Football coaches Chris Beyer and Jeremiah Vedis had an idea to bring a 7-on-7 passing tournament to Calvert County after traveling out of the county the past several years to participate in some other leagues and tournaments.

“While at one of the tournaments, I made a comment that we should host our own,” Vedis said. “It would be a lot closer for many teams and could be a good fundraiser as well.”

After gaining approval from Huntingtown head football coach Paul Friel, the first Battle of Southern Maryland 7-on-7 Passing Tournament was played June 29 at Huntingtown High School.

“There were many talented players at the tournament,” Vedis said. “In total, six teams participated with approximately 100 players.”

Many Southern Maryland Athletic Conference football coaches were able to watch their players participate and attend the debut of the event.

“There is a lot of talent in Southern Maryland, and the 7-on-7 tournament did not disappoint in displaying what all these teams have,” McDonough head coach Brock Virts said. “The tournament was ran perfectly and was a great opportunity for myself to evaluate my team and others that we will be playing this season.”

Calvert head coach Rick Sneade was also in attendance and enjoyed the environment at Huntingtown.

“I thought it was a very organized and well-run tournament that had a very competitive atmosphere with great sportsmanship,” Sneade said.

The tournament consisted of a round-robin portion that was slated to be followed by a single-elimination tournament before thunderstorms forced the rest of the event to be canceled.

“Fifteen minutes into the first round of the single-elimination tournament, the games were suspended due to lightning. After the lightning continued, the rest of the tournament was eventually canceled,” Vedis said.

Before the thunderstorms, each team was able to play the other five teams in the tournament as part of the round-robin portion.

“With each team getting to play five different teams, it resulted in a variety of different styles of offenses and defenses,” Vedis said. “Everyone was able to get in a lot of really good work.”

No team officially won the tournament since the single-elimination portion had to be canceled due to the poor weather, but after the round-robin portion, National Christian Academy of Prince George's County was the number one seed.

“We offered to have everyone back another day to finish, but all of the coaches said they had gotten a lot of good work and were fine with it being canceled,” Vedis said.

Vedis noted the plan is to grow and continue to host the tournament every year from now on.

“We originally planned on more teams participating, but it was a good number of teams for our first year hosting. We were able to get an idea of what would need to do for hosting more teams in the future,” Vedis said. “Although we were unable to finish the tournament, we were very happy with the turnout. We received a lot of positive feedback from coaches, players and parents. Everyone expressed how much they enjoyed the tournament and would definitely be back next year.”

Twitter: @johnniswander2