The phrase “The Boys of Summer” is typically reserved for baseball teams, but the Old Rochester Regional High School football team is looking to expand that moniker. For the past eight years, the Bulldogs have competed in the Cape Cod 7v7 League, looking to get ready for their upcoming MIAA seasons.
The 7v7 league is held on Wednesday nights at 5:00 pm at either Sandwich High School, Mashpee High School or Monomoy Regional in Harwich.
With 10 teams in the league including schools from Falmouth, Cape Cod Tech and Barnstable, the players compete in touch football, wearing no pads nor helmets. Four schools play on a field, as the ball starts on the offensive 40-yard line, and the offensive team will run 10 plays and then switch to defense. With only seven players per team on the field, the league is all about the passing game.
“Our defense, we don’t really play passing teams all that often. Getting into summer league and forced to focus on pass coverage is nice,” said Old Rochester captain Jacksen Martin.
For returning starting quarterback and team captain Noah Sommers, having the ability to compete in a league that is pass-only is a bonus. “It has been a really good experience getting to see different pass concepts,” Sommers stated. “We are going to have more experience and get the guys the ball when they are open in the (fall) season.”
This fast-paced league that heavily favors the offense requires defensive personnel to get on the same page quickly. Communication on coverages and assignments is necessary for the defense. “It helps with communication. We get communication and chemistry on offense and defense,” Martin added.
One of the added bonuses of teams playing together in the off-season is the bonding that occurs, which on game day is needed for everyone to leave everything on the field for each other. “To get in early, get some chemistry and spend some more time with the team really helps us connect as one team,” stated team captain Walter Rosher.
Working together as one team is going to be necessary for a successful MIAA football season this fall. With a senior-heavy roster, the Bulldogs are primed for a strong campaign. Having the 7v7 leagues on the Cape, the Bulldogs are using this time wisely, mixing in the senior-heavy class with younger players.
“It is good for the younger guys to get to know the older guys and we can count on, “ORR Coach Bryce Guilbeault stated. “The young guys, they can get to know each other.”
Playing one day a week on the Cape, as well as getting in gym time together during strength-and-conditioning days, the Bulldogs have high expectations for the season. With a tough schedule, they are going to be taking it one game at a time.
“A lot of guys are getting excited. We want to be the best team that we can be, “Martin said. “We have a lot of potential.”
By Ryan Feeney