Four schools put on a show for gridiron fans Saturday and helped raise some money at the same time.
Pacific 5, a non-profit organization founded by assistant Sparks High football coach Freeman Holbrook, hosted the 2nd Annual 7-on-7 Passing Tournament at the oldest Rail City school.
Lassen came away with the championship, but more importantly, Pacific 5 raised money for the participating schools.
A year after eight schools took part in the inaugural event, only four schools showed up for the second installment. Lassen was joined by Wooster, Sparks and last year’s champion Hug. However, there were four JV teams competing, so the number of kids was about the same from a year ago.
Last year, the event raised a few thousand dollars, but Holbrook said this year’s funds were lower.
Holbrook decided to cut it down to a one-day event since only four schools were present. Still, he’s happy to raise any money for high schools.
“I thought it was great. It was a lot of fun today,” Holbrook said. “Last year was a lot of football in two days. For just doing it one day, it was a lot of fun. It looked like all the teams and coaches enjoyed it.”
Each team started out with 15 downs on offense and defense. Seeding for the single-elimination tournament was decided by the points scored in those downs.
Teams are only allowed to pass and the games are played on half the field.
Sparks came away with a third-place effort.
Holbrook still has big plans for the event and hopes more schools come back next year. He said timing was a problem this summer with a couple football programs bringing in new coaches and other sports are taking priority over football. He also will consider having it earlier in the year, so it’s not so hot.
“It’s something we’re building on and I think every year is going to be a little different at the beginning,” Holbrook said. “I think we’ll add quite a few teams next year. A lot of teams called and said they wanted to do it and they’ll do whatever they need to do to do it next year.”
Pacific 5 is planning on holding a wrestling camp and hopes to set up a basketball tournament in the future to raise money.