Monday, July 15, 2024

Mission team wins Passing League title

Valley Press | July 3, 2024 12:00 AM

Mission pun intended. 

The eighth edition of the Superior Passing League football experience came to a head last week with the five-on-five passing group from Mission High claiming the championship in Superior.

The Bulldogs went up against host Superior in the championship game of the no-pads tournament and outscored the Bobcats for the title. 

The tournament offered a limited sneak preview of several teams prior to the start of the regular season this August.

A total of nine area teams participated in the championship conclusion to the every Monday evening "league”, a creation of Superior High head football coach Jeff Schultz. 

“It was a good tournament and a good event this year,” Schultz said.  “From the looks of things, it will be a great year for football in this area.” 

Mission quarterback Titan Inman had a particularly good championship run, as did Superior sophomore Landon Richards.  Both quarterbacks took advantage of speedy wide outs to advance through the early stages of the tournament. 

Superior beat Seeley and Plains to reach the championship game, while tournament winner Mission knocked off Charlo and Darby on its way to the title game. 

The games were played under mostly clear skies on a comfortable night temperature wise in Superior, prompting one coach to say “this is like Fall football weather.”

Teams played five-on-five pass-oriented games on 40-yard stretches of the Superior field.  During the early going of the events, each game lasted 20 minutes.  However, for the championship turnout of nine teams (11 were originally expected) the games were cut to 17 minutes each. 

“We had to trim the playing time otherwise we would have been playing under the lights,” Schultz said. The ball was “snapped” from the 40 yard line, allowing two games to be played in opposite directions at the same time. 

Schultz is credited with coming up with the idea as a way of keeping football skills from rusting over the summer and to provide a fun outlet for fans, players and coaches. 

“I love football,” Schultz said. “The idea is to keep the boys competing in football, working on their skills, being a team and having fun.” 

Those goals were met and exceeded. 

Teams paid $100 entry fees to participate in the tournament.  Those funds were used for field maintenance, payment for referees and other related expenses. 

“This is really good to be part of,” said Superior grad William Buchanan, who refereed several games during the “season.”  “Everyone is having a fun.” 

Mission accomplished.

    A Plains defender goes high to swat away a possible touchdown pass during the Horsemen's Passing League game versus Darby last Monday in Superior. (Chuck Bandel/VP-MI)
    Plains quarterback Greg Tatum prepares to launch a pass downfield during the Horsemen's game versus Darby in the five-on-five Passing League tournament in Superior. (Chuck Bandel/VP-MI)