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Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Albany High School defensive back James Williams Jr.,  left, breaks up a pass in the end zone to Denham Springs High's D.J. Williams, right, at a seven-on-seven game  June 22 at Denham Springs High School. Local players are preparing for the upcoming season.

Football players hone skills on break

Football season won’t get underway for another couple of months, but players from Livingston Parish schools spent the past few weeks honing their skills in 7-on-7 action.

Quarterbacks and defensive backs usually have the most to gain during competitions that also include linebackers, wide receivers and running backs and that focus on the passing game.

Walker, Denham Springs and Live Oak all hosted 7-on-7 events Wednesdays during June, with an eye on making improvements ahead of fall camp.

“You could see improvement from week to week,” Denham Springs coach Dru Nettles said. “That’s what you want to see from your guys. Every rep you take out there is a new rep. Every rep is a benefit.”

Denham Springs quarterbacks Cameron Feucht and Parker Simoneaux continued their battle behind center to replace Torez Kinchen, a three-year starter, after both players saw action late in 2015 after Kinchen suffered a season-ending shoulder injury.

Nettles liked what he saw from both quarterbacks but said the two remain neck-and-neck going into the fall.

In fact, he expects both to play.

“Both offer different things for us,” Nettles said. “We’ll utilize their skill sets how we feel necessary, and then we’ll see how the team comes together around them.”

Outside of the quarterback position, Nettles said running back Tyre Golmond and versatile wide receiver/defensive back Hunter Scott have not only continued to make plays but also have developed into two of the Yellow Jackets’ team leaders.

“The best thing is they are two guys who work hard,” Nettles said of Golmond and Scott, “and that’s what you want from your best players.”

While the Yellow Jackets have an ongoing quarterback competition, Walker has settled on rising senior Jacobi Scott as its starter based on his performance during spring practice.

Junior-to-be Dalton Moore was the odd man out but has found a home this summer in the Walker secondary as a free safety.

Coach Brandon Lawley said Moore, a standout on the basketball team, was one of the players who benefited most from the 7-on-7 events and that his instincts and athleticism have made the move to defense a rather natural one.

He still expects Moore to see some action behind center, too, in special situations.

“He’s one of the top two or three athletes on the field for us,” Lawley said. “There are some series we will have scripted for him.”

As for Jacobi Scott, Lawley said he has developed into something of a coach on the field and is poised for a big year.

The new starter served as the backup in 2015 to Terry Bozeman, who passed for over 6,000 yards the past two seasons.

“He’s just super comfortable,” Lawley said. “He knows where everybody is supposed to be. He knows it backward and forward.”

At Live Oak, senior Ryan Morris returns for his second season as the starter after helping Live Oak to a 7-5 mark last year.

But because the Eagles utilize a run-heavy offensive attack that is hard to simulate during the 7-on-7 competitions, they usually see more benefits on the defensive side of the ball.

Live Oak’s defense returns one starter in the secondary and two starters overall.

Cedatol in Boise

Only a few weeks after finishing his career with Southeastern Louisiana University, Denham Springs High grad Kyle Cedatol found himself working out of the bullpen for the Single-A Boise (Idaho) Hawks of the Northwest League.

Cedatol made his pro debut against the Eugene Emeralds on June 19, tossing two scoreless innings in relief and allowing one hit. He struck out two and walked none.

Cedatol had made four appearances for the Hawks by month’s end.

Taken in the 20th round by Colorado Rockies with the 590th pick of the MLB first-year player draft, Cedatol is a 6-foot-1-inch left-hander who as a senior helped Southeastern earn an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament.

Scott Hotard covers sports for The Livingston-Tangipahoa Advocate. He can be contacted at shotard44@gmail.com or livingston@theadvocate.com.