TYLER — The game of 7 on 7 football may not be for everyone, but for at least two Jacksonville High School Class of 2019 graduates (and former Fightin' Indian football players) it is something that they deeply miss.
Last Saturday Deshawn McCuin and T. J. Ratliffe spent the morning with some of their former 7 on 7 teammates as Jacksonville took part in the Tyler 7 on 7 State Qualifying Tournament.
McCuin, who is just beginning his first season of football at Texas Christian University, made the drive home from Fort Worth to be there on the sidelines of the Lindsey Park 7 on 7 fields.
Ratliffe is not scheduled to report to fall training camp at Oklahoma Baptist University (Shawnee, Okla.) until August 7.
“Oh yes, I miss 7 on 7,” McCuin said. “It was a lot of fun...a good experience completely.”
McCuin said that coming back and watching the Indians play in the state qualifier was important to him, and that by doing so he was able to stay connected to the 7 on 7 game.
When asked his thoughts on 7 on 7 football a brimming smile quickly appeared on Ratliffe's face.
“7 on 7 was so much fun,” he said. “I really liked the game and I liked the bond that was made with the guys. The team size is smaller, so you are really able to get to know everybody well. It is something that I will never forget.”
McCuin said that he has been busy working out in Ft. Worth, and that life as a first-year Horned Frog is a neat experience.
“It is still all about family,” McCuin said. “I love that aspect about TCU.”
TCU is scheduled to open the season at 7 p.m. on Aug. 31 by hosting Arkansas-Pine Bluff. That game will be televised on the Fox Networks.
For Ratliffe and the NCAA Division II Bison, the new campaign starts off with a home conference game against Henderson State.
Kick off is set for 1 p.m. on Sept. 7.