The Graham Steers haven't played 7 on 7 football in almost a month.
They ended tournament play on June 14 in Stephenville, posting a 4-0 record to improve to 13-3 overall. The team then opted not to play in Abilene the following weekend, giving the athletes time to rest.
But that doesn't mean they don't want to add another 7 on 7 Division II state championship trophy to the already overflowing shelves in coach Kenny Davidson's office.
“The belief is there that we can (win), in their minds and our minds,” offensive coordinator Casey Dacus said. “We just have to go out and perform and execute.”
Graham will open pool play at the 7 on 7 state tournament in College Station Thursday at 2 p.m. against La Grange. The Steers will then play Prairieland and St. Pius X.
The Steers must finish in the top two of Pool O to advance to the 32-team championship bracket on Friday, otherwise they will play in the 32-team consolation bracket. La Grange and St. Pius X will pose the biggest challenges to the Steers in pool play, Dacus said.
Over the past four years, the Steers have been successful at the state tournament. In 2010, Graham won the consolation bracket, followed by an appearance in the championship bracket's round of 16 in 2011. The 2012 tournament ended with a runner-up finish to Celina, and last year Graham won the whole thing,
When Friday hits and every team faces elimination, Dacus said, elements outside of football talent start to affect the teams.
Read the full story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.