7-on-7 more than a passing fancy

May 23, 2017 at 9:27 p.m.
Updated May 24, 2017 at 6 a.m.

Cuero's Jordan Whittington, left, makes a catch over a Goliad defender during Tuesday's 7-on-7 football tournament at Gobbler Stadium.

Cuero's Jordan Whittington, left, makes a catch over a Goliad defender during Tuesday's 7-on-7 football tournament at Gobbler Stadium.   Barclay Fernandez for The Victoria Advocate

CUERO - Jordan Whittington enjoyed his sophomore season at Cuero, but he wasn't completely satisfied.

Whittington earned all-state honors and drew a number of college offers, most recently from Alabama.

But Whittington was disappointed when the Gobblers lost in the Class 4A, Division II quarterfinal round and has set even bigger goals for his junior year.

"Team-wise, a state championship of course," he said. "We want to be district champs and play in December, but we want that state championship, that's the main goal.

"Individually, I want 1,000-plus receiving yards, 1,000-plus rushing yards and my biggest goal and I know it's big is to get No. 1 in the Class of 2019."

Whittington and his teammates have already started preparing for the 2017 season and the work continued Tuesday evening with a 7-on-7 tournament at Gobbler Stadium against El Campo and Goliad.

"I love this," Whittington said. "It helps get your route running down is the main thing. It also helps the chemistry of the team in the secondary and people back there."

Cuero defeated Goliad 24-12 and captured 32-18 and 26-6 wins over El Campo.

"I love it. I love it," said Cuero running back/defensive back Keiran Grant. "I love playing with all these great players. It's a great atmosphere and it's great to get started and great to get rolling again."

Grant was thankful for the opportunity to work on his coverage skills.

"It helps a bunch going against fast players on other teams," he said. "We really don't get a great look in practice. When we go against people going 100 percent and going fast, we get great looks."

El Campo has been primarily a running and play-action passing team.

But after losing the majority of their offensive line, the Ricebirds may throw the ball more next season and did so effectively in a 32-7 win over Goliad.

"It actually helps a lot because that one or two times in a game when we throw the ball it's going to help us out catching wise," said receiver Reyden Svatek. "We know we won't crack under pressure."

Goliad quarterback Rocky Morris was back on the football field after playing in the baseball playoffs last weekend.

"I practiced during weekend and during athletic period a little bit," he said. "I just have to keep my head in the game and don't worry about anything else."

Morris knows the Tigers have work to do, but he's thankful for the opportunity to be with his teammates.

"We're just trying to get people out here learning their routes," Morris said. "We have a lot of new people and we need to get everybody used to it."

Goliad and El Campo will be back at Gobbler Stadium on June 3 to join Cuero for a Division II 7-on-7 state qualifying tournament.

But the players know the real work will begin in August.

"We should do big things," said Cuero receiver Jaden Williams. "We have a lot of young guys, but they play really hard and bust their butts. We should have a really good team."

Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or mforman@vicad.com.



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