7-on-7 team heading to state event
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

July 15, 2004 - As one of 64 qualifying teams, Sulphur Springs will send a 7-on-7 football squad to the State Championship Tournament in College Station this weekend.

This is the third straight year the local team, made up of varsity high school players, is participating in the tournament. To reach the state championship, the 64 teams had to qualify in 32 tournaments this summer. Sulphur Springs won the Sabine tournament to qualify.

Sulphur Springs is in Pool C with South Garland out of District 11-5A, Houston Westside out of District 21-5A, and Brady from District 27-3A. They will play a round-robin format on Friday, with the two teams with the best records advancing to the Championship Bracket on Saturday. The other two teams will head to the Consolation Bracket.

Sulphur Springs is scheduled to play Brady at 1 p.m., South Garland at 3 p.m. and Westside at 5 p.m.

"I don't know much about the other teams in our pool," said SSHS head coach Brad Turner, who by UIL rules cannot coach the summer team, but attends the games. "Houston Westside won their qualifying tournament. South Garland and Brady were runners-up at theirs. We played South Garland last year, and they were good.

"When you get down there, they're all good. Hopefully, we'll get down there and do well. It would be good for us to start off with a win. If we can get a win and get relaxed, that would help."

Seven-on-7 football is all-pass using a 45-yard field and a one-hand touch for a tackle. All players, except the center, are eligible receivers. The game is played in two 20-minute continuous halves. Uniforms consist of shorts and T-shirts with no pads or helmets. The game emphasizes passing and offense.

"It's harder to play defense in 7-on-7. You've got to be able to score. There won't be a lot of low-scoring games. If you can score four or five touchdowns, you should have a chance," Turner said. "If we do what we're supposed to, and we can move the ball, you want to score every time you have the ball."

Sulphur Springs is the only team from District 12-4A to qualify, and the only team in an area from Dallas to Tyler to Texarkana to qualify.

The tournament is being played on the Texas A&M campus, and the championship games are scheduled to be held at Kyle Field. Highlights and scores will be provided by Fox Sports Net's Southwest Sports Report at 10 p.m. each night. Fox Sports Net is the primary sponsor of the tournament.

Players expected to make the trip include Logan Turner, Jared Ramey, Chris Person, Christian Person, Keelan Green, Dustin Dunn, Rolaundo Wright, Spenser Daniel, Talon Askew, Tremayne Jones, Keenan Clayton, Ivan Beard, Keidric Duffey, Hunter Potts, Eric Chenault, Torey Mathies, Josh Harrington, Robert Finney and Chris Berry.

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