The 2015 Burnet High School varsity 7-on-7 football team includes Trent Rockafellow (kneeling, left), Sterling Galban, Mason Campbell and Peyton Utsey; coach Darius Johnson (standing, left), Preston Reeves, Keedrick Hill, Joel Johnson, Brock Foster, Coleman Posey, Drake Hall, Joel Holland, Nathaniel Looney, Koby Edwards, Colin McBurnett, Hart Krause, Michael Lindley, Kyle Cavender, Austin Moore, Kel Winn, Tyler Ford and coach Earl Foster. Photo by Clairissa Barnett Holland
JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
COLLEGE STATION — The Burnet High School 7-on-7 varsity football team finished in the top eight of Division II state tournament July 9-10.
The Bulldogs (28-5-1) lost 55-27 to Navasota, the eventual Division II state champion, in the quarterfinals of the championship bracket. Navasota beat China Spring 40-39 for the state title. China Spring is a member of District 13-4A Division I along with Burnet.
Burnet beat Worthing 38-22 in the second round and Eastland 39-20 to begin the bracket July 10.
The Bulldogs finished second in pool play thanks to defeating Hawley 35-21 and Diboll 32-19 to bounce back from a 26-12 loss to Argyle on July 9.
Burnet coach Earl Foster said he saw plenty of positives during the tournament, noting that against Navasota — which was the sixth game in less than 24 hours — the Bulldogs showed resiliency.
One of the positives was the communication among the defense, he said. He saw players talking to each other after plays and moving each other around to match up better.
The coach complimented Trent Rockafellow, Mason Campbell and Peyton Utsey for seeing what was happening on the field and helping the Bulldogs adapt. He added that great defenses are as vocal as the offenses before the ball is snapped, and he heard plenty of calls throughout the tournament.
“That’s what impressed me more,” Foster said. “They were coaching themselves. To me, that’s pretty good. That means they know what they’re doing and can help each other out.”
Another was seeing firsthand what it takes to have a championship team.
“Navasota plays at that elite level,” Foster said. “(The Bulldogs) want to be there. Not one was down about their performance. What they learned, you’ll see that carry over (into the 2015 season.)”
Offensively, the coach said the Bulldogs won when multiple receivers got the ball; they struggled when that didn’t happen.
Still, Burnet returns ready to finish the final weeks of strength and conditioning in preparation for fall training camp that begins Aug. 3.
“I’m thoroughly proud of the way the kids played,” Foster said. “I’m just really proud of the kids. Everybody hung in there. After every huddle, they yell ‘family.’ They truly mean that.”