TWHS Qualifies for 7-on-7 State Tournament

By: Todd Hveem
| Published 07/02/2010


THE WOODLANDS, Texas - The Woodlands Highlanders will try and bring home the first of what they hope is two state championships during the 2010 football season when they participate in the 64-team 7-on-7 state tournament on July 9-10 at Texas A&M University in College Station.

The Highlanders, who have been mainstays in the event since its inception in 1998, qualified for the state tournament by winning the 16-team Cy Creek tournament on May 29.

“It’s just something our kids plan as part of their summer, going to College Station to participate in the state tournament,” The Woodlands head football coach Mark Schmid said in a recent interview. “Knock on wood, we were able to do that again this year.

“Our kids are excited and the parents and the coaches that have been working with that group have done a real good job,'' he added. "The kids have been committed to making it a productive summer and they’ve done a good job of that so far.”

The Woodlands, which is led by quarterback Joseph Schneider and running back Daniel Lasco, played in five 7-on-7 qualifying tournaments this summer. But, after qualifying for state in the Cy Creek event, the Highlanders were not allowed to compete for a tournament championship after winning the Cy Creek tournament.

Schmid said he is looking forward to see how his team stacks up against some of the best passing teams in Texas.

“When you get to the state tournament, you have 64 teams and they’re the best in the state at throwing and catching,'' he said in a recent interview. "So it’s great competition. Every year you go up there and you see the best receivers and quarterbacks in the state. So it’s kind of fun to be there as a coach just to watch.”

Schneider is trying to fill the shoes of graduated quarterback Trent Eckel, who guided the Highlanders to an 11-1 record in 2009.

Lasco is back after being named the District 13-5A MVP in 2009. He rushed for more than 1,500 yards and is currently one of the top recruits in the country.

The Highlanders' receiving corps will be led by Blake Webb and freshman Jamie Taylor, who also could be used at quarterback during the 2010 campaign.

“Our receivers have done a great job,” Schmid said in a recent interview. “We played a lot of different receivers. Of course in 7-on-7, your quarterback and your receivers better do a good job or you’re not going to be very successful. But all of our receivers have done well. We’ve had kids that have gone to different camps and vacations and things like that, so we’ve had a lot of different kids step up and fill the roles. We really haven’t missed a beat when those guys step in there.''

Schmid also praised the defensive backs in the same interview.

“Our defensive backs are getting a great deal of work through our practices and through the competitions,'' he said. "And it’s been real exciting to see them improve as far as defending the pass goes. It would be hard for me to single out anybody because I think the whole group as a unit has done a fantastic job of taking this as serious as you want to take it. It’s summer, it’s their time.”

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