Panthers trade spring for early summer start
By TODD HVEEM
The Cy Springs Panthers are one of the few District 15-5A teams who elected not to have spring football practice.
This is just better for us,'' said head coach Roland Gonzalez, who chose an extra week of two-a-day practices over 18 workouts in the spring.
We are in a 10-team district now,'' Gonzalez said. We want to get an early start (on Aug. 2) and really hit the ground running.''
Cy Springs, which finished 4-6 a year ago, made great strides during the 2009 season. But Gonzalez knows his team is going to have to make some more headway to reach the 2010 state playoffs.
We know we are going to have to come with our A' game every week,'' Gonzalez said. Last year, we lost a couple of district games in the final two minutes. We can't afford to do that this year (if we want to make the playoffs).''
A lot of Cy Springs' success could hinge on Afton Williams, who is making the move from wide receiver to quarter.
Williams replaces graduated star Hunter Arter, who was one of the top signal callers in District 15-5A a year ago.
Williams is a good kid,'' Gonzalez said. We think he will do a great job for us.''
All-District running back Xavier Johnson also is back, as are offensive linemen Devante Howard and Octavius McJunkin, who is a three-year letterman.
Defensive end Joseph Myles and safety Immanuel Roland are back to spearhead the defense.
We are going to play a lot of 7-on-7 this summer and see how that goes,'' said Gonzalez. For what we do, it should really help. We don't have a 7-on-7 offense. We just run our normal stuff.
It also helps our secondary guys,'' he said. It keeps our kids involved so they aren't just out there running around.''
Gonzalez said Cy Creek should be the team to beat again in 2010.
They are the defending district champs and they have good kids back (in Chucky Keeton and Jermichael Selders),'' he said. Their coaches also do a great job.
But, after that, I really think anybody can beat anybody,'' he added. We know we can't take anybody for granted.''
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