Football: Wildcat throwers sharp in summer
Cy Woods senior quarterback Gabriel West knows how important it is to have another signal caller ready to step right in.
"We lost Colton Huntsman (last year's starting quarterback) in the second game, and I had to play the rest of that one, and I started the next four," West said. "You never know what's going to happen, and you have to be prepared."
West and junior quarterback Nate German are working close together in 7-on-7 summer football sharing series and information, much in the same way Huntsman and West teamed up prior to last season.
"They are both doing good things in 7-on-7 and we'll be depending on them quite a bit in 2011," Cy Woods coach David Jones said. "We opted out of spring workouts for the third or maybe even fourth time this year, and so far, that strategy has worked out well, and that probably puts a little more emphasis on 7-on-7.
"We like to get the kids back a week earlier in the fall (workouts start Aug. 1) when the season counts."
West and German are working well with senior returning starters Jesse Astorga and Gary Tesch, and junior newcomer Chase Ragusa, the team's top wide receivers.
"Having the experience of starting and playing last year really helps," said West, who was 42-of-74 passing for 517 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions while filling in for Huntsman.
In only three varsity seasons, the Wildcats are 29-10 overall including an 8-3 postseason mark and trips to the state quarterfinals (fourth round) the past two years.
The first varsity season in 2008 ended at 8-3 with playoff wins against Georgetown and Klein Forest, and then came the 11-3 finish in 2009 and postseason triumphs against Round Rock Westwood, Westfield and Dallas Skyline.
Last year, the Wildcats beat Eisenhower, Katy Taylor and Clear Creek during the extended season and closed at 10-4.
"Our coaching staff is just awesome, especially coach Jones, and he just has a way of getting the team to come together," West said. "I also work closely with Coach (Curtis) Neill (Cy Woods' offensive coordinator), and really, all of our coaches are great.
"Our team is just really close, and a lot more than the average team."
Jones always deflects the credit to his players, coaching staff, parents, teachers and administrators, and he knows Cy Woods is in for another big challenge just to get out of District 17-5A.
"It's a tough district, and just a real good area to compete in because of the outstanding coaches and players," Jones said. "If you can get out, you're playoff-ready, and that's helped us advance in the postseason over the past three seasons."
Cy Woods earned its first 7-on-7 state berth last summer and goes for a second starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 11, at the A&M Consolidated State Qualifying Tournament in College Station.
District co-member Cy Falls is also scheduled to compete with pool winners moving into the semifinals at 1 p.m., and the championship or consolation game at 2 p.m.
The Wildcats will also be at the Cy Falls SQT on June 18, and compete in a Red Bull 7-on-7 tournament at 3 p.m. on June 21 at Alief Taylor High School.
The Red Bull event is not part of the State7on7.com summer season.
"We've been to the Cy Creek SQT, and we have three more for a total of four this year, unless we qualify to keep going," Jones said. "Our kids have figured out that if they make sacrifices for each other, it can really pay off, and 7-on-7 can play a positive roll in getting it all started."
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