Brownwood's first venture into a lineman challenge also takes place Saturday at Hardin-Simmons
The first glimpse at the schemes being implemented by new head coach Kyle Maxfield, offensive coordinator John Contrucci and defensive coordinator Sam Gillispie will be on display Saturday as the Brownwood Lions compete in their first 7-on-7 state qualifying tournament of the summer.
“Our offense is our offense on Friday nights and we try to use the same terminology with our 7-on-7 stuff,” Maxfield said. “But we get as much, or more, benefit out of 7-on-7 on the defensive side of the ball with coverages and working those skills and checks and making the right calls. Offensively, our passing game terminology is very similar to what we do Friday night. We don’t do any play-action stuff in 7 on 7, so it’s a little different for us.”
The Lions will take part in the Burnet qualifier beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, followed by the Gatesville tournament June 4, then Brownwood hosts its own qualifier June 11. The final chance to reach state occurs June 18 at Jim Ned.
Brownwood is seeking its 17th consecutive trip to the 7-on-7 state championship tournament, as the Division II portion of the event — consisting of Class 2A-4A schools — will take place Thursday, July 7 and Friday, July 8 at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station.
“I know how important 7-on-7 has been to Brownwood in the past,” Maxfield said. “I know the success, there’s a football here in the office from being state champs in 2010. We’re going to try and uphold that standard and it’s going to be exciting for us.”
The Lions will also compete in a Brown County 7-on-7 league on Monday mornings June 6, 13 and 20. Early will host the first, Brownwood the second and Bangs the third. Two games will be played at each site at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
A new twist for the Lions this summer will be a pair of lineman challenge events. The first is Saturday at Hardin-Simmons University, with another at Gatesville June 4
“Coach Contrucci has a lot of experience with lineman challenges,” Maxfield said. “It really complements 7-on-7 because, besides the snapper, you just have skill kids involved in 7-on-7 all summer. Someone developed these linemen challenges for who I call the “big biscuits,” for them to really be able to compete and go through some challenges with their teammates against some other teams.
“They have all different kinds of challenges and activities, whether it’s tug of war or flipping tires or pushing trucks. Every lineman challenge is a little different. I don’t have the details of these challenges, but it’ll be a new experience for our guys and I think they’re excited about it.”
As for the Burnet 7-on-7 state qualifier Saturday, the Lions will compete in Pool C against Brady, Bay City and Boerne — which has already locked up a state berth.
Brady, which will be part of the new District 3-3A Division I, is coming off a 7-4 playoff season. Bay City, which will reside in District 12-4A Division I, posted a 4-6 overall mark last season. Boerne, a member of District 14-4A Division I that went 7-3 a year ago, qualified for the 7-on-7 state tournament at Fredericksburg this past Saturday.
Pool A consists of Bandera, Burnet, Granger and Lago Vista; Pool B is made up of Comanche, Gatesville, Marion and Taylor; and Pool D teams include Bremond, Little River-Academy, Somerset and Wimberley.
The winners from each bracket advance to the tournament semifinals, and the two semifinal winners clinch automatic berths to the state tournament. If Brownwood were to secure its spot Saturday, the Lions would only compete in three pool games at the Gatesville, Brownwood and Jim Ned events.
Eighteen teams have already qualified for the 64-team Division II state tournament — Boerne, Celina, China Spring, Christoval, Ferris, Graham, Hitchcock, Kaufman, Lexington, Lorena, McGregor, Midland Greenwood, Navarro, Navasota, Needville, Sonora, Stafford and Waco Reicher.