As Sealy athletics came to a close at the end of May, the attention of the town turned to the next football season which took its first step forward when the team took Mark A. Chapman Field for a seven-on-seven competition.
The Tigers competed against Columbus and Bellville in their first live-action competition against another school since their previous season came to an end against Henderson in the second round of the playoffs. The team, led by a new group of upcoming seniors, has already begun putting in the work for a better finish to next season.
“Since the beginning of the last year, I knew I was going to be a leader no matter what,” senior running back Ivan Bolden said. “So we’ve been waking up at 6 a.m. and I’ll pick up a couple of guys and we’ll hit the gym with some more.”
The effort has been rewarded early as Sealy won both of their competitions against Bellville and Columbus. Their win against the Cardinals came thanks to a last-second touchdown pass by Garret Zaskoda and a two-point conversion thrown to Bolden. It was a particularly welcoming sight for the fans in the bleachers that Zaskoda was already connecting with his new group of receivers.
The now-senior quarterback had a receiver corps that was mostly made up of seniors who graduated in May. Of the top five receivers in terms of receptions and yards last year for Sealy, three of them are now gone. Zaskoda said the new group of starters has already begun building on-the-field chemistry with him.
“You can see it right away and right now that we’re already playing well together,” he said. “We’ve got some athletic guys that do things right and when you do that and play smart then we’ll be able to really move the ball.”
Zaskoda also said the offense is continuing to add to their playbook in the second year under Head Coach Shane Mobley. He said he enjoys the environment the seven-on-seven competitions provide.
“This is awesome because it’s like backyard football playing around with friends and there are no pads but there’s still that competitive edge that makes it fun to play out here,” he said.