Wolves hope to live up to motto

Cedar Park

Austin American-Statesman - - HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL - Con­tin­ued from GON­ZA­LEZ / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN CLASS 4a, DI­VI­SION II fi­nal states­man.com/ hs­foot­ball. Con­tact Rick Cantu at 4453953. Twit­ter: @Rick­yprep

caster on Fri­day night at Cow­boys Sta­dium.

The Tim­ber­wolves al­ready have re-writ­ten his­tory by reach­ing their first state-ti­tle game.

A play­off reg­u­lar for a decade, Cedar Park has reached the post­sea­son seven times in that span. The Tim­ber­wolves were a com­bined 24-4 the past two sea­sons un­der former coach Chris Ross, los­ing to even­tual state cham­pion Lake Travis in the Class 4A, Di­vi­sion I quar­ter­fi­nals both times.

Ross laid the foun­da­tion of Cedar Park’s pro­gram be­fore leav­ing last spring to be­come the ath­letic di­rec­tor of the Le­an­der school district. On Fri­day, he will be an honorary game cap­tain for the Tim­ber­wolves.

“First and fore­most, coach Ross had a vi­sion to build the pro­gram up when he be­came head coach (in 2005),” Wil­lis said Wed­nes­day.

“He hired the right peo­ple and put them into place. He helped make the booster club as big as it is now. And then he got the en­tire com­mu­nity more in­volved.”

Cedar Park has en­joyed success through­out its ath­letic de­part­ment in re­cent years. The boys cross coun­try team won a state ti­tle in 2010 and fin­ished sec­ond in 2011 and 2012. The boys bas­ket­ball team reached the state tour­na­ment in 2011, and the vol­ley­ball team ad­vanced to the state tour­na­ment for the first time this fall.

All this has hap­pened un­der prin­ci­pal Bar­bara Spel­man, who’s in Cedar Park vs. Lan­caster, 8 p.m. Fri­day, FSSW Plus See more pho­tos and get the lat­est lo­cal play­off scores and stats at

Sher fifth year at Cedar Park and who noted this week that Cedar Park’s march­ing band also is the state’s reign­ing Class 4A cham­pion.

Spel­man said Ross’s “un­be­liev­able work ethic” was one rea­son the Tim­ber­wolves be­came a state foot­ball power. She also said Wil­lis was Ross’ ap­pro­pri­ate suc­ces­sor.

“Those two guys are so close to each other that if one starts a sen­tence,” Spel­man said, “the other can fin­ish it.”

Sev­eral Cedar Park play­ers said the coach­ing tran­si­tion from Ross to Wil­lis barely pