The Gilmer Buckeyes officially kicked off their 7on7 season Monday afternoon with a trip to Sulphur Springs for games against the Wildcats at the Sulphur Springs Multi-Purpose Building indoor football facility. The varsity and junior varsity athletes had their games inside and the younger athletes played outside on the practice field. Gilmer took approximately 50 athletes to the event.
It turned out to be a very successful outing, as all teams were very competitive, and things could not have gone much better for the two varsity teams from Gilmer.
The first team, quarterbacked by returning upcoming senior quarterback Tanner Barr won their first game 35-28 over the Wildcats and ran away with the second game by a score of 35-14.
The second team, quarterbacked by upcoming junior Chase Tate, won their first game with a 14-0 shutout, and came back from a 7-21 deficit in the second game to tie 21-21.
The Mirror talked with 7on7 Coach Rebel Jackson after the games to get his thoughts of what he saw from the squad.
“You know, when you’re 7on7, it’s all offense for the most part. We’ve got Tanner (Barr) back, Quinn (Fluellen), Nick (Smith), DeVondrick’s (Dixon) back, and we played a lot of young kids—Zod Heath, Andrew Hollis, Cory Frazier. We played a lot of kids, and our quarterback (Barr) has improved tremendously, so hats off to the coaches. You were here, you can tell, we’ve made such big strides. Last year we struggled to even score a point. We moved the ball very well. Tanner played well and Chase moved the ball extremely well to have been thrown into this position. Very impressed with the way we played.”
The Bucks will host a 7on7 tournament at Buckeye Stadium Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. and concluding around 4 p.m. We asked Coach Jackson how much getting to play against another team before that tournament would help the Buckeyes.
“It is huge, because they work on it two or three days a week probably at school, so they know what they’re doing, but then to do it against somebody else and not your team is big, and next week (the Gilmer tournament today) will be huge. I think we’ve got 12 (teams) in the Varsity division, 10 in the JV division; Whitehouse, Sulphur Springs, Daingerfield, Tatum, Mt. Pleasant, Rockwall, so there’s a lot of big schools coming that throw the ball, so it’s just good. It’s got the kids optimistic. They feel good about what they’re doing, and we got a lot of kids playing time today, obviously, having two varsities, so it’s good. We feel good about it, but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
We asked Coach Jackson his thoughts on Barr’s performance at quarterback in the two games he played. “Tanner works so hard. I talked to Coach (Alan) Metzel and you can tell; he works so hard. We played 16 games last year and he got better every week, and above that you have kids that are confident in themselves. Quinn Fluellen made plays all day; Nick Smith made plays all day, DeVondrick, Chase, Cory; we’re deeper than we’ve been, we’re playing more kids, and we’ve got a lot of young kids that are catching on and getting there quickly. It all starts with the quarterback—you can’t run, you can’t hide it. We showed tonight that we’re miles ahead of where we were last year.”
It was very apparent watching the precision moves between Tanner Barr and his receivers that the upcoming season will potentially prove to be even more exciting for Buckeye fans than last year. We encourage everyone to show up at Buckeye Stadium on Saturday, May 18, and enjoy some of the best 7on7 football in the State of Texas.