Day 1 of the State 7-on-7 championships have concluded in College Station. With the group stage in Division II complete, there were surprises that occurred as well as teams making a statement in the early stages of the tournament.
In the Permian Basin, three teams would have high hopes getting through to the championship bracket. The main Basin title contender, Andrews, went a perfect 3-0 in the group stage, toughing past Crandall, breezing past East Bernard and defeating Salado.
For Alpine, it was a solid showing in Pool A, squeaking past Anna, falling to an athletic Fairfield team and earning a hard-fought victory against Pleasanton to advance to the championship bracket.
Pecos, who is another 432 hopeful, struggled in group play, going 1-2 against tough competition. The Eagles picked up their lone victory against Hidalgo, 30-21 and will take part in the consolation bracket starting at 8 a.m. against Sweeny.
For the two championship bracket bound teams, Andrews will face-off against Sonora, who’s offense is engineered by a former Andrews Mustang, Kaden Cordell. Alpine will take on group I winner Giddings at 9 a.m.
The South Plains had a team struggle while one will advance to the championship bracket. Levelland, who is one of the main teams vying for a championship bracket spot in a tough group, struggled out of the gates, falling to Hill Country power Gatesville, 44-28, losing to 4A DI state champion Carthage, 39-26 and getting inched out by Brazosport, 39-28.
For the Matadors of Estacado, it was a solid showing from the offensive side of the ball. After falling to eventual group winner Giddings, 26-19, the Matador defense was key in a 32-25 decision over Bay City and to pull away to a 47-20 victory over 2A Deweyville. Estacado will now face Group A winner, Fairfield, at 9 a.m. at Field 2A. The Lobos drop to the consolation bracket, where they will take on Canton.
Wellington, who is the only Panhandle team to be in the Division II tournament field, showed that 2A teams can compete with bigger teams in Pool C. The Skyrocket offense propelled to a 38-13 victory against Shepherd, topping newcomer in the tournament field, Bonham, 31-19 and falling to a talented Boerne squad, 36-27, giving up a Greyhound touchdown in the winding stages of the game. Wellington will take on defending DII 7-on-7 champion Kaufman at 9 a.m. Friday in the championship bracket.
Big Country had some hopefuls in Abilene Wylie, Brownwood, Stephenville and Sweetwater in the field. In tough group for the respective teams, Big Country had their ups and downs throughout Day 1. With a high-flying offense, Sweetwater went a surprising 1-2 in group play, in a tough group that may have not seemed tough on paper. The Mustangs picked up their lone victory against Hitchcock, 34-28, prior to losing to Argyle and West.
Another 1-2 showing that was recorded would be in Stephenville, who placed third in a competitive Pool P. The Jackets picked up their lone victory against 2A Falls City 48-14. Prior to the victory, the Jackets fell to Melissa and Navasota in the opening game to drop to the consolation bracket where they would take on Hitchcock at 8 a.m.
Two teams would qualify for the championship bracket from the Big Country. Wylie took second in Pool K, falling to Cameron Yoe, 34-27, in the final game of the group for group seeding in the bracket.
Brownwood also punched a ticket to the championship round, going 2-1 in Pool N play, defeating Goliad and Palestine and falling to Lorena.
The Bulldogs are paired up with last year’s quarter-finalist, Somerset, while the Lions will battle Rockdale for a spot in the round of 16.
San Augustine may have made the statement of the tournament in Day 1, going 3-0 in Group F. Rockdale recorded a 2-1 record while Dublin and Liberty will head to the consolation bracket.
Defending state division II 7-on-7 champion Kaufman breezed through Pool L play, topping Mineral Wells, who went a surprising 0-3 in the group, Rio Hondo, who represented the Rio Grande Valley well with a 2-1 showing, and Stafford.
Graham’s momentum in a state title run did not show any signs of slowing down. The Steers also went 3-0 in Pool J, defeating Brock, Sweeny and Mexia. Graham will take on El Campo at 9 a.m. tomorrow.
Texarkana Pleasant Grove did not disappoint in their first appearance at the state tournament, going 3-0 in Pool B and draw Mexia at 9 a.m. tomorrow.
Other teams to watch out for in the championship bracket is Somerset, winning group C by tiebreaker over Wimberley, China Spring recording a 3-0 showing in Pool G, where Gilmer went 0-3 in surprising fashion. Argyle never seems to disappoint in the tournament, as they recorded a 3-0 record in the group and will take on Melissa.