Football: Eagles have clear mission ahead
Cy Falls football went 7-3 last season, but despite the impressive record, and winning five of the last six, and the final three in a row, the Golden Eagles missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker.
"We know one sure way to avoid having something like that happen again, and that's by going 10-0," senior quarterback and returning starter Troy Mitchell said. "You go 10-0 and then you don't have to worry about it. There is no question or tiebreakers about the playoffs when you're 10-0, and that's one of our biggest goals in 2011."
Kirk Eaton is Cy Falls' new head coach having replaced David Raffield (now at A&M Consolidated), and after serving as a Golden Eagles assistant for 13 years. He came on board in 1998 under the school's first coach, Wayne Hooks, and was the team's assistant head coach the past two seasons.
"Just about everything I am as a coach is due to Cy Falls, and it's a tremendous honor to be selected to carry on what Coach Hooks and Coach Raffield established," Eaton said. "We have 353 kids in the football program from freshmen to seniors, and our goal is to make them not just better players, but also better people.
"It's a philosophy that started way back with Coach Raffield, that we care about the champion in every individual more than championships, and that's going to continue and grow."
The Eagles took top honors at the Cy Creek 7-on-7 State Qualifying Tournament by beating District 17-5A co-member Jersey Village 46-33 in the finals.
Cy Falls downed Terry and Jersey Village beat The Woodlands in the semifinals to earn state berths.
"The kids played really well, and it was very unexpected because I think they had maybe one (7-on-7) practice before the Cy Creek event," Eaton said. "We started spring football late after I got the job, and we played our spring game on a Wednesday (May 25), and they played 7-on-7 at Cy Creek three days later."
The Eagles beat out Cy-Fair, Cy Woods and Cy Springs in pool play behind the offensive leadership of Mitchell, senior wide outs Gratian Gladney and Isaiah White, senior running back Tre' Clark, junior receivers Jacorey Warrick and Temi Alaka, and junior back Bryce Peters.
Cy Falls competes in its 10th state tournament on July 15-16 at Texas A&M University in College Station.
"Some teams make adjustments for 7-on-7, but we don't change a thing," Eaton said, "and we have so much experience back with Mitchell at quarterback, and among our receivers like Gladney and White, who are both two-year starters.
"What happened last week, winning at Cy Creek, was more a credit to what they know than what we've actually worked on this summer."
Mitchell and his teammates are excited about Eaton running the show, and having coordinators Greg Rogers (offense) and Chris Brister (defense), and most of the staff, still in place.
"You can feel Coach Eaton's love of the game, and it really gets you fired up," Mitchell said. "We've added a few new wrinkles, and we'll have even a faster tempo on offense.
"I'm lucky to have such great receivers, running backs and teammates to work with, and the No. 1 priority the playoffs in 2012."
The Eagles are scheduled to compete in the Terry SQT in Pool C with Elkins, Katy and Memorial at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 4, in Rosenberg.
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