Charlottesville High School football coach Eric Sherry knows motivating his players for the first-ever Scrimmage Play 7-on-7 tournament won't be a problem.
"Anytime you get to play a Monticello, it's going to make it pretty easy for our kids. And their kids the same way," said Sherry. "Because you can go out and play backgammon, and they're going to compete against each other, just because of the nature of who the schools are."
The two Jefferson District rivals are among the five teams playing in Saturday's tournament at CHS. Orange County, Goochland, and James Monroe round out the field. Games are set to begin at 10 a.m.
Sherry got a look at his 2013 team at last weekend's 7-on-7 camp at the University of Virginia. Monticello -- entering its first season under new head coach Jeff Woody -- had to back out of the UVa camp.
So Woody likes Saturday's opportunity to get to know his new players.
"It's good for us right now, so that they can get to know me and my style. Get to know this new offense and this new defense that we're putting in," Woody explained. "We're trying to get out there. We're trying to figure things out. Have a good time, and at the same time evaluate talent."
Both coaches say the biggest benefit of the 7-on-7 setting is the groundwork it allows teams to start laying for the upcoming season.
"You get to see who you got," Woody said. "You get to improve on your skills that you do have. And it builds camaraderie. They hang with each other. They develop those good relationships with each other, as well as with the coaching staff."
"Even if the execution isn't there," said Sherry, "the nomenclature, the verbiage is all getting cemented in with these kids, which makes it easier come August 1st."