Editors Note: Watch our video interview above to learn more about the FHS7v7A and what it can do for your team. Great information about how everything works and more!
Last week the Florida High School 7v7 Association (FHS7v7A) held two of their regional qualifiers at Columbia High School in Lake City (Wednesday, June 6) and at St. Augustine High School over in St. Johns County (Saturday, June 9).
Both tournaments allowed teams from their respective areas to come out and allow their teams to compete to get better during the summer season that is also combined with the winter offseason where member schools who officially join the association are allowed to actually pick up the ball according to FHSAA’s rules governing third-party association such as the FHS7v7A.
In the Northwest Regional Qualifier at Columbia High School, host school Columbia competed with the likes other teams including Buchholz (Gainesville), Vanguard (Ocala), Lafayette (Mayo), Florida High (Tallahassee), Vernon, The Villages, Newberry, and Bradford (Starke). Of the teams there 7 of the 9 teams were playoff qualifiers in 2017 while two more were just on the cusp of making the playoff field.
Over in the Northeast Regional Qualifier at St. Augustine High, host school St. Augustine competed with the likes other teams including Class 7A State Runner-up Bartram Trail (St. Johns), Sandalwood (Jacksonville), Nease (Ponte Vedra), Creekside (St. Johns), St. Augustine, Orange Park and Menendez (St. Augustine). A majority of the teams there have been playoff qualifiers over the last few years, while some are looking to improve and found the tournament a chance at getting better.
NORTHWEST FLORIDA REGIONAL QUALIFIER RECAP
Columbia was the only team to go a perfect 4-0 in pool play during the morning session of the tournament easily defeating The Villages, Buchholz, and Lafayette along the way, but fought hard to get a win over Vanguard to earn the No. 1 overall seed for the single-elimination tournament.
Bradford took the No. 2 seed over No. 3 Vanguard by giving up the least amount of points as both teams went 3-1 in pool play. Lafayette grabbed the No. 4 seed, which marked a pretty strong showing for a Class 1A program where passing is more of a rarity in that classification.
Vernon grabbed the No. 5 seed overall, while The Villages, Buchholz, and Newberry rounded out the rest of the seeds, with Florida High exiting the tournament early.
In the single-elimination tournament, it was very evident the teams to beat would be Columbia and Vanguard with Bradford exiting early with a loss to Buchholz. However, Buchholz showed up when it mattered the most taking Vanguard to the wire and winning to advance to the championship game with Columbia.
In the Championship game it appeared Columbia was looking a bit worn down, but nonetheless, Buchholz was determined to make it a game as the competed much better in this game, but coming up short 27-24 to Columbia.
And least we don’t forget that Vernon, Newberry, and Columbia competed in the BattleLines tournament which saw Vernon come out on top, providing a promising for a team that should be very much improved in Class 1A for at least the next two seasons.
Overall, this tournament showed promising signs for all nine teams involved and all nine teams are expected to be in playoff contention this season in their respective classifications and regions.
NORTHEAST FLORIDA REGIONAL QUALIFIER RECAP
Host St. Augustine which has been fairly strong in 7v7 over the last few years did not disappoint, but it became evident that Sandalwood was going to be the team of the day coming out of the gate with a strong performance in pool play going 4-0 to capture the No. 1 seed for the single-elimination tournament.
Both Menendez and St. Augustine went 3-1 overall in pool play, but the Falcons took the No. 2 seed over the host Jackets which grabbed the No. 3 seed due to giving up fewer points.
Bartram Trail grabbed the No. 4 seed with Nease, Orange Park and Creekside rounding out the field respectively.
In the semifinal games which saw Sandalwood face off against Bartram Trail and St. Augustine against Menendez, all four teams fought hard for a chance to advance to the championship game with Sandalwood and St. Augustine advancing to play for the trophy. In the end, Sandalwood came out on top, 21-12 of what was an overall one of the top performances put together so far by one of the teams in the regional qualifier tournaments that have been held.
The South Central Florida Regional Qualifier is on deck on Wednesday, June 20th at Faith Christian Academy in Orlando where nearly 20 teams will compete in the 7v7 portion of the tournament as well as handful teams competing in the BattleLines tournament.
After the South Central Florida Regional Qualifier, the FHS7v7A State Championship will take place on Wednesday, June 27 at Haines City High School in Polk County where teams that qualified from the regional tournaments will come to meet to play to be crowned the FHS7v7A State Champion for 2018.
For more information on the FHS7v7A, visit their website online at FHS7v7A.com.