Aledo Sports Daily
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Aledo Eighth Grade Bearcats Win Second Straight 7-on-7 Football Championship
By Steve Keck- Aledo Sports Daily
Keep your eye on the Bearcat football graduating class of 2020. This group won the Prime Time Tournament of Champions for the second consecutive year in their age group.
The Tournament of Champions was held in College Station at Veterans Park on June 27-28, 2015. They crowned champions from fourth through ninth grade, junior varsity and varsity. Aledo Class of 2020 was the only Aledo team in the tournament.
For the second year in a row, Aledo 2020 were coached by brothers Matt and Luke Bishop who have quarterbacked the Bearcats to five state football championships in the last six years.
Matt Bishop was the 2011 Offensive MVP at the State Championship.
Matt Bishop will be resuming his football career at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas in the fall. He was a three year starter for the Bearcats as a quarterback from 2009-2011. The Bearcats won three straight titles although Matthew missed the championship game in 2009 with an injury.
In Matt Bishop’s senior year, it was Bishop, not Johnathan Gray who won the Offensive MVP in a 49-28 state championship win over Manvel. Matt Bishop accounted for five touchdowns in the game. By the way, Johnathan Gray ended up with 245 rushing yards in the game.
Luke Bishop was the 2013 and 2014 Offensive MVP at the State Championships.
This past year, Luke Bishop won his second consecutive Offensive MVP in the state title game in a hectic 49-44 win over Temple. It capped off two outstanding seasons as the Bearcat starting quarterback. Luke Bishop’s record as a Bearcat starter was 31-1. In his two years as starter, Bishop threw for 5,363 yards with 69 TD’s and only six interceptions. He also rushed for 1,825 yards and 21 TD’s.
Luke will be attending Hardin Simmons University in the fall. Two-a-days start for Luke on August 12. Matthew Hawkins, a 2013 Aledo graduate, is a linebacker for the Cowboys who had 60 tackles as a freshman last year. Former Bearcat safety James Place is entering his senior year for the Cowboys. He has been playing since his freshman year at Hardin-Simmons.
Brock Parker, another 2013 Bearcat graduate played for the Cowboys as a freshman but decided to transfer to Texas A & M to continue his studies. Brock will not play football for the Aggies.
So, the awesome talent for the upcoming eighth grade Bearcats had true experienced championship coaching experience with Luke and Matt Bishop. Not to mention Bearcat varsity Offensive Line Coach Lee Bishop who has five state championship rings. That’s 10 rings for the Bishop household in the last six years.
Believe it or not Bearcat fans, little brother Jake Bishop may end up even better than Luke or Matt. He has taken full advantage of his bloodlines to absorb everything Bearcat football from his brothers and dad.
You have probably seen Jake on the sidelines at Bearcat games over the past few years as a ball boy at the Bearcat varsity games. It is a duty young Jake takes very seriously.
He was a polished field general for the seventh grade “A” team as the starting quarterback this past season. Watching him was like watching a CEO conduct a board meeting. He was all business. I really think Jake started setting up in the pistol formation a day or two after his birth.
The quarterback position is crucial in 7-on-7 football. Every play is a pass and the quarterback only has four seconds to throw the ball.
The field is 45 yards separated out into three sessions of 15 yards each. The offensive team has three plays to get the first 15 yards. Then they have three plays to get the next 15 yards. The final 15 yards can use four plays.
The games go quickly. The two teams play two 20 minute quarters with a continuous clock. A player is deemed down if they are touched on any part of their body.
See the rules below for a better understanding of how 7-on-7 is played including extra points, overtimes and other rules of the game:
Jake Bishop had plenty of offensive talent to throw to leading the Bearcats to the state title. Coach Luke Bishop said the biggest difference between the seventh grade state champions and this year is how much the players had grown in size, strength and speed.
“They are starting to hit puberty and it shows in their size and quickness”, said Luke Bishop. “Speed kills and we had a lot of team speed with this squad”.
In case you are wondering, the coaches call plays on both offense and defense. “A lot of the plays we ran on offense were straight out of the varsity Bearcat playbook”, said Luke Bishop.
Bishop stated WR Micco Little was an athlete who has really blossomed since last year. “Micco really knows how to use his body to position himself for the catch. He is a special kid”.
The Aledo offense also had speedy Jace McClellan as a WR. McClelland was the starting tailback during the football season and was a deep threat for the Bearcat 7-on-7 team.
Money Parks is another WR with speed who catches the ball well over the middle- much like a slot receiver in Aledo’s system. Parks was a WR and played some defense last year on the seventh grade team.
Noah Patty was a favorite target of Jake Bishop during the football season and he was also for the Bearcats 7-on-7 team.
Cade Jones was another starting WR for the seventh grade team. He was joined by WR Garrison Berkley to round out the championship offense.
Defensively, the team set up with two cornerbacks, three linebackers, and two safeties.
“Max Lucas was a player who improved dramatically since last year”, said Luke Bishop. “He just has the instincts to be a very good football player”. Lucas played cornerback on defense.
Collin Johnson was a starter during the seventh grade football season and he was the cornerback on the right side for the 7-on-7 defense.
Weston Reese was another starter at linebacker during the season. He was the outside linebacker on the left side of the field. Reese and Lucas did a great job of shutting down their side of the field.
Brett Frazier was the linebacker on the side opposite Reese. Frazier and MLB Chris Griffin really played well during the tournament.
Jorden Montes was the safety on one side. Landry Armstrong was injured before the championship tournament and Jake Bishop went two ways playing safety.
Davis Duncan and Cade Renfro were also defenders who were battling injuries.
Prime Time Sports holds qualifying tournaments with the winning teams getting a chance to participate in the Tournament of Champions. There are other organizations who hold 7-on-7 tournaments but Prime Time is the premiere league.
The spring and summer 7-on-7 leagues are not sanctioned by the Texas UIL, individual high school districts or a coaches association. The leagues and teams are independent recreational leagues.
Looking at the participating teams, most teams are from one school. As you can expect, the winning teams represent schools with a rich history of success on the high school level. Many of the teams come from schools Bearcat football fans are extremely familiar with but there are no classifications. Every team finds themselves in a pool with brackets for the winners.
In order to get an invitation to the Tournament of Champions, a team must win a local tournament before getting an invitation to the state tournament.
The eighth grade Bearcats won a tournament at Arlington High School on April 4 to qualify for the Tournament of Champions.
They were 3-0 in pool play defeating Arlington HS Rams 35-14, Crandall Pirates 47-0, and Showtime 27-12. In the Championship Bracket, Aledo beat Lovejoy 40-20 and the Highland Park Scots 55-20.
Getting qualified in April took some pressure off the team. They participated in other tournaments in the Dallas area to get some experience but weather knocked out a few of the games.
As you can imagine, getting this number of players together at the height of summer vacation was difficult. “We planned on these dates for the Tournament of Champions all year”, said Coach Luke Bishop.
Aledo was in “Pool F” for the state tournament on June 27-28. They beat Austin Westlake 58-6 and Mansfield A & M 56-20.
In the Championship Bracket, Aledo took down the CY Falls Eagles 41-7 and Lovejoy 58-7. In the Championship game, the Bearcats beat Cypress 42-32.
The Aledo Middle School schedule has not been released yet for 2015. If you want to see some of these incoming eighth graders in pads and helmets, prepare to come early. If the pattern holds from last year, most of these players are shut down just after half time.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Ladycat Golf Team Takes Second in State Golf Tournament
Aledo Color Guard Teams Advancing in National Competition
View from the Pops: Commentary by Steve Keck
Crazy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Aledo Sports Daily