August Rewards Ahead

Tidehaven shines at state 7-on-7 tourney


The lessons learned during this year’s 2019 Division 3 Championship Bracket of the state’s 7-on-7 tournament will be revealed this August when football practice beings for the Tidehaven Tigers.

Tidehaven qualified for the state tournament and posted a 2-1 record in the championship bracket before being eliminated but for Tidehaven’s Eric Lucio, the experience will be big for the Tigers this year when the team puts on the pads in August.

“It went very well for us,” Lucio said. “We didn’t accomplish our goals of winning the whole thing but we went three rounds deep and that was pretty impressive for this being our first time to qualify for the state tournament.”

Tidehaven posted a 28-19 win over Wink in the first round and then followed that up with a 34-20 win over City View in the second round. In the third round of the championship bracket, Tidehaven fell to Hearne 39-20 and was eliminated short of the state title goal.

“That was a nice experience for me and the boys,” Lucio said. “We opened up some eyes offensively in the first two games of the tournament. We were throwing down some points and defensively we were looking great and sharp but in the third round, I believe the boys just tired out and the sun started to work on them and we were going against a good overall team in Hearne.”

Lucio, who is the son of Tidehaven Head Football Coach David Lucio, said the experience was invaluable for the Tigers during this summer program.

“We saw basically a variety of teams this year,” Lucio said. “Offensively, we saw a multitude of different schemes and different passing concepts that we will be able to transfer to Friday nights.”

Lucio said Mason Perales stood out during the state tournament and Lucio expects the incoming senior to be a big part of the Tiger offense ahead this year.

“He was our main receiver throughout the whole tournament,” Lucio said. “He was making amazing catches and great moves on players and got into the end zone quite a bit.”

Lucio also said that Tidehaven quarterback Blake Garcia was also on point during the summer program.

“He threw the ball very well at the state tournament,” Lucio said. “He was very tough on his opponents during the state play.”

But Lucio was not surprised that Perales and Garcia led the way for the 7-on-7 squad.

“Those are my two top dogs this year,” Lucio said. “I didn’t expect anything less than what they did from them. I knew that every game that we went into that they would be a big part and take a hold of the game for us.”

Even though the team fell short of its goal, Lucio said the team was strong at state and left an impression for future Tidehaven 7-on-7 squads to try to attain in future years.

“I am definitely pleased with how the team played,” Lucio said. “These tournaments are not like the regular Friday night football games. We compare it more to a boxing match or a cross country meet. You have to play at the top of your game and you have to survive. Those boys showed they were in great condition overall and it reassured me that they were ready for this challenge.”

Lucio can’t wait until August comes and these Tigers can put on the pads and get ready for the season ahead.

“This year’s 7-on-7 is just a slight preview of what is on tap for Friday nights,” Lucio said.

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