Football: Bobcats have tradition on line
Cy-Fair is ready to go for a third consecutive 7-on-7 football postseason tournament championship berth this week in College Station, and they're hoping to win it all this time.
The Bobcats have had standout 7-on-7 campaigns over the past couple of summers, but came up one win short of a state title in 2009 and a national championship last year.
"We feel like we're in a really good spot heading into the state tournament," Cy-Fair 7-on-7 volunteer coach Greg Kuchar said. "We have 13 or 14 guys who played for us last summer, and they know our schemes, and what we need to do to be successful, and we're looking for that experience to be a benefit against the outstanding competition we'll see at state."
Cy-Fair is in the 64-team Division I field at the 14th annual 7-on-7 State Tournament on July 15-16 at Texas A&M University along with District 17-5A co-members Jersey Village, Langham Creek and Cy Falls, 13-5A residents Klein Oak, Klein Forest, Tomball and Klein Collins, and 17 other area 5A and 4A schools.
The Bobcats earned their 12th straight state berth with a second place behind Tomball at The Woodlands State Qualifying Tournament on June 11.
"We played well at The Woodlands to get in, but we were missing a few players who were taking the SAT, so we're hoping to be in even better shape at state," said Kuchar, who is in his fifth season with Cy-Fair 7-on-7.
The Bobcats reached the 2009 state tournament finals before being edged 33-31 by Round Rock Stony Point, and last summer, Cy-Fair advanced to the Red Bull Game Breakers national tournament championship and fell 31-14 to New Orleans St. Augustine in Dallas.
"We also participated in the state tournament last year because they were on different weekends," Kuchar said. "Those tournaments (state and Red Bull nationals) are on the same days this season, and even if we would have qualified for the Red Bull, we were going to pass it up in favor of state in College Station."
Cy-Fair finished third behind winner Dawson and runner-up Westside at the Houston Red Bull qualifier this year.
"We're certainly not going to miss Dawson at state, that's for sure," Kuchar said. "They are very talented, and even when we used double moves on routes at the local Red Bull tournament a couple of weeks ago, they never missed a step. I think Dawson will do very well at the Red Bull nationals (July 15-16 in Dallas)."
Kuchar also has plenty of confidence in his own squad and lists quarterback Jovan Galagaza, and receivers Kaleb Moore, Sean Irwin and John "J.J." Jacob as offensive leaders.
"Moore is probably our most-athletic receiver and he was third in the (5A) state high jump in the spring, and he really uses that leaping ability to his advantage," Kuchar said, "and Jacob is very much a leader and can rally the troops, and Irwin is a great tight end and another big threat with a 6-3 frame and soft hands."
The defense features even more senior firepower with veterans Dwight White, Ryan Bradshaw, Khalil Coleman, Jalen Champagne and Jarod Price roaming the secondary, and Trevor Mendes and Cody Thomas at linebacker.
"Those seven were a big part of reaching the Red Bull finals last year, and we're expecting big things out of them at state next week," Kuchar said. "It's obvious 7-on-7 is known more as an offensive game, but we feel like we can make some big things happen defensively as well."
The Bobcats will travel to the state tournament on the morning of July 15 and compete in pool play later that day, according to Kuchar.
The state schedule will be announced next week at www.state7on7.com.