WAXAHACHIE — Every high school football player knows what the city of College Station, Texas brings — outside of the Gig'em nation.
The opportunity for a 7on7 football championship and a year's worth of bragging rights.
Players from Kaufman and Waxahachie High Schools, as well as Midlothian's Heritage High School, will have the opportunity to bring a title and some swagger back to their corner of Ellis County when the sun rises on Friday at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex.
"I think we should be in a great position to come out firing on all cylinders on Friday," said Kevin Pointer, head coach of the Indians' speedsters. "Ever the SQTs we didn't qualify in we were right there. We were in a position to win a championship every time — either in the championship or on the verge of being in it. Bryse (Salik) is dead on regarding his ball placement and KG and Jeff (Alexander) are tough covers. We have a supporting cast that makes it hard to focus on one guy, too."
The Indians, part of Division I of the Adidas-branded state tournament are led by quarterbacks Salik and Mason Brewer, and wide receivers Alexander, Kevin Green, Jerreth Sterns and Tevin Wofford and hulking tight end Will Morgan. The two signal callers who combined for 116 passes in the 41-39 win against Lancaster during the H-E-B Classic at L.D. Bell High School on June 18.
Green led all pass catchers with 26 receptions while Alexander wasn't far behind with 23. Jarreth, who pairs with his brother Josh in the defensive backfield, pulled in 17, Wofford added 14 and three other players reeled in 11 each.
Pointer said he hopes the momentum built during the sweltering, 100-degree heat index championship heats up when his boys touch down in College Station.
"To be honest, the graduation of Trey Jackson, Jalen Reagor and Kenedy Snell has helped. It allowed these players step out of the shadows and into the forefront of people's minds," Pointer said about the evolution of his team from day one of practice to the present and beating Denton, Lake Highlands and J.J. Pearce High Schools in back-to-back-to-back games. "Now they get to make household names of themselves. We've seen it, too, both in the fluidity of the offense and the improvement of a 'bend but don't break' defense led by Caleb (High), Nick (Henderson) and Jarreth and Josh."
Waxahachie torched the three teams by a combined total of 121-78.
While Waxahachie has to wait another day to start their march, Kaufman and Midlothian began on Thursday, bringing with them explosive styles of offense sure to vault them into the later rounds. The Lions, part of Division II with Midlothian Heritage, made their way into the state championship conversation during the Midwestern State Qualifying Tournament on May 27.
They will join 63 other division teams on the journey toward summer glory.
Waxahachie, slotted into the No. 3 seed in Pool M with College Station, Houston Cy-Fair and Welasco High Schools, will begin their march after noon. They will play Welasco at 2 p.m., College Station at 4 p.m. and Cy-Fair at 6 p.m. All games will be played at Field 6B.
Kaufman, the No. 1 seed on Pool L, faced Mineral Wells, Rio Hondo and Stafford High Schools. The Lions were scheduled to play No. 2 Mineral Wells at 2 p.m. at Field 7A, No. 3 Rio Hondo at 4 p.m. at Field 7B and No. 4 Stafford at 6 p.m. at Field 7A.
Midlothian Heritage, the No. 1 seed of Pool C will squared off against Somerset, Springtown and Wimberley High Schools. As of press time, Kaufman was 1-0 after a 40-15 win against Mineral Wells and Midlothian Heritage was 0-1 after a 28-20 loss to Somerset.
The top two teams in each pool in Division II will advance to the championship bracket at 9 a.m. Friday and the top two teams in Division II will advance to the 9 a.m. championship bracket on Saturday.