7 on 7 came to Sioux City April 7-8 for a new tournament and people are buzzing. Located at the STF Expo Center, age groups ranging from 3rd to 8th grade and from three different states, got the chance to compete.
We caught up with Matt Salvatore, Sioux City’s Parks and Recreation Director to chat about his history in football and how this event came to be.
After his first year of 7v7 he had noticed his athletes that participated were farther ahead skill wise, than his athletes that didn’t.
“We knew we had to grow the sport and get more involved,” Salvatore said. The impacts of 7v7 have gone farther than just their athletes. It’s also made an impact in the community economically, influentially and involvement wise as well.
Salvatore says that their next goal is to start up a local Tune Up 7v7 league that would take place right before the regular season starts in the fall. 7v7 in the community alone is increasing people’s awareness of the sport and create involvement.
“I think that 7v7 in Iowa is about ready to explode. With more people interested and more facilities becoming available, the sky’s the limit,” said Salvatore when asked about the future of 7v7 in Iowa. He said his 7v7 involvement went from participating in one tournament to now hosting one with 29 teams just one year later.
When Salvatore decided to get involved in 7v7 he said it wasn’t hard at all. “Trevor Bollers and the Iowa 7v7 folks helped every step of the way our first year.”
Salvatore first heard of 7v7 from an ad about Back to Ballin at the UNI Dome in 2021. He thought it would be a good opportunity for local athletes to get some work during the spring.
In the future, Salvatore is hoping to grow the sport in the Tri-state area and make Siouxland and Iowa a 7v7 powerhouse. He’s hoping to continue this tournament and maybe even host multiple in years to come.