Monday, June 26, 2023


It has been a while since I updated you all and I will endeavor below to catch everyone up on the last half of the season and the state tournament.

After we qualified at the Allen SQT, we had a sudden rash of injuries hit us, all on the offensive side of the ball. Fortunately none were too serious and all FOUR players should be back at full strength for fall football camp and the season. None the less, in my 21 years coaching, we have never lost 4 out of 7 starters on one side of the ball! Gregory Williams, Deante Gentry, Jessie Little and Sevan Ogletree all missed the last few SQT's AND the State Championship. We actually played three upcoming 9th graders in the last SQT at Keller Fossil Ridge, just prior to State.

We started mostly underclassmen all season. Now we were even younger and less experienced as we traveled to the State tournament last week. Fortunately, our defensive top10 players were fine health wise. 

We arrived in College Station (20 active players, 4 inactive and 5 coaches) last Thursday, not really sure what to expect in pool play. We knew we would find out quickly as our first games was against Houston Lamar, a 9-3 football team last fall that went two rounds deep in the football playoffs in 2022. In the battle of LAMAR'S, our guys played really solid on both sides of the ball with a pick six on defense and a great game by one of our back up wide receivers, Bakr Elsaad. The "northside" Vikes won the game to go 1-0 in pool. In game 2 we faced a team from the Rio Grande Valley called PSJA. This was their first trip to College Station but they played with a lot of intensity and pushed the Vikes to the brink before we won the game in OT 26-20. In game 3 we faced Wylie East with both teams 2-0 going in to the game. Knowing we would advance win or lose to the championship bracket on Saturday, we played certain starters more sparingly to get them some rest, and we lost the game to finish pool play 2-1. Most fans are aware that we have qualified for 24 of the 25 years of the state tournament. But perhaps more impressive is the Vikings have now made it to the championship bracket 20 out of the 24 seasons (83.3%) meaning "we don't just go we show". 

On Saturday we played another Valley HS, PSJA-North. We were very disappointed to lose this game. Of some consolation PSJAN made a nice run to the quarterfinals, losing to Round Rock who won the championship. It was the deepest run by a Valley team in the tournament's history.

Overall, considering how young our team was and the injuries sustained, it was a strong season. We definitely identified some less experienced players who may be ready this season to help the varsity football team, which is one of our goals each year in 7/7. 

A huge thank you to our team sponsors, (First Rate, DS Waters, The Huggin's and The Kelly's) for their donations to help defray our team costs. Likewise, Jay Ryan who keeps this website looking good and filled with useful information and has done so for so many years for us. Thanks also to our excellent 7/7 volunteer coaching staff and the endless help by the Carey's, Garrett and Shannon.

See you next year!


Coach Poynter


Friday, May 26, 2023

Last Saturday the Vikes traveled to Allen to compete in the 3rd state qualifying tournament of the season. As I mentioned last week, even though we went 0-3 the week before, the games were highly competitive, and we lost each game by an average of 5.3 points. So it was not as bad as it seemed. We then had our best practice of the season last Tuesday prior to Allen and it showed!

The Vikes went 3-0 in pool play for the second time in three tournaments this season. The first two games went our way with scores of 31-21 and 27-7. In the game against Plano West we lost one of our best players, Gregory Peoples, with a broken nose. Fortunately, he is going to be OK but we all hate to see that happen. The 3rd game was a thriller against a very good Frisco Lone Star team. A pick six, by Von Smith late in the game turned out to be the decisive play as the Vikes won 20-19. We converted 2 of 3 extra point tries and FLS converted just 1 of 3 and that was the difference in the game. We talk about how important the little things are in these games and it was very evident in this game.

We quickly moved from the pool site (middle school) to Lowery Field (high school) for the qualifying game. We did not let the change of location bother us and we jumped on Richardson Berkner 21-0 at the half. We played down to the competition a bit in the second half but still maintained a comfortable margin winning 27-14. As you probably know by now, the Viking 7 on 7 program has qualified for 24 of 25 years for the Texas 7 on 7 State Championship. That is two more times than any other high school in Texas.

We have 4 SQT's remaining and we plan to participate in all of them using them as "high speed practices". It really helps us improve when we go up against other schools even though we cannot advance out of pool play. These extra 12 games plus one regular practice should have us ready to compete in College  Station on 6/23-24. The state travel roster will be compiled this weekend.


Monday, May 15, 2023


Coaches Corner: Melissa SQT


The Vikes made the hour-long drive to Melissa HS for the first state qualifying tournament (SQT) of the 2023 season. As you know we try to participate in as many SQT’s as possible for the development of the Viking football program. Our players love competing against other schools, so we try to give them a full dose! We are entered in 7 SQT’s followed hopefully with a trip to College Station in late June for the State 7 on 7 Championship.


