By Jonathan Rodriguez
On Day one we saw the opening matchups get underway in the Division II pool games as 64 teams battled it out for bragging rights and a spot in the Division II Championship Bracket.
- The support was amazing!
As teams from all over Texas piled into Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station for day one of the Texas 7on7 State Championships, the anticipation and support was in high numbers. Processions of cars marked with “7on7 State Bound” on the windows that were filled with family, friends, and fans. Team colors were everywhere and flags were proudly waved on the hot summer day and it just proves how high school football in Texas is a way of life.
Teams such as Celina, Navasota, Graham, China Spring and Brock were in attendance with great fan numbers in efforts to recapture or claim a championship title.
- China Spring is looking to get redemption.
They lost to Navasota 40-39 in the Division II Title Game last year got off to a great start. Their pool play performance included victories over Argyle, Goliad and Christoval and are looking like a team poised for a second straight appearance in the title game.
What’s interesting about this year’s squad is who currently leads the offense that put up an average of 37.3 points a game. Senior wide receiver turned quarterback Cutter Haigood seemed to have adjusted well to his new position as the offensive signal caller.
“We always strive for perfection, that’s it! Perfection, perfection, perfection. If you strive for perfection you’ll at least get excellence,” said Haigood when asked what expectations the team had for the tournament. “We’re going to try to be perfect.”
- Boerne was prepared for the stiff competition.
There were many games that came down to the wire and had fans on the edge of their lawn chairs as outcomes unfolded. One game in particular that seemed to have a late season atmosphere feel was the Pool H game between Boerne and Graham.
Graham is no stranger to 7on7 success. From 2012-2014 they appeared in three straight title games coming away with back-to-back championships in 2013 and 2014. Graham looked to be back on track after coming away with their first victory and going up by as much as 3 scores against Boerne by the half.
Boerne would not go down without a fight after a few plays in their favor and mishaps by Graham had them trailing 33-28 with two minutes left. A defensive stand by Boerne led them to takeover on offense. Still trailing 33-28, Boerne was able to score from 20 plus yards out on third down to bring the score 34-33 with 30 seconds left and preserve the victory.
“We came into this tournament knowing that there was going to be some tough competition. We knew Graham was the big dog in our group and if we could go through them then it is pretty much endless how far we can go in this tournament. So it’s big that we’re able to come through with a hard fought win like that,” said Boerne’s 7on7 defensive coordinator Bryce Hall after the game.
Despite the loss, Graham finds themselves in the Championship Bracket while Boerne at 2-1 will have to battle it out in the Consolation Bracket.
- Only 7 out of 64 made it out of Day 1 with a 3-0 Record.
There are a few teams that went undefeated in Thursday’s pool play. Brock, China Spring, Kaufman, McGregor, Greenwood, Carthage, and Sonora all came away unscathed in pool play.
All teams are in the Championship Bracket and the scheduled matchups for the teams mentioned above are Brock vs. Springtown, China Spring vs. El Campo, Kaufman vs. Wylie, McGregor vs. Wimberley, Greenwood vs. Harmony, Carthage vs. Lorena and Sonora vs. Shepherd.
- Talent was everywhere!
There was a tremendous amount of talent out there and today should be even better as the 5A and 6A teams will begin their pool play.
Big name recruits and some of the top teams in the state such as DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Southlake Carroll, Plano West and Lake Travis will all be in action.
It should be an action filled day that satisfies those that are always craving football as we inch closer and closer to the start of the season.