Last Friday, the St. Pius X football program hosted their annual 7 on 7 summer football tournament, named after legendary coach, George B. Maloof. Norcross won the event, knocking off Brookwood in the championship game. The young and inexperienced St. Pius X Golden Lions got off to a rocky start, dropping their first four games to begin the day. The team played better as the tournament wore on and finished on a high note, knocking off Alexander and Alcovy High Schools.
Despite an overall 2-4 record, head coach Paul Standard had several positive takeaways, “Our team has shown not only at the 7 on 7, but throughout the summer practices that they are coachable and willing to push through tough situations.” Standard was pleased with the team’s growing unity and stated, “This team showed great character as we struggled early in the tournament, but really picked up our play in the last 4 games.” He noted that the team’s strengths at this point in the season are their work ethic and willingness to push themselves to overcome their lack of experience.
Despite a small senior class, the team has excellent leadership that is helping the young squad grow and mature on the field. Seniors Nick Joiner, Lawson Schultz, Tiger Turner, Joe Miller, and Mark Weick have emerged as team leaders and garnered praise for leading by example.
Heading into the 2019 season, the Golden Lions are looking to replace the vast majority of their starters from a year ago. Several players are being asked to play on the varsity level sooner than they normally would and the tournament helped the team increase their confidence and gain experience in their new roles.
The quarterback position is one of the biggest questions for the program coming into the 2019 season. Three-year starting quarterback Connor Egan graduated, leaving a massive void in a pivotal position in the team’s triple-option offense. After the tournament, Standard singled out the performance of rising junior, Dennis O’Shea, claiming that he has emerged as a leader at the quarterback position.
On Wednesday, the team will take on Lakeside, Grady, and Chamblee in another summer 7 on 7 event.