Wilson’s catch highlights first 7-on-7

Published 9:34 am Thursday, July 2, 2015

If it had happened in late August, September, October or November, it would undoubtably make the top-five list for catches of the year.

Mason Wilson’s one-handed, falling-on-his-back catch against East Rowan in a seven-on-seven scrimmage was insane. It was ridiculous. It was one of those where you punch the guy beside you and go: “Holy moley!”

It happened on June 24, several weeks before the scoreboard comes on and the lights light up. But it was certainly fun to watch. Mason’s older brother, Spencer, told assistant coach Blaine Nicholson that Mason practices one-handed catches all the time. No one’s disputing that.

“He pulled an Odell Beckham,” coach Devore Holman said of the New York Giants receiver who made one of the greatest catches ever last year against the Cowboys. “It was a one-handed catch.”

“That was a good one,” offensive coordinator Todd Bumgarner said. “He has improved a lot and that was a heck of a catch.”

Adam Smith has a year remaining at Guilford, and he hopes to play the game beyond 2015. But from the sound of his commentary in the film room, he could have a future in coaching. Because he found something on Mason’s one-handed catch that could help him the next time he runs that route.

“Adam told him: ‘Hey, great catch, great effort. But next time if you keep running, you don’t have to stop your feet, turn around and catch it one-handed,’” Holman said with a laugh.

Last year Ben Ellis carried Davie as much as he could, setting a single-season record with 1,191 receiving yards. That was one of many records he set. His exploits were overshadowed by a 6-6 finish.

This year he’ll be catching spirals from Chris Reynolds, who looked to be in midseason form in the first seven-on-seven of the summer. Every time you looked up, Reynolds and Ellis were hooking up way down the field.

“They gave us a lot of two high safeties, and Ben was able to knock the top off of the back of it, and of course Chris has got an excellent arm,” Holman said. “Those guys worked real hard in the offseason. They’ve spent a lot of time together throwing and catching the football. They’ve developed chemistry, so they’re thinking the same things and they were able to connect. I look forward to that being real good for our team.”

“I don’t know how good East Rowan is, but there’s going to be a lot of teams that can’t stay with Ben Ellis,” Bumgarner said. “And Chris can throw the deep ball with the best of them. He’ll hit you dead in stride.”

There was a lot to like from the scrimmage as a whole.

“I really liked the way we got after it,” Holman said. “Our kids’ effort was great, and that’s what I look for more than anything. We seem to be working on executing what we teach. We’ve got a long ways to go yet, but we got a good start toward that.”

Smith, who had a spectacular season as Davie’s quarterback in 2011, has been coaching at Davie as part of an internship, and his presence has been a blessing, Holman said.

“He does a heck of a job,” he said. “I’m going to miss him when he goes back to Guilford. Because he’s playing the game right now, the kids soak up everything he says, and he has made us better.”

This is a dead week, so there are no football workouts between June 29-July 2.

July 6 is a strength and conditioning day. Davie will practice July 7. On July 8, the o-line and d-line will go through strength and conditioning, while the skill players will play a seven-on-seven at Atkins at 10 a.m. Davie will practice July 9.

The routine will be the same July 13-16, with Davie playing a seven-on-seven at Northeast Guilford on July 14. The week of July 20 is another dead week.

Davie’s annual team camp at Catawba will be July 24-26. The first official practice will be Aug. 1.