Old High pushes to semifinals before falling to Lorena in 7-on-7 state tournament

·3 min read

COLLEGE STATION – There’s been some clamoring for Wichita Falls High and Graham to meet on the football field for the past few years.

That game has finally been scheduled with the Steers visiting the Coyotes at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 29.

But a preview, of sorts, was played Friday during bracket play at the state 7-on-7 tournament.

It was Old High prevailing with the 19-6 win during the first round of the championship bracket. And the Coyotes didn’t stop there, fighting all the way to the semifinals where they fell to defending Class 3A Division I state champion Lorena, 25-12.

“We gave it all that we had,” WFHS coach Grant Freeman said. “I think we ran out of gas at the end, but I’m proud of the way these guys fought to the end.”

After opening with a win against Graham, the Coyotes were pitted against Davenport, which displayed a defense they hadn’t seen before.

“We shredded it,” Freeman said.

The Coyotes beat Davenport 46-13 with quarterback John Ledesma earning Player of the Game.

Up next was defending 7-on-7 Division II state champion Kaufman, and it was another win for the Coyotes, 35-24. Ayden Ramirez was named Player of the Game, his second honor of the day, earning the same award for Old High’s win against Graham.

The Coyotes trailed Lorena 13-6 early in the semifinals but had one touchdown called back and failed to cash in on an interception.

Still, it was a great experience for the Coyotes.

“The best thing we saw is playing different people and competition,” Freeman said. “It’s a different style of football. You have to diagnose a lot of different things. I like playing in this for that reason. “

It’s debatable how much 7-on-7 lends to the actual season. But no one is ever going to complain about winning in a competitive setting.

“It can’t hurt you. Nothing that happened this weekend can hurt us,” Freeman said. “I think it lets our kids know we can compete. We beat the defending 7-on-7 state champion in Kaufman. That tells us we can compete at a high level.

“Momentum may not be the right word, but confidence is the right word. We got a lot of confidence this week.”

And if Old High’s drop in division at 7-on-7 is a precursor to its drop in classification this fall, it could be a fun season in Coyote-land.

HENRIETTA FALLS IN FIRST ROUND

Henrietta was the lone Wichita Falls area program to qualify for the Division III 7-on-7 state tournament, but the Bearcats dropped all three of its pool games Thursday, giving them the fourth seed for bracket play.

That led to a 35-12 loss to Big Sandy Harmony in the first round of bracket play. Harmony went on to lose in the semifinals to Brady. Miles defeated Brady, 35-19, for the Division III 7-on-7 state title.

RIDER ADVANCES TO CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET

Rider opened Division I pool play with an 18-13 victory against Hebron as part of Pool B but followed with a 33-22 loss to Harker Heights.

The Raiders finished pool play with a 32-25 victory against Katy Cinco Ranch, putting them in the championship bracket.

But Rider's stay in the bracket was short-lived, falling to Midlothian Heritage 29-19 in the first round.

Heritage lost to DeSoto, 27-14, in the championship game.

This article originally appeared on Wichita Falls Times Record News: Wichita Falls High made impressive run at 7-on-7 state tournament