by Patrick Olson
Coach Mike Rosenthal aims to rebuild the Austin High football program in 2012. “It’s a team game,” the new Maroons football coach said before practice Monday. “We were dysfunctional and a failure in every aspect of the game last year. That’s why we’re gonna turn it around.” The Maroons tackle the season opener versus Westwood Friday at Kelly Reeves Stadium on Parmer Lane.
After a three year coaching stint turning around the football team at Whitney, Craig Charlton returns to Austin High to lead the Maroons defense. Safety Mason Hamberg and linebacker Alek McCracken will be counted on to make plays defensively. Stephen Weinberger, Robert Navejas and Eman Johnson are currently competing for playing time on Charlton’s front line. Rosenthal is anxious to see defensive back Desmond Barrett on the field. “He’s a kid we’re excited about,” the skipper stated. “He’s a young kid with a lot of talent. I’m excited to see him play.” On special teams, Drew Schimberg will handle punting and kicking chores.
Offensively, Trey Blake and John Albert Mansour are in a battle for the starting quarterback spot. “Both of them are very coachable,” added Rosenthal. “They both compete and work hard.” Offensive coordinator Scott Dreisbach plans to implement a more traditional offense that will emphasize controlling the game. The Maroons feature Quincy Reese and Quinta Goode at running back. On the edge, 6’2” wideouts Isaiah Jones and Casey Schwertfeger will stretch defenses with long receptions while veteran Charles Schneider returns to help move the chains with tight end catches.
Daniel Laden represents the lone returner up front for Dreisbach. “We graduated every offensive lineman,” Rosenthal said. “It’s going to be a whole new group.” Line coach Bill Ramzinsky arrives from Anderson after teaching the Trojans to consistently and effectively run the ball. “I trust him,” the head coach noted. “He’s one of the best offensive line coaches in Central Texas.” Following a successful nine-year career toiling in the trenches in the National Football League, Rosenthal is well acquainted with the football philosophy of “winning begins up front”.
Following the departure of 31 seniors via graduation, the Bowie football team must reload with three returning starters each on both sides of the ball. “We will have a lot of new faces,” coach Jeff Ables explained. “The key will be getting these new players some game experience in our non-district games and staying healthy for district. We are excited about the new season and the new challenges of our district.”
Dominic Arocha returns to lead the Bulldog offensive line from the center spot. He’ll be blocking for running backs Brandon Scott, Wes Higgins and Stevie Johnson. John Subia will again provide a scoring threat for the red and black at receiver along with Bryson Hoskins in the slot. After a fine sophomore campaign, Mac McGarah looks to continue to improve at wideout. Caleb Garza plans to put points on the board as a kicker and will also handle punting duties.
After a successful seven on seven campaign, Dontae Harris moves into the starting quarterback position. “Last year, he was the wildcat quarterback,” said Ables. “Now he’s the full time guy. He’s smart and he’s throwing the ball well.” The summer seven on seven games honed Harris’ signal calling skills. “It helped me the most because I did not have to worry about linemen rushing me,” the senior stated. “I was able to work on my reads and progressions.” Harris possesses rushing skill but is focused on developing aerial prowess. “I can use my feet to get out of trouble but I try to make the play throwing first so the team is involved,” Harris added.
Pedro Martinez returns to join veterans Tyler Walker, Camara Cappel and Louis Anderson in the Bowie secondary. “I feel like we’re very disciplined in the (defensive) backfield,” Martinez noted. “We’ve been through different situations and we know what to expect from every team.” Preston Oliver and Logan Martin will also see action in the Bulldog secondary. Bowie linebackers include Jason Disney, Joe Davis and Ryan Taylor. On the front line, Elijah Thompson, Miles Dixon and Jason Ayers will attempt to consistently pressure opposing quarterbacks.
Ables’ crew kicks off the 2012 campaign August 31st at Pflugerville. “I tell them ‘we’re trying to get better every week’,” the coach said. “They’ve got five weeks to grow up and get some experience under their belt.” The Bulldogs open the district slate at Westlake on September 28th.
The Crockett football team will open the 2012 campaign with capable leaders on both sides of the ball. Marcellus Henderson returns to wreak havoc at the linebacker spot while Nicholas Azurdia runs the offense from the quarterback position. “We are looking for Marcellus to be a possible district defensive MVP,” coach John Waugh said. “Nick has had a great spring, summer and a tremendous start to fall camp. He is definitely a leader on the team.”
