Fairview football coach Tom McCartney is quick to concede there is only so much evaluation he can dissect from his club in a 7-on-7 setting.
That said, McCartney believes the determination and pinpoint execution displayed by the Knights during a resoundingly successful two days of competition during the NFL's national 7-on-7 finals will provide Fairview a huge boost when preseason camp begins next month.
The Knights completed pool play with a flurry Saturday morning in Cleveland and carried the momentum through a five-game winning streak that ended in the semifinals of the championship bracket. Fairview, the representative of the Denver Broncos after winning the NFL team's statewide competition three weeks ago, was defeated the Miami Dolphins' team in the Final Four. It was the fourth straight year that the representatives from Miami took home the title.
"The whole experience was first class," McCartney said. "It was all very organized and thorough and one of those once-in-a-lifetime things.
"It's not close to real football, and we get that. But what was important to us was, were we improving as players? Were we improving in the execution of our concepts? If we learned something we can use in the fall, it was worth it."
The Knights completed pool play with wins against the representatives for the Rams and 49ers, giving Fairview a 5-2 record and the top seed out of the AFC East. The Knights defeated San Diego and the Chiefs to win the division and earn the No. 2 overall seed for the quarterfinals. Fairview advanced with a win against Tennessee, and with a crowd full of the eliminated teams cheering them on in hopes the Knights could end Miami's reign as the tournament's champion, the run finally ended in defeat.
Given the Knights had previously defeated the other semifinal loser, the Rams, Fairview finished third overall with a record of 8-3.
"To finish off the two games in pool play and have that five-game win streak, that was a good deal for us and the guys did great," McCartney said. "Even with the Dolphins, we were tied at halftime. And then all the other teams picked ours to watch and were encouraging our guys. It was a great atmosphere with a lot of respect."
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