Thoughts And Observations From Day 2 Of The Texas State 7 On 7

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Photo via Tony Venegas,

Hunter Cooke

Game of the day: Lubbock Coronado and DeSoto

This one was a wild one, it came down to the very last pass…three separate times.

The energy in this one was fantastic.

The best teams tend to be the ones that are the most unified.

Prepare yourselves for this scorchingly hot take, fresh off the presses – teams that play like teams tend to be better than teams that don’t. The same holds true here at the 7 on 7 tournament. If your team is more unified, they play better. Unity isn’t just the key, it’s the only thing.

My favorite underrated kids here are Raekwon Millsap of Abilene and Montel Parker of Dickinson.

They definitely have some moves and they squared off well in their first round matchups. They’re both excellent under the radar guys, at least on the statewide scale, and are going to have massive senior seasons.

Tony Venegas

Graham = Underrated

Friday was the first time that I had seen the Graham Steers play all tournament and I came away very impressed. They’ve won the 7 on 7 state title before but they seemed to come into this tournament under the radar and they showed out very well for themselves today. Quarterback Tucker Horn and receiver Cameron Parker stood out, but this team looks very dangerous heading into the 2017 season.

Teams adding new pieces

The state tournament gives younger players and newer starters a chance to come together as a team and to learn the playbook heading into the season. Katy is breaking in a new quarterback and The Woodlands have to replace several key starters from a state finalist. Both teams should be strong again in 2017 and the state tournament gives them a good opportunity to hone in to their new spotlight.

Intriguing Matchups

The fun part about the 7on7 tournament is that you see matchups that you typically wouldn’t see in the regular season (EP Coronado-Laredo United for example). The players and coaches love this kind of competition because it can help guide what they need to work on for the 2017 season. It’s been a fun tournament with great plays and tomorrow should lend itself to be another exciting day of action.

Cody Daniel

Stephenville has a gem at wide receiver

By this time next year, Stephenville wide receiver Blake Aragon will be training for his first season as a college football player. While the state is loaded with pass-catching talent this year, Aragon is an underrated gems that’s a absolute weapon on the outside. Pair his natural instincts as a possession receiver and ability to locate and snag the ball at its highest point with his 6’4 frame and it’s no surprise Aragon lived in the end zone on Friday. He holds offers from Texas State and Abilene Christian, but expect that list to grow significantly next season.

Grant Gunnell is the real deal

If you’ve never seen Texas A&M quarterback commit Grant Gunnell in person, you’re missing out. Recently dubbed a five-star prospect, Gunnell plays well beyond his years, despite having two seasons of high school eligibility remaining.

When I first watched his play against Beaumont West Brook, Gunnell masterfully orchestrated of the offense and his bevy option, manipulating the defense with his eyes and pump fakes and progressing through his reads like a seasoned passer before dishing spot-on spirals. With the help of an explosive offense, Gunnell led St. Pius X to a victory over West Brook on the last drive of the game after a perfectly placed pitch to the back of the endzone to break the tie.

Beaumont has a special talent at quarterback

If you stripped away the names and considered only what happened on the field, there’s a case to be made for Beaumont West Brook’s Marcus Johnson slinging the ball around just as impressively as Gunnell. Johnson displayed a strong arm and notable accuracy while connecting on several attempts down the field — one such highlight pass was called back due to a four-second call. If Beaumont West Brook and Johnson had just one more opportunity with the ball down the stretch, St. Pius X may very well have began the day with a loss.


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