Since 1998 the 7-on-7 Texas State Championships have grown into a major summer event for high school players in the Lone Star State. It started with 32 teams. It has now grown to 128.
"It's pretty cool. It's football in the state of Texas. So it goes hand in hand. Real excited about the popularity and it's really parent driven, kid driven. But we as high school coaches really enjoy the participation. It gets us ready for the fall," said 7-on-7 Tournament Director Doug Stephens.
For the first time the state championships are being held in the Austin area. They had previously been played in College Station at Kyle Field. But recent NCAA rules won't allow the games to be played on a universities campus.
"Anytime you change venues after 15 years. You just don't know what you're going to get. The people here have been awesome. They've been great. It's really hard to find a venue that will house all of this," said Stephens.
When asked if the tournament will stay in the Austin area Stephens was unsure.
"Good question. Don't know yet. I know this. We're always trying to comply with everybody. Try to make sure that we progress the event. We like it here. We'll see what happens. We'll have some more negotiations. Next year we'll go back to College Station. So it won't be at the University, because the NCAA won't allow that. But we'll have a place there. Then we'll see what happens after that," he said.
Over the year, several great players have played in this 7-on-7 tournament, including Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, and Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III.
"If you play football in the state of Texas you're gonna be involved with this in some form or fashion. There's been so many kids come through here. All the good one's here the last decade. All the great ones. If you look at the league and if it says Texas back there for their hometown. I promise you they've played in this," said Stephens.