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Lumber One 7-on-7 tourney Friday 6/9/22

Lumber One 7-on-7 tourney Friday

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


Build it and they will come. 


Bryan Smith didn’t use those words exactly but he’s put together another formidable 7-on-7 tournament. 


Twelve teams will descend on Airedale Stadium Friday as part of Smith’s Lumber One Airedale 7-on-7 Showcase. 


Seven of the eight 7A-West teams, including state finalist Fayetteville, signed on for the tournament. Perennial power Greenwood is also coming.


“We feel like it’s an elite 7-on-7 tournament for the state of Arkansas,” Alma coach Rusty Bush said. “The teams that we were able to pull out of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley are really good football programs with a lot of tradition.”


The one-day event will include a number of stellar quarterbacks, including Alma’s Joe Trusty. The right-handed slinger threw for 2,192 yards and 19 touchdowns last season, including 1,565 yards and 17 touchdowns in 5A-West play.  


Greenwood’s Hunter Houston (3,080 yards and 26 touchdowns) will also be on display Friday.  


“We’ve had a really good (summer) so far,” Bush said. “We’ve had great attendance, which is what you’re looking for.”


Bush said he saw a glimmer of greatness last week at the Greenwood Team Camp. 


“Last week, I don’t think we competed with anybody for one second, and this year I thought we went over there with a great mindset and a great mentality,” he said. “We competed with Fayetteville, Greenwood, Rogers, Russellville … and everybody much larger than us.”


Bush said he was especially encouraged by the way his kids competed on a physical level.


“Our kids went in there and felt like they belonged there, which is something we haven’t had in two and a half years,” he said. “We competed from a physical standpoint.” 


In addition to Fayetteville and Greenwood, both of whom reached the state finals last season (Fayetteville losing to Bryant in the 7A championship and Greenwood getting upset by El Dorado in the 6A finals), 7A-West foes Bentonville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville West, Southside and Rogers Heritage will be in Alma. 


Other squads include Northside, Green Forest, and Barton. 


“I think it says a lot about Alma, the community, and our school when the big schools don’t mind coming here,” Bush said. “The big stadium, the turf, and we’ve got great people to run this thing starting with Bryan Smith.”