Time is running out for area high schools to snatch up a precious qualifying spot to the 2017 Adidas Texas 7on7 Championships.
The Tyler State Qualifying Tournament is one of those final opportunities to qualify. It will take place Saturday at Lindsey Park.
The 16 teams participating are broken down into four pools of four teams. Round robin play begins at 9 a.m. with the four Pool winners advancing to the semifinals.
The semifinal winners qualify for state. The Tyler SQT semifinals are slated for 12:45 p.m.
John Tyler expects to be end Saturday with one of those two state qualifying spots.
The Lions reached state last year and did not stop until JT went all the way to the Division I semifinals.
Robert E. Lee stayed home from state last year, ending a run of 17 consecutive appearances.
REL 7on7 coach Randy Womble said the Red Raiders will be without starting quarterback Chance Amie, who is on a “college visit.”
“We are going to turn to Roland Poster, who has been working real hard,” Womble said. “We lost all of our starting receivers from last year (through graduation) but we have some young ones who are really coming along.”
The Red Raiders are in Pool A along with Mount Pleasant, Greenville and Lufkin. The Panthers are ineligible to advance out of pool play because Lufkin has already qualified for state.
“We are going to go out (Saturday) and take it one game at a time and see what happens,” Womble said.
The winner of Pool A will take on the winner of Pool B in the semifinals for the right to go to state. Pool B is comprised of Huntsville, Texas High and Jacksonville. Jacksonville qualified for its first-ever state trip by finishing as a Tyler SQT finalist last year.
Womble said as the offense continues to gel with sophomore Poster, he is looking for his defense to lead the the Red Raiders.
“The defense has been really good. The kids are flying around to the ball,” Womble said. “In this thing, your defense is pretty important. If you can get 2 or 3 stops, you (always) have chance.”
Pool C is made up of Forney, Lindale, Longview and Whitehouse. Like Lufkin, the Wildcats are ineligible to advance out of the pool because Whitehouse has already qualified.
Pool D is John Tyler, College Station, Marshall and Sulphur Springs. College Station has already qualified and is ineligible.
In last year’s semifinals, JT defeated Longview 46-26 and Jacksonville held off Trinity Christian-Addison, 33-32.
Notes: The Adidas Texas 7-on-7 Division I championships are scheduled for June 30-July1 at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station. … Whitehouse and Lufkin qualified for state by both finishing as finalists at the Lufkin SQT on June 10. After this week, only three more SQTs are left: Houston Sam Brown on June 18, and Lake Travis and Rowlett on June 23.