Warren Easton football team wins title at 7-on-7 tournament _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- After defeating West Feliciana High School, Warren Easton players and coach Jerry Phillips, left, celebrate after winning the finals of the Adidas 7-on-7 tournament Friday at St. Amant High.

ST. AMANT — One Gatorade bath later, Warren Easton coach Jerry Phillips thought he had torn his hamstring.

“They attempted it,” Phillips laughed.

As Warren Easton and West Feliciana shook hands after the adidas/Airo 7-on-7 tournament at St. Amant High School concluded in a Warren Easton 20-12 victory, Phillips’ attempt to escape failed as he “tweaked” his hamstring before the Eagles hoisted their first trophy this summer.

After a semifinal loss at Southern Mississippi’s 7-on-7 tournament earlier this month, Warren Easton will return to New Orleans to compete in the New Orleans Saints’ 7-on-7 competition beginning Saturday. The Eagles will participate in another tournament July 14-16 in Hoover, Alabama.

But claiming the title in their second tournament this summer relieved Phillips.

“We’ve got a big trophy case, and I want to fill it,” Phillips said.

On Friday, Warren Easton struck first against West Feliciana on a throw by sophomore quarterback Lance Legendre.

Legendre, who tossed two touchdowns in the final, is a work in progress as a quarterback, Phillips said.

“This is good work for him,” he said. “We’re going to need this experience going into the season.”

The Eagles and Saints traded interceptions roughly midway through Friday’s championship before Warren Easton lofted a touchdown into the corner of the end zone to lock in the win.

To Phillips and West Feliciana coach Robb Odom, the experience against Louisiana’s top talent was pivotal for their team’s progress.

“We’re a run team, but we’ve got the athletes to do whatever we want to,” Odom said. “We’ve never been in a 7-on-7 tournament before, so I’m so proud of how we competed. We got better.”

For never being in a 7-on-7 tournament, the eighth-seeded Saints — the lowest seed in Friday’s bracket — had to trudge through.

The Saints defeated No. 1 LaGrange and No. 4 Breaux Bridge on Friday morning before losing to No. 2 Warren Easton.

“From where we came from, we did pretty good,” West Feliciana senior Keondre Davis said.

“We were a low seed, and we beat some higher seeds. I’m glad I got to experience this. It was fun.”

Davis, a defensive back, said the constant running and defending high-caliber wide receiver prospects throughout the week helped the Saints’ run-heavy offense behind Ronald Sims III, who has offers from Louisiana-based schools and another from Army.

Despite the championship loss, Odom left Friday’s finals pleased.

“All your can ask for is a chance,” Odom said. “They worked their tails off.”