We started off against the Melissa JV team from the host school. Obviously, against a younger group we should be the better team and we were, holding them scoreless and to one first down in the game with a final score of 28-0. In game 2 we played the Melissa varsity team and beat them 28-6. Our defense was outstanding in this game. The Vikes “D” had 3 interceptions and returned two of those for TD’s (pick sixes). Offensively we were “OK”, as the defense accounted for half of our 28 points. The 3rd pool game was against Garland, a school with lots of talented athletes. It was a close and highly competitive game with the Vikes winning 20-18. We won the Pool going 3-0 so we qualified for the qualifying round game, meaning the winner of this 4th game qualifies for the State Tournament. Midlothian Heritage beat us in a close game 20-13 to advance to the state tournament.


Offensively, we are still a work in progress which is typical early in the season. A few years ago, by rule, the games were shorted by 10 minutes, so each half is just 15 minutes with no intermission. So, it is critical to score each time you are on offense because the games are so short. We are turning the ball over too many times right now, but we can correct that by further emphasis to the players about managing down and distance better.


Coaches Corner: Arlington High SQT


This past weekend the Vikes ended up playing on the Lamar campus in the “MAC” due to forecasted poor weather. As we move more to the heart of 7 on 7 season with baseball and track over, teams now have their full complement of players. We were in a highly competitive pool Saturday with all 3 opponents making deep football playoff runs last season and each having a strong 7 on 7 pedigrees. In the first game Byron Nelson TC edged us 26-19. In game two Rockwall edged us 28-26. Game 3 the final score was Prosper 19-Lamar 12. While it certainly is a step back to go from 3-0 in pool play in the previous SQT to 0-3 Saturday it is not as bad as it may look on paper. The reasons are: 1. The competition was a step-up in all games; 2. The losses were extremely close; no one “beat us” as the average difference in score was 5.3 points/game. We failed to score twice from inside the two-yard line; we knocked a sure interception right into the hands of an opponent for a score; just a series of little things we have to clean up. This could have been another 3-0 pool VERY easily. The EFFORT and DESIRE by our kids is spot on. We just have to work on some items in practice and eliminate the self-inflicted wounds and we should be fine.


Next Saturday we travel to Allen HS for the 3rd SQT of the season.




Coach Jim Poynter

Tuesday, June 21, 2022


Coach Comments


Just completed season 20 coaching the Lamar 7 on 7 team. Our efforts to extend our state tournament qualifying streak ended last Friday at 23 consecutive years. While we are all disappointed, it’s not devastating as these kids and coaches literally gave it everything they had. We were a very young team at key positions and it showed-at first. As the season progressed this team grew a lot and missed qualifying by just 3 points. I just love this group; winning has a lot of ingredients; hard work; talent; experience and love for the game and each other. Some years the amounts vary and this year we were a bit light on experience. But they had all of the other items in full.

As they transition to getting ready for fall football I don't think there is any question that all these "reps" this spring in 7 on 7 will help elevate the football team. The other key is that 7 on 7 gives this portion of the football team a chance to really bond for a few months. So, all in all, I consider this a very successful season.

I'd like to give a big thanks to First Rate, Inc.; DS Waters and Jay Ryan for their donation of money; supplies and time. We could not have the success without these cornerstone annual donors. THANK YOU! 

Angie Morris has been our volunteer coordinator for the last two years. She has the energy of three people and makes sure we have everything we need as a team. Thanks to all those that volunteered under her leadership! 

Our coaching staff is the best in Texas in this sport. Julian, Spencer and JR along with this years interns Jaden Morris and Amarlyon Fox are the backbone for the success of our program along with the full support of the Viking football staff led by Coach Skinner!

Great job players and coaches; see you this fall and you underclassmen in 2023! 

Go Vikes!🏈🏆

Coach Jim Poynter

Monday, June 6, 2022

 Coaches Corner # 3: 6/6/22

In the last report several weeks ago, I explained how important it is with an inexperienced team to get the maximum EFFORT out of each player and each coach every practice, every snap, every game. I am extremely proud to report that is EXACTLY what has occurred in the last three weeks!

In the qualifer the week after Arlington, we were in Plano. We went 2-1, losing the 3rd game by one point (21-20) to Coppell who then went on to win their qualifying game.

In the next qualifier we were at Northwest HS. We went 2-1 again and played better each game than the one before.

Last Saturday in the Grapevine tournament we went 3-1, winning our pool and facing a very good McKinney HS team in the qualifying game. The Lions beat Southlake in the 3rd game to win their pool. So two 3-0 teams went at it, with the winner qualifying for State. The Vikes played very well and with great effort but we fell to the Lions 28-26 as they advanced to the State tournament later this month.

So let's recap. From an 0-6 start in the first two qualifiers, the Vikes are 7-3 in the next three. WE WERE 5 POINTS AWAY FROM GOING 9-1 during that time frame. Less than one score separated us from qualifying! As a coaching staff that is an amazing turnaround in a short period of time. We coaches are very impressed by the mental and physical toughness they have displayed in those three weeks. WE STARTED USING "THE TREND IS UP" as a motto and they have lived it!

This week we play in the next to last qualifier (again at Arlington HS) on Friday. Times and pools TBD. If the guys continue to upward trend we will reach our stated goal of qualifying for the State Tournament for the 24 consecutive year!


Coach Poynter

Tuesday, May 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.


Coach Poynter

Wednesday, April 27, 2022


Coaches Corner #2


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! 


Coach Poynter