Mansfield Timberview’s goal of winning the Texas 7 on 7 Championships ended early on Day 2 of the tournament, but the Wolves put forth a strong showing, winning their group in pool play on Day 1.
“Our ultimate goal was to get the state championship,” quarterback Jyron Russell said. “That didn’t happen, but you know, we did make history.”
The Texas 7-on-7 Championships, sponsored by Adidas, took place June 29-July 1 at Veterans Park in College Station. Timberview went 2-1 in pool play, defeating Montgomery and Del Valle, with a 43-41 loss to Mercedes sandwiched between.
The victory against Del Valle was needed to advance out of pool play into the championship bracket — a first for Timberview. Russell said they’d been in that position before, facing must-win games in order to win the qualifying tournament to get them to College Station.
We went out there and did our thing. It could have ended better, but 7 on 7 is over now, so it’s time to play some real football.
Timberview quarterback Jyron Russell
“We knew not to get down after losing that second game,” he said.
The Wolves rebounded to best Del Valle 26-12, setting up a date with Frisco Wakeland in the first round of bracket play. That one didn’t go so well, as the Wolverines eliminated Timberview with a 20-12 victory.
Senior Jalen Knox didn’t expect it to end so soon.
“We felt confident going into the second day,” he said. “We knew what we did wrong the first day for us to lose the game we did.”
“They did really well and competed at a very high level,” Timberview football head coach James Brown said. “This group is fun to watch. They love to compete.”
While Timberview didn’t get the ultimate result it wanted from the tournament, it did get the improvements it wanted over the summer.
“We put up a lot of points this weekend,” Russell said. “The chemistry is there, and it’s going to keep getting even better.”
“We showed that we can throw the ball, and that we don’t have to be such a run-heavy offense,” Knox added. “We’re really excited and think we’ll have one of the best offenses in 5A. And when we can get the pads on and start hitting, we know we’re going to be a better defense than what we showed at the tournament. We played well, we just had one bad game on Saturday.”
Speaking of defense — because 7 on 7 isn’t all about the offense — the Wolves featured three freshmen among its defensive backs.
“They showed maturity and went out and played like I expected them to,” Knox said. “They didn’t shy away from any type of competition out there. They went and played hard.”
Russell said he was equally impressed, and wouldn’t be surprised if any or all of them eventually saw time on Friday nights next fall.
As for the “fall,” which of course starts in the blistering heat of late August for football players in Texas, it can’t come soon enough for the Wolves.
“We so excited; we’re just counting down the days at this point,” Knox said.
“[Summer] was fun,” Russell added. “We went out there and did our thing. It could have ended better, but 7 on 7 is over now, so it’s time to play some real football.”