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Matt Stepp looks at the 16 pools at the Division II 7on7 State Tournament

THEOLDCOACH looks at all the pools in next weekend's Division II 7on7 State Tournament!

DIVISION II STATE TOURNAMENT POOL PICKS

Pool A (In predicted order of finish)

Navasota

2)    Abilene Wylie

3)    Wharton

4)    Princeton

 

Defending champion Navasota graduated a loaded group, but the Rattlers have made a habit of deep runs at the State Tournament.  They easily qualified at their own SQT and although they aren’t a prohibited favorite to bring a title home they are a pick to win the pool.  The battle for second will be interesting as State Tournament regular Abilene Wylie will have their hands full with a very athletic squad from Wharton.

 

 

Pool B (In predicted order of finish)

1)     Silsbee

2)     Sweetwater

3)     Pilot Point

4)     Geronimo Navarro

 

State Tournament newcomer Silsbee could be a real contender to be one of the rare first time participants who makes a lot of noise.  The Tigers will compete with a strong Sweetwater squad making their third straight trip to College Station and a very underrated group from Pilot Point.  Rounding out the pool is Navarro, who runs the Slot-T offense in the fall, they run their normal schemes during 7on7 and they are tough to stop.

 

 

Pool C (In predicted order of finish)

1)     White Oak

2)     Wimberley

3)     Bay City

4)     Van Horn

 

White Oak out of East Texas looks to be the top team in what appears to be a wide open pool grouping. The Roughnecks are known for their wide open offense and when they have playmakers they thrive in 7on7.  Wimberley gets the early look for second place, but super talented and improving Bay City will be a test.  Van Horn actually drove 600 miles to the Corpus area to qualify in late June, the trip to College Station will actually be a bit shorter!

 

 

Pool D (In predicted order of finish)

1)     Brock

2)     Giddings

3)     Brownwood

4)     Rockport-Fulton

Brock has emerged as a power in real football and the Eagles are making a name for themselves in 7on7 as well.  The Eagles are almost a clone of Celina in their brutal efficiency and intense desire to simply win at whatever they do.  The real battle for the second will be between Giddings and Brownwood who actually play each other during non-district. Much like Geronimo Navarro, Rockport-Fulton is a Slot-T based offense yet they are still very active on the SQT scene in South Texas.

 

Pool E (In predicted order of finish)

1)     Mineral Wells

2)     Fairfield

3)     Odem

4)     Gilmer Harmony

 

Mineral Wells is making their first trip to State 7on7 since 2013, the Rams are fresh off  a great fall and could be in position to really be a force in 2016 and a trip to State 7on7 is just another feather in the cap.  They come in as the favorites, but Fairfield and Odem, both of whom qualified on the final weekend will be contenders.  Odem has a four year starter at QB who has put huge numbers up and in the 7on7 game, especially at the small school level and elite QB can take you a long way. 

 

 

Pool F (In predicted order of finish)

1)     Celina

2)     Stafford

3)     Lorena

4)     Brady

 

Powerhouse Celina easily qualified for the State Tournament in their first SQT of the year, the only four time champion the Bobcats are on the very short list to win the title once again. Stafford will have maybe the top receiver in the Division II bracket and core of other speedy weapons on both sides of the ball, they get the nod over always tough Lorena.

 

 

 

Pool G (In predicted order of finish)

1)     China Spring

2)     Argyle

3)     Goliad

4)     Christoval

 

China Spring finished as runner up a year ago and Argyle was the 2013 runner up, both are poised for deep runs in this year’s tournament as well.  China Spring cruised through qualification in Central Texas and the Cougars have plenty of confidence.  Due to a lengthy run in the baseball playoffs Argyle struggled in early qualification as the Eagles were missing players, but once Argyle got to full strength they took off.  So expect a battle on Thursday between powers China Spring and Argyle, (who won 8 playoff games last year combined) to battle it out in this pool.

