Neither lightning nor brawls nor broken legs could stop Nike from seeing its first 7-on-7 tournament through through to the end on Saturday.
You can read more about it on our recruiting page, as well as on the Palm Beach Post's site as they were the first to break it, but the big news of the day was defending 4A state champion Booker T. Washington and defending 2B state champion Pahokee gettin' it on in an early round match-up.
Booker T. converted a last-second two-point score to win the scrimmage 22-21, but after that, things get sketchy. The PBP has a Nike sales rep saying a BTW kid tossed one of the Blue Devils to the ground. Most of the folks I talked to said one Pahokee player ran into a group of Tornadoes, prompting the fight. Before it was all said and done, freshly-minted BTW coach Earl Tillman was carted off in an ambulance with a broken tibia and both squads were sent packing. What a day.
Actually, the brawlers had it better than the rest of us: they got to go home. We had to stick around into the early afternoon that saw temperatures reach as high as 96 degrees with a heat index somewhere around 500. The best 40-times hovered around 4.7 seconds as kids gasped their way through the sauna that was Miramar Park in July. By the time Miramar and Columbus tipped off, most of the remaining players-turned-spectators looked happy to be on the sidelines and in the shade.
Of course, by then the late afternoon clouds had cooled things off a bit. After a 30-minute lightning delay, play resumed with Miramar's Eugene Smith piloting the A-team (Miramar fielded two squads) down field using short and intermediate passes.
"Teams are going to be looking for that long ball next year," said Smith. "That's why we have to work on that stuff now."
According to those in attendance, it was the first time that Nike was able to complete its annual camp on time and without having to call any games.