Written by Matt Wixon
State 7-on-7 facts and figures, as well as some (possibly pointless) predictions
We're now two days from the start of the 7-on-7 State Championships at Southwest Regional Park in Leander. Division II (1A-3A schools) pool play begins Thursday, with bracket play on Friday, and Division I (4A-5A) has pool play Friday and championship and consolation brackets on Saturday.
For more info, including maps, times and pool listings, check out the tournament web site.
So who are the top contenders for the title?
It's 7-on-7, so don't expect any bold predictions. A few years ago, I watched Fort Worth Paschal beat Southlake Carroll in a 7-on-7 game. It's 7-on-7 … hard to predict.
My buddy @Matt_SteppTOC makes Mesquite Horn his top pick in Division I. Horn certainly fits the definition of a potential champion in 7-on-7 with an experienced quarterback, senior Destri White, good receivers and lots of speed on defense.
DeSoto is always a threat to win, although the potency of QB Desmon White is reduced because he can't run. The 7-on-7 game is a good chance for him to work on throwing accuracy. Arlington Bowie is always a tough out in 7-on-7, and although I don't know if Arlington or Arlington Lamar will go deep, the city's 7-on-7 teams are usually pretty strong. (Lamar has qualified for every tournament dating back to 1998). Outside the Dallas area … Lake Travis, with its preciseness on offense, always makes the championship bracket. Houston Lamar is usually strong, and it has QB Darrell Colbert, who nearly broke Allen fans' hearts in last year's 5A Division I title game at Cowboys Stadium.
In Division II 7-on-7, Celina has to be among the favorites, having won its fourth title last year and with experienced QB Nathan Elliott back. Celina-Abilene Wylie should be a good matchup in pool play.
Sometimes it comes down to depth and fitness, because the players are on the field a lot in two days. It will be quite hot this year, too, with temperatures predicted to top out at 102 on Friday and Saturday. Sweat-tastic.
Dallas-area teams have swept the Division I and II titles the last two years. Plano and Celina won last year, and DeSoto and Melissa won in 2011. Here are the results from the championship games at the 7-on-7 state tournament since it began in 1998:
Division I 1998: SL Carroll 47, Grapevine 33 1999: North Mesquite 31, Lake Worth 27 2000: Celina 45, Abilene Cooper 41 2001: Baytown Lee 34, Austin Bowie 32 2002: Katy Cinco Ranch 42, Abilene 36 2003: Odessa Permian 41, Burnet 27 2004: Tyler Lee 40, Katy Taylor 26 2005: Baytown Lee 51, Bay City 34 2006: Col. Heritage 58, Rockwall 42 2007: Georgetown 41, Hou. Stratford 24 2008: Richland 35, Mesquite 32 2009: RR Stony Point 33, Cyp. Fairbanks 31 2010: Lake Travis 42, DeSoto 39 2011: DeSoto 34, Houston Lamar 25 2012: Plano 45, Manvel 28
Division II 2007: Celina 28, Crane 21 2008: Crane 38, Navasota 27 2009: Celina 34, Rice Consolidated 19 2010: Brownwood 34, Cameron 32 2011: Melissa 27, Kincaid 20 2012: Celina 34, Graham 28