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.   

Saturday, June 8, 2019

VIKINGS SWEEP 3RD POOL IN A ROW

The Viking varsity 7 on 7 team traveled to Justin Northwest HS Friday and went 3-0 in pool play for the 3rd consecutive week. Keep in mind the other teams in each of these pools are trying to qualify for state so they are focused. Since we have already qualified we use the remaining tournaments as "high speed practices". Like any sports team the kids tire of playing intra squad games and they really look forward to playing other schools, with refs in a competitive environment. Because of our sponsorship from First Rate, Inc. we are able to pay the $300.00 entry fee to up to six tournaments per year prior to State. This gives the Vikes as much or more tournament experience than any other team in the area. That extra work and competitiveness helps us get ready for the high level of competition we face in every game at the state tournament.

For the 2nd week in a row our "D" turned in a great performance. We shut out two teams in the first half of the 3 games we played. 7 on 7 is designed to score; the rules favor the offense. So to pitch 4 shutout halves in the last two tournaments... We also had 5 interceptions in 3 games which is ball hawking! Our offense is really spreading the ball around. Some years we might have 1-2 "go to" receivers. But this group with Jack at QB, has 5 "go to" receivers on the field at a time! That really stresses any defense we go up against. We played well on offense but we can definitely be more consistent and we will get there!

Perhaps the hardest part of my job each year is reducing the squad down to the final 20 players that will compete for us at the state tournament. This year we have 23-24 players that could make most teams final 20. So telling 3-4 kids they are not going after putting in the work is really hard. All I can tell them is that 7 on 7 is not real football and that this in no way reflects on their ability in REAL FOOTBALL. All of these are great kids; which I think reflects on you as parents and Coach DeLay and his staff since they have them most of the year.

This week we will practice twice then travel to LD Bell for our last tournament before State.

VFND
Coach Poynter

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

VIKINGS DO IT AGAIN! QUALIFY FOR THE 22ND CONSECUTIVE YEAR!

Almost a year to the day after the serious injury to our teammate and fellow Viking Brett Green, the Vikes returned to LD Bell HS and qualified for a state record 22nd consecutive time.

The Vikings went 4-0 and seemed to get stronger as the day went on. The wind was blowing 15-20 mph out of the SE and was gusting higher at times. In spite of that, QB Jack Dawson through the ball very accurately all day including some pin point deep shots for TD's.

Defensively the Vikings were dominant particularly in the first half of games. In 4 games the Vikings allowed 0, 0, 13, 13 points for a total of just 6.5 points per half. This puts a lot of pressure on the opponents to play "catch up" and throw deeper or more risky throws in the 2nd half in order to try to score more quickly or at all. Overall the Viking allowed 20 points per game while the Viking offense was good for 38 points per game. That is an 18 point (3 score) differential which shows the Vikes really were finishing games over the course of the day. Braxton Thomas and Harrison Griffith each had 2 interceptions and James Douglas had one.

Offensively we were equally effective. While the deep throws mentioned above were impressive to watch, it is our play mixture that is keeping other defenses off balance. We have a great TE who knows how to get open and catches everything; speed and great hands at the slot and running back positions and two of the very best wide receivers in the area. When you combine that with a 3 year starter at QB you have a versatile offense that can be explosive or play "slow ball" to eat up the clock as needed. We converted 19/22 extra points which is good but we strive for 100% in that area because we know that deep in the state tournament that is sometimes the difference.

We do not have a tournament this weekend which is great; we need a couple of intensive practices to smooth out some areas and get better in others. While I love tournament play, our chances of real success in College Station goes up if we have several weeks of solid practices including the remaining 3 tournaments as "high speed practices" to be as ready as we can be to compete for a state 7 on 7 title.

I will talk more about the upcoming state tournament and the historical perspective of qualifying 22 years in a row later this week. Congratulations to the 2019 Vikings; their families; coaches and everyone associated with this program. You are indeed part of something special. VFND!

