Football: Matt Alviti guides Maine South to hot start in national 7-on-7 tournament
Updated: July 26, 2012 8:59PM
Matt Alviti and Maine South wasted no time proving themselves at the National Select 7-on-7 Championships in Hoover, Ala.
Playing at the tournament for a second time in three years, the rising senior quarterback led the Hawks to two big wins early Thursday before the team finished the first day of pool play 2-2.
“I felt good throwing the ball all day against this good competition,” said Alviti, a Northwestern recruit. “We played great in the first two games. We came out hot, and the offense was looking really good.
“I knew we could come down here and compete with the best of them.”
One of three teams from the Chicago area in the 32-team field, Maine South opened with a 35-13 win over Page (N.C.), one of six defending state champions at the tournament. The Hawks then beat North Gwinnett (Ga.) 36-10.
“We started out on fire,” Maine South coach Dave Inserra said. “Then, we went flat.”
The Hawks lost to Hoover 28-19 before falling to Sherman (Texas) 25-14. Sherman ended up 4-0 for the day.
“We were playing with a nice confidence in the first two games, but I think we maybe got too prideful going into that third game. We went in big-chested and left deflated.”
Inserra liked the play from receiver George Sajenko, linebacker Noah Meyer and cornerback Nate Gruber.
“Noah’s a tremendous player for us, and he’s our go-to guy defensively,” the coach said. “Nate came up with some big plays in the two games, too. He’s a little guy who plays smart and with a big heart.”
Maine South plays Thomas Jefferson (Penn.), Foley (Ala.) and Evangel Christian (La.) on Friday morning to close out pool play. The teams then are seeded 1-32, and bracket plays starts in the afternoon.
Through three games on Thursday, Elk Grove was 1-2 and Wheaton Warrenville South was 0-3.