Seven-on-seven tournament returning to Ascension

Kyle Riviere
More than 600 athletes competed in last year's 7v7 Adidas Championship Series in Gonzales. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

The 7v7 Adidas Championship Series will once again make its way to Ascension Parish.

On June 15-17, St. Amant will host the event. Games will also be played at St. Thomas More in Lafayette.

Airo Sports Management has been putting on these seven-on-seven state championships in Florida and Georgia for years. In 2015, they finally brought the tournament to Louisiana.

The first ever seven-on-seven state champion was crowned last year at East Ascension. McDonough 35 came away with the title as both the hosting Spartans and St. Amant competed. The Gators reached the Elite 8.

State champion McDonough 35, runner-up John Ehret and semifinalists Landry Walker and West St. John went on to compete against the top four teams from Florida and Georgia for the national title.

Airo President Dave Menard created this tournament, along with Richard McGuinness--creator of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Menard will arrive in Ascension next week, and he will attend a press conference held on Wednesday at the St. Amant High School library that will kick off this year's event.

This summer's tournament will be the biggest in the series' history. They will now expand to 10 states. Along with Louisiana, Georgia and Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi and California will join in on the action.

Overall, there will be an estimated 500 teams competing nationwide.

Last year's stop in Gonzales was a huge success for Airo. The event sold out and featured 32 teams and more than 600 athletes.

As a result, the tournament field has doubled. This year's field will feature 64 teams. Each region will have 32 squads. St. Amant will be the destination of the East Regional. St. Thomas More will host the West Regional.

The top four teams from each regional will meet at St. Amant to decide the seven-on-seven Louisiana state championship.

Gator head coach David Oliver was impressed with last year's tournament.

After finishing as one of the top teams, Oliver said. "I like the idea that it's a state-wide thing. We all do seven on seven, but this has some unique things that really make it competitive. One of the things that they do is have officials--which keeps the competitive balance straight, and another thing, there is something at risk on every play.

"In other words, the offense is going to score, or the defense is going to score. You get two points for a stop and three points for a turnover, so it keeps it competitive and keeps the game moving."