HHS qualifies for state 7-on-7

Jags host tournament, defeat Waco Connally in semifinals

Mirror report
Heritage High School 7-on-7 football players celebrate their qualification for the Texas state tournament during the team's state qualifying tournament at HHS on Saturday. The Jaguars beat Waco Connally in the semifinals, 15-7.
Heritage High School linemen pose for a photo after they won first place in the HHS Lineman Challenge on Saturday at HHS.

Heritage High School hosted a Texas 7-on-7 football Division II state qualifying tournament on Saturday, and punched its ticket to the state tournament for the fifth time with a 15-7 victory over Waco Connally in the tournament semifinals.

The Jaguars, who won the 2018 Division II 7-on-7 state championship, will be traveling to College Station June 24-25 for the 2021 Division II state tournament at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex. Division II consists of all Class 4A and Class 3A Division I teams.

The state tournament, which began in 1998, originally was held on the campus of Texas A&M University, but had to be relocated in 2013 after a new Southeastern Conference rule forbade the Aggies from hosting the tournament. No tournament was held in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saturday’s state qualifying tournament consisted of four pools, and HHS was in Pool A along with Whitesboro, Wills Point and Tyler Chapel Hill. The Jags faced Chapel Hill first and prevailed by a narrow 12-8 score, then beat Whitesboro 19-7 and Wills Point 25-0.

Among other local teams, Life Waxahachie competed in Pool B along with Krum, Brownwood and Waco Connally. The Mustangs finished 0-3 in pool play with a 19-0 loss to Connally, a 13-7 loss to Brownwood and a 27-21 loss to Krum. Life was a state qualifier in 2018 and 2019.

Also qualifying for state in the Heritage tournament was Paris, which beat Stephenville in the other state qualifying game, 25-18. Paris won Pool C by defeating Springtown, Whitney and Lindale; while Stephenville beat Lake Belton, Graham and Sunnyvale to win Pool D.

It’s customary for 7-on-7 semifinal winners not to play for the championship, and so Heritage and Paris did not meet in the finals since both had already qualified for state.

Heritage also hosted a Lineman Challenge, which gives a chance to compete for those who don’t throw and catch the ball. The Jags won first place.