Lindale is one of six East Texas teams that will compete at the Texas 7-on-7 Championships beginning Thursday at Veterans Memorial Park in College Station.
The Eagles are competing in Division 2 Pool H with China Spring, Hereford and Sealy. This is Lindale’s first time at the 7-on-7 state tournament since 2015.
“We’re really excited about it,” Lindale athletic director and head football coach Chris Cochran said. “We haven’t been to the state tournament in 7-on-7 since I’ve been the head coach here, so I’m proud of the kids and excited for them. It’s an opportunity to go compete at a high level in the summer. It’s also a good time for them to build a bond and come together in the summer.”
For the Eagles, 7-on-7 has provided a chance to break in a new quarterback and new receivers.
“It’s a big deal,” Cochran said. “When you’ve had Sam Peterson at quarterback for three years and Jacob Seekford and Evan Alford at receiver, and now they’re gone, it opens up spots. The younger guys have gained confidence playing 7-on-7 and having success. It’s been a good experience for them.”
Lindale will face Sealy at 1:45 p.m. Thursday, China Spring at 3:15 p.m. and Hereford at 4:45 p.m. Bracket play begins at 8:45 a.m. Friday.
Playing for the Eagles are Clint Thurman, Patrick Daniels, Nashad Lee, Colter Maya, Marcus Field, Wyatt Parker, Ethan Moriarity, Brett Maya, Alex Romero, Cason Watts, Landon Sullivan, Ryan Betts, Christian Widemon, Jalin Hines, Levi Thornton, Jake Curbow, Ryan Stanton, Aiden Warnell, Trey Mazratian and Jaxon Davenport.
The Eagles are also sending a team to the State Lineman Challenge on Saturday at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene.
Lindale won Division 1 last week at Tyler Legacy but will be competing in Division 2 at state.
“I think it’s an awesome opportunity and gives the big guys something to do,” Cochran said. “Just like with 7-on-7, it’s a chance to compete in the summer and bond together. Our program is building a lot of momentum right now.”
Competing at the State Lineman Challenge are Trey Mazratian, Will Hutchens, Cory Watts, Ethan Heller, Brandon Pettway, Mason Lemmert, Christian King, Gabe Hart, Cameron Hicks, Joe Richard and Carson Plunkett.
Also in Division 2 at the Texas 7-on-7 Championships is Pleasant Grove. The Hawks will be in Pool C and will play Clyde at 1:45 p.m., West Orange-Stark at 3:15 p.m. and Davenport at 4:45 p.m.
Competing in Division 3 are Garrison, Harmony and Daingerfield and will all play on Thursday.
Garrison will take on Lexington at 1 p.m., Miles at 2:30 p.m. and Stratford at 4 p.m. in Pool A, while Harmony meets Brady at 1 p.m., Marlin at 2:30 p.m. and Poth at 4 p.m. and Daingerfield battles East Bernard at 1 p.m., Tolar at 2:30 p.m. and Wink at 4 p.m.
Bracket play for Division 3 begins at 8 a.m. Friday.
Longview will compete in the Division 1 bracket and will be in Pool A with Cypress Falls, Fort Worth Brewer and Lubbock Coronado.
Longview will play Lubbock Coronado at 1 p.m. Friday, Cypress Falls at 2:30 p.m. Friday and Fort Worth Brewer at 4 p.m. Friday.
The top two teams in each pool will go to the championship bracket at 8:45 a.m. Saturday, while the bottom two teams will go to the consolation bracket beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday.
The only East Texas team to win a state 7-on-7 title is Tyler Lee — now Tyler Legacy — in 2004.