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Football: Inaugural District 203 and 204 jamboree passes muster

Waubonsie Valley's Jonathan Fizer runs for an extrpoint against Naperville Central during Jersey Mike's 7-on-7 Football Jamboree Naperville Friday. |

Waubonsie Valley's Jonathan Fizer runs in for an extra point against Naperville Central during the Jersey Mike's 7-on-7 Football Jamboree in Naperville on Friday. | Mike Mantucca ~ For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: August 15, 2013 7:04AM

Burgers, brats and hot dogs might be the typical football tailgate fare, but the aroma of Jersey Mike’s Famous Steak Philly outdid the tightest spirals and provided the sweetest aroma during Friday’s inaugural 7-on-7 District 203 and 204 Passing Jamboree.

Metea Valley, Naperville Central, Naperville North, Neuqua Valley and Waubonsie Valley all participated in the competition which saw the squads square off in a round-robin tournament. The varsity played for 22 minutes, followed by the junior varsity for 8 minutes. A running clock was utilized all evening.

Host Naperville Central went undefeated to claim top honors, although the competition was shortened because of a light malfunction during the final two games: Neuqua Valley vs. Metea Valley and Waubonsie Valley vs. Naperville North.

In addition, the Waubonsie Valley-Metea Valley game ended in a 19-19 draw.

“We were looking to do something as a showcase and to show that we’re not afraid to play each other,” Naperville Central coach Mike Stine said. “We decided to keep score to still have a competition to get a better idea of what we’re going up against, even though what happened has no bearing on the regular season.”

The 7-on-7 competition was played on the varsity field, albeit shortened and with passing as the featured offense. Naperville Central defeated Waubonsie Valley 15-9, edged Metea Valley 22-18, slipped past Neuqua Valley 20-18 and then recorded a 13-5 win over Naperville North to complete a perfect evening.

Other scores included Naperville North beating Metea Valley, 23-2; Neuqua Valley handling the Huskies, 24-15; and Metea Valley and Neuqua Valley failing to complete their game due to a lengthy injury which didn’t halt the running clock.

The scores, though, weren’t what this night was all about — it was more about showcasing what the fall will have to offer the local football fans. Dozens of youth football players and local citizens filled the stands.

“Each team had at least 50 kids and we had a nice crowd so hopefully this is something we keep going,” Waubonsie Valley coach Paul Murphy said. “We know that all these kids played together in youth sports so it only made sense to let them play against each other again when winning or losing doesn’t matter.

“Plus, you can see what you got and go from there.”

Mark Cross, owner of several Jersey Mike’s in the DuPage area, was on hand along with a few of his employees, along with grills and plenty of the restaurant’s ever-popular subs.

Cross, who played college football at Northeast Missouri State, also covered the expense of the T-shirts worn by the players on each of the teams.

“I take great pride to give back to athletes in the community,” he said.

“I think as we continue to grow this event, it’s an ideal situation for everyone in the community to come out and preview the teams one month before the games start and see the top athletes. This is a special time in Naperville.”

Especially when you’re watching football and munching on a Steak Philly.

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