Monday, June 7, 2021

Week #6

 The Vikings traveled to Pennington Field in Bedford for the 5th of 7 state qualifying tournaments in north Texas this season. As most everyone knows, Lamar is the only HS team in Texas to qualify for the state tournament every year of its existence. We talk to the team about “protecting the record” from the first day of practice. As I said in the first coach comments back in March, there was no 2020 7 on 7 season because of the pandemic. Because we missed a year, we literally had never met the players; let alone coached them. So, we knew building trust early with each other would be important. Then, unexpectedly Coach DeLay and some of his staff left LHS. So, football related activities such as spring football were put on hold. To help fill the void we scheduled extra 7 on 7 practice each week. We knew it was important for some continuity at least as a 7 on 7 team. So, all these factors meant we had extra challenges to qualify this season. We kept telling the players to stay focused on the things we COULD (effort; practice; conditioning) control and not worry about the other things like hiring a new HFC and staff; that would eventually come together. Still, we did not qualify through the first four tournaments. Down to three remaining tournaments the pressure to “perform” really started to mount. Could we stay focused and positive as a team and TRUST one another?

Last Saturday the Vikes did just that, keeping their poise and meeting the challenge, going 4-0 to qualify for the 23rd year! This showed me the guts this team has, and I think there were some real-life lessons learned about perseverance and performing under pressure. Couple qualifying with the hiring of Lamar’s own Billy Skinner as HFC and a great staff, things are really looking up!

We will still compete in the last two tournaments to get some of our younger players some varsity level competition and to stay sharp for the trip to College Station 6/24-6/26. I am very proud of these young men and their resilience. Join me in congratulation the newest members of this very exclusive club!

Coach Poynter

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Week #5

 Coach comments # 5

The Vikes traveled to Northwest HS in Justin to compete in the 4th of 7 state qualifying tournaments scheduled in north Texas this season. As has been the case so far this season, we played well at times but struggled at others. We will have to iron out these “ups and downs” if we are to qualify this season. In most qualifying tournaments you need to go 4-0 on the day to be sure you are “in”. We have only been able to put together 2 wins in a row so far in 2021 so therein lies the challenge.
We went 1-1 in the pool games that mattered Saturday. By that I mean the third game did not count as it was against a team that had previously qualified. The first game the Vikes played well on both sides of the ball and won 26-6. The second game against Trophy Club was very close. They ran an effective offense against our “zone” defense and took the lead 20-13 at the half. Our coaches elected to play more “man” defense in the 2nd half and really slowed down their offense. Despite turning the ball over on downs and an interception the Vikings nearly won the game at the end with a beautiful long throw and catch. Unfortunately, time expired before we could get off a final play, so it goes down as a 20-19 defeat. In the 3rd game we played everyone to give some game experience to some of the younger or less experienced players.
We did have an unfortunate incident Saturday where one of our players and one of the TC players were ejected for the rest of the tournament for fighting. After visiting with our player Saturday evening his remorse was clear and he will be apologizing to the entire team at practice Thursday. There is no place for losing control; we teach our Vikings to compete and play hard but within the rules. Our team reputation, built up over two decades of competing is excellent within the 7 on 7 community. But like anything in life, a team or individual’s reputation can be destroyed in an instance and NO ONE has the right to do that. Some may wish for a harsher penalty, but I would rather teach with love and trust that the lesson sticks.
This Saturday we travel to LD Bell for the next SQT. We will post the pools later in the week.
VFND!
Coach Poynter  

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Week 4

 Coach Comments

For the 3rd week in a row, the Vikes finished 2-1 and 2nd place in their pool out of 4 teams. We are 6-3 on the season. Our play on defense was particularly good again this week with two more “pick sixes” and several other interceptions. We are playing well at times on offense but need to be more consistent. But the effort and attitude on both sides of the ball is outstanding. We are close and we will get there (qualified).
Of note, we played Southlake Carroll on their home field in game 3 this past Saturday even though it was the Grapevine SQT (due to weather concerns). SLC has a consistently top-rated fall and 7 on 7 program as does Lamar. SLC’s QB, Quinn Ewers, is considered the #1 high school QB prospect in the nation in the Class of 2022 and is committed to Ohio State on a football scholarship. So, we knew we had to play our best against him and the Dragons to advance to the qualifying round.
Our offense struck first with a beautiful pass from Jaden Morris to Darrick Bledsoe for a TD. It was an even game most of the way with the score 14-13 SLC at the half. The Vikings managed to intercept Ewers twice, the last time with just a few minutes left in the game and the Vikes down by 6 points. A score and extra point would win the game for the Vikes but SLC managed to stop us just short and won 26-20.
In EACH of the first 3 SQT’s the team that won our pool also won the qualifying game. That is a good sign in that we are barely losing to teams that have qualified for the state tournament. We are NOT satisfied with “almost” and the kids and coaches will put in the work and extra effort to get the Viking program qualified for the 23nd year in a row.
This week we travel to Justin to the Northwest HS SQT. We will practice Thursday and then leave bright and early Saturday for Justin to take care of business.

