By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com
Piper, Lansing, Bonner Springs and Bishop Ward squared off in a set of 7-on-7 football games at Piper High School Monday evening.
- When Lansing was executing, they were absolutely clicking. The moved the ball relentlessly on offense and their defense was impressive in stretches against all three teams. While the Kaw Valley League loses some talent, Lansing appears ready to challenge for the upper tier in the league. Lansing's passing game was very sharp and it was easy to be impressed with them, unless of course you were the judges involved in the Manny Pacquiao fight from last weekend.
- Paul Jones continues to impress me on the offensive side of the ball. PJ is a very fun player to watch for the Pirates and with his senior season coming up, it's his time to shine on the Piper offense. Jones is a very nice weapon out of the backfield who can run routes well and has excellent hands. Jones and Tanner Eikenbary connected on another 40-yard touchdown this week. Jones is also a very physical cornerback who could make an impact on defense.
- Piper's Colton Beebe is ready to take the next step up and challenge for an All-Kaw Valley League spot at the tight end position. Beebe made some nice catches Monday in all three games. He's a physical player who will be a big threat in the red zone.
- Speaking of another young talent ready to go, Bonner Springs' Kyle Dumler was outstanding Monday night. No player impressed me more than Dumler did. Playing on defense, the big man demonstrated that he can cover routes effectively against good athletes, which is a bonus for someone his size. Dumler is one of the very few players in Wyandotte County who could be a favorite to make both the All-KCK Preps Offensive and All-KCK Preps Defensive teams. He's an excellent prospect for a Bonner Springs defense that's looking to improve this year. And oh yeah, he's a heck of an offensive lineman.
- Some good news for Piper fans: Matt McDonald is ready to go. McDonald was "released" off of injury just this week. McDonald was an underrated running back in the metro last year and he should help the Pirates be very balanced on offense next year.
- Bonner Springs has traveled to Lee's Summit, Mo., and Manhattan, Kan., for recent 7-on-7 events after they performed last week in Basehor. You could see the improvement. I was blown away with how Bonner Springs executed, especially on defense. As bizarre as this sounds, Bonner Springs displayed the importance of 7-on-7's with their performance on Monday. The defense had no missed assignments from what I saw and the only time I saw them get burned by an offense was because of timing. The Braves had five interceptions against Bishop Ward alone. Kudos to head coach Lucas Aslin, his staff and the team for an excellent performance.
- Speaking of Bishop Ward, their offense is certainly a work in progress. New head coach Tim Dorian loves running the ball based on his work at Schlagle, so that was out of his arsenal this week because of the rules. However, Ward's passing attack needs a lot of work. The offense tossed at least seven interceptions from what I saw, but the good news is they have time to improve.
- That said, the Bishop Ward defense played stiff at times. They picked off Braves quarterback Jordan Jackson and they did a nice job of deflecting passes.