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March 4, 2013
The Las Vegas Sevens didn't enter the New Level Athletics/Badger Sports 7-on-7 tournament in Las Vegas with a lot of big names but by the end of the tournament they had to be walking around with plenty of confidence.
With a team featuring lesser known prospects, the LV7 finished the tournament of 46 team playing in the championship with a shot to walk away with the crown.
Highlighted by Nevada Top 25 prospects Antraye Johnson of Basic and Tim Hough of Desert Pines, the team bounced back from a first day loss to Luke Rubenzer's led Arizona squad to roll to a bunch of clutch victories.
Unheralded, Canyon Springs (North Las Vegas) quarterback Stevie Farmer came up with plenty of late competition heroics tossing three game winning passes in five contest Sunday.
On the other end of those passes were a group of pass catchers looking to make a name. Green Valley's Kyler Chavez (Henderson, NV) hauled in a game winner in round three while Faith Lutheran (Las Vegas, NV) tight end Hayden Solis made his presence known in the fifth round to carry the team to a shot at the championship.
The team of underdogs didn't break under pressure in the semi-final in a triple overtime battle With Farmer making his third game ending toss of the day striking Basic's Aaron Bashaw in the end zone.
After strutting into the final, the LV7 finally fell but left the tournament with plenty to beat their chest about and a great experience to build on next football season. Many in attendance were surprised that a team featuring few player with current offer had made it that far but the LV7 crew walked away with the feeling they can play with anyone.
For the LV7, Johnson and Hough made an impression with their ability to make plays downfield. Both player are outstanding athletes that have the ability to make plays on either side of the ball and should have bright futures on the football field.
Canyon Springs' Farmer had the opportunity to grow up as a quarterback by making smart decisions in the cutch. Despite leading the Pioneers in passing yards as a junior, Farmer is a player that needed a lot of growth towards becoming a playmaker down the stretch struggling in situations last season. He has a loaded group of weapons on his high school team that could make him one of the most productive players in the valley.
Three players that will need to grow on the field for their programs that came up big are Bishop Gorman's Kenyan Coker, Solis and Chavez. All play for teams that are expected to be very competitive and could be on the tip of quite a few tongues with big seasons.
Overall, the LV7 made it further than any local team in such a major off-season tournament and will be looking to continue to build a strong resume.
(Remaining Roster: RB Eric Wilkes Desert Pines, WR/DB Albert Lake Green Valley, WR/DB Chris Hibbard Basic, WR Trent Dolby Faith Lutheran, WR Nick Nielson Bishop Gorman)