Tidehaven 7-on-7 squad clinches state tourney berth
Eric Lucio likes what he sees when he coaches the Tidehaven seven-on-seven football squad.
The squad has already qualified for the state tournament and now will be looking to refine its skills before the state tournament.
“We are looking great right now,” said Lucio, who is the son of Tidehaven Head Football Coach David Lucio.
Tidehaven quarterback Blake Garcia has shined during the games this season. In his most recent outing, Garcia tossed 13 touchdowns in the last tournament.
Tidehaven had to defeat Poth in the championship game to earn its state-qualifying bid at Falls City.
“Poth was a pretty good team and they had some boys that were pretty impressive,” Lucio said. “That was the best 3A team that we played so far this year.”
Lucio said he has been surprised with Garcia’s play in the tournament play this year.
“He has a lot of experience but he is still young for us and he has come out and played like he is on fire,” Lucio said.
Lucio also said that Ben Ruiz has been a surprise for the team at running back.
“He is a big kid but he can run away from defenders as well,” Lucio said.
Lucio also credited the work of the veteran wide receiver corps that Tidehaven team is placing on the field as well. Mason Perales and Kaden Henry have looked good during the tournament play.
“They are catching almost everything that is thrown their way,” Lucio said. “They are definitely looking like veteran players right now.”
Garcia saw action as the Tidehaven signal-caller last year and led the Tigers to a nice run in the playoffs.
“We are looking real good on the offensive and defensive side of the ball,” Lucio said. “Our offense is on fire and we are moving the ball really good.
“Defensively, the boys are locking down and we are adding some different coverages to our scheme,” Lucio said. “Some of the coverages are new to them and they have responded pretty well to it.”
With the state tournament bid already secured, Lucio said Tidehaven would now concentrate on playing in a couple more tournaments to get the team ready for the state competition.
“We still have a couple of tournaments on our schedule and we will go to them but we can’t qualify for state because we already have done that,” Lucio said. “We will just go play our round-robin games and then head out from there.
“We will use these tournaments to get some of our younger kids some more playing time,” Lucio said.