7-on-7 team enhances skill set of local players

Piedmont Select has been showcasing some of the best talent the Triad has to offer for five years.

7-on-7 team enhances skill set of local players
December 12
01:15 2019

Over the last 20 years, 7-on-7 teams have really helped to develop skill position players at an earlier age. For Triad football players, Piedmont Select has been one of the premiere 7-on-7 teams in the area for five years.

On Sunday, Dec. 8, Piedmont Select held tryouts for their 15 and under and 18 and under teams.They have continually grown over the last half decade and their teams have representatives from all Forsyth County high school teams. Over 50 kids came out to try out for the team.

Piedmont Select searches for kids who exemplify talent on the field of play, but also have high character as well. They do not limit their selections to high profile players, as they realize there are a lot of hidden gems playing back-up roles on teams.

“Our main focus is development, but in the 7-on-7 game, you have to come as a skill player, but we are more so for the development,” said Ameer Watkins, offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. “The tournaments we go to are for exposure, but it’s a by-product of what we do during the season as far as getting these kids in more of a mechanical and athletic position to play their known position when they return to their middle school or high school.”

The knowledge of the coaching staff is one of the best things Piedmont Select has to offer their players, said Watkins. Head Coach Erik Puryear has put together a very knowledgeable staff that has tremendous experience playing and coaching the game.

“The biggest thing is we have so much knowledge between the coaching staff we have,” he said. “All of our coaching staff has played high school and professional football. A lot of them have coached on every level, including myself. So, with that plethora of knowledge they get from us, we see it this year with guys who have played on our 15 and under team and they went to high school being freshmen and they have come back and we can see how much they have improved.

“A lot of these kids we follow throughout the season and we do like to track stats and we are always available to send out information to colleges they may be interested in as well.”

Piedmont Select has a 10-game season and the most important thing they provide to their players is exposure, said Watkins. Allowing players who may not be starters to have some game film to show coaches is a major benefit to them, according to Watkins.

“If you were not a starter, but a backup, you did not have a lot of film to show colleges if you plan on playing on the next level,” Watkins said. “We give them that extra bit of film that they can see and stats they can take with them even if they are not starters on their own team.

“They also get to travel and play against the best talent, not only in the area like we did in our era, but they get to play against the players from Texas, Georgia, Alabama and Virginia, so they can gauge themselves where they need to improve and bring that back home.”

Piedmont Select plays in the National 7v7 Football Association. They are sponsored by IMG. Watkins said that level of competition allows his players to develop and has assisted in garnering several scholarships over the years.

Throughout the years, Watkins has enjoyed assisting in developing local talent because it was not available when he was in high school.  

“I want them to get the stuff that I never did. It’s kind of like your kids, I want them to be better than I ever was,” he said. “I take all the knowledge that I have ever gained and I still work at it, but I read books, go to seminars and go to camps and give it back to them, so when they get that college scholarship, it really brings joy to my heart and they will remember that.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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