GILMER—More than 120 Sulphur Springs athletes took part in events held at Gilmer High School and nearby fields.
The Saturday Azalea Orthopedic Tournament featured events in the 7-on-7 and Lineman Challenge.
“It was a great day for our kids. We got a ton of quality reps against some of the best teams in East Texas. I was disappointed that we didn't keep on playing and make it to the championship game, but our kids competed well and fought hard. We are inexperienced at several key positions and we need all the reps we can get. Defensively, we battled and made some great interceptions and physically got after some quality receivers. Overall, really good day.” said Greg Owens, Sulphur Springs head football coach/ athletic director.
The Wildcats were represented by seven total teams in Gilmer in 7-on-7 action. Sulphur Springs had two varsity teams, one junior varsity team, two eighth grade and two seventh grade squads.
The Sulphur Springs blue team won the championship downing Lindale in the seventh grade finals. They also defeated Pine Tree and Whitehouse.
The eighth grade blue team fell to Gilmer in the semi-finals after posting wins over Lindale, Longview and Whitehouse.
“The JV advanced to the semifinals, losing to Whitehouse. They were led offensively by strong play from Tanner Ramirez, Cole Cooper and Derick Lamb. Defensively, Scott Galarza and Bubba Hall led the way,” said varsity coach Matt Young. “The varsity gold had a good showing defeating Grace Prep and falling just short against Daingerfield.”
The varsity blue team went 2-2. They opened the day defeating Lindale, 24-17. They lost to Mount Pleasant 38-24, but closed out pool play beating Tatum, 30-24 in the final minutes.
Young added, “Strong play throughout the day came from Alex Burney and Cain Cody in the slots. With support from Mitchel DeYong and Willy Ivery also. Larry Pryor and Parker Aguilar were doing well at quarterback. Defensively, Zach Spigner and Tyler Williams had strong days at safety with Brennan Brock playing well on the corner. The team fell short in the elimination round to Daingerfield. Overall, it was a great day for the Wildcats. With a lot of players in new positions they are making plays and get better week in and week out.”
Concerning the middle school games: coach Colten Lovvorn said, “The eighth grade B only lost two games. They did not advance from their pool but the played hard and we were pleased with what we saw. Taylor Ibarra made some great plays on offense. Matthew Reynolds also made some great plays offensively. Our defense had minimal mistakes we were just not very deep so they got tired. The eighth grade A had some players missing but they played with tenacity and the routes looked good and ran full speed. We are proud of this group as well and feel that they are ready for freshman level next year. We cannot stress fundamentals enough. They played A teams the entire day, so the competition was tough.”
Lovvorn said, “The seventh grade A team won the whole thing. They played Lindale in the championship and won. This group has finally figured it out on how to play Wildcat football and do it right. Offensively, everyone ran routes to perfection and the ball was thrown with precision. Defensively, our secondary was outstanding. Dedric Godbolt deserves his name mentioned because he played aggressive and did not let his side of the field be thrown to. Overall this group did an outstanding job offensively and defensively.”
Also listed by coach Lawson Crook for good play were Ryan Humphries, Simeon Taylor, Taylor Arrington, Tiesan Goodson, Jaxon Reneau, Connor Nix, D.J. Abron, Brady Crouse and Logan Oxford.
The Wildcats also participated in the Lineman Challenge in Gilmer.
Events included- bench press reps, hang clean reps, pass rush drill, pro agility and obstacle course.
Winners from Saturday were: Bryton Wood, overall winner and winner of the hang clean reps, pass rush and pro agility. Spencer Bramlett, winner of the 9-10th obstacle course; John McLarry was the winner of the 11-12th obstacle course. Jess Jenkins, took second place in 11-12th obstacle course, according to coach Scott Rozell.
Sulphur Springs will participate in Mineola 7-on-7 League action Thursday starting at 6 p.m. in Mineola. Two games will be played at the football field.
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