VFND!

Coach Poynter 

Photos from the SLC SQT


Wednesday, May 19, 2021

2021 Coach Comments Week 3

The Vikes traveled to Arlington High for the 2nd SQT of the season. For the second week in a row there was a 3-way tie in the pool after 2 games. Since “points scored” is the first tie breaker the Vikes were +6 meaning even if we lost the last game, as long as we lost by 5 or less, we would advance to the qualifying round. Down by just 3 with under two minutes left in the game Denton Guyer managed to score as time expired so they won the tie breaker; advanced to the qualifying round and won that game as well to qualify for the State Tournament in June. As you can imagine it was a tough way to finish the day. None the less a lot of good has come from these first two tournaments,. We are 4-2 and just need to take care of the little things more consistently and we will reach our goal of qualifying for the 22nd year. The EFFORT is there for sure.

 

Several items of note as we settle into the season:

 

  • The 25% shorter games places, a real premium on scoring each possession and getting 1-2 “stops” on defense. There is just not much time to make up ground each half.

  • Extra point conversions are more valuable for the same reason (limited possessions).

  • The weather (cool; wet) has made it hard for all teams to get into “summer heat” shape.

 

Saturday, we travel to Southlake Carroll Senior HS even though it is the Grapevine SQT. The reason is the anticipated wet weather necessitates putting some teams nearby to a second indoor facility, should it be needed due to storms. So, we will hopefully start outdoors at SLC and only move inside their “bubble” if necessary. Note there is a charge for admission for spectators; $3.00 for adults and $2.00 for students. The revised pool and physical address are posted on this site.

 

VFND

Coach Poynter

Friday, May 14, 2021

2021 Message Number Two


The Vikes traveled to Plano last Saturday for the first State Qualifying Tournament (SQT) of the 2021 season. It was a very windy day and that coupled with the new rule shortening games by 25%, kept scores down for all 24 teams for the most part. Below are the results of our pool:

 

Denton Guyer 40, North Garland 7

 

Frisco Wakeland 29, Arlington Lamar 20

 

Arlington Lamar 19, Denton Guyer 7

 

Frisco Wakeland 27, North Garland 12

 

Denton Guyer 25, Frisco Wakeland 19

 

Arlington Lamar 14, North Garland 12

 

 

3-way tie at 2-1 between Frisco/Lamar/Guyer. 1st “tie breaker” is points scored; only points scored between the 3 teams in the tie are counted:

 

Frisco: 29 + 19 = 48 (most points so pool winner)

Lamar: 20 + 19 = 39

Guyer:   7 + 25 = 32

 

Frisco advanced to the qualifying round and won so they have now qualified for the State tournament.

 

For 2nd place the first tie breaker is “head to head”. Lamar beat Guyer so Lamar finished 2nd. Guyer 3rd; NG 4th

 

As you can see when we played well, we were probably the team to beat. Guyer beat Wakeland 25-19 and we beat Guyer 19-7. We were not as consistent as we need to be and we will have to learn to play up to our ability and not “down” to the competition. We did some really good things Saturday as well. So, while we have a lot of things to “clean up” our overall effort was good.

 

This Saturday (5/15) we play in the Arlington SQT. There are 7 total SQT’s that we intend to play in this season prior to the State Championship tournament in late June.

 

GO VIKES!

 

Coach Poynter

 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

2021 Message #1

In all aspects of life 2020 was a year unlike any other in memory. The Viking 7 on 7 team, like so many other teams and sports across the country were gearing up for their seasons and then the door closed shut on all of them.

