The development aspect of the 7-on-7 round-robin that takes place at Leo Buckley Stadium each Tuesday is particularly important for Killeen ISD teams this offseason.
That is because all but one KISD school, Harker Heights, will have a new starter under center when the regular season kicks off in the fall.
Keondre Parker is expected to be one as he takes over the reigns at Killeen.
While Parker can’t use one of his strengths, his legs, in 7-on-7, he said he is still benefitting greatly from the extra reps after spending last season at wide receiver and cornerback.
“It’s good because I’m getting used to the quarterback role because I didn’t play a lot of it last year,” Parker said. “And the more I get out here, the more I get to work with my receivers, the more we get chemistry with each other.”
Chemistry is huge for these quarterbacks as they not only assume an increased role but also must jell with teammates they likely played alongside sparingly last season.
For Demetrius Taylor, who is vying for the starting role at Shoemaker, chemistry is key.
“We just try to always be on the same page,” Taylor said. “We try to play within our roles — don’t try to outshine anybody.”
Then there is Ellison, which has perhaps the highest-profile competition with Jacob Ledford, who saw quality playing time last season, battling Carl Robinson III for the starting spot.
Ellison head coach Trent
Gregory said the competition will likely continue into the fall, which is fine with Ledford, who rotated with Robinson in between playing snaps at receiver Tuesday.
“I think it’s pretty fun, actually,” Ledford said. “I’m a competition guy, so I like a little competition to keep me going.
“Carl is doing good, we’re all doing good; it’s just we’ve all got to make some team chemistry and come together and we’ll be good.”
And, of course, there is the lone returning starter in Heights’ Troy Smith.
Smith was once in the same position as each of these quarterbacks, having taken over the starting position as a sophomore.
But now the rising senior is an elder statesman of sorts, a role that he is relishing this offseason.
“It feels good now that I know everything and I can actually pass down stuff to the younger kids,” Smith said, “and actually show them how things are supposed to be run and how things are supposed to flow and that you’re supposed to work as a team and not argue with each other.”
Every KISD quarterback seemed to be buying into that message Tuesday.
But playing it out on the field is a different animal -- which is why every 7-on-7 rep was important for the group of young quarterbacks.