The offseason can be monotonous for high school football programs, with the same lifting/film/practice schedule day after day, week after week, with no games to break things up. Last weekend at Long Beach Poly, the Jackrabbits got a chance to do something new and out of the ordinary as the Los Angeles Chargers and Nike hosted their annual 11 on 11 competition at Poly.
The event featured team competitions on the field as well as in drill activities including races and linemen/passing league formats.
“It was a good day, a long day of work,” said Poly quarterback Darius Curry. “We got here early, everybody had sleep in their eyes but we got on the field and the switch turned on. With our practices we’re just going at each other every day, so getting some new work with other teams is great.”
The Jackrabbits played well across all the different individual and team competitions and ended up bringing home the team trophy from the Chargers, beating programs including St. Anthony, Huntington Beach, and Santa Fe High.
“We’ve loved having them down the last couple of years, they do an incredible job,” said Barbee. “Their starting tackle Rashawn Slater came down to talk to the kids and then for the next hour and a half he’s running a position group coaching the kids up, it’s incredible for guys to have an experience like that. There are so many linemen and seven on seven camps that are about individual achievements, I love that they put on an event that lets the team grow together.”
The Jackrabbits were without several key players including some of their more highly-ranked ones, with players out for other camps or for recruiting visits. That made the win even more impressive. In addition to Curry, receivers Jason and Jadyn Robinson looked sharp all day. Jason is a junior-to-be who’s already committed to USC while Jadyn is a sophomore-to-be who is primed for a big season.
“He’s going to have a breakout season this year, we’re very excited for Jadyn,” said Barbee.
Transfer receiver Jordan Malau’ulu and Charles Clinton both came up big in the passing game as well.
After Saturday’s 11 on 11 camp, Nike was also back Sunday to host a girls’ flag football skills clinic, with Poly students joined by Serra and six other schools.
“Nike and the NFL are really partnering to build up girls’ playing flag football and playing at the high school level, it’s great to see the excitement growing around that,” said Barbee. “We had our girls’ flag football game on campus last week and all the kids were really into it, we had players from our team helping out and coaching, calling plays. We’re happy to be a part of that movement with Nike.”
Curry was one of the player coaches and said he enjoyed seeing Poly girls getting into the sport.
“They were taking it seriously, I want to see our girls line up against some other schools I think we could really run that,” he said.