In the case of high school sports, missing an entire season is a big chunk of most players 2-3 years of participation/development. Like the other 1400 + high schools in Texas the Viking 7 on 7 coaching staff are comprised of unpaid volunteers. Because we have had literally no physical access during 2020, we have not even met most of the players! In the case of large schools such as Lamar, most sophomores play sub varsity 7 on 7; then move up to varsity their junior or even senior years. So missing last season means we are forming the 2021 team with no prior relationship with the players nor them with us as coaches!

So, developing TRUST with the kids right from the start will be very important. There is no question that you will play harder and “bond” with your teammates if like them and trust them. Same goes for the player/coach relationship. We are so fortunate to have 3 assistant coaches who not only played football and 7 on 7 for the Vikings, but now have more than 10 years of varsity 7 on 7 coaching experience each! I am very proud of these young men and know they will role up their sleeves and get to know each player as a person and an athlete as quickly as possible.

Having said that, we only have four practices prior to our first state qualifying tournament (SQT)! So, with a limited knowledge of the players going in and so few practices it may take a few SQT’s to find our footing as a team, but we will get there IF we use our time wisely and efficiently. We must have as many of the players present as possible for each practice ready to go with mask/gaiter; cleats; mouthpiece; helmet (we will provide at the first practice) and personal water. PLEASE parents help us by having them responsible for these items and on time for all events.

Playing time is naturally important to all athletes. As you know by high school and particularly varsity PT is merit based. We are allowed by rule to take 20 players to a tournament. We currently have 31 prospective players. How an athlete does in spring football carries a lot of weight as to who gets “PT” in 7 on 7. We (7 on 7) exist to support the growth of the football team. SO BE SURE YOUR SON KNOWS HE NEEDS TO IMPRESS THE FOOTBALL STAFF IN SPRING BALL IN ADDITION TO THE 7 ON 7 STAFF. We do not “cut” players (without cause), but we do not promise any tournament playing time either.

I am pleased to report that Angie Morris and Mendi Schutte have agreed to be our coordinators for the team. Getting the water; tents; food; rides; uniforms; monies collected etc., are jobs that have to be done for us to be successful and they will need your help! In that regard we will have a parent meeting at 4:30 pm on Saturday 4/24 at Cravens immediately after practice (come out early and watch if you like).

Let’s roll VIKES!
VFND,
Coach Poynter

Monday, June 17, 2019

VIKINGS SWEEP 4TH SQT POOL PLAY IN A ROW

From Coach Poynter:

On a very windy day the Vikings returned to LD Bell HS to compete in their final State Qualifying Tournament of the season. Even though we qualified several weeks ago, we still enter subsequent SQT's and use them as "high speed practices" to stay sharp for the state tournament 6/28-29. We are very fortunate to have First Rate, Inc. as our long-time primary sponsor and this allows us to enter multiple tournaments without too big of financial impact on our players and their families.

The Vikings finished the regular season 15-2, including winning the last 10 games played in a row. The two losses early in the season were by a combined 3 points and prior to our having some of our starters available from the track team. So by any measure it has been a successful regular season.


Although we won all 3 games Saturday, I think the players would tell you we did not play (or coach) to our capability.  This team has a lot of talent and can win most of the games it plays at local tournaments. The challenge we face going forward is to play at the peak of our ability every time we step on the field. At the State Championship, every team has been "vetted" and qualified by beating other good teams. At our best we are capable of competing with anyone in the State. So the challenge to the players and the coaches is to practice the next two weeks at our peak performance level so that becomes our routine. As I tell the kids, it is all about us now; how we practice and play between now and the end of the month will define just how good we can be!

Last Saturday we gave the kids their uniforms to keep as acknowledgement of their hard work. We will practice Tuesday this week (6:30-8:30 pm at Cravens). Please note we will NOT be using the north parking lot any longer this month as it is being used for construction staging. We will park and enter Cravens from the baseball end (south). On Wednesday, my wife Peggy and I will host the players and coaches at our home for burgers/swim from 6-8pm a tradition before the state tournament we started many years ago! Peggy has let me spend from early March to early July the last 18 years coaching the Vikes. It does limit other things we can do together during this time period and she is so supportive as she knows how much I love the players and the game!

We will know by this Sunday evening who we will play against on 6/28 in Pool Play. At that time I will post that and various other items such as our team travel itinerary and a site map for the fields at Veteran's Park in College Station. We will have two very important practices that week on Monday and Tuesday evening before we leave Thursday for State. GO VIKES! VFND.