Breaux Bride, LaGrange move to 7-on-7 quarterfinals _lowres

Advocate Photo by BRAD KEMP Comeaux defensive player Jestin Bertsch, left, breaks up a pass intended for St. Thomas More receiver Griffin Hebert during the Airo 7v7 football tournament Thursday June 16, 2016 at St. Thomas More High School in Lafayette, La.

LAFAYETTE — When first-year Breaux Bridge football coach Terry Martin signed his team up for the adidas/Airo 7-on-7 State Championship, he did so very reluctantly.

Martin felt that with just two weeks of spring practice that many players missed because of the baseball playoffs, the Tigers wouldn’t be ready. But he also realized the tournament could provide valuable teaching.

So off Breaux Bridge went to two days of competition at St. Thomas More.

By Thursday afternoon, Martin got more than a teaching tool. The Tigers and Lake Charles-based LaGrange beat out the rest of the 15-team to earn spots in the quarterfinals set for 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Amant High.

The final is set for 12:30 p.m.

Breaux Bridge beat Westgate 38-9, while LaGrange topped Ville Platte 34-7.

St. Augustine, West Feliciana, Landry-Walker Scotlandville, Loranger and Warren Easton were the other teams to advance from the St. Amant portion of the tourney.

While Thursday’s results weren’t necessarily expected by Martin, he was more than pleased to see his team perform so well. After all, Martin’s main goal was to simply put in his offense, something that wasn’t lost on the coach after the game.

“If you use it (7-on-7) the right way, we never use it as a win thing, you want to be competitive and to win but it’s always been about teaching” Martin said. “I just said (to his team) focus on the on the process and fundamentals.”

Breaux Bridge seems to be headed in the right direction, but Martin stressed to his team that by no means does winning a 7-on-7 tournament make you a quality football team.

“It’s not real football. When you put lineman in front and guys are running at the quarterback and they can really hit people, it’s a whole different story,” the BBHS coach said.

Though it may not be real football, there is no doubt Thursday’s performance could go a long way in helping the Tigers forge successful season this.

For now, Martin is happy to get Friday’s opportunity to coach up his players and install his offense in a live game situation.

Friday’s action is single elimination.

Other local teams that participated include: Cecilia, Comeaux, Lafayette, New Iberia, Notre Dame and host STM.