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.
Coach Poynter