did (in Tuesday’s first game against Catholic),” Jones said.

Teams have less than a month before the first official practice in AHSAA 9 (Aug. 4). In his second season at Catholic, Baker believes his players are better prepared after learning from a difficult 1-9 season in 2013.

“They have a better idea of what to expect from me and our staff,” Baker said. “We want to control the tempo – up. It’s easier to do it out here in a situation like this plus going up against good competition certainly gets us closer to where we want to be once practices roll around.”

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