LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - The state 7-on-7 tournament begins later this week and multiple East Texas teams are looking to bring home a state title and bragging rights.
A year after failing to qualify for the state 7-on-7 tournament, the Lufkin Panthers are back and preparing for a trip to the Brazos Valley. Lufkin qualified by winning the Woodlands SQT.
"We practice every day,” Jordan Moore said. “We compete every day. We go after each other every day. We keep the repetition going."
Lufkin felt a sense of redemption when they qualified in the first tournament they played in.
"That was a goal to make it to state because we didn't make it last year, but we also want to win it. That is a goal,” Jerrin Thompson said.
Lufkin will compete in the Division I bracket.
"We have been communicating well on defense and offense and that is all you need to do,” Thompson said. We need defense to make stops and offense to score."
Last year, Crockett did not participate in any qualifier tournaments.
"That was a goal [to make it to state] this year because we sat out of the qualifier last year,” Jordan Bedford said.
Crockett is perfecting their skills and is ready to make some noise in division II.
"We are the best,” Christian Rice said. “We are the best around here."
They have plenty of power especially with Arkansas commit. Allen Horace Jr.
"It separates the athletic guys from the dogs,” Horace. “You know the men from the boys."
The bulldogs are not seeing themselves are dark horses but favorites.
"We are as good as them and they should take us serious,” Rice said.