It was as if Havelock coach Caleb King was his son being let loose on a playground Friday as the Rams hosted a multi-school "Bash at the Beach" 7-on-7 football event.
King thrives on competition and enjoys being on the football field as a paradise of his.
In 7-on-7s, there is no lines (offensive or defensive) and tackling does not take place, just two-hand touch, although sometimes momentum and speed causes collisions.
While Havelock returns a lot of talent from last year's 13-2 team, but King the consummate "we can always get better" coach, said he takes to 7-on-7s for one purpose.
"Reps, reps, reps, reps, reps," he said when asked what his team gets from the event.
"Anytime you can go against high-caliber programs, it does nothing but make you better."
King had seven other schools at the event including D.H. Conley, Kinston, J.H. Rose, his former team East Carteret, Washington, Jones Senior and Laney.
The only one of those teams on the Rams' schedule for this year is Rose, a week four opponent.
King had his team split into two teams, one in black jerseys and the other in wearing white.
"We ran two teams and this event gives us a chance to see how kids' attitudes are and how the coachability is," he said.
"We want to see who can play and who has paid attention in practices and workouts because going up against competition, you're going to get exposed if not."
Games were going on with two on Havelock's actual game field and then the rest on the practice field plot on the right of the school.
While many coaches have different thoughts on 7-on-7 events, some like them, some hate them, King said you have to embrace them for what they are.
"You have to use it as a tool, a tool to get better," he said.
"It's all about improvement."
Havelock will open its season on August 18th at home against West Craven, which is now a nonconference game with the Eagles dropping to the 2A ranks.
Jordan Honeycutt can be reached at 252-635-5670 or at firstname.lastname@example.org