A big, strong rebounder during the winter for the Cougar basketball club, defensive end Marcus Mayes had a tremendous spring and has continued his hard work through fall camp. Running backs Aaron Johnson and Justin Miller showcase multiple skills in the offensive backfield. The brown and gold passing attack will feature wide receiver Trevon Louis who has the ability to score any time he touches the ball. “Everyone knows what they are doing now,” Azurdia said. “Compared to last year when we had a lot of young guys.”
Zachary Rodriguez brings speed, quickness and strength to the team and will join DJ Wilhite on the defensive front. In his second season as a starter, Jonathan Garica brings leadership to the critical free safety spot. Trevon Harris will operate at outside linebacker with coach Darrell Brock returning as the defensive coordinator. “We have more speed and are more up tempo on the defensive side now,” Henderson noted.
Offensively, Azurdia will throw to receivers Louis, Landon Godsey, Jerrell Young and tight end Nikko Tamez. Jonathan Santiago owns the responsibility of protecting Azurdia. “Jonathan is the lone returning starter on the offensive line and his game experience will be the key to rebuilding our offensive line,” Waugh noted. “We have a group of committed players who enjoy working together as a team. Our skill players will be the strength of the team and our front players on both sides of the ball need to develop.” The Cougars kick off the new season versus Akins at Burger August 31st.
Austin High 2011 results:
Waco 52, Austin High 35
Belton 58, Austin High 14
Westwood 31, Austin High 30
Cedar Park 62, Austin High 0
Steele 54, Austin High 7
Austin High 51, Akins 23
Westlake 52, Austin High 0
Bowie 41, Austin High o0
Del Valle 48, Austin High 38
Austin High 41, Anderson 35
Leander 35, Austin High 14 (playoffs)
A31 at Westwood 7:30 p.m.
S6 Pflugerville at HP 7:30 p.m.
S14 Cedar Ridge at Burger 7:30 p.m.
S21 at McNeil 7:30 p.m.
S28 at Lake Travis 7:30 p.m.
O12 Bowie at HP 7:30 p.m.
O19 Akins at Burger 7:30 p.m.
O25 Anderson at HP 7:30 p.m.
N2 at Del Valle 7:30 p.m.
N9 Westlake at HP 7:30 p.m.
Bowie 2011 results:
Bowie 14, Pflugerville 7
Westwood 31, Bowie 10
Bowie 35, Round Rock 31
Leander 35, Bowie 21
Waco Midway 21, Bowie 10
Bowie 28, Del Valle 14
Bowie 53, Akins 0
Bowie 41, Austin High 0
Bowie 18, Anderson 14
Westlake 35, Bowie 0
Westwood 52, Bowie 20 (playoffs)
A31 at Pflugervile 7:30 p.m.
S7 Westwood at Burger 7:30 p.m.
S14 Round Rock at Burger 7:30 p.m.
S21 SA Roosevelt at Burger 7:30 p.m.
S28 at Westlake* 7:30 p.m.
O5 Lake Travis at Burger 7:30 p.m.
O12 Austin High at HP 7:30 p.m.
O26 Akins at Burger 7:30 p.m.
N1 Anderson at HP 7:30 p.m.
N8 Del Valle at Burger 7:30 p.m.
Crockett 2011 results:
Dripping Spring 24, Crockett 0
Caldwell 28, Crockett 6
Kyle Lehman 44, Crockett 0
Vandergrift 49, Crockett 7
Crockett 56, Reagan 6
McCallum 65, Crockett 0
LBJ 54, Crockett 7
Crockett 55, Reagan 7
Lanier 53, Crockett 19
Travis 17, Crockett 16
A31 Akins at Burger 7:30 p.m.
S6 Lockhart at Burger 7:30 p.m.
S14 at Seguin 7:30 p.m.
S20 Dripping Springs at Burger 7:30 p.m.
O5 Travis at HP 7:30 p.m.
O12 McCallum at Burger 7:30 p.m.
O18 LBJ at HP 7:30 p.m.
O26 Lanier at HP 7:30 p.m.
N2 Reagan at Nelson 7:30 p.m.