By Rick Cantu and Richard Tijerina
Friday, September 12, 2003
High School A to Z
A is for Aaron.
Aaron Kiffe may not be a name you recognize now, but by season's end, you might. He's a running back for Bowie, and he's tough and fast. He won second place in District 25-5A's 100-meter dash.
B is for Bo.
Bo Collins, Reagan's senior linebacker, was last year's District 26-4A defensive player of the year as a nose guard. Now he's a linebacker, a position colleges are most interested in seeing him play.
C is for Campbell.
Tyler Campbell, the son of Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell, is one of this area's best running backs after rushing for 1,291 yards last season. He ran for 123 in his season opener against Westwood.
D is for District.
No one in the nation knows how to dominate a district like Westlake does. The Chaparrals have won a national record 67 straight district games and 12 straight district titles.
E is for Erbstoesser.
Georgetown is expected to challenge for a spot in the playoffs. Second-year quarterback Houston Erbstoesser will have to lead the way for an offense that averaged just 15 points in the last five games of 2002. So far, he's off to a good start. The Eagles beat Austin High 58-35 last week in their season opener.
F is for four.
That's how many wide receivers Killeen will play on almost every down in its '4 wides' offense - wideouts Juaquin Iglesias, Brandon Smith, Bobby Iglesias and Kyle Stramara.
G is for Gross.
Dripping Springs senior running back Joel Gross rushed for 1,353 yards last year. He had 191 yards and two touchdowns last week.
H is for Hays.
The quarterback, not the school. Hays McEachern, Austin High's quarterback, threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns in the Maroons' opening game against Georgetown.
I is for I.
The I-formation offense focuses on a running back's ability to pick his opening in the offensive line. This year, runners such as Doug Cooks (Akins), Ramonce Taylor (Belton), Darian Cunningham (Connally), Joel Gross (Dripping Springs), Stanley Zwinggi (Fredericksburg), Jason Mitchell (Lanier), David Teaney (Reagan) and Courtney Smith (Stony Point) hope to flourish in the formation.
J is for James, Jordon and Juston
The Street family runs deep in Austin sports history. Westlake twins Jordon and Juston continue the legacy of father James, the legendary Texas quarterback, and older brother Huston, the Longhorns' All-America pitcher.
K is for Kuhn.
Burnet's All-State linebacker Ty Kuhn, above, keys a defense that allowed just 13 points a game in 2002 - and 6.5 a game so far this year.
L is for Long.
Derek Long, Westlake's former defensive coordinator, has taken over for Ron Schroeder, who resigned on the first day of fall workouts in August.
M is for Myron.
Myron Hardy, McNeil's senior running back who is coming off a 1,336-yard season, should eat up a lot of yards again this year. But he's expected to be moved to wide receiver when he arrives at Texas next fall.
N is for New Braunfels.
The Unicorns have built themselves into a Class 4A power, having won 28 games the past three years, including last season's 12-3 campaign that ended in the 4A Division I state championship game. They're currently ranked No. 10 in the state.
O is for One.
Bowie and Anderson, both of whom reached the playoffs last season, have only one returning starter this year - Anderson tackle Charlie Tanner and Bowie tight end Matt Cartier.
P is for Parsons.
Matt Parsons, this year's new Leander quarterback, inherits a position and a coach (Steve Gideon) that has produced two straight Division I players in Paul Thompson (Oklahoma) and Al Pena (Oklahoma State). Pressure? Nah. He's led the Lions to 125 points in their first two games.
Q is for Questions.
How will Westlake fare without Coach Ron Schroeder? Can San Marcos find a way to snap Westlake's district winning streak? Will this be the year that Burnet wins a state championship? Is Westwood for real?
R is for Regents.
Those Knights from Austin Regents are the two-time defending TAPPS Six-Man state champions, and with All-State running back Ben Ratliff back (he also stars at defensive back and kicker), they've got a good shot at a three-peat.
S is for Scoreboard.
The new Round Rock ISD Stadium has its own replay/scoreboard system that is 20-by-20. The price: $429,000.
T is for Two-way.
Two-way players can be the norm in the smaller classifications. This year, Jarrell's Aaron Fuller (TE and DB), Burnet's Jordan Shipley (WR and DB), Connally's Kenneth Fontenette (WR and DB), La Grange's Lance Schramm (TE and DE), Leander's Mike Kern (LB and RB) and McCallum's Brian Mays (RB and DE) are among the best of them.
U is for Unbeaten.
San Marcos' junior varsity went 8-0 last year, one reason this year's varsity Rattlers might be even better than 2002.
V is for Valastro.
La Grange Coach Tony Valastro returns six offensive and eight defensive starters from a team that went 11-2 last year. The Leopards are off to a 1-1 start this season.
W is for Welch.
Copperas Cove quarterback Josh Welch, son of Coach Jack Welch, is a two-time All-District player. He's already led the Bulldawgs to wins over Odessa Permian and Arlington Bowie this year.
X is for X-factor.
There are always intangibles that factor into a team's success, X-factors that include injuries, turnovers and mistakes. Overcoming those can mean the difference between wins and losses.
Y is for Youth.
San Marcos had a lot of it last year, and that could pay dividends this fall. Returning are five starters on offense and six on defense, including key players in quarterback Kyle Pringle, running back Justin Romo, fullback Alvin Canady, lineman Marcus Bundage and defensive tackle Nate Langford.
Z is for Zwinggi.
Stanley Zwinggi is an important part of Fredericksburg's success. Only six area returning running backs rushed for more than his 1,120 yards last season.
- Rick Cantu and Richard Tijerina