Fans of the 2014-2015 Back-to-Back Class 2ADI State Champion Canadian Wildcats will get a chance to evaluate the results of a long, hot summer of camps, weight room, sprints, and two weeks of UIL sanctioned two-a-days with the Wildcat coaching staff. Wildcat players, on the other hand, will be working to achieve positive evaluations from Head Coach Chris Koetting and his staff as they get their chance to go full-speed with 4A Borger as they have the last several years. Koetting has already made it abundantly clear that they are looking for the guys willing to get physical with big hits and how efficient they perform after fatigue sets in.
Although not a regular season game, this match-up is bound to have a little emotion building as the Bulldogs can’t be happy with how a lower classified Canadian squad has not only held their own in these scrimmages, but has dominated them. That’s not a put down as such for Borger, knowing that Canadian has had their way with several other higher classified teams in the area the last several seasons as a legitimate Championship program.
The Bulldog defensive secondary will catch a break Saturday morning with the absence of Canadian’s All-State wide receiver, Cameron Copley out with a wrist injury, but will still need to shutdown standout Manny Ramsey and several up-and-coming WRs before they call it a day.
For many Wildcat fans far and wide, starting with a mention of the receivers makes little sense whenever the biggest question since last December while the Wildcats were toting home another State Championship trophy was “who in the world will replace QB Tanner Schafer?” Schafer, of course, was the Wildcats Offensive MVP two consecutive years in the Championship game and proved to be the most efficient QB in the State from all classes. His passion for the game continues as a member of the QB corps at OU. The answer to the question should not surprise anyone that has followed the Wildcats. Backing up Schafer the last two seasons was Corbin Douthitt, who got in a lot of minutes in the blow-out games that occurred during the Wildcats 31-0 win streak, not to mention the ten extra weeks of playoff preparation practices Douthitt consumed during the two Championship runs. Douthitt has already mentioned in an interview that he learned A LOT from Schafer and Wildcat fans are itching to see what and how much.
HC Koetting has already mentioned a tone of excitement about the defense, coordinated by former Pampa native and coach’s son, Andy Cavalier. That is significant when you consider coming off of two seasons fielding the highest rated defense in Class 2A. Joining the 2015 Defensive MVP LB Cade Throgmorton will be All-State LB Holton Hufstedler and Tyler Carr, who picked up a Lineman MVP honor of his own this summer at the Texas Tech camp.
And speaking of linemen, O-Line coach Hayden Merket is confident to move forward with the experience and capabilities with the likes of Fernando Acosta, Marshal Cates, Harrison Culwell, and Tyler Carr. These guys know that it all starts up front and positive offensive yards will not accumulate and translate into scores if they can’t do their job. A very important truth demonstrated by the last two Wildcat teams with that aforementioned 31-0 record.
If there were any worries that the Wildcat program would be decimated by the loss of one of the greatest Senior classes in Texas small school football history, those worries were unfounded. When they hung the sign in the locker room that says “Tradition Never Graduates”, they meant it and every Wildcat player that reads it believes it.
The JV teams will begin the scrimmage tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. followed by the varsity. No bands, no concession stand, no game ball raffle, no flyover by the Blue Angels. Just a bunch of hard work and hard hitting.