Football: Pundits issue their early picks in 17-5A
Cy Woods is picked to win the District 17-5A championship in only its fourth season of varsity football by the state's premier preseason publication.
Dave Campbell's Texas Football Magazine recognizes the Wildcats' impressive credentials — three playoff berths in their first three years, a 29-10 overall record and an 8-3 postseason mark - and has tabbed Cy Woods the team to beat in 17-5A.
Ranked as the other 17-5A playoff teams in order behind the Wildcats are Cy-Fair, Cy Falls and Cy Creek (top four advance), and then comes Cy Ridge, Langham Creek, Cy Ranch, Jersey Village, Cy Lakes and Cy Springs.
The magazine describes 17-5A as "one of the toughest districts in Houston that's more balanced than ever" and states "Cy Woods gets the nod based on recent history."
It also calls Langham Creek "high-powered" and the district's "darkhorse."
This is the first time Cy Woods has been TFM's district favorite, and so far, the Wildcats have not disappointed after being picked third in their first varsity season in 2008 (finished third), and second in 2009 (tied for second) and 2010 (co-champs with Cy-Fair and Cy Creek).
"It's always a fun read, and the kids really enjoy it," Cy Wood coach David Jones said. "It kind of gets you ready for the season, and in District 17-5A, it's going to be a struggle this year.
"It may be the toughest I've ever seen it, and I've been around this district for 12 years. The talent is spread out across the board among the 10 schools, and every team and good players and is capable of winning and getting to the playoffs."
Cy-Fair was a great example last season finishing as a district co-champion and winning a playoff game after being picked ninth.
"You never know who is going to rise up and really play well, and it happens every year," Jones said. "All 10 teams are viable candidates to advance, and really, that's what it's all about, and the competition is outstanding."
Despite starting as many as eight sophomores and several juniors last season, Langham Creek came within one game of a fourth-place tie, and the Lobos are chomping at the bit for another chance.
"It was great to be in the race a year ago and it only makes you want more," Langham Creek junior quarterback and returning starter Connor Feist said. "We're excited about the season after a good spring and more positive steps in 7-on-7."
Langham Creek will be joined by district co-members Cy-Fair, Cy Falls and Jersey Village at the 14th annual 7-on-7 Division I State Tournament on July 15-16 at Texas A&M University in College Station.
Cy Woods' new quarterback, senior Gabriel West, has polished his game through 7-on-7, and because the Wildcats didn't have full spring workouts, they get an early start on fall practice on Aug. 1.
"It's nice to have players coming back, but probably, it's more about who you lose," Jones said.
"We lost a great quarterback (Colton Huntsman) who made a lot of good things happen, but that's the nature of the game, and it's what makes every season new and different.
"We've been fortunate to have a group of kids and coaches who want to win and work very hard, and they're looking forward to getting back to it."
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