It was a very successful morning for the Buckeyes in pool play. They participated in Pool A with Sabine, White Oak and Diboll. Pool B was composed of Hemphill, Tyler Grace Community, Chapel Hill and Carthage. Chapel Hill had also qualified for State in Bullard a couple of weeks ago, so they, like the Buckeyes, did not participate in the playoffs.
In their first contest at 9 am, Gilmer faced the Sabine Cardinals. After falling behind 0-7 and trailing 19-20 at the half, the troops rallied in the second half and rolled to a 48-27 win, the closest game they were to have all day.
In the 10 am game they faced the White Oak Roughnecks. They led 35-0 at the half and cruised to a 55-6 win. White Oak did make it into the end zone near game’s end, but they were called for a 4-second violation and the TD was nullified.
In their final game at 11 am the Buckeyes faced the Diboll Lumberjacks. Gilmer led 31-7 at the half and coasted to a 44-7 win. Diboll got into the end zone on the last play of the half, but they were called for a 4-second violation and that score was nullified.
It has been a very successful 7on7 season for Gilmer. They have won 22 games and lost only 1, a 37-21 setback in the quarterfinals of the Gilmer Tournament back on May 17th. After Saturday’s games, we asked Buckeye 7on7 Coach Rebel Jackson his thoughts on the success the team has had this season.
“I like our kids, and we’ve talked about it since the first one, and we’re just deep. We’ve had a lot of 7on7 teams come through here, but it’s hard to remember one that we played as many kids. You know, we always 20-22, but to have that many kids that are going to play a lot of snaps, and get a lot of productivity out of and make plays is good because you see a lot of teams don’t bring that many, so it’s attrition, so toward the end of the day it shows, and it did again today.”
Wide Receiver Quinn Fluellen has now caught 50 TD passes during the 7on7 season. We asked Rebel’s thoughts on his domination this season. “I didn’t know how many it was until he told me. I thought he was kidding at first, but I knew he was keeping up with them. I know if he can do that on Friday nights in the fall, then wherever he wants to go to school, I’m moving with him.
Another big reason the team has had the success they have is quarterback McLane Carter. We asked Coach Jackson’s how he felt about his play. “He’s thrown the ball well all summer, and we knew he could. Obviously, we’ve got about a dozen kids that can go out there and make plays for us, so that makes it a lot easier, but I’m really proud of the way he’s played and I’m proud of the way Zac’s (Spears) played. You know, Zac’s come in and taken a lot of snaps this summer, so when you have two quarterbacks that can both get the job done, it makes you that much better.”
“Kris (Boyd) wasn’t here, Blevin Burns was taking ACT, LeMarcus Morton was at a wedding, so we had three guys who have had a lot of contribution and couldn’t play today, but more than that I was worried because it’s a double-edged sword. We knew we had qualified, so we came to get some work, but you worry about that because the kids know you qualified, so the focus and intensity level drops a little bit, as you saw early in the day. We had to get a little reminder at halftime that we were here for a reason today, and so I was really happy about the way we finished, but you always worry about that and the latter the summer gets, the more I worry because we’re not in school. We’re not doing it every day. We’re going to play Pine Tree a couple of times and Sulphur Springs a couple of times between now and the State Tournament to kinda stay sharp. I don’t know when those games are yet, but we will schedule them so we can stay sharp this summer.”
Now that the Buckeyes have qualified for State, there will be some fundraising going on between now and tournament time, as GISD cannot pay for the team to go to State due to the fact the event is not a UIL sanctioned event. We asked Coach Jackson about plays to raise funds for the team to make the College Station trip next month.
“The business owners and a lot of individuals have done a great job each year stepping up and helping us. We’ll be doing that again, so you’ll probably see us wearing you out at some point either on the phone or the front door. Our fans are great. A lot of teams come here and don’t have a lot of support, but we don’t go anywhere that we don’t have people show up and support us, so I’m really thankful for those guys.”
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