“We’ve been working towards this,” said junior cornerback Taytum Johnson. “Everbody has been showing up and learning how to build that chemistry, communicate and play together."
Cinco Ranch’s success last season did more than effect the players on that team.
That success may have been at the top, but it was felt all the way down the program. It showed what the coaching staff was trying to do, it allowed for an extra month of practice from non-varsity players. It made an impact on the entire program that the Cougars have been trying to build.
But that was a different team, a different group of players and a year. The Cougars may have had success, but this year is about not just replicating it, but building on it.
Step one in that process came on Monday, as the Cougars started up fall practice and got one step closer to the season.
“It was great,” said senior quarterback Gavin Rutherford. “There was a lot of excitement to get back out here and compete again, especially for me and a lot of the other guys with it being our senior year. Everyone around here was just so ready and we wanted to get going. This is the first step to that.”
The Cougars had a strong first practice, competing every step of the way and having fun while they went through drills and conditioning. Expectations are high for this group, and they showed how seriously they are taking things as they went through one-on-ones, 7-on-7 drills and more as every player on both sides of the ball tried to make plays and prove themselves.
“These kids were just chomping at the bit,” said Cinco Ranch head coach Chris Dudley. “All the different phases of offseason that they’ve done and all that work they’ve put in, it’s for this. We’re in the moment now and everyone is ready to roll. Varsity on down it’s really a great time to be at Cinco Ranch right now and we’re looking forward to it.”
The Cinco Ranch defense has been gearing up for this all spring and summer, and they couldn’t wait to go out and show what they could do Monday, flying around and making plays while proving they could compete with the Cougars high powered offense.
“We’ve been working towards this,” said junior cornerback Taytum Johnson. “Everbody has been showing up and learning how to build that chemistry, communicate and play together. At the beginning of offseason, we weren’t really communicating that well. But we worked on it, improved and have gotten so much better. There’s still room to improve though and we’re going to keep getting better as we get to the season.”
The task now for Cinco Ranch is to keep building on what they have been doing throughout the offseason into the rest of the fall practice leading into the year. The entire team knows how important it is to keep the same level of intensity and preparation every day so that they are ready for the grind of the season.
“It’s a process,” Dudley said. “Everyone has a vision of where you want to end up, everyone wants to win that district championship, to hoist that state championship trophy, but to be a really good team, you have to understand all the little things that lead up to that. It’s not month by month, or even day by day. It’s rep by rep, and that’s what we’re trying to do and how we are going to be ready.”
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