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Fighting Irish wrap up their summer on football field

So, last week when Morris and Seneca engaged each other in a 7-on-7 passing scrimmage, I speculated that it was “likely the first time the two teams engaged in any football activities together”. It seems like a given because Seneca High School is so much smaller than Morris Community High School.

Well, leave it to someone in the football hungry area to point out that my speculation was wrong. Seems the two teams played a freshman game against each other back in 1984.

Look for more on that in a future column.

In the meantime, I did some catching up with the current group of Fighting Irish players and head coach Ted O’Boyle. By the end of last week, they had wrapped up their camp, engaged Morris in a 7-on-7 scrimmage and then finished up with a 7-on-7 tournament on Saturday at Clifton Central.

“It’s the first time for us going there. I heard about it from a couple of their coaches. They sent out a mass e-mail and I responded to it. I like it because it’s a smaller event with eight teams,” O’Boyle said. “We played five games and went 3-2.”

Seneca beat Peotone, Iroquois West and Reed-Custer but lost to Tremont and Clifton Central on Saturday, but the win-loss ledger really means nothing this time of the year.

“I thought we played well, even in the two games that we lost. The kids competed. I know it’s 7-on-7, but the kids competed well,” O’Boyle said. “I though they stepped up and played much better than the other day in Morris.”

Seneca is breaking in a new quarterback this season after having Peyton Schrag as the Fighting Irish’s signal caller for the last three years. The new QB is likely going to be Bo Taylor, even though he has never taken a snap at the position ever.

“I think he’s coming along well for a kid who has never played the position before,” O’Boyle said. “But he’s an athletic kid who knows the game.”

Taylor took almost all the snaps on Saturday as the team’s quarterback. So far this summer, he’s mainly been targeting a couple of players, though there are likely to be adjustments with those, as well.

“Tommy Lovett is going to play a little wide receiver, but he’s probably going to be our main tailback,” O’Boyle said. “We also have Ben Barnett out for the first time and he’s impressed the coaches to this point.”

Taylor was the team’s leading rusher a year ago with 554 yards and 10 touchdowns. Even though he’s probably going to be playing as a different back this fall, O’Boyle said he thinks Taylor will still be carrying the ball.

“That’s the reason he’s in that spot (QB),” he said. “It really wouldn’t surprise me if he ended up leading the team in rushing again this year — even at the quarterback position.”

One of the main things that Taylor is going to have to work on the most is reading secondary coverages — something O’Boyle says he can help with.

“We’ll talk while the defense is out and discus the coverages. I call the plays and I think that helps him out as far as reading the coverage,” O’Boyle said. “As the season progresses, though, we are going to be asking more out of him.”

That’s almost a given if the Fighting Irish are to make the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

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