 

 

Pool H (In predicted order of finish)

1)     Graham

2)     Boerne

3)     Godley

4)     Shepherd

 

Graham didn’t have a chance to defend their back to back 7on7 titles last year as the Steers were banned from State level competition due to a fight.  They are back now but with a much more inexperienced bunch, they should still be the favorite but Boerne will be no pushover.

 

Pool I (In predicted order of finish)

1)     Kaufman

2)     Levelland

3)     Falls City

4)     Waco Reicher

 

Kaufman was the other participant in the incident with Graham a year ago and the Lions were quick to punch a return ticket to the State Tournament at A&M-Commerce (ironically enough with Graham).  They will be a team to watch along with Levelland out of West Texas who is in their third straight trip to College Station.  Falls City made their first trip to the dance last year and performed well, the Beavers are a small school but they can compete with just about anyone.  

Pool J (In predicted order of finish)

1)     Palestine

2)     West

3)     Albany

4)     Houston Lutheran South

 

Only one private school made the Division II field a year ago, down from seven in 2014.  The private schools fared slightly better in qualifying this year as three made this year’s field including Lutheran South out of the Houston area.  Palestine and West look to be evenly matched and will be the likely top two teams in this pool, while Albany is in the field for the second straight year.

 

 

Pool K (In predicted order of finish)

1)     Tyler Chapel Hill

2)     McGregor

3)     Snyder

4)     Hitchcock

 

This pool is full of regulars at the State Tournament, McGregor is making their fifth straight trip to state, while Chapel Hill is back for the fourth straight year.  Snyder and Hitchcock are on back to back appearances, but it’s Chapel Hill out of East TX who gets the slight nod over McGregor who has knocked heads with some bigger schools in Central TX this summer.

 

Pool L (In predicted order of finish)

1)     Cameron Yoe

2)     Springtown

3)     Krum

4)     Needville

Springtown and Krum aren’t far from each other, but they were placed in the same pool at the State Tournament.  They’ll be fighting for second along with Needville who is making their second consecutive trip to College Station.  Cameron Yoe a powerhouse in Central Texas enters this group as the clear favorite.

 

 

Pool M (In predicted order of finish)

1)     Burnet

2)     Ferris

3)     LaMarque

4)     Midland Greenwood

 

Lots of questions in this pool, except for one and that is Burnet comes in as a clear favorite to win this grouping.  Ferris and Midland Greenwood are newcomers to the State Tournament, while LaMarque has made a habit of advancing to state the Cougs have not always performed well at the State Tournament.

 

Pool N (In predicted order of finish)

1)     Carthage

2)     Midlothian Heritage

3)     Glen Rose

4)     La Feria

 

Carthage is back at State 7on7 for the second straight year, often times the Bulldogs struggle on Day 1 of the tournament but then turn things on the second day.  This year could be different, mainly because on paper the pool doesn’t appear to be as strong.  Midlothian Heritage could be a challenge, the program hasn’t played a varsity Friday game yet but the early 7on7 success has folks thinking they could compete very early. 

 

Pool O (In predicted order of finish)

1)     LaGrange

2)     Tyler Grace

3)     Stephenville

4)     El Campo

 

The most highly recruited player in the Division II tournament won’t be on hand for LaGrange as he’ll be in Oregon, but the Leopards have enough talent to still be considered the team to beat in Pool O. Tyler Grace is a real sleeper, they played in the TAPPS tournament last week and advanced all the way to the semi-finals.  Stephenville is always a threat and newcomer El Campo is playing in their first ever State Tournament. Stephenville and El Campo played for the 2012 Class 4A state title.

 

 

Pool P (In predicted order of finish)

1)     Somerset

2)     Sonora

3)     Decatur

4)     Lexington

 

 

 

Somerset, which has qualified for the Division I tournament the past two years comes in as a big favorite in this pool and a sleeper to win the entire tournament.  They will get a test from always scrappy Sonora who is a State Tournament regular. 


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