Can­di­dates abound for coach­ing award

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - State-semi­fi­nals Satur­day Class 5A, Di­vi­sion ii Class 4A, Di­vi­sion i Class 4A, Di­vi­sion ii states­man.com/ hs­foot­ball. states­man. com/var­si­tynews.

In

a few weeks, the Amer­i­can-States­man’s high school sports staff will re­lease its All-Cen­tral Texas foot­ball team and an­nounce our choices for the player, new­comer and coach of the year.

I think we have a fron­trun­ner for the player of the year award in Ge­orge­town QB Jake Hube­nak and a fa­vorite for the top new­comer in Rouse run­ning back Billy Ray McCrary). As for the coach of the year, though, well, whom would you pick?

Do you go with Joshua Mann, who has led Rouse to the Class 4A, Di­vi­sion I state semi­fi­nals af­ter the team was 2-17-1 in its first two sea­sons of var­sity foot­ball? How about Manor’s Sadd Jack­son, who has guided his alma mater on an un­ex­pected run through the Re­gion III bracket in Class 4A, Di­vi­sion II? Maybe we should choose West­lake’s Dar­ren All­man, whose team was left for dead af­ter a reg­u­lar-sea­son loss to Lake Travis but now has reached the Class 5A, Di­vi­sion II semi­fi­nals.

And we haven’t even talked about Cedar Park’s Joe Wil­lis or Ge­orge­town’s Ja­son Dean yet. And those two coaches may be get­ting fit­ted for state cham­pi­onship rings in a cou­ple of weeks.

Ter­rific turn­arounds

Since Ge­orge­town and Rouse will play each other on Satur­day, one team that did not reach the play­offs last sea­son is guar­an­teed a spot in the Class 4A, Di­vi­sion I cham­pi­onship.

Last sea­son, Ge­orge­town was 6-4 but failed to make the play­offs out of District 16-5A while Rouse fin­ished 2-7-1.

The turn­arounds that Ge­orge­town and Rouse have ex­pe­ri­enced this sea­son are im­pres­sive but not un­com­mon. Over the past 10 sea­sons, 21 teams have played for a state ti­tle af­ter not mak­ing the play­offs in the pre­vi­ous sea­son.

Un­der the radar

Each week, we’ll in­tro­duce you to a player who is mak­ing big plays de­spite not hav­ing a big name. This week, we’re tak­ing a look at Ge­orge­town se­nior de­fen­sive back Bran­don Boone.

Over Ge­orge­town’s 14 games this sea­son, Boone has tal­lied 86 tack­les, 10 pass breakups and two fum­ble re­cov­er­ies. Boone also has in­ter­cepted six passes, re­turn­ing two of those in­ter­cep­tions for touch­downs in games against Bas­trop and Ned­er­land.

On Satur­day, Boone will be­come the sec­ond mem­ber of his fam­ily to ap­pear in a Univer­sity In­ter­scholas­tic League state semi­fi­nal. In 1980, his mother, Sarah, scored 20 points and grabbed 20 re­bounds in Lanier’s 6855 loss to Lub­bock Mon­ter­rey in a Class 4A girls bas­ket­ball state semi­fi­nal.

Where are they now?

Ev­ery week, we spot­light the col­le­giate ath­letic ac­com­plish­ments of a few of our area alums. On Satur­day, two — and pos­si­bly three — area foot­ball teams will lock up berths in UIL stat­e­cham­pi­onship games. The lineup of ti­tle-game hope­fuls: ■ West­lake (10-4) vs. Cedar Hill (10-4), 2 p.m., Waco ISD Sta­dium ■ Ge­orge­town (14-0) vs. Rouse (10-4), 1 p.m, Gup­ton Sta­dium, Cedar Park ■ Cedar Park (12-2) vs. Manor (11-3), 1 p.m., Ge­orge­town ISD Ath­letic Com­plex ■ Join high school foot­ball re­porters Rick Cantu and Danny Davis at 1 p.m. to­day for their weekly on­line chat at ■ See more pho­tos and get the lat­est lo­cal play­off scores and stats at If you know of some­body who should be fea­tured, email daniel­d­avis@ states­man.com.

■ Texas A&M ju­nior Casey Strong (McNeil, 2009) and UT-San An­to­nio se­nior Phil Stein­ert (McNeil, 2009) fin­ished first and sec­ond in the weight-throw event at the Reveille In­vi­ta­tional track and field meet in Col­lege Sta­tion this past week­end.

■ Texas A&M walkon Brice Dolezal (West­lake, 2012) has played in six foot­ball games for the Ag­gies this sea­son, rush­ing for 70 yards on 17 car­ries. 5-0 1.000 152-59 .720 Cedar Hill Ge­orge­town Cedar Park

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