Tigers compete in seven-on-seven tournament

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
It was the first time Donaldsonville competed in the Adidas 7v7 State Championship Tournament.

After a busy three days, a seven-on-seven state champion was crowned at St. Amant on Friday as Warren Easton hoisted the 7v7 State Championship trophy.

West Feliciana, Breaux Bridge and Landry Walker were the other semifinalists in the event.

The Adidas 7v7 State Championship Series is put on by Airo Sports Management to crown the best seven-on-on squad in the state. There are currently 10 other states competing.

Last summer, it was the event's first time coming to Louisiana, and it was hosted by East Ascension. This time around, St. Amant hosted the East Regional--which contained 31 teams. The West Regional took place at St. Thomas More in Lafayette.

St. Amant had the most success of the three parish teams as they reached the round of 12 and came one tough overtime loss to Landry Walker away from making it to the final day of competition.

"It's been awesome. The people at Airo have been awesome," Gator head coach David Oliver said. "We had some help from local people--Veron sausage, The Jambalaya Shop, River Parish Security. It's just been a great experience for our kids. We lost in overtime. We were dropped out of the tournament, but I was extremely proud of how our kids played and competed. So, overall, I'm really happy."

In addition to St. Amant, there were two other parish teams competing. Both East Ascension and Donaldsonville were eliminated after falling short in the first eliminator round.

"We're excited about being here for the first time. We heard a lot about it," first-year Donaldsonville head coach Brian Richardson said. "I would stop over and just watch sometimes, but this is our first time being a part of it, and it was all that I thought it would be."

The Tigers went 2-2 in Pool A play during the first day. They lost to West Feliciana and St. Amant, but they beat Vidalia, 19-18, and Terrebonne, 32-31.

On day two, they competed in the first elimination round against Lake Area New Tech.

They got off to a great start as Jaylin Williams connected with James Gipson for a deep touchdown strike to give them a 6-0 lead, but from then on, it was all Lake Area.

The loss ended the tournament for the Tigers, but Coach Richardson said that it was a great experience for his players.

"I thought they were outstanding. Every snap, every down, every lineup, we learned something new with every part of this thing," Richardson said. "We collaborated with other coaches, and some of these kids went to school together in the past. They talk a lot, so they were able to learn from each other as well."

Coach Richardson thought that playing in this tournament will be a huge help to his young team as they prepare themselves for this season.

"This is tremendously beneficial for us because no one in my secondary is returning from last year. It's a fresh group of guys," Richardson said. "They haven't started before, and this is a new experience for them. They're getting better with every snap. We just want them to be patient."