After losing the first two games of the 2012 season, people began to question Cedar Park Football. They answered their critics with a 14-game winning streak, resulting in the school's first-ever State title.
This time last year, current head coach Joe Willis was still 'interim' after Chris Ross ascended to Leander ISD athletic director. The former defensive coordinator seamlessly transitioned to the the head coaching role.
(PICTURED: Coaches knew since he was in junior high that Chris would be a Varsity star. He was all-district as a sophomore in 2012)
Cedar Park 2012 varsity players returning for 2013:
David Moritz, Nick Neuman, Lane Waller, Blake Bouffard, Nate Grimm, Bill Estevanott, Zach Hancock, Mac Gilpin, Nolan Foster, Sean Angle, Nick Gutierrez, Logan Imbornone, Thomas Middleton, Brandon Burgett, Mack White, Thomas Hutchings, Chris Hutchings, Peter Maniekis, Cole Baughman, Alex Langlois, Shawn Taylor, Jake Harris. Cooper Blow, Davis Geerts, Austin Bryant, Keenon Purslow, Chad Whitehead, Colt Owen, Sam Brock, Myles Cheatum, Alex Cuteri, and Jake Barber
This amounts to 32 lettermen. Eight of these Timberwolves have scored touchdowns.
Full-time defensive starters returning (4):
DB Lane Waller, DB Blake Bouffard, LB Thomas Hutchings, LB Peter Maniekis
(PICTURED: Lane had a good 2012, but we think the light flipped on for him during the State title game. We're projecting a huge leap in production for the retruning DB)
Players who logged significant playing time on defense in 2012, even starting several games:
DB Sean Angle, LB Brandon Burgett, DE Myles Cheatum, DT Jake Barber, DB Mac Gilpin
This gives the Black Rain NINE returning players with extensive and significant playing experience, at all three layers of the defense. These nine are likely starters in 2013, leaving only two more positions to fill (one LB and one DL). There are whispers that Thomas Middleton ('14) could be a LB at the next level, prompting more playing time on the defensive side. Stay tuned.
(PICTURED: Sam Brock is also arguably the best basketball player at Cedar Park. Showing shades of Dylan Cox, Brock can do it all)
Full-time offensive starters returning (7):
QB Nate Grimm, RB Chris Hutchings, C Davis Geerts, TE Chad Whitehead, TE Colt Owen, OL Austin Bryant , WR Sam Brock
(PICTURED: The offensive line will be anchored by Geerts/Bryant in 2013 - they will deserve MVP consideration in their own rights)
Players who logged significant playing time on offense in 2012, even starting several games (including players who would have been full-time starters if not injured for some portion of the season):
RB/LB Thomas Middleton, OL Shawn Taylor, WR/RB Bill Estevanott, OL Cole Baughman
This gives the offense ELEVEN returning players with extensive and significant experience, at every position, plus the regular place-kicker, Zach Hancock.
Additional returning players who will likely see extensive playing time in 2013 - perhaps even start - and who logged much quality playing time in 2012:
(PICTURED: Musicallly gifted as well, CPFB RB Foster hopes to show his promise more often on the turf in 2013)
WR David Moritz, RB Nolan Foster, RB Logan Imbornone, LB Mack White, OL Cooper Blow
In total, this amounts to far greater experience than returned from 2011 for 2012, and which won a state championship.
During the 2012 season, even considering the two “young” schools that were barely past their program’s “startup” stage, every 25-4A team started more seniors than Cedar Park. Nearly no one realized it, but it was the Timberwolves who were actually the youngest team in the district!
Keeping that in mind, consider that Cedar Park has never lost to Dripping Springs (3-0), never lost to Marble Falls (5-0), never lost to Vandegrift (3-0), never lost to Vista Ridge (5-0), never lost to Rouse (3-0), and is 7-4 all-time against Leander, having won the last five straight. In fact, the last time Leander beat Cedar Park, the 2013 Lion seniors were in 6th grade, and their juniors and sophomores were still in elementary school. Cedar Park is 26-4 all-time against the six 25-4A teams it will face in 2013, having won 19 straight against these teams since 2007.
Returning defensive players for the Timberwolves include the two DBs who were the leading and second-leading interceptors for the Black Rain in 2012, a unit that set a school record for picks. Also returning are the team’s leading and second-leading tacklers.
(PICTURED: From project to MVP, QB Grimm surpassed all expectations in 2012 by winning a State title)
Returning offensive players include the team’s leading passer, first, second, and fourth leading rushers (plus the leading returning rusher in the district from 2011 into 2012), and the team’s second, third, and fifth-leading receivers. The eight returning players who ran the ball produced 2,014 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in 2012. The eight returning players who had catches produced 906 receiving yards and ten touchdowns in 2012. The returning passer produced 1,906 passing yards and 24 touchdowns. Except for the nine rushing touchdowns, all of these ARE THE LARGEST RETURNING NUMBERS IN THOSE CATEGORIES IN THE HISTORY OF CEDAR PARK FOOTBALL.
The Timberwolves will be gunning for their second straight district crown, and fourth in the last five seasons.
Not to mention a return trip to Jonestown in December...
DATES TO REMEMBER:
Spring camp opener: May 1st
State Qualifying Tournament (tenative): May 25 (in Round Rock)
Preseason Scrimmage: August 22nd (v. Connally)
Season Debut: August 30th (hosting Westlake)
Key District Game: October 18 (@ Rouse, Bible Stadium)