Nixa football

Reid Potts fires a pass downfield during Nixa's mini-camp Thursday.

Reid Potts appropriately likes to read, defenses that is. He doesn’t get a better chance to do so, at least while in the pocket, than during 7-on-7 sessions.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that Nixa junior quarterback loves 7-on-7 ball in June.

“It’s awesome,” Potts said. ”That’s one of my favorite things during the summer. It’s a great opportunity to read the defense. You don’t have all the linemen and pass rushers coming at you. You get to sit back there and pick apart the defense.”

Coach Rich Rehagen appreciates that Potts places a value on 7-on-7.

“7-on-7 is a time when a quarterback can see what’s going in the passing game,” Rehagen said. “Every time you go out and work you want to accomplish something. Our games are so far away,. But if we’re going to go and do something like 7-on-7, let’s be productive with it. I see that out of Reid.”

The Eagles had the first of four 7-on-7 sessions earlier this week at Kickapoo against the Chiefs and Springfield Catholic. 

“It was a lot of knocking off the rust,” Potts said. “But it went well. We made some mistakes, but also made some big plays. We don’t know a lot of our passing game, yet, Some of the new guys were learning it. Overall, I think we did pretty good for our first 7 on 7.”

Potts hooked up with newcomer Evann Long for a pair of touchdowns.

Long plans on being a three-sport athlete as a senior, adding football to his duties as a defensive dynamo on the basketball court and a shortstop on the baseball field.

Potts will be a new starter for Nixa, but has varsity experience behind center. During his sophomore season last fall, he spelled starter Hunter Crabtree and ignited an Eagles rally by throwing three touchdowns in a Class 5 District 6 semifinal loss at Parkview.

“At the end of the year, I was getting used to the speed of the varsity game,” Potts said. “There’s a big speed difference between jayvee and varsity. “

Graduation hit Nixa’s offense hard. The Eagles will feature many new starters at the skill positions. Potts predicts Caleb Pierce will emerge as a key component offensively.

“I’m excited about Caleb Pierce,” Potts said. ‘He’s a big guy and a great athlete. He can be a very good weapon for us. I think he’ll have a pretty good highlight reel by the end of the year.”

Potts already has experience throwing to most of his receivers, having played with them as Nixa’s starting jayvee quarterback last year. He’s worked on strengthening their communication leading up to summer workouts. 

“I’ve thrown quite a bit in the off-season and am definitely way better than I was last year, I feel,” he said. “I get with at least one of the receivers every week. We throw a lot and run a lot of the routes, so I can get their timing down. I think we’ll be pretty good in the passing game.”

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