Road to State: Teams Donning Protective Gear in 7-on-7 Tournament | Sports

Various Dallas-area schools will be represented in the 7-on-7 State Football Tournament this weekend in College Station.

Wakeland, seeking its first-ever 7-on-7 state title, is the only Frisco ISD program to qualify after defeating other state-related teams in Plano and Lovejoy in qualifying matches.

Another school in the area heading statewide is powerhouse Celina, who has won four 7-on-7 state championships since 2000.

Although the Wolverines and Bobcats share completely different stories in this summer football extravaganza, they will both have something in common when they take to the field this weekend.

For the third year in a row, all 2,600 participating athletes will be required to wear a Halo 3 headband, a specially designed helmet by sports technology company Unequal, to reduce the risk of concussions and other head injuries.

“The 7-on-7 game is an offensive game with a lot fewer collisions,” said Wakeland head coach Marty Secord. “There’s no pass rush and linebacker blitzes, or anything like that. But, if it’s something they want us to do, we’ll definitely comply with it and it’s something not to be fussed over.

Senior wide receiver Tre Adams has stood out for Wakeland so far in 7-on-7.

Each Halo contains patented, military-grade fabric that reduces acceleration – a key element in reducing the risk of concussion – and absorbs and disperses impact force.

While that may be the case, Celina’s head coach Bill Elliott says a concussion happened again in the same tournament two years ago to one of his wide receivers as he wore the product.

“He went up to catch a pass, fell on his head and was done for the day,” he said. “I understand the safety part, but I’ve been doing 7v7 since they started, and I don’t think we’ve ever lost a kid to a concussion without the helmet.”

Nonetheless, Elliott knows wearing the Halo is a good preventative measure, as he himself suffered multiple concussions while playing in college.

As far as matchups go, both teams are eager to get going and compete for an eventual state championship.

“They’re ready to represent Frisco ISD well and we’ve got a good trip planned,” Secord said. “Anyway, we’re getting more work. We spend more time together and the timing between receivers and quarterbacks is worked. We’ll also face some good competition and see what the rest of the world looks like.

As for Celina, who is no stranger to the 7-on-7 state tournament, she is also using this weekend to prepare for the fall season while trying to maintain the prestigious winning culture built over decades.

“One of the reasons we do it is to win, because winning promotes winning,” Elliott said. “We are doing this to help us for the football season. But when you think back to our history, there were many years where we won the state 7-on-7 but didn’t do well in football, or vice versa.

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