Last Friday night brought the second "First" for me in consecutive weeks in the realm of football. The first "First" was the scrimmage in May, on Saturday Aug 13, that was cancelled for......too much rain?? The second "First" was watching football in 107 degree weather at Coyote Field. The defending Division II State Champion Coyotes, hosted the Division I Throckmorton Greyhounds and the Oglesby Tigers in a three-way round robin scrimmage. A prevailing southern breeze seemed to ease the climate on the field from something like Death Valley to a much more tolerable "Holy Mackeral"-like temperature. The round robin format did allow for plenty of rest and rehydration for the boys and the scrimmages went well, with lots of hustle and hard hitting. The spectators assaulted the Concession stand and possibly purchased enough water, sports drinks and sodas to make the needle move on Wall Street, although Frito pies and Nacho sales were in recession.
The Coyotes exhibited some of last seasons’ Championship form by scoring 6 times against the #2 preseason ranked D-I Greyhounds and allowed just one touchdown against the fleet racing dogs. The Oglesby Tigers played well, but were definitely overmatched in this competition.
Returning, "All-Everything" Spreadback, Denim Reeves, looked to be in great form with multiple long runs and passes for scores. Several Greyhounds and Tigers were left grasping "nothing but air" in their attempt to corral the lightning quick scatback.
All-State returnees Chance Bush and John Greenwood both look bigger,stronger and faster and were outstanding on both offense and defense. All-State tight end Ben Van Cleave is handling the quarterbacking chores this year, replacing another All-Stater, Stephen Fowler, who was lost to graduation. Ben seems to be getting more and more comfortable in his new role with each snap of the ball. Tra Williams caught two touchdown passes, asserting himself as a receiver, and adds another great target for Denim Reeves this season. Big Danny Tillery bullied his opponents on both sides of the field with bone jarring blocks and tackles and adds another large option for Reeves on passing plays. Thomas Fowler steps out of big brother’s shadow to contribute to the swarming Coyote defense. Patrick Phillips has big shoes to fill at center, replacing All-State Stephen Thornhill, and is showing remarkable improvement as a snapper. Gunner and Ty Mann both made the highlight reel, Gunner with "rock the house" tackles, and the speedy Ty, with a couple of great touchdown runs. Trevor Tinney inherits the kicking duties replacing graduating seniors Brian Torres and Frankie Soto. Rounding out the roster for the Coyotes are Chris Munoz, Dillon Parker, Joe Avila, Justin Trevino, Corey Bessant, Corey Turner, Stanley Butler, Winston Poe, Jonathan Patino and incoming freshman Storm Teel and Jacob Cohn. Jacob made his high school debut with a touchdown on his first carry against the Tigers JV "B" team.
2010 Sixman Coaches of the Year, Jerry Burkhart, Shawn Rogers and Michael Brand all were pleased with the scrimmage, but acknowledged the need to work on various aspects of their overall game. Head Coach Jerry Burkhart engineers the brick wall defense while Offensive Coordinator Coach Shawn Rogers is the devious mastermind of the Coyote offense. Coach Michael Brand handles special teams for the Varsity along with his JV and Jr High responsibilities.
Richland Springs will kick off their 2011 Championship Quest against Avalon at Zephyr on Friday at 7:00 pm. Come watch one of the most exciting teams in football. Go Coyotes!!!