Brady’s summer football program, 7-on-7, officially got under way Thursday, June 7, in San Angelo Stadium with four practice games. Brady will be playing every Thursday night during June as part of the San Angelo League. The league’s games are limited to one 20- minute half, and every team plays at least four games. During the first afternoon session, Brady faced Christoval in game one and showed no mercy on the Cougars as they put up 45 points in one half to cruise to a 45-6 victory. Senior Tyler Campbell had a huge game as a receiver with several big catches. Game two’s match-up was against Wall. The Hawks put together a very physical, fast and athletic team’as you would expect’but Brady was a little better in the contest as they defeated the Hawks, 12-6. The third game was the game of the day, as the hometown Lake View Chiefs were the opponents of the Bulldogs. (Just a little history between the two teams: The 4A Chiefs have never defeated the Bulldogs in the previous match-ups over the last 12 years.) This game had it all’big plays, big stops, great catches, speed, physical play and great competition. Lake View took a slim two-point lead with two minutes to play, but the Bulldogs showed a lot of heart, as junior QB Ruben Resendez led a last-minute drive down the 45-yard field with his receiving corps of seniors, Campbell, J.T. Owens and Brantley King, and juniors, Prennis Williams and Lonnie Williams, to take the lead with 35 seconds to play. The Chiefs’ last ditch effort was thwarted, and the Bulldogs had their third win in as many games, and the winning streak continues against the Chiefs. The final game was against Lake View’s JV team. Letting the younger kids play more in this game made no difference, as the Bulldogs made it four of four with another convincing win over the younger Chiefs. We have been beating each other up in practice for five weeks, so I had a feeling these guys were ready to play another school. In past years, we never had an opportunity to have true game conditions before we went and played in our first State Qualifier, so this was very beneficial to us as we prepared for our first qualifying tournament to be held in Lake Travis, June 9. We took 17 kids with us to San Angelo. That was truly exciting, as the last couple of years we struggled to field a team of seven most weeks. I coach the team and am assisted by fellow BHS alums, Casey Long and Curtis Owens. * * * The Brady team continued action on Saturday, June 9, when they traveled to Lake Travis High School in Austin to compete in their first state qualifying tournament of the summer. Round Rock-McNeil was the first opponent for the Dogs, and McNeil held a 24-14 advantage at halftime. Brady scored on their first possession of the second half to tighten it up, 24-20, and stopped McNeil on their first possession to seemingly get the momentum. But on the very next series for the Bulldogs, a pass was picked off and returned for a TD to make the lead 10 points once more. That was the first mistake of many that the Bulldogs would commit over the next 15 minutes as McNeil scored at will in the second half on the deep ball to blow out the Dogs, 58-28. We were right there with a chance to take the lead and put McNeil on their heels, but as we’ve seen time and time again over our 12 years of playing 7-on-7, one big emotional play can turn a game on a dime. We never recovered from it emotionally on both sides of the ball as defensively we panicked, and on offense, the McNeil defense began to lay their ears back and played more aggressively. The second game was against Dripping Springs, and the Bulldogs found themselves down, 21-6, at the break’a key reason being that they were stopped on downs at the one foot line and the five yard line without scoring. Brady outplayed the Tigers in the second, outscoring them, 20-15, but it just wasn’t enough as the Bulldogs dropped to 0-2 in pool play. Those two possessions in the first half where we stopped ourselves with poor route running inside the five, killed us. We have to learn to spread it out at the goal line to open up the entire end zone as an opportunity for a score. The third and final game was against Leander Vista Ridge, a school that will be going into their fourth year of existence this fall, but still had plenty of athletes to choose from and they showed it by just falling to Round Rock McNeil, 28-26, in their previous game. Both teams struggled offensively in the first half as Brady only managed a 14-6 lead, but the second half saw Brady score on four of their five possessions to get their first ‘W,’ 40-21. Before the game, I challenged the players to play with heart and pride. We knew we would not be able to advance out of pool play, but we didn’t want to go 0-3 like we did all of last year. We encouraged the kids to play with some emotion and heart, and they did. We knew Vista Ridge would be a tough out since they had just given McNeil all they wanted. I also knew that McNeil wasn’t 30 points better than us and we should have beaten Dripping Springs, so we needed to step up and show it. Casey (Long) and I were proud of the kids, but disappointed with the results. This was a great learning experience for all those boys, especially the young ones, as they learned you have to have a short memory in this game, or it will devastate you. Members of the team who represented Brady on Saturday were seniors Tyler Campbell, Brantley King, Bryce Hanna, and J.T. Owens; juniors, Prennis Williams, Lonnie Williams, Ruben Resendez, Isaiah Conrad, and Sammy Holland; sophomores, Mark Salas, Eric Hernandez and Colin Hanna; and freshmen, Jayton May and Isaac Conrad. Brady will play in San Angelo again on Thursday as they do throughout the month of June, then are scheduled to play in the Abilene State Qualifier on Saturday, and then will be in Brownwood, June 23. Brady has already qualified for the Abilene Christian University State Tournament to be held July 13-14, but the state qualifiers that they are participating in now, is for a chance to return to College Station and the ‘official’ League Sanctioned State Tournament. Seven-on-7 consists of seven players on defense (generally four defensive backs and three linebackers) and seven on offense (a quarterback, five receivers and a center who is not eligible). The field is 45 yards long, and the offense has three downs to attempt to advance the ball the first 15 yards: three tries for the next 15, then four downs inside the 15 yard line to try and score. Once a team scores, they can attempt a one-point extra point from the three yard line or go for two from the 10. The quarterback has four seconds to throw the ball once it is snapped and it must be a forward pass. The games consist of two-20- minute halves with a 10-minute halftime and 10 minutes between games.