Eugene, Ore. -- Just two years into existence, the MVP Performance Center has become a hub for local high school football players in southern Oregon hoping to play at the next level. Over the weekend, the 7 on 7 team went to the prestigious Pylon tournament in Nevada, and won. To do it, they beat the top team in Washington and the Pacific Northwest: Heir Football.
"It was our first tournament win so far," says MVP 7 on 7 Director Matt Quinn, excitedly. "This is only our second year, but to go into Pylon, which is one of the biggest 7 on 7 tournaments in the country and to pull that one off was pretty amazing for us."
While 7 on 7 isn't full on football, it utilizes the so-called 'skill position' players on both offense and defense. And for MVP to defeat Heir, a team that boasts the likes of 5 star wide receiver Emeka Egbuka, it put the region on notice.
"Being in Southern Oregon, I've noticed--I've been in football for quite a few years--I noticed that I think everyone, recruiting wise especially, thought Oregon stopped in Salem," Quinn explains. "All we are focused on, everything we do, is to try to build the kids up down here and let people understand that hey there is some real talent down in this area."
But the team also went down to Nevada for more than just a trophy. Along with them, in spirit, was quarterback Ian Spalding. The North Bend senior went missing in the Norton Gulch area of Coos Bay after he fell into the ocean. The team had a special moment for him at the start of one of their games, placing his #12 jersey on the line of scrimmage for a ceremonial first snap.
When the day was over, and MVP were crowned champions, they held the trophy high over their heads and chanted as loud as they could, "For Ian".
"That's what they went there for," says Quinn. "I think as a staff, we knew it, this was bigger than just our kids. But we didn't have to tell them. They grasped ahold of Spalding strong, some of our kids went down to North Bend to try and find him. Every last kid in this program dedicated this weekend to it."
"They care about each other. It's amazing. I think we've had kids from 14 different high schools in our high school programs this year and they love each other like they've been playing together their whole lives."
MVP has more 7 on 7 tournaments to play in, but will also hold a combine on July 18th for high school athletes in need of some professional times and statistics to show college football coaches. While only two years old, the trophy, the team and the organization have sent one message: MVP Performance is here to stay.