There are a lot of new faces on the Winter Park 7-on-7 squad this summer. But the result was no different than last summer.
The Wildcats rolled through the USF Sling and Shoot tournament with a 15-0 record, winning the championship game 26-12 over Tampa Plant I and making their two year record at the USF tourney 30-0.
Three different players scored touchdowns for Winter Park. Transfer quarterback Asiantii Woulard hooked up with Xavier Amerson to start the game, and then he hit Gabe McClary and then went to Mr. Dependable late in the game.
Dvario Montgomery (6-4, 200) became the go-to guy and Plant couldn’t cover him. Woulard was using him on short possession catches, and finally found him in the end zone for the final TD. When Montgomery is locked in, he almost never drops a ball.
Throw it to him in traffic and he uses his strong arms and hands to snare the ball and keep defenders from slapping it down. Throw it deep, and the big guy shows his speed, chasing the ball down and getting behind the defender. Throw it to him high and he uses his great jumping ability to go up and get the ball.
The plays of the game, however, were arguably made by one of those new faces in rising sophomore Blake McClain. He had two picks, both in the end zone, which not only stopped Plant drives, but also added to Winter Park’s tallies with each pick amounting to three points at this tourney.
McClain showed up late on Saturday because of an SAT test, and Winter Park had started out sluggish. He stepped in made an interception on his first play, and the whole atmosphere changed for the Wildcats. His teammates even started chanting his name following the clinching interception late in the title game.
So he must have been team MVP?
“Oh I don’t know about that,” McClain said. “You know how those guys are.”
And they’re getting a good look at how McClain is this summer. The rising sophomore had already started all games last year as a freshman, but did so very quietly. He’s a quiet person, but his actions on the field speak far larger than words.
For the tournament he had 8 interceptions and both Amerson and Montgomery had about 20 touchdowns each.
Another familiar face from last year is defensive stalwart Bobby Van Warner, a middle linebacker who runs the defense with on the field checks.
“If you don’t count last week at UCF, we haven’t lost a 7-on-7 game since I’ve been on the team, so that’s pretty cool,” Van Warner said of the 60-plus games Winter Park has won over the past two summers.
Woulard likes the weapons he has.
“It’s really great,” he said. “I have dominant receivers on the outside and the inside. “[Montgomery and Xavier] … it’s awesome. I just throw the ball up in the air and my receivers will go up and get it 9 times out of 10.”
Check back for a breakdown of the entire tournament on Monday at OrlandoSentinel.com/recruiting.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.