Local schools qualify for 7on7 state football tournament

Local schools qualify for 7on7 state football tournament


The annual 7-on-7 football state tournament is set to begin this week, with three local schools qualifying to represent Southeast Texas.

West Orange-Stark, Silsbee and Hamshire-F teamsannett will all send to College Station and play in the Division II bracket, each earning their spots by winning qualifying tournaments throughout the last few months.

Games will begin on Thursday afternoon at 1 pm from Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station. The Division II championship game will be held on Saturday.

The three local teams were all placed in different pools.


For West Orange-Stark, the state appearance comes in their first season playing 7-on-7 football in more than a decade. New Mustangs head coach Hiawatha Hickman brought the 7-on-7 program back after taking over for Cornel Thompson, who announced his retirement last December.

Related: Hickman approved as next WO-S football coach

West Orange-Stark will compete in Pool C, which includes Clyde, Pleasant Grove and Davenport. The Mustangs qualified at the Hamshire-Fannett tournament in late May.

The Hamshire-Fannett Longhorns will play in Pool A with Graham, Pleasanton and Proctor. Hamshire-Fannett has reached the state tournament two years in a row. Running back Tyler Spencer said that previous trip to state will help the Longhorns.

“Most of our players have already had the state experience, so I’m very confident that we will bring it home this time,” Spencer said.

Silsbee was placed in Pool B with Anna, Brownwood and Smithville. The Tigers, led by four-star recruit Drelon Miller, qualified on May 21 at a tournament in Tyler. The qualification came one day after many of Silsbee’s players attended the funeral of their late teammate, Jayce Jones.

Related: Community gathers to celebrate life of Silsbee’s Jayce Jones

After pool play on Thursday, teams will either be placed in the winner’s or loser’s bracket on Friday.

The Texas State 7on7 Organization is a private organization, not associated with either the UIL or the THSCA, that promotes the game of football through 7on7 competitions. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football partners with the organization to put on the state event each year.

The tournament has been held every year since 1998 — save for the coronavirus cancellation in 2020. A team from Southeast Texas has never appeared in the championship game.

Matt Faye is a Sports Reporter and Columnist for the Beaumont Enterprise. Contact him at MFaye@BeaumontEnterprise.com or on Twitter by clicking here.

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