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Beulah, Valley compete in Auburn High School 7-on-7

AUBURN — Valley High School and Beulah High School participated in 7-on-7 competitions on Tuesday morning at Auburn High School.

The Rams and the Bobcats began the day facing off against each other.

“We started off kind of slow against Valley,” Beulah head football coach Matt Johnson said. “They have a really good team, some good competitors and good athletes, but after that first series, the guys settled in, made some plays, the quarterback played really well. Kaleb Abney was composed back there, he threw really well. He looked very confident early on, which is something that we wanted to see in his first year as a starter, he played really well.”

Valley head football coach Buster Daniel said that he was encouraged by his team’s effort today, highlighted by the play of junior quarterback Gabe Harmon. Harmon was the only available quarterback for Valley during the day because Will Kennedy was at a baseball camp, Daniel said.

Harmon showed a wide range of his passing abilities throughout the day through short and deep passes. 

“Gabe did a great job,” Daniel said. “We were taking what the defense was giving us. We have to work on everything, you have to throw the deep ball, you have to throw the intermediate stuff and you have to throw short passes. It’s all a part of it, but I thought he did a great job on all three aspects today.”

Valley sophomore KD Hutchinson stood out with his athleticism and route running early in the day. Daniel said that he expects Hutchinson to build on his freshman season where he started at defensive back for the Rams. Donnavin Shealey and the defense also impressed Daniel. 

Valley also faced Benjamin Russell and Auburn at the multi-school event.

“7-on-7 is what I guess you can call a necessary evil,” Daniel said. “It gives you a chance to work on your defensive coverages. It gives you a chance to run your routes full speed, and it’s good for the game. 7-on-7 is good practice, and it gets you ready for when you put the pads on in the fall.”

Athletes in the Beulah secondary were able to grab a few interceptions early on Tuesday morning.

“We’re going to be able to rotate a lot of those guys in our secondary in,” Johnson said. “We have a lot of depth right there, which is good to have. These are rotating and not missing a beat. It was good to see some interceptions, of course, you want to see that in a 7-on-7-type setting. Dashawn Jones had a couple of picks. Dylan Coleman, who’s also a senior and is actually a backup quarterback, is the leader of that group. Those guys are on the same page, they communicate really well, coach [Stan] Pepper does a great job with them in practice with communication. They executed at a high-level today, which allowed us to get a couple of those interceptions.”

Billy Wayne Sykes, Okhari Moore, Chris Person, Quay Moreland and the linemen were also Tuesday standouts for the Bobcats, Johnson said.

Beulah played LaGrange High School and Auburn High School during the day, as well.

Valley has no official 7-on-7s scheduled for the remainder of the summer, but Daniel said that he expects the team to work out with another school at the very least in July. Beulah is currently finalizing a date in July to compete at Russell County.