In the opening game Friday morning at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex, the Buckeyes beat the Stafford Spartans, 38-32.
Next, though, they faced off against the Kaufman Lions, who eliminated the Buckeyes from the tournament by the narrowest of margins, 20-19. Gilmer had trailed 20-7 at the half.
On Thursday, in their first game at 2 p.m., Gilmer led the Sweetwater Mustangs 30-7 at the half before coasting to a 36-20 win. At 4 p.m., the Bucks led the Boerne Greyhounds 24-12 at the half and went on to a 45-34 win. In their final game of the day at 6 p.m., the Cuero Gobblers gave the Buckeyes a run for the money. The teams were tied 13-13 at the half, but Gilmer came on strong in the second half and went on to record a 33-24 win, giving themfirst place in their pool and sending them into the Championship games on Friday. They needed to have won five consecutive games. Graham was the team that did that for the second consecutive year. They defeated Prestonwood, 47-45, Friday afternoon to win the Division II trophy.
We had talked with Gilmer 7on7 Coach Rebel Jackson after Thursday’s action and got his thoughts on the team’s play on day one. “The kids played hard. We beat three good teams today. We were a little tired from all the six or seven hours in the heat in that last game and were tied 13-13 at the half, but we found a way to win. It all starts over in the morning. We will play Stafford tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. They remind me of Chapel Hill. They finished second in their pool behind Chapel Hill. Their athletes look identical.”
We had also asked Coach Jackson his thoughts after Pool Play on the team’s chances to bring back the Championship Trophy in 7on7. “I think we’re good enough to win it, but there are six or seven other teams here who are good enough to win it. I like our team and I am proud of the way we are playing.”
The Buckeyes will now have a few weeks off before football practice begins in early August for the 2014 season. Opening game is against the Liberty-Eylau Leopards at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium in Tyler on Thursday, Aug. 28.
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Read more: Division II Championship Bracket