GENEVA — Genevea football coach Chip Sorber has a run-first mentality on offense. The team will occasionally pass, but fans probably won’t see a 3,000-yard passer with Sorber heading up the program.
The Geneva receivers, however, got a chance to put their skills on display recently at the team’s annual 7-on-7 passing camp.
“It’s a great feeling,” sophomore receiver Giovanni Rice said of the team’s performance. “We don’t pass the ball much, so it’s just great getting to catch passes.”
The camp lasted for three days as Geneva invited teams from across the area to SPIRE Institute to prepare for the upcoming season.
But it was the Eagles’ receivers who stole the show, making acrobatic catches and running crisp routes to get open against defenders.
“We do have quite a bit of skill with our senior class,” Sorber said. “We got some decent skill in it and our sophomore class is loaded with a lot of skill.”
The camp allowed for the skill players to refine their abilities, but it also provided the Eagles with an opportunity to prepare for the season. The need to pass will pop up at various times throughout the year.
“We really want to work on some of the things we can do without pads,” Sorber said. “We can run routes, we can throw the ball and we can execute some of our passing schemes.”
In addition to talent, the group also has depth. Seniors Dominic Quinn and Clayton Queen lead the group while sophomores Kenny Young, Luke Smith and Rice hold their own against the upperclassmen.
“It’s nice seeing that we have support from the underclassmen,” Queen said. “Coming into this year, we’re thinking we lost kids from middle school and stuff from our senior class. But seeing our sophomore and junior classes are really backing us depth-wise.”
Smith said the seniors have been vocal in helping the receivers develop during the early part of camp.
“Our upperclassmen really help us out,” Smith said. “They help out the underclassmen with what to do.”
Senior quarterback Wyatt Fuduric got a chance to throw to the Eagles’ various pass catchers. He said that getting on the same page with his receivers is the best part of the camp. He was able to use the receivers’ speed and athleticism to get timing down on difficult throws.
“It’s nice because we never get to throw,” Fuduric said. “It was pretty fun. I think we’re looking pretty good. We’re making pretty good throws and putting them in good spots where defenders won’t get them.”
Sorber also put Young in at quarterback toward the end of the two-hour camp. He wanted to develop the depth at signal caller. The extra work at both positions helps Young get on the same page with Fuduric.
“It helps because he’s a starter,” Young said. “You see where he puts the ball at and see if you can get to it.”
Despite the teams keeping score, the results of the camp were meaningless. But the time and performance is giving the offense a boost before camp opens on Aug. 2.
“It feels really good getting those small W’s,” Quinn said.
Geneva will still maintain its run-first approach. But Sorber admits that there could be situations where he wants to throw.
“We could definitely put the ball in the air much more if we want to or need to, and I think we’re gonna have to,” Sorber said.