WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | Sports

Menomonie high school football players prepare for NFL 7-on-7 national tournament


MENOMONIE (WEAU)- Next week 12 members of the Menomonie high school football team will be competing in this year's 7-on-7 national tournament in Indianapolis. Because of their great success on the field, they are the Gordy's Athlete of the Week. SportScene 13's Chance Dickman has the story.

No coaches, no pads, no problem. The Menomonie 7 on 7 football team has been a dominate force in Wisconsin for the past few years now, and the Mustangs have qualified for their second straight national tournament. Hayden Swartz says, "I know a lot of the guys that were on the team last year and new guys this year, we're really looking forward to it. It's one of the best experiences in a lifetime that you'll have."
Adds Connor McCauley, "We're representing the whole state of Wisconsin so it's definitely a whole new loaded pressure, but it's exciting at the same time."

Their road to Indianapolis was a challenging one, but Menomonie believed in their team and went a perfect 6-0 in state pool play.

Says Derek Kahl, "I think that we're a lot closer this year than we were last year, and we have also have a great quarterback this year, so that helps a lot."
McCauley agrees, "Even though we don't have the best athleticism out of all the teams, our team really came together and put forth 100 percent effort."
Adds Swartz, "Our team is a lot more close nit. I feel like we've really bonded, and it's going to be really exciting to see what we can do at this national tournament."

What's amazing is that the players do everything on their own, from practice preparation to live game situations.

Kahl says, "I honestly think it's an advantage. We get to use our leadership and really step up to the opportunity and show what we have."
Adds McCauley, "At Green Bay, we actually did take out coach along, but we used a contact day so that was under the legal rules of the WIAA, so we don't have a contact day to use at Indianapolis, so we're not taking coach LaBuda."

Coach or no coach, these guys are ready to take their talents to Indy.

Swartz says, "We are really quick and not the most physical or big team there, but hopefully we can actually go to the championship this year."
Kahl adds, "We're pretty confident that we'll be able to compete this year and hopefully make it to the championship."

When game time arrives, the guys will trade in their Mustang jerseys for the green and gold of the Packers, and compete against the other 31 teams represented by an NFL franchise. Reporting in Menomonie, Chance Dickman, for SportScene 13.


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