The 7-on-7 tournament also allowed a young and inexperienced Lassiter squad another 10 games to jell before preseason workouts begin July 25.
Lassiter went 3-4 overall in pool play with close wins and losses. The Trojans beat Opelika (Ala.) by eight points but their other wins came by two points or less. They outlasted Havelock (N.C.) 24-23 and defeated Niceville (Fla.) 19-17.
Once bracket play started, Lassiter had a tough opening game, falling to Kenton (Ohio) 40-12. The Trojans bounced back in the consolation bracket with another close win over Havelock, 22-18, before falling to a familiar Grayson team 20-15 in the next round.
A week ago, Grayson fought its way through the loser’s bracket to win the 7-on-7 select qualifier at Lassiter.
“We’re still learning to compete in regards of discipline,” Lassiter coach Jep Irwin said. “Playing seven games in one day, you’re going to lose your stamina and focus. We played good games and we had some stinkers.”
Lassiter graduated 34 seniors from last year’s 7-4 team and took a hit at the wide receiver position.
Russell Aarons is getting acclimated to be the full-time starting quarterback this year after splitting time at quarterback and receiver last season. He and receiver Pearson Vanhorn seem to have developed a camaraderie during the 7-on-7 tournaments and hope it can carry over to the season.
But one area Lassiter is looking to resolve at this point is the lack of consistency, especially on defense. It would make a couple of back-to-back stops in the tournament and then would give up a long touchdown play.
“I’m pleased with how we did for the most part,” Irwin said. “We had some letdowns that we’re trying to avoid. At times we’re real good and at other times, we struggle with consistency.”
Lassiter will be at camp at Mercer for the next three days before reporting for duty Friday.