Summer in Texas means 7-on-7 football. Some coaches put little stock in it and argue it doesn’t translate to success in the fall. Don’t tell that to the players at Mansfield Timberview.
The Wolves recently qualified for the Texas State 7on7 Association state tournament, meaning they’ll head down to College Station June 29-July 1 to compete against the best Texas has to offer.
And don’t think they aren’t going there to win.
“That would be very big for us,” quarterback Jyron Russell said. “By the basketball team winning state this year, that’s our goal for the fall. This could help us going into the fall, because we would know how it feels to win. We have a history of winning, but we’ve been knocked out of the playoffs in the first or second round the last few years. It would build a lot of confidence in us for the upcoming season this fall.”
We know that if we’re doing good right now, more than likely we’ll keep developing and keep getting better. So hopefully it does translate into the fall.
- Timberview receiver Jalen Knox, on reaching the state 7-on-7 tournament
Timberview missed out on qualifying for the 7-on-7 state tournament last season.
“We kept it in mind from last year when we lost,” Russell said. “It was emotional. We football players love the game so much, so it was emotional.”
Wide receiver Jalen Knox, who committed to Missouri earlier this month, also felt the team found redemption by booking its place this season.
“We were very excited because we almost made it last year,” Knox said. “That hurt last year, so to make it this year, especially with not all our players being there, is great.”
Russell and Knox help lead the Wolves, regardless of what form of football is being played. The duo organize and hold team practices. They help bring along the underclassmen who are the future of Timberview football.
“We really had a lot of leadership come out [on Saturday when we clinched],” Knox said. “We had three players who had never played with us and never been into the scheme at all. We had to coach them up on the spot, on the field. They went out and played well.”
Indeed, three freshmen played for Timberview that day.
“They haven’t even touched a Timberview uniform yet, but they’re already playing with us and getting reps,” Knox said.
And that’s the foundation of 7-on-7, to improve for the fall, from three-year varsity players like Knox and Russell to incoming freshmen.
“We use the same playbook for the fall that we do in 7-on-7. The exact same plays, routes and everything,” Knox said.
“It really helps a lot in the passing game. That’s somewhere we weren’t as strong last year,” Russell said. “It’s very competitive, and that’s something our coaches stress is to compete. We all love football and we know we’ve got to compete. I want to be better than everyone else at everything we do.”
And while success in 7-on-7 doesn’t guarantee success in the fall, it’s worth noting that The Woodlands won last summer’s state 7-on-7 tournament and then played in the 6A state championship game almost five months later.
“We know that if we’re doing good right now, more than likely we’ll keep developing and keep getting better,” Knox said. “So hopefully it does translate into the fall.”