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Three Longhorn Commits Looking to Shine at State Tournament

In years past the Texas Longhorns have a had a bevy of current football

commits participate in the 7-on-7 State Tournament and the 2010 event at Texas

A&M will be no different. With a large number of college football prospects

representing 128 Texas schools ascending on College Station this weekend, three

2011 Longhorn commits will be looking to finish off their productive summers

with a bang.
In the Division I tournament only one Longhorn commit will be taking the

field but he’ll be one that many Texas fans should be anxious to see. That’s because

Belton’s David Ash has had an outstanding summer and is throwing the ball at a

high level heading into the tournament.

With several new receivers trying to emerge for the Tigers this year Belton

struggled in the Round Rock Westwood State Qualifying Tournament but ultimately

qualified for state by winning a qualifier they hosted a few weeks later. In

rolling through pool play and in a semifinal victory over Austin Bowie, Ash was

on target all day long in helping the Tigers advance to their first state

tournament since 2008.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound four-star signal caller is operating at perhaps

the best level he has during his young career showing good velocity on his

throws, an ability to scan the field and make proper reads and elite level

intangibles in the process.

Ash said earlier this summer this summer that the 7-on-7 experience has

given him a good chance to develop a rapport with his young receivers heading

into the fall.

“The main thing is you get to know each other real well,” Ash said. “You

really start to feel comfortable to the point that I know, like, if I’m

throwing it to the back shoulder then I know he’s going to break the right way.

As we get out here and get more reps, I think everybody’s getting more

comfortable.”

If the Tigers hope to advance to the championship bracket on Saturday

then they will need Ash to continue his hot streak as the Tigers are competing

in a pool with 7-on-7 perennial power Lufkin and a DeSoto team that advanced to

the final eight last year.

One Longhorn commit who figures to be playing deep into the championship

bracket of the Division II tournament is Brownwood wide receiver Jaxon Shipley

as the Lions are a one of the favorites to win the small school field.

The Lions qualified early in the 7-on-7 season at the Gatesville State

Qualifying Tournament and have been on a tear ever since. The reports from

Brownwood’s tournament appearances this summer have been nothing but positive

reviews for Shipley as the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder has been a dominating force

with teams being unable to cover the dynamic pass catcher on most occasions.

Brownwood advanced the third round of the Class 3A playoffs last fall

and Shipley said recently that with many returning starters the Lions have

their sights set on winning a state title on the gridiron in 2010.

This weekend may just prove to be a preview of things to come down the

line.

“With everybody back, we really feel like this is a championship team,”

said Shipley.

Carthage’s Kendall Thompson has been a part of two championship teams

during his high school career as the Bulldogs have won two consecutive Class 3A

state championships. Last year the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Thompson and his Carthage

teammates advanced all the way to the consolation championship game in last

year’s state tournament and with Thompson and 2012 two-way standout Edward Pope

back in the fold the Bulldogs have been eyeing this weekend for quite some

time.

“Hopefully we can get back to Texas A&M again,” Thompson said

earlier this summer. “That was a fun experience and I think everybody really

wants to get back and do it again.”

The Bulldogs got back to the tournament by qualifying at

Diboll. Thompson said his physical conditioning and speed are the best they

have ever been and with Thompson at linebacker and Pope in the secondary,

Carthage will have one of the best defenses in the tournament.

Pool play in the Division II State Tournament begins on

Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Texas A&M’s Penberthy Fields. Bracket play

in the Division II tournament begins at 8 a.m. on Friday while the Division I

field begins pool play later in the day Friday at 1 p.m.