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The Lake News Online
  • Lakers win 7-on-7 for second year running

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  • Springfield, Mo. - The Camdenton Lakers have always been known as a run-heavy football team. It's what they excel at.
    But for the second time in a row, the Camdenton Lakers have claimed the Ozark Conference  7-on-7 Championship, a pass-happy event featuring nine of the Ozark Conference teams.
    Held at Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Mo. on Thursday, June 20, the 7-on-7 tournament is a no-pads passing league. And somehow, the Lakers once again have shed their run strategy, switching it up to play through the air.
    In this event, teams use only their offensive skill position players and try to drive 40 yards to the endzone against the opposing linebackers and defensive backs. Defenders tag the offensive players instead of tackling, and the quarterbacks have four seconds to throw the ball on each play.
    Camdenton's squad, while appearing somewhat lackluster in the pool play, switched gears in the tournament format, knocking off Lebanon, West Plains and Kickapoo in a display of aerial prowess.
    Camdenton was led by this year's incoming senior wideouts, Ryan Elliot and Kullen Carlock. Elliott and Carlock combined for over 1,100 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 100 receptions in 2012, and will look to top that in 2013.
    In last season's event, Camdenton's signal-caller Cory Simpson was kept from throwing, due to injuring his arm. His back-up, Tyler Cunningham, managed to spread out the ball well and lead the team to a championship win.
    Interestingly enough, Cunningham was not the quarterback at this year's tournament. Instead, that duty was filled by Bo Dean, the former starting quarterback for the Osage Indians. Dean was named to the 3rd Team All-State in Class 3 last season after rushing for 1,509 yards and 13 TDs and passing for 2,922 yds and 18 TDs and moved into the Camdenton district at the end of 2012.
    Dean will battle Cunningham for snaps this season.
    Is it possible that we may see more passing from the Lakers in 2013?
    Maybe, they've been doing it all along, and you just haven't taken notice.
    One thing is for certain: after two consecutive wins in this passing league, the Ozark Conference is going to have to take notice.

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