Tuesday, May 17, 2022

 5/17/2022

Coach Comments # 3

Last Saturday we played our 2nd SQT of the season, this time nearby at Arlington High. Before I review the results let me remind everyone of a few facts regarding this years team:

1. We have one returning 7 on 7 starter on offense; 5 on defense.

2. We have no varsity or prior 7 on 7 experience at QB.

3. Both SQT's have been played after "hitting" football practices less than 18 hours earlier.

The fact that we have started slowly, particuarly on offense is frankly not surprising. Having coached at the varsity level for twenty years, it just takes time some years depending on our experience and talent level. We are still learning the game at the 6A level of competition. What we coaches are looking for is material progress from week to week. Defensively, we should be getting close to the level we need to compete successfully, in the next two weeks. Offensively, it may take somewhat longer. THE KEY IS PROGRESS WEEK OVER WEEK. That means we coaches have to "coach 'em up" and the players, with spring sports and school mostly behind them, need to be FULLY FOCUSED on putting in the work and getting better. WE have a lot of work to do over the 5+ weeks!

Regarding last week's SQT we played poorly in the first two games. Game 3 we were much better on both sides of the ball so we can and will build on that. I always tell it straight to our players: we are not going to be good enough this year to "get by" on anything less that our BEST effort. Every play. Every practice. Every game. Period.

VFND!

Coach Poynter

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

 

Coaches Corner #2

4/27/2022

Last Saturday we made the hour+ drive to Melissa HS. Melissa is a fast growing community just south of Sherman. The team did a great job of getting to Lamar by 6:15 am especially considering they had spring football last week so they were probably a bit more tired than usual.

We knew this would be a challenging tournament for us for two reasons. First, we were missing 7 players; 5 due to baseball and 2 with injuries. At this time of the year spring sports (track, baseball) are the priority. The 7 on 7 season really starts in mid-May and goes through June. The second challenge was spring football. Many of the teams competing at Melissa had not yet started spring tackle football. After a week of practice (in pads for part) it typically makes for tired legs and some muscle soreness compared to the teams who had not started spring practice. It was our opinion though that the benefit of competing and figuring out "where we are" as a team at many positions was worth the trip in spite of the obvious challenges.

We were particularly short-handed on offense. None of our quarterbacks were available so we moved perhaps our best athlete Darrick "Trey" Bledsoe to quarterback. Trey is one of our best receivers so moving him to QB left us shorthanded at the receiver position along with Jaylon Humbles and Keegan Kelly who were not available. 

Defensively, we were in a little better position in terms of available players but were down two starters in Cooper Barnard and Braylon Cole. 

We played three games and were competitive in all three, particularly on defense. We struggled more on offense but really it was not a "fair fight" with that many key players missing. 

So what were the takeaways? Our effort and attitude all day was excellent. The players recognized the obvious challenges and dealt with it in the right way. Another positive was playing in a highly competitive pool, so we now know what we have to work on to win at future tournaments. Once we have our "full deck" of players we will be able to play at a "Viking" level. We have two more Saturday practices before our next SQT on 5/14 at Arlington High. Baseball conflicts are over and hopefully we will get a couple of our injured guys back as well. Now we just need to put in the work and get ready!

Great group of guys on this team! 

VFND

Coach Poynter



Sunday, April 10, 2022


The 2022 edition of the Lamar Viking varsity 7 on 7 team is underway. We have had several practices and are beginning to get a feel for the talent and personality of this team. I am so pleased to report that all the coaches and our volunteer co-oordinator, are back for this season. One of the keys to our success through the years is that continuity of coaches. Julian, is in season # 12 as our defensive coordinator; Spencer in year 7 as our offensive coordinator. JR is back for season # 2 with us and has years of coaching experience in the north Arlington area. Angie, is one of the most "all in" volunteer leaders you could have and she keeps the whole thing moving in the right direction! 

Just as in fall football, returning "game experience" is important to the early season success of a 7 on 7 team. We have two young QB's with no varsity football experience. That said, both are hard workers; talented and coachable. They push each other and that will make both of them better. 

