COLLEGE STATION — Day 2 of the state 7on7 football tournament means two things: Division II and Division III champions will be crowned, and Division I schools get underway.
In the past, the Mercedes Tigers have gone up against the big boys at state. Two years ago the Tigers went toe-to-toe with quarterback Shawn Robinson and the Desoto Eagles, who went on to win state that year while Robinson is currently the signal caller at TCU.
Fast-forward to 2018 and the Tigers faced yet another perennial power in Lake Travis. The Cavaliers won the UIL state title in 2016 and were the runners-up in 2017. As far as 7on7 goes, they won the D-I title last summer.
On Friday, the Tigers met the Cavs in their 7on7 opener and the Cavaliers were flawless, scoring on their first four drives to take a 27-6 lead at the half. They wound up cruising to an easy 39-6 win.
Despite the loss, the Tigers used it as a learning lesson.
“It’s great to play against guys that will be playing at the Division I level,” said Sammy Galindo “It makes us better and prepares us for the regular season. As a senior, I have to be a leader and make sure the younger guys come out and play.”
In their second game, the Tigers faced Westfield, which used a pick six to jump out to a 13-0 lead. The Tigers cut into the lead with a late score before the half and trailed 21-19, but that was as close as Mercedes got as Westfield went on to win 47-25.
“It was tough; we had some bad breaks today, but tomorrow our goal is to win the consolation bracket, we just need to rest and regroup and get after it tomorrow,” Galindo said.
In its final contest of the day Friday, Mercedes fell to Pearce 41-28, marking an 0-3 day in pool play.
Logan Luvano, who was playing in his first state 7on7 tourney, had heard war stories from the Tigers’ previous years and was excited to be a part of this season’s state team.
Luvano, who jumped from playing wide receiver to defensive back, had a pick 6 against Westfield.
“It’s a great experience to be up here and competing,” he said. “I just expected more out of myself and the team because I know we can win. It’s a privilege playing the bigger schools and it is also a challenge, but it is something that I can look back on and be proud of.”
How the Tigers fared
Pool I games
-vs Lake Travis, L 39-6
-vs Westfield, L 47-25
-vs Pearce, L 41-28