JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
BURNET — The Burnet High School 7-on-7 varsity football team will participate in its 10th state tournament in the past 13 years.
Burnet (23-4-1) is in Pool K with Argyle, Diboll and Hawley. Play begins at 2 p.m. July 9 on field four at Veterans Park, 3101 Harvey Road in College Station.
When the Bulldogs meet Argyle, they’ll see a familiar face: former assistant coach Scott Styron. Argyle won a state championship in 11-man football in 2013.
“That’s one of the top Class 4A programs in the state,” said Burnet 7-on-7 coordinator Andy McHazlett. “It was kind of cool to have them in our pool.”
The top two teams in each of the 16 pools will advance to the championship bracket that starts at 9 a.m. July 10. The bottom two will play in the consolation bracket at 8 a.m. July 10. Both brackets are single-elimination. Pool K is matched up with Pool C, which includes Cameron, Canton, Eastland and LaMarque.
“It’s really more about matchups when you look at pool play,” McHazlett said. “It’s an offensive game, so whenever you get two stops on defense throughout a 40-minute game, you have a chance.”
All 16 pools each have one team from the north, the south, the east and the west.
“It’ll be fun,” McHazlett said. “(Organizers) did a good job of setting the tournament up.”
District 13-4A Division I foe Gatesville is playing in Pool E.
Bulldogs starting quarterback Austin Moore will be backed up by Coby Edwards, who led the junior varsity to an 8-2 record during the Georgetown League that was played each Monday in June. The Bulldogs will have 20 players – nine on offense and 11 on defense.
In 2010, Burnet reached the semifinals of the consolation bracket. Observers noticed that having reserves with the ability to play on both sides of the ball was imperative to success. That way when a player needed to catch his breath, they had backups, especially after playing four games in bracket play.
“They substitute more on defense,” the coordinator said. “You play a small Class 1A school with 10 kids total, they get worn out. There’s a lot of factors that come into play.”
McHazlett believes the Bulldogs’ work since May has allowed them to be prepared for the state tournament. In addition to playing in state tournament qualifiers, Burnet also has been holding practices.
“I always feel like our kids can go out and compete,” he said.