Monday, May 20, 2019

VIKINGS GO 3-1 ON SATURDAY IN THE GRAPEVINE SQT

The Vikings traveled to Colleyville HS Saturday and battled to a 3-0 record in pool play in games shortened to try to get the tournament in before the forecasted heavy rain moved in to the area.

The pool games were shortened to one 30 minute segment with no half time. This meant that every offensive possession was vital to come away with points and likewise 1-2 stops on defense would put the other team in a bind. Here is a summary of pool play:

Game      Opponent                              Points Scored          Points Allowed
1           Richardson Berkner                 42                             30
2           Colleyville Heritage                21                               6
3           Mesquite Poteet                       21                               7


About mid-way through game 3 all teams were forced inside due to strong storms to finish play. In the state qualifying round, we faced a good Midlothian team that was also 3-0 in their pool. Both teams scouted one another earlier as it was apparent we were the best team in each of our respective pools. The format went back to 2-20 minute halves for the qualifying game and Midlothian got the ball first. Lamar fell behind 13-0 but came back to tie the game at 20-20 at half time. In a back and forth game that saw both teams score 3 times in the second half, the Vikes came up just short 42-40.

The Vikings are now 5-2 in play through two tournaments. The level of play on both sides of the ball is very good and the effort is excellent. The job now is to "finish" each tournament with a win so we get qualified. This Saturday we travel to Bedford for a state qualifying tournament and I will report on how we fared next week!
Coach Poynter

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

VIKINGS SHOW WELL AT FRISCO SQT


In spite of missing several key players due to track and injury, the Viking 7 on 7 team got off to a really good start last Saturday. The Vikes went 2-1 in pool play, averaging 38 points per game on offense while allowing 25 ppg to the opponents. In game 2 we started slowly only scoring 14 points in the first half even though we got the ball first to start the game. The Vikes responded in the 2nd half and came back to take the lead with less than 3 minutes left in the game. Only a "last play of the game" 2-point conversion by Cypress Bridgeland (Houston area) kept the Vikings out of the qualifying round game. Bridgeland won the qualifying round game against Frisco 34-26 to advance to the State 7 on 7 Championship tournament later in the season.

Two things I really like about this Frisco early season state qualifier. #1 we are usually missing 3-6 of our fastest players as it is track season. This gives us coaches a chance to evaluate some of our younger players under tournament conditions to see who may be ready to help at the varsity level as we get into the meat of the season in about a month. #2 I love that the kids get to see the Dallas Cowboys world class facility and make a "road trip" that requires them to be at Lamar by 6 am. For the most part we got what we wanted out of the trip except of course qualifying!

Having coached at this level now for 17+ seasons I would say this season's team is as talented as any we have had in recent memory. We have experience returning on both sides of  the ball, size, speed and athleticism. If we all put in the work in practice and stay healthy we should have a chance to be very competitive this season. Right now most teams including Lamar are in spring football so we only have two 7 on 7 practices prior to our next SQT on 5/18 at Grapevine HS. We have probably qualified at this particular SQT more than any other through the years.

Monday, April 22, 2019

2019 7 ON 7 SEASON ABOUT TO BEGIN

This Saturday (4/27) the Vikes travel to Frisco to compete in the first state 7 on 7 qualifying event of the 2019 season. This is somewhat unique event as the venue is the Ford "Star" in Frisco, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Last year there were Cowboy coaches, a few players and even some cheerleaders watching and of course the facility is first rate. The "Pool" winners play inside the Ford Star which seats 12,000 in the "qualifying" round of games. So it is a fun event to kick off the season!

Because it is still April many of our athletes are involved in other seasonal sports namely baseball and track. Just as last year the Frisco event is at the same time as "Regionals" in track. Once again some of our great Lamar athletes have made it to regionals which is great but it does mean we are missing some good players for the Frisco event. Of course that means that some of our younger players will get a chance to compete this week at the varsity 7 on 7 tournament level of play. There is a PDF tab on the front page of our web site. Click on that tab and you will see a couple of PDF's related to our schedule, where to park; where/when we play etc.

I will blog again after Saturday's event and let you know how we fared and more about the upcoming season.

VFND,

Coach Poynter