By Chad Conine
When Connally quarterback Kavian Gaither starts listing the players around him on the Cadets' 7-on-7 team, a sly smile creeps across his face.
One Oklahoma State commit, Trent Pullen, snaps him the ball and another, Korie Black, is a prime target at receiver. Other faithful pass catchers include Je'Juan Forward, De'Montray Cooks and Marcus Long.
"And then, of course, I have a Washington commit by my side," Gaither said, the grin taking full effect.
The Cadets' junior QB is referring to Jay'Veon Sunday, the Connally running back who pledged to Washington in late May. Sunday was the 2018 Super Centex Offensive Player of the Year following a prolific campaign last fall when he rushed for 2,329 yards and 36 touchdowns.
But is Sunday just a role player in the pass-intensive 7-on-7 game? Connally coach Shane Anderson jokingly referred to his star running back as the 7-on-7 team's mascot. While Anderson helps organize his program's summer gridiron games, the in-game coaching duties are handled by others.
Gaither seems to know the value of the guy standing beside him in the backfield.
"I'll throw it out to (Sunday) here and there and let him do his thing," the Connally quarterback said.
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By Charles Bryce
Six teams from West Texas will be competing at the 2019 Texas State 7on7 Championships in College Station this weekend.
The Ozona Lions have the distinction of being a first-time qualifier.
San Angelo Central, Ballinger, Brady, Sonora and Eldorado have all been there before.
Ozona is in Division III, and the Lions are in Pool D with Flatonia, Hearne and Palmer.
Pool play for Division III begins Thursday. Depending on how they fare in their pools, teams will either advance to the consolation bracket or championship bracket on Friday.
The top two teams in each pool will advance to the championship bracket, while the third- and fourth-place squads will be in the consolation bracket.
Ozona qualified by reaching the semifinals at the Sonora state qualifier tournament. Now the Lions are ready to see what kind of noise they can make in College Station.
"I just know that they're all real excited and they all want to go out there and compete and prove themselves," Ozona's 7on7 coach Marcus Perez said. "We improved a lot the past two weeks and we made it to the semifinals over there in Sonora and played pretty well in the semifinal game (against Harper)."
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