Backyard Football Taking Center Stage

State 7-on-7 football championships begin Thursday in College Station

The Fox Sports Southwest 7-on-7 State Championship begins Thursday in College Station with the Division II schools getting underway, which are anywhere from Class 1A to 3A, as 32 teams will battle it out before Division I (4A and 5A) kicks off on Friday with 64 teams.

7-on-7 football has blown up on the popularity scale in recent years as more teams, especially at this lower classification, have adopted the spread offense. It's a great tool for teams to get work in during the summer and work on timing and route running.

It's basically flag football with seven on offense and seven on defense. Defenders are at a distinct disadvantage because they can't touch receivers. Quarterbacks are under a time limit to get rid of the ball or the play is ruled a sack.

The Division I schools from the area are listed here, and include such area powerhouses as Pilot Point and Celina.

You can also throw in schools such as Melissa, Glen Rose and Graham, with quarterback Case McCoy, the younger brother of Texas quarterback Colt McCoy and son of Graham head coach Brad McCoy. Schools' head coaches are not permitted to coach during 7-on-7 as a parent often "coaches" the team, but it's more run by the players themselves. Head coaches have to sit in designated areas in the end zones and aren't allowed to have interactions with the teams.

Celina is always a favorite to win this thing, and that will be no different this year, but look out for Pilot Point, who lost to Celina in the semifinals two years ago and didn't qualify last year. The Bearcats reached the Class 2A Division I state semifinals in December and have a wealth of talent returning, including quarterback Seth Tilley.

Adam Boedeker is a sports writer/award-winning blogger for the Denton Record-Chronicle. He liked "Borat" much better than "Bruno".

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