Katy Roundup: Katy earns berth in state 7-on-7 tourney
The third time was the charm for the Katy Tigers, who qualified for the 7-on-7 state tournament for the first time in two years at the Cinco Ranch state qualifying tournament last weekend.
Katy coach Gary Joseph was happy to see his players get back to College Station but, as always kept 7-on-7 in perspective, saying it wouldn't have been the end of the world if they didn't.
"It didn't really bother me missing out last year," Joseph said. "Obviously we had a good football team.
"The bottom line is, it gave our kids who wanted to a chance to go out and throw and catch, and I really feel like a couple of our receivers have taken advantage of that chance and improved this summer.
"That's the good thing about it."
The summer was the perfect place for the Tigers to work on their areas of need coming out of spring practice, particularly in the receiving corps and defensive backfield, but their progress was limited.
Several of the leading candidates for starting jobs in both areas didn't play 7-on-7 football, or they only played in one or two of the SQTs, giving the players who did participate more time to shine.
Top returning receiver Jordan Thompson saw some 7-on-7 action, and Dexter Tesh and Lane Rodgers, who stood out this spring, put in good work. Joseph was particularly pleased with Rodgers.
At DB, Quinn Atwood and Drake Dowling made strides this summer — and now have an opportunity to play even more games by going to state - but Joseph's skeptical of the defense in a touch league.
"I really question sometimes how much our defensive backs can do," Joseph said.
"But it was good that our quarterback (Brooks Haack) got to go out and throw a lot of balls, a lot of passes, and it was good that our receivers had to go out and learn how to compete and find ways to get themselves open, so there was some good that came out of it."
The Tigers beat Fort Bend Austin and Klein in Cinco SQT pool play but lost to La Marque, which won the pool but couldn't advance because it already was qualified for state, giving Katy the spot.
"It was one of those things where our kids knew after they won the first two that they'd qualified (for bracket play), and La Marque gave them a good game," Joseph said.
"Could they have done better? Sure. But it's just one of those things."
The big win came in the semifinals, where the Tigers beat powerhouse Lufkin 39-28 to earn their place at state July 15-16.
"Lufkin's got some very talented people," Joseph said. "It was competitive for our kids, and that was good. We had a couple of them who didn't even practice in the spring who were out there doing some things, and from that aspect it was good.
"And it gives us a chance to hopefully get a little confidence for some of these kids."
They finally lost 64-58 in three overtimes to Terry in the tournament championship game.
Now the Tigers turn their attention to College Station, and figuring out who will go. Joseph says some are going on vacation and others will focus on strength and conditioning camp, which ends July 15.
"If they can make it to this thing then that's great, and if they can't then that's fine," Joseph said. "We just want to give them a chance to go out and be competitive and have fun at this thing."
Stacks an all-star
Standout infielder Kendall Stacks, a recent Seven Lakes grad, participated in the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association all-star game earlier this month at Dell Diamond in Round Rock.
Stacks, who's committed to the University of Houston baseball team, played shortstop for the Class 4A-5A South all-star team. He was the only Katy ISD player selected to the prestigious showcase.
Stacks had a .422 batting average as a senior, with 13 home runs and 47 RBIs. He was the co-District 19-5A MVP with Memorial's Wayne Taylor, who also was selected as a THSBCA all-star.
Other Houston area picks included Brazoswood's Brandon Bergen and Clements' G.R. Hinsley.
The Cinco Ranch freshman volleyball camp is coming up next month.
The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. July 25-28 at the Cinco Ranch Junior High gymnasium and gives incoming ninth-graders a chance to develop skills and get to know the Cinco Ranch system.
The cost is $25 per camper. For more information, contact Danielle Wells at 281-237-5295, or download the registration form at Cinco Ranch High School's athletics home page.
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