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Princeton to host 16-team 7-on-7/Lineman Challenge Saturday

PHS senior Danny Cihocki steers clear of  Bureau Valley's Eli Attig during Monday's 7 on 7 at Little Siberia.

Princeton will be the hot bed for some summer football on Saturday.

Sixteen teams around north central Illinois will be competing in Saturday’s 7-on-7/Lineman Challenge on Saturday at Princeton.

Princeton coach Ryan Pearson said there will be a nice mix of teams, including locals LaSalle-Peru, Mendota, Morris, Dixon, Ottawa Marquette, Streator and Morrison.

“We’ve got some bigger schools like Morris, Dunlap, LaSalle-Peru, Dixon. And I know we got some 1A schools, like Ottawa Marquette and Morrison,” Pearson said. “It should be a lot of fun.”

Mendota and Mercer County are newcomers to the field. Other teams in the field are Eureka (2 teams), Eastland-Pearl City and Durand-Pecatonica.

Mendota coach Keegan Hill is looking forward to the Trojans’ new adventure.

“We are getting things rolling after coming off the 4th of July week. Saturday will be competitive, fun and we will get to improve in the passing game, defensive coverages and the lineman challenge,” he said.

PHS will also field its F/S team, Pearson said.

Games will be played at both Bryant Field and Little Siberia.

This will be the third 7-on-7 this week for the Tigers, who hosted Bureau Valley and Annawan-Wethersfield on Monday and played at Stark County, Pearson’s alma mater, on Wednesday.

While 7-on-7s are contested without linemen, the big boys up front will still get their time to shine with the lineman challenge.

They will compete in five events Pearson said - the 185 rep bench press, the 275-pound farmers carry, a 5 x 4 relay and the plate push before finishing with the popular tug of war.

The linemen have had this date circled on their calendar since it came out.

“They’ve looking forward to that for a long time. It’s their time to shine,” Pearson said.

Both the 7-on-7 and Lineman Challenge will kick off at 9 a.m.

Games of note: Princeton will play L-P out of the gates at 9 a.m. on the North field at Bryant Field. The Tigers will also play Dunlap, Du-Pec, Eureka, Morrison and Streator. Other games of local interest include Dixon vs. Mendota and Streator vs. Morris at 9 a.m., Marquette vs. Morrison at 9:45 a.m., Mendota vs. Streator and Morris vs. Dixon at 11:15 a.m., Mendota vs. Morris, Dixon vs. Streator and L-P vs. Marquette at 12:45 p.m.