Stephenville’s 7 on 7 football team came home from the Division II State Championship Tournament in College Station with fourth place.
Stephenville won four games Friday in the 32-team consolation bracket before being eliminated by a team from Heritage High School.
Stephenville opened Friday’s play with a 40-25 victory over Hitchcock.
That was followed by a narrow triumphs over Gilmer, 34-33, and Canton, 27-26. Stephenville then topped Bay City, 21-14, before being outscored by Heritage, 33-14.
The tournament began with pool play on Thursday. Stephenville was 1-2 in Pool P along with Falls City, while Melissa and Navasota were 2-1.
The Stephenville squad, which included 20 players, was coached once again by Clark Giddings, a local dentist who has coached the 7 on 7 team for four years.
“We came together better on Friday,” Giddings said. “We played more our style of football and things went well for us.”
Stephenville was without No. 1 quarterback Easton Jones, who has an elbow injury stemming from baseball season, according to Giddings.
Tyler Schouten took over as the starting quarterback in the tournament.
Jones will be doing some alternative treatment on the injury, which involves a tear of his ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm. He has been the starter for the Stephenville Yellow Jackets the past two seasons, and aims to be with the squad again in 2108 for his senior year, after his physical rehab work.
Giddings said the players had to endure temperatures of 100 degrees during the two days of tough competition.
Chase Carrillo, a junior who starts at cornerback for Stephenville, was also not available to play in the state tournament after his mother’s recent passing.
Giddings said that the players gave great effort, despite the severe heat.
“The tournament went great,” Giddings said. “The kids played extremely well. The effort was there — every game, every snap. We got a lot of commitment from every kid. It was 100 degrees.”
Stephenville opened pool play with a 50-36 loss to Navasota, followed by a 42-37 setback against Melissa. Stephenville then won its final pool play game in a blowout, 48-14 over Falls City.
“Gilmer and Bay City were very good football teams,” Giddings said. “Against Navasota we went to-to-toe.”
Graham defeated Abilene Wylie, 27-20, to win the Division II championship bracket. The Division I title was won by Lake Travis, 34-33 over Waxahachie.
Both Division I (for Class 5A-6A schools) and Division II (Class 4A and smaller) had 16 pools that were separated into 32-team championship and consolation brackets based on Thursday’s pool play records.