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Home News-Telegram Sports Eagles, Trojans meet in opener -- Teams polish up for non-district play at Ron Heflin Field

Eagles, Trojans meet in opener -- Teams polish up for non-district play at Ron Heflin Field

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COMO — Break out the chamois and wax, Como-Pickton and Cumby has been buffing out all the flaws preparing for the opening non-district action.

“We have been polishing our base plays on offense and defense. Defensively, we have emphasized being more aggressive and each player doing their job so we play better as a team,” Como-Pickton athletic director

and head football coach Paul Tullis said as he prepares the Eagles for Friday night's competition.

Kick off time is set for 7:30 at Ron Heflin Field.

Cumby Trojan athletic director and head football coach Ed Perez is also putting emphasis on primarily on the base offense and defense.

“It is still early and we have to make sure that our most basic material is engrained thoroughly before expanding,” said Perez. “We took a hard look at stopping the run against Como on defense and getting the ball spread around on offense.”

This season Perez has a solid 5-11, 230-pound center Taylor Gay poised in front of his quarterback Timmy Cook. Gay had only three bad snaps in 490 plays, allowing no sacks.

“Taylor is a great asset to our team. He is a workhorse and does everything we ask of him,” coach

said.

“Timmy has looked great this year. He is throwing the ball well and has a tremendous poise about him,” said Perez. “All of our team has improved greatly as far as work in the off season. A year in our system has us stronger, more knowledgeable and anxious to get started.”

“They are extremely crisp and efficient on offense. Their quarterback (Cook) is a threat to score every play and they have a couple of receiver/running backs that can really run and catch,” Tullis said on opponent Cumby, “They are very active on defense using quickness to make a lot of negative plays for the opposing offense. They are well coached and don't make many mistakes. It should be a good game.”

By the second game last season, Cumby was already down three quarterbacks and working on a fourth. It was not the ideal way to start the rebuilding of the  Trojan team. This season Perez already has some names in mind for backup QB if the

need arises.

“Our backup QB is really a situational call and very dependent upon how the game is going. We have two  individuals take up these duties if need be. They are senior Michael Morris and junior Justin Akers,” explained Perez. Their throwing arm seems to be the Trojans strong suit and game plan strategy against the Eagles.

Perez said, “I would have to say throwing the ball is what we would expect since about 85 percent of the time we are in a shotgun formation.”

The Harris Ratings weekly poll has been released for week zero. Como-Pickton is ranked 194 out of 205 in the 2A division. Cumby is 135 out of 162 for 1A division.

Dave Campbell's Texas Football has ranked Cumby third in District 14-1A. So there is competition coming to town. Last year the Trojans played with Como-Pickton until the momentum shifted with a lightning delay turning the tables into the Eagles favor, 17-14.

“You never like to play in adverse conditions like rain or extreme hot or cold. The lightning delay occurred for the safety of the players, coaches, and fans. If the game needs to be stopped for lightning it needs to be stopped,” said Tullis. “As far as flow of the game-yes, it can change momentum. Last year, it gave us a chance to make some adjustments.”

Leading Friday night's momentum will be the Eagle's starting quarterback senior Jeff Hendricks.

“Jeff's leadership and experience has helped him and he will be the starting quarterback. The other two (Zach Carpenter and Brodie Ogle) may still play, but they have been given other roles on the offense where we need them to help the team be successful,” Tullis added.

The Eagles trekked to Union Hill last week for a scrimmage with the Bulldogs. Eagle sophomore Brodie Ogle ran in a touchdown along with teammates senior Merced Ramirez and senior Corey Gibson for a total of 18 points.

“They came out with a lot of emotion and worked hard,” Tullis commented on scrimmage action. “The offensive line did a much better job coming off the ball and staying on blocks.”

Last week's scrimmage against Era proved to be successful for the Trojans; even though, Era returned good numbers from last year they are ranked below District 13-1A power houses: Collinsville, Muenster, and Lindsay.

“We had a great scrimmage. Era had some speed, but Coach Henderson (Era's head football coach) was working on some new looks due to some injuries and other issues so it probably was not a great look at where we stand,” Perez said. Perez is hoping the strength of his schedule will prepare him for district competition against District 14-1A Quinlan Boles, ranked No. 1, and Wolfe City, ranked No. 2 (according to Texas Football), but he is steering clear of any early predictions and does not hold too much count in polls and rankings.

So far Cumby has remained consistent in their numbers, which pleases Perez. “It makes a great start just to review instead of learning everything brand new,” he added. Cumby returns 24 lettermen to its 2009 team.

“The new coaches are doing a phenomenal job. The staff is working well with each other and team chemistry is doing great,” Perez said. “I anticipate another great opener just like last year and look forward to the opportunity of working with the young men and great staff of Cumby ISD.”

The Eagle's offensive line has also been working out the kinks. “The offensive line has made gains the past  couple of weeks. They have a lot to prove and need to work harder to reach their potential,” Tullis said.

The weather, although slightly humid, has been just right for East Texas football.

The first bell sounded the start of school on Monday, Aug. 24, ending two-a-day practices.

“The first few days of school are always tough because the kids and coaches are not used to working in school all day then going and working hard at practice. Monday they (Eagles) did great. On Tuesday, we were a little sluggish, but Wednesday we rebounded and had a good practice,” Tullis said.

This year football players at C-P will have the opportunity to have an athletic class each of the five days as opposed to last year with the block schedule. Coach Tullis said that this change has been essential to a better program. It is something he has desired from the very first day. “We are looking forward to a great game

Friday night and hope everyone comes out to see the game. We will be having a booster club meeting Monday night at 6:30 p.m. in the secondary cafeteria to elect new officers and make plans for the next year. We will watch and discuss the game film following the meeting,” Tullis added.

NOTE: Final preparations for the field dedication on Sept. 5 will begin next week. Cumby will rename Trojan Stadium. Frazier-Lawrence Field will adorn the sign perched on the exterior wall facing the field. A website account has been set up for the cost of the celebration as well as to offset some of the expenses from the untimely death of Coach Frazier. For more information visit Cumby ISD's website at www.cumbyisd.net.

“I believe it will be a special moment for Coach Lawrence and a great tribute to Coach Frazier that his family will never forget,” ended Perez.

 

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