Cy Ridge ready for tough opener
By L. SCOTT HAINLINE
Like several Cy-Fair ISD teams, the Cy Ridge Rams decided not to play on Zero Week, and will open their season later this week.
We had the option to play on Zero Week, but then we would have been open the week before we start district," Cy Ridge coach Gary Thiebaud said. This way, it gave us an extra week to get ready for a game coming out of training camp, and we can start up and get on a run."
The Rams, playoff qualifiers in five of sixth varsity seasons, including the last four, host defending state semifinalist Cinco Ranch at 7 p.m. Friday at Pridgeon Stadium in their one-and-only predistrict outing that doubles as a season opener.
Cy Ridge is coming off a 7-5 playoff season, and Cinco Ranch finished 13-2 after falling to Austin Westlake 42-27 in the 5A-I semis.
We've been playing Cinco Ranch for years, and no doubt it will be a good test," Thiebaud said. (Cinco Ranch coach) Don Clayton does a good job other there, and he's a good friend, and it's a good opener for us against the No. 7 team in the state."
Cy Ridge senior quarterback Andrew Gonzales is the only returning starter on offense, and if you're going to have only one, a seasoned quarterback is just fine with Thiebaud.
Gonzales is the kind of guy you want at quarterback, and believe me, I'm a fan," Thiebaud said. He's kind of a coach on the field, he makes good decisions, and I trust him 100 percent. He's a strong leader who is going to have a big year."
Gonzales (5-9, 165) was 126 of 222 for 1751 yards with 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, and ran for 279 yards and five touchdowns on 84 attempts last season.
The Rams look to be well-stocked at running back with junior letterman Demarias Porter (262 yards and four touchdowns in 2009), senior letterman Casper Isaac, and sophomore newcomer Renerick Rene" Childs.
Senior kicker-punter Andy Wickman hit a 57-yard field goal during fall workouts, and he's called one of the best athletes on the team" by Thiebaud, but it's the defense that might have to carry a big load, especially early on.
Free safety Nick Shepard, linebacker Collin Callahan, and defensive tackle Efrem Clark are returning senior starters with impressive all-district credentials.
Senior veterans Josh Murray and Arthur McDaniel combine with Clark to anchor an experienced defensive front, and cornerbacks Zane Porter and Willie White, and strong safety Zephan Porter (Zane's twin brother) are among the top newcomers.
Defense is where our strength is as far as numbers with varsity playing time," Thiebaud said. Defensively, you have to be good up the middle, and we are."
Cy Ridge opens district against Langham Creek at 7 p.m. on Sept. 9 (a Thursday) at Pridgeon Stadium.
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