The Brownwood Lions begin their run for their second 7-on-7 Division II state championship since 2010 today in Round Rock.

The Lions will face Anna at 2 p.m., Mexia at 4 p.m. and Houston Episcopal at 6 p.m.

Howard realizes that 7-on-7 isn’t the regular season, but now that they have advanced to the state tournament, Brownwood wants to win it.

“We played a lot of kids after we qualified for state in May,” Howard said. “We wanted to have an opportunity for as many players as possible to get involved this summer and play.”

Howard said that will be different in Round Rock.

“We’ll play most of our starters, more than likely everybody won’t get as much reps as during the summer,” Howard said. “We don’t really scout during 7-on-7. We just want our kids to get better on doing what we need them to do.

“Winning the state title in 7-on-7 doesn’t guarantee success in the fall,” Howard continued. “Our kids understand this, but want to win.”

Howard wants his kids to focus and execute their offense and defense in preparation for the regular season.

Howard likes 7-on-7 for several reasons, and it keeps his players in shape before two-a-days.

Howard also reacted to the rankings by Dave Campbell Texas Football and The Old Coach.com’s Friday Night Football magazine, both of which predicted the Lions to win the District 8-3A championship.

“I’ve been reading those magazines since I was in high school,” Howard said. “When I was a high school player, they picked us to finish last in our district and we won it.

“They do what they need to do to sell magazines, and we still need to do what we need to do on the field.”