BRANSON, Mo--The high school football season will kick off in six weeks across the Show-Me State.
But a handful of teams got a taste of competition Thursday in Branson.
KOLR 10's Matt Vereen has more on a seven on seven tournament featuring a handful of area teams.
With the players back on the field, the brats back on the grill and the fans back in the stands, you might have thought high school football season was already back in Branson.
And for 24 local teams, that was the point.
"Your kids are getting in shape. They're learning how to align in certain formations defensively. They're learning your pass concepts offensively. I think it really helps you get ahead of the game once the season starts," said Branson coach Anthony Hays.
But these workouts came with a twist, competitive seven versus seven games pitting teams from Missouri and Arkansas against each other.
"I think the biggest thing is it prepares you for competition. We're keeping score. These games are only 20 minutes and they're intense. It's kind of a microcosm of a real game."
"Now, unlike the football you'll see come regular season, this one hand touch and you only have to get to the endzone from the 35 yard line. Making it more like the football you play on Thanksgiving against your family," said KOLR 10's Matt Vereen.
"The kids love it. They get to go play football. They get to throw and catch and have fun. You're right, it's kind of like that game on Thanksgiving out in the front yard. It's a fun time and I know our kids enjoy it so that's why we put things like this on," said Hays.
"Preparing for competition: it gives us an idea of what other school's are going to be looking like this year. And like you said, it's fun. Just kind of having fun," said Branson safety Collin Andrews.
But even with all the fun and friendly competition, we're only six weeks away from these schools facing off for real.
In Branson, Matt Vereen. KOLR 10 Sports. Ozarks First.
The Branson Pirates won the seven on seven competition.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark--The Springfield Cardinals continued their road trip in Little Rock Thursday night.
And it's been a rough second half to the Texas League season for Johnny Rodriguez's birds.
Springfield is 3-9 since the All-Star break.
It was Harry Potter night in Little Rock, and in the fourth inning the Travs pitcher was in trouble, Jeremey Martinez would jump on this pitch and take it deep to left, a two run shot it's 2-nothing Cardinals.
Arkansas flashing the leather in the fifth, the drive to center, but Beau Amaral chases it down for the out.
Springfield adds to it's lead later in that fifth, Evan Mendoza sneaks one through into center, Blake Drake scores it's 3-0 Springfield.
Bottom half, Travs Chris Marical singles to center, Amaral scores it's 3-one.
And Arkansas goes onto win 6-5.
The Big League Cards and Royals had the night off.
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (AP) - The Latest from the British Open (all…
Late night entertainment for the Springfield Cardinals. And one…
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Johan Miases's walk off grand slam in the…