Lions to challenge Canton, Marion, Rockdale in pool play action in College Station

Quarterback Colt Bertrand (6), pictured firing a pass to teammate Cory Richardson (13) during the Brownwood SQT, and the rest of the Lions will face Canton, Marion and Rockdale in pool play action at the 7-on-7 Division II state tournament in College Station July 10.

The Brownwood Lions now know who stands in their way as their quest for a second 7-on-7 Division II state championship continues later this month.

On Sunday, the 16 pools were revealed for the 64-team 7-on-7 Division II state tournament, which will be held July 10-11 at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station. Brownwood, making its 15th consecutive trip to state, will face Canton, Marion and Rockdale in Pool I.

The Canton Eagles qualified for the state field at the Tarleton tournament, along with Sweetwater, on June 14. A member of District 5-4A Division II in 2014, Canton returns eight offensive and eight defensive starters from a 4-6 bi-district finalist team a year ago. The Eagles are projected to finish fourth in their district behind Gilmer, Melissa and Bullard by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.

The Rockdale Tigers clinched their spot at Navasota, along with Sealy, on May 24. Rockdale, which will reside in District 10-3A Division I when the regular season starts, returns five starters on each side of the ball from a 9-5 playoff team a year ago. Texas Football magazine has picked the Tigers, who are dropping in classification, to place second in their district behind Cameron.

The Marion Bulldogs earned their state berth at the San Antonio Central Catholic event, along with Thorndale, on June 20. Marion posted a 9-3 record a season ago and brings back three offensive and four defensive starters from that club. Located in District 13-3A Division I, the Bulldogs are tabbed by DCTF to come in second in the league race behind Luling.

The Lions, who won their 7-on-7 Division II state championship in 2010, earned their berth to College Station on June 7 by advancing to the semifinals of the Glen Rose SQT. Brownwood, which is picked to finish fourth in District 3-4A Division I behind No. 1 Stephenville, No. 10 Abilene Wylie and No. 16 Big Spring, returns five offensive and four defensive starters from last year’s 4-7 bi-district finalist squad.

In their first three state qualifying tournament this summer, the Lions went undefeated in pool play action, notching nine victories — including one by forfeit. Brownwood came up short in the semifinals of its own tournament, falling to Dublin 39-33 in overtime, and at Gatesville, suffering a 42-26 loss to Boerne, before punching a return ticket to College Station.

With their state berth secure, a handful of Lions were not at Brownwood’s final SQT appearance in Stephenville, where the Lions dropped all three of their pool play contests.

Brownwood will play its state pool games at 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m Thursday, July 10. The top two finishers in each pool advance to the 32-team championship bracket, which begins play at 9 a.m. Friday, July 11. The bottom two teams will be placed in the consolation bracket, and games start at 8 a.m. Friday.

Placed in Pool I, Brownwood will be facing teams from Pool A — which consists of Brady, Houston Episcopal, Lorena and Trinity Christian— in the opening round of bracket play.

The consolation championship game will take place at 3 p.m., with the state championship game slated for a 4 p.m. start.

Overall, Brownwood owns a 3-5 record in SQT action against teams who will be making an appearance in College Station. The Lions posted a 1-1 mark against Stephenville, defeated West and Palmer, lost to Boerne and Abilene Wylie and fell twice against Dublin.