Productive Summer for Longoria

Derek Longoria has enjoyed a memorable summer. First, the safety/punter from Brownwood committed to SMU and then he helped guide the Lions to the FOX Sports Southwest 7-on-7 state championship last weekend. What's next on Longoria's itinerary?

It's been a summer to remember for Brownwood safety/punter Derek Longoria. Over the past six weeks, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound senior-to-be committed to SMU to play college football and then, last week in College Station, Longoria played a crucial role in his team's FOX Sports Southwest 7-on-7 Texas state championship.

"Our coach (Bob Shipley) said that we would win the 7-on-7 state title this year," said Longoria, "and it's a good feeling to win. I played 7-on-7 for three years and this is the first time that we made it to the championship game.

"The first day, we played three Houston-area teams, but I'm not exactly sure which schools it was. We started early the next day, on Saturday, and we beat Celina - which was the No. 1 team in our division entering the tournament - as well as Kincaid, Somerset, and Cameron Yoe."

Longoria savored the championship for a short while, but he's already looking forward to the next item on his agenda.

"It was a lot of fun," he said of last weekend, "but I'm ready to strap on the pads for this fall -- and I'm also ready to get to SMU and play against the big-time college guys. I'm just ready to get things rolling for this season."

Longoria and teammate Jaxon Shipley helped Brownwood overcome a deficit in the 7-on-7 state finals.

"We were down by two scores to Cameron Yoe at the half," said Longoria, "but our coach said not to give up and we ended up winning by two points.

"Jaxon is one of my best friends and he's the best athlete on our team. I just treat him like a regular guy, like he's one of the guys. He doesn't want all the superstar attention. I love his dad, who is our head coach, and the rest of our coaches. I wouldn't trade them for anybody."

Brownwood, which went 10-3 last season, is one of the favorites to win Class 3A, thanks to an experienced roster that includes nine starters back on each side of the football.

"We only lost a defensive end and an offensive tackle," Longoria said. "That's all. In the secondary with me is Kevin Vaccaro, who is one of our most physical players. His brother, Kenny, is a defensive back for Texas. Kevin has said that if he gets an SMU offer, then he would go there to play college ball."

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