Wildcats' 7-on-7 makes it 2-for-2: SSHS wins second straight tournament

From Staff Reports

May 27, 2008 - ROYSE CITY - The Sulphur Springs 7-on-7 team made it 2-for-2 in tournament action on Saturday.

The Wildcats went unbeaten in the Royse City tournament, winning four games including the championship match-up against South Garland, to claim their second tournament title in as many tries this spring.

While 7-on-7 is mostly an offensive contest because it is all-pass and no tackle, the Wildcats' defense played a huge role in the championship, said SSHS head coach Greg Owens.

"Our defense played extremely well in the championship game," said Owens. "Every kid stepped up and played with some confidence. We had to go in there and make some stops, and they did."

Both SSHS starting safeties, Johnny McSheffery and Bryant "Day Day" Jackson suffered what are believed to be minor injuries in the tournament, but Triston Crook and Lemarcus Kendricks stepped in and played well, the coach said. Also performing well were cornerbacks Anthony Mills and Darrell Franklin and the entire linebacking crew.

The Wildcats started off the tournament winning their two pool games against Mabank and in a shutout against Wills Point. The pool games were cut down from two 20-minute halves to a pair of 0-minute halves.

"Our kids went in knowing that they had better score and score quick and get this thing going," Owens said. "The kids responded great."

That put the Wildcats into the championship bracket against the other two winners of the pools - Royse City and South Garland.

The Royse City contest got off to an interesting start when the Bulldogs' quarterback, Richard Morrison, challenged SSHS quarterback Tyrik Rollison to see who was the better player. Both were First Team All-State quarterbacks last year - Morrison in Class 3A and Rollison in 4A.

Rollison and the Wildcats won the challenge.

"It was back-and-forth, but we ended up beating them," Owens said.

That should also make the 7-on-7 league that the Wildcats are hosting this summer very interesting because Royse City is signed up to participate. Those games will start on June 5. A full schedule will be printed in the News-Telegram once it is released this week.

The Wildcats finished the tournament with a seven-point victory over Class 5A South Garland in the championship. Owens said it was a good match-up for the Wildcats because of South Garland's athleticism.

"They're very athletic. Their coverage was tighter, and the guys had to really play well," he explained.

Receivers Rashad Hall, Shane McQueen and Jace Jackson performed well, Owens said, and Rollison was on target, throwing into tight windows for completions.

The Wildcats' next tournament will be a state qualifier in Tyler on June 21.

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