The Texas State 7-on-7 Championship pools are out! Here are my predictions for the order of finish in each group, plus a mini-preview for each pool.
Pool A Predicted Order of Finish
- Price Carlisle
A lot of new faces in this pool as only Childress has experience in College Station, but a battle tested Tidehaven squad should be the team to beat in this group. Athletic Price Carlisle is a sleeper, but look for Childress to hold them off and get a more desireable seed for Friday's single elimination.
Pool B Predicted Order of Finish
- Falls City
It’s rare you see a pool in Division III with this type of depth, but this is a pool that goes three-deep. Look for the third and fourth place teams to be tough outs in Friday's bracket play. Falls City is a lethal 7-on-7 outfit, but they’ll be challenged by a very athletic Arp squad with an elite QB and always feisty Wellington.
Pool C Predicted Order of Finish
- Wichita Falls City View
Sonora might have the most experience at the state tournament out of any team in this pool, but its nearby Ballinger that looks to be the team to beat as the Bearcats have been a wrecking machine in qualifying, scoring 50-plus points on a regular basis. Wichita Falls City View and Poth are both newcomers and should be in a real battle when it comes down to seeding.
Pool D Predicted Order of Finish
Last year’s runner-up in the Division III bracket (Palmer) returns. The Bulldogs don’t wow you with the eyeball test, but they are very efficient in 7-on-7 and they thrive in a tournament setting where their conditioning seems to shine through. Hearne has loads of athleticism and they are back at state for the second year in a row and that should be enough to push them past newcomers Flatonia and Ozona.
Pool E Predicted Order of Finish
In an oddity at the state tournament, Comfort and Bremond actually met earlier this summer at the Lexington SQT. Comfort got the better of Bremond that day and the Bobcats look to be a real force with a very explosive offensive attack. Wink and Electra don’t look to be threatening for the top two spots, but could be a tough draw for a pool winner or runner-up in the second day.
Pool F Predicted Order of Finish
- East Bernard
It’ll be interesting to see how East Bernard fares after playing up in the Division II tournament a year ago. The Brahmas are always a tough defensive team, which is a rarity in the 7-on-7 format. If they can get any offense they should hold off an explosive Tenaha squad that looks to be a sleeper in the tournament. Crane will get a chance to show what they can do in front of recently hired head coach Jeff Cordell.
Pool G Predicted Order of Finish
If you are looking for a sleeper team to make a big run, Alpine could be that team. The Bucks are a veteran bunch and they’ve got a history of going to College Station and putting on good showings. Explosive Dublin should join Alpine in the championship bracket, but Buffalo has rapidly improved this summer and could prove to be a spoiler.
Pool H Predicted Order of Finish
- Van Horn
Albany has an experienced offense that’s had a ton of success in the past and that gives the Lions a slight nod over newcomer Daingerfield making their first appearance in College Station. The Tigers do have some raw physical talent and if they adapt well to the 7-on-7 game and don’t let the stage get too big, they could be a real problem in Day 2.