This post is courtesy of the Ponies Touchdown Club:
Stillwater’s 7-on-7 football team won the Regional NFL High School Player Development (HSPD) Tournament hosted by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, June 22, 2014. Stillwater came back from 17 points down in the second half to beat last year’s winners, Lakeville South, in the championship game 45-38 at Winter Park.
To get to the championship game, the Ponies defeated Prior Lake 35-24, former champion Becker 42-36 in double overtime, and Rochester HSPD champion Byron 45-28. The tournament featured 16 teams from around the state, including former champion Minnetonka.
Twelve Stillwater players will travel all-expenses paid to Indianapolis, Indiana on July 12-15 for the NFL HSPD 7-on-7 National Tournament Championships. Our players will represent the Minnesota Vikings as they compete against 31 teams from NFL markets across the country. The Vikings will cover team expenses for airfare, hotel, food, and transportation. The players will also be fully outfitted in Nike gear. NFL Films will shoot the action and feature it on the NFL Network.
The 2014 National 7-on-7 Tournament will take place at the Indianapolis Colts training facility. Teams will compete in one day of pool play before a single elimination tournament. While our team represents the St. Croix Valley, some teams will be area all-star teams that feature some of the most sought-after Division 1 Football talent in the country.
Since its inception in 2001, the HSPD program has provided participants with a curriculum that focuses on inspiring excellence in the classroom, community, and on the playing field. The program, which is funded by the National Guard through the NFL Youth Football Fund, is free for students. Each summer, HSPD camps take place in across the country, also free of charge.
Captain Zach Knox summarized the regional tournament experience for the team: “We had a blast today. We just came to compete. We didn’t practice much before and the coaches let us call the plays and the defense for the most part. DJ Skie stepped up at quarterback and the rest of us just tried to make one more play than our opponents. We have a long way to go for this fall, but today we got a little better.”
Congratulations to the participants: Matt Anderson, Brooks Carroll, Joey Costa, Justin DeShaw, Joey Freichels, Charlie Haummersen, Abdi Hirsi, Zach Knox, Andrew Lammers, Stone Langworthy, Johnny Randazzo, DJ Skie, Ian Weisbrod, and Aidan Zurn.