Seven-on-seven tournament starts this Friday

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
From left to right, St. Amant's Hayden Mallory, Xavier Anderson, assistant coach Dwayne Thomassee, Briggs Bourgeois and Nathan Taylor. The Gators will compete in the Adidas State 7v7 Championship Series. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

This weekend, high school teams from around the state will be making their way to Gonzales to crown the first ever Louisiana seven-on-seven state champion.

There will be a field of 32 teams ready to compete for the Adidas State 7v7 Championship Series at East Ascension's Spartan Stadium and the adjoining soccer fields starting on Friday morning.

The tournament will last until Saturday with the championship game being played that evening.

"We're getting really excited about it. It's much bigger than any regular seven on seven," East Ascension head coach Paul Bourgeois said. "We're putting it on, so there's a lot of work that's going into it; it's very detailed. We have to get concessions ready, we have to get the field ready; it's all a lot of work and lots of organization. But it's going to be a really neat deal for our team, for our school and for our community."

It was announced that Gonzales would be the host of Louisiana's first ever seven-on-seven championship tournament back in March when Airo Sports Management President Dave Menard visited East Ascension High.

It's Menard's vision to have all seven-on-seven tournaments be team competitions rather than all-star events that focus on individuals.

The Adidas State 7v7 Championship Series has been a staple in both Florida and George. Starting on Friday, Louisiana will officially be part of the mix.

At the end of the tournament, the top four teams will be rewarded with $350 worth of Adidas apparel and will compete against the top four teams from Florida and Georgia.

Menard is hoping that by 2017, his seven-on-seven series will expand from three to 30 different states--allowing them to crown a national champion.

Along with hosting East Ascension, archrival St. Amant will also be at Spartan Stadium this weekend competing for a championship.

"It's a great time to build your team. The seven on seven that EA's hosting is going to be a unique thing," Gator head coach David Oliver said. "We're going to get to compete against the best in the state of Louisiana, so we're excited."

In addition to the two parish teams, there will be plenty of other hungry squads out to win the first ever Adidas State 7v7 Championship Series to come to the state.

Some of the teams that will be there on Friday include: St. Paul's, St. James, Oakdale, Lutcher, South LaFourche, Woodlawn, Dunham, McDonogh 35, West St. John, Archbishop Hannan and Covington.

Mayor Barney Arceneaux hopes that the event will experience many years of success in Gonzales.

At the March press conference, he said, ""This is very exciting for us. I can tell you that the people of Gonzales are going to come together and do everything they can to make this work.

"We have a good start right now with Coach Bourgeois and his team. There is no doubt in my mind that this will be successful. I hope this will be something that we'll see here in Gonzales for quite some time."

Pool play will begin at roughly 11 a.m. on Friday and conclude at roughly 4 p.m.