Written by Matt Wixon
26 Dallas-area schools to compete in 7-on-7 state tournament
The Fox Sports Southwest state 7-on-7 championship, the annual signal that football season is just around the corner, begins Thursday on the Texas A&M campus in College Station.
A total of 128 teams, split into Division I (Class 4A and 5A schools) and Division II (1A-3A), will compete in the three-day event that dates to 1998. DeSoto and Melissa were the champions last year, giving the Dallas-Fort Worth area its first sweep of the titles.
The 26 local schools entered include former champions Southlake Carroll (1998), Colleyville Heritage (2006) and DeSoto in the Division I bracket.
Melissa is joined in Division II by Celina, which won in 2000, when all schools competed for one title. Celina won Division II titles in 2007 and ’09.
The tournament began with a 32-team field 14 years ago but has grown along with the popularity of 7-on-7.
The game is like touch football, with no pads, helmets, blocking or tackling. For offenses, it’s a two-minute drill that allows quarterbacks and receivers to improve their timing. Defensive players get experience in coverages.
Coaches differ on how much 7-on-7 helps a team in full-contact football, but in the last two years, 15 of the 16 Division I quarterfinalists in 7-on-7 made the playoffs in the fall.
Melissa followed up its 7-on-7 title last year with the 2A Division I championship, and Austin Lake Travis won titles in 7-on-7 and full-contact football in 2010.
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Fox Sports Southwest 7-on-7 state championship
When: Thursday through Saturday
Where: Penberthy Intramural Fields, Texas A&M campus
Division I (Classes 4A-5A): Pool play begins at 1 p.m. Friday; championship at 4 p.m. Saturday at Kyle Field.
Area qualifiers: Arlington, Arlington Bowie, Arlington Lamar, Colleyville Heritage, Coppell, DeSoto, Duncanville, Frisco Centennial, Hebron, Mesquite, Mesquite Horn, Plano, Plano West, Southlake Carroll, Wylie, Wylie East
Division II (Classes 1A-3A): Pool play begins at 1 p.m. Thursday; championship at 4 p.m. Friday at Kyle Field.
Area qualifiers: Aubrey, Celina, Crandall, Episcopal School of Dallas, Fort Worth All Saints, Frisco Lone Star, Kaufman, Melissa, Nevada Community, Princeton