Football: Falcons lay out flight plan
It's been four seasons since Jersey Village has advanced to the football playoffs, and senior wide receiver Connor Neagli thinks it's time for the Falcons to fly high once again.
"Plain and simple, the playoffs are my only goal," said Neagli, a returning offensive starter who can also play in the secondary. "We didn't have full spring workouts, and that means we get to start the season a week early on Aug. 1, and we're looking forward to it."
Positive vibes have continued to grow since Jersey Village clinched a 7-on-7 state berth with a second place at the Cy Creek Texas Bowl State Qualifying Tournament on May 28. A confidence-building win over The Woodlands in the semifinals gave the Falcons plenty to be pleased about, and the second state berth in their 7-on-7 history (also made it in 2009).
"When we qualified, it was a feeling I had never felt as a Falcon," said Neagli, who played football in middle school but not as a freshman or sophomore. "I played 7-on-7 for the first time last summer (2010), and we never got out of pool play, and to do it this year, it's something very good we can carry into the season."
Jersey Village's last postseason game was a bidistrict loss to Katy during a 5-6 finish in 2006, and the last postseason victory was a 41-7 bidistrict win over Nimitz when the Falcons went 8-4 in 2004.
There have been only six wins, including five in district, over the past four years, but this senior class that also features quarterbacks Clay Magnuson and Connor Chapin, offensive linemen Brandon Foteh and Josh Hester, and linebacker Ronnie Costello among others, is out to reverse field.
Due to various injuries, junior Devontre Barlow also saw plenty of action at quarterback a year ago, and Magnuson, Chapin and Barlow all ended with similar figures in attempts, completions, yards passing and touchdown throws.
Magnuson has started throughout 7-on-7, and he and Chapin both saw action with numerous starters missing at the Cy Falls SQT last week.
"We were probably missing about eight regulars, and with the state berth clinched, we knew we would be advancing out of pool play," Jersey Village 7-on-7 volunteer coach and Clay's father Jim Magnuson said. "Everyone will be working out and getting ready for state over the next couple of weeks."
The 7-on-7 State Tournament is July 15-16 at Texas A&M University in College Station.
"This is giving a lot of players, especially the younger one, a chance to catch up to the varsity playing against some of the best talent in the area and state," Neagli said. "It's another step in getting ready to face Tomball in that season opener."
The Falcons will have nearly three weeks to get ready for a scrimmage at Klein, and then opener against Tomball at home, and then it's right into District 17-5A play with Cy Ranch.
Coach David Snokhous is 73-77 and has produced seven playoff teams in 14 seasons at Jersey Village with the Falcons advancing to the postseason in his first season in 1997, and in 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2006.
Jersey Village's lone win in 2010 was a 29-0 blanking of Cy Lakes.
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