|C-P seniors looking ahead to district campaign|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
Sept. 2, 2005 - COMO - As the 2005 season gets underway, Como-Pickton seniors Trent Vail and Garold Pierce are already looking at one game on the schedule - a Sept. 30 matchup with the Quitman Bulldogs.
The reason - Vail sat out that game with a concussion and Pierce was watching as a member of the junior varsity team, and both players are ready for that game.
"Quitman, because they don't like us and I didn't get to play last year because I had a concussion and they beat us bad and they laughed about it afterward," Vail said.
"I would say Quitman also, because when I moved here I asked everybody what the big rivalry game was, and they all said Quitman and that would be a really exciting game," Pierce added.
Vail, the son of David and Boopy Vail, has made the switch from the team's leading receiver to quarterback, a position which he hasn't played since the eighth grade, and said the transition has been smooth to start the season.
"I played quarterback in eighth grade and at first I was skeptical but once I got into the position I liked it because the ball was in my hand. I like it a lot," Vail said.
Trent said he has been looking at colleges and wants to attend Blinn Junior College playing football or baseball, but if that doesn't pan out he has his major already determined.
"If that doesn't work, then I want to get a degree in business management or dermatology," he said.
CPHS coach Joe Ryzman said Vail has shown tremendous leadership throughout his time at Como-Pickton, and his work ethic is one that fellow players should watch throughout the season.
"Trent is a young man who has been a pleasure to work with and year-round has prepared himself to be a better athlete and his attitude is one of the best that I have been around at Como-Pickton," the coach said. "He is always positive and shows great leadership."
Vail said hearing those comments will make him work even harder this season.
"That makes me feel real positive inside and I know that he has confidence in me when I take the field that I am being a leader. It makes me go to practice everyday knowing that I need to give 100 percent so the underclassmen will look at that and build our program up," he said.
After a first round exit last year, the playoffs are still on the mind of Vail, and he said a return trip would make his senior year end on a good note.
"Definitely playoffs, and I would definitely like to get a district gold ball, but if that doesn't work out then I would like to be one of the top three teams in the district and make the playoffs," he said. "I also want a college scholarship and play football or baseball in college."
Pierce, the son of Garold and Imelda Pierce, played on the junior varsity last year after transferring from Sulphur Springs in 2004, and said switching from Sulphur Springs to Como-Pickton was a shock at first.
"I was not used to being in a school of only 300 kids and more in a school of 1,000 kids, but I really like Como and all of the people because they are really nice," he said.
With two big defensive plays last week against Rivercrest - a fumble return and an interception during the game - Pierce thought he played OK but still needs some work.
"I thought I did pretty good in some areas but there were other areas where I could have done better, but overall I did OK, but that is how I am and I am just hard on myself," he said.
Ryzman praised the work ethic of Pierce, and said he expects to see some good things from his starting cornerback.
"Garold is a young man who is very coachable and has a great attitude. He has helped us out tremendously on the offensive and defensive side of the ball," Ryzman said. "With his commitment to getting better every day I see for him to continue to get better throughout the season and do more great things for our team."
Pierce said he will do whatever is asked to help the team make a return trip to the playoffs.
"I will do whatever coach wants me to do in a game, and if I have to change positions I will," he said. "We have the talent and the ability to make it to the playoffs again."