Rio Hondo geared up for inaugural trip to State 7on7 tournament

The Rio Hondo Bobcats 7on7 team is in uncharted waters right now.

The 2017 squad became the first 7on7 team in school history to qualify for the state tournament, which begins today in College Station.

But while the team may be a state newbie, members of the squad are not intimidated.

“We set a goal and that was to make state, and we achieved that goal,” said Bobcats quarterback Tyler Bush. “From day one of 7on7 we worked hard to qualify. The McAllen qualifier was tough and it had some great competition. We had a good start to the tournament and everything clicked for us.”

Team receiver Danny Vasquez was also confident the team had what it took to qualify for state and is now ready to prove that the Cats are for real.

“We knew we had the talent and chemistry to see it all unfold,” Vasquez said. “We have been clicking these past few weeks and, as a receiver, I continue to work on my routes and just mentally prepare for the tournament.”

In addition to Vasquez, Bush will have Erik Pizarro to throw to.

The Bobcats posted a 6-1 record in the Harlingen 7on7 league. At the McAllen qualifier, they defeated Rockport-Fulton, La Villa and Port Isabel in the semifinals to reach state.

“The experience is the best part,” said Vasquez. “We’re excited to see and compete against the best.”

Rio Hondo will enter the tournament as a Division II school and will play in Pool L along with Mineral Wells, Stafford and Kaufman, which is the defending Division II champion.

Pool play will begin at 2 p.m. with games also set for 4 and 5. All games will be played at VeteransPark and Athletic Complex in College Station.