I should mention we have two coaching interns this season. Helping the offense is Jaden Morris, last years starting QB for the Vikes and who is headed to Texas Tech in May to join the football team. Assisting the D is Amarlyon Fox, a high-energy starter on Lamar's defense last year. Both are welcome additions and have been valued added right from the start! 

While we are light on experience at some positions we have solid experience at others that will help carry us early. As in the past we have signed up to play in seven State Qualifying Tournaments (SQT's) which is the maximum number available. This let's us get a lot of game experience over the next couple of months prior to the State Tournament should we qualify.  In addition, all the players will be in spring football over the next month, so they will get a large dose of football in short order.

People ask me what is the "secret" to qualifying every season for 23 years in a row for the Texas 7 on 7 State Championship. It is actually a combination of several factors:

  • Consistent financial support from companies like First Rate and DS Waters
  • Experienced 7 on 7 coaching staff and total support from the Viking football staff
  • Community based support from caring individuals like Jay Ryan (web site); former team mom's and others.
  • Tremendous desire and effort by current Viking players to "join the club"  of qualifying every season.
Our first tournament is 4/23/22 at Melissa HS. I will fill you in on how we fared shortly after. 

VFND!
Jim Poynter

Saturday, July 3, 2021

2021 State Tourney Videos, photos and highlight video

 2021 State Tourney Videos, photos and highlight video posted on the web site!

http://lamarvikings7on7.com/

VFND!

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Coach Comments-End of Season

The Vikes played in the maximum number of local qualifying tournaments (7) this season. This allowed us to get a lot of additional “reps” since there was no spring football at Lamar due to the coaching change. We won the 5th SQT of the season but continued to go participate even after qualifying.

Every year when we receive our “pool” opponents, I do research on each of the three teams to try and get a feel for them prior to traveling to College Station. One of the items of note was that the three of them combined had only participated in five state qualifying tournaments compared to our seven! It is possible they had scrimmages with other teams but that is a lot of extra reps by our kids in a game environment. As you would expect it was hot and humid in College Station and our pool games started at 1 pm and ended about 5 pm. Our conditioning played a big part in our 2-1 record. It was noticeable in our last game versus Garland. They have at least 4 D-1 recruits and were very athletic. But over the course of the game our conditioning really paid off and we won the game.

Most everyone that follows 7 on 7 in the state knows about Lamar’s 23 qualifications in a row. What is not as known, but perhaps more impressive, is we have advanced to the Championship Bracket 19 out of 23 years. This means we finished 1st or 2nd in a 4-team pool 83% of the time over nearly a quarter of a century! Every school in the tournament won a state qualifying tournament just to get to College Station. In other words, “we don’t just qualify we compete” year in and year out. Great job Vikings!

On Saturday we drew a truly impressive Austin Westlake team in the first game of a single elimination tournament. Their QB recently committed to Clemson, and he has led the Chapparals to TWO Class 6-A State Football Championships in a row and will try to threepeat this upcoming season. The final score was 55-34 so we were very competitive; we just could not quite match their offensive firepower.

Overall, I think this season did three things: 1. Bonded the players after a rough pandemic year and a change of football staffs; 2. Gave them literally hundreds of reps in game type situations and 3. Handled the pressure of maintaining the mantle as the only team in Texas to qualify every season. It is a very exclusive Club and they joined it. Our job is to send them back to fall football better than when we started with them in March, and I believe we accomplished that.

BIG Thanks to Angie Morris as our volunteer coordinator; her energy level and enthusiasm is unmatched. Also, KUDOS to Julian, Spencer, Barry, Chris, and JR for another excellent job of coaching up these players to perform at such a high level. I am pleased to report that EACH of them has agreed to come back in 2022 to go for 24 in a row. VFND!

Jim Poynter

Friday, June 25, 2021

A Report from Day 1 in College Station

 From Coach Poynter:

The Vikings went 2-1 on Friday.

So we advance to the 32 team championship bracket on Saturday.

The Vikings will play Austin Westlake tomorrow at 8:45 am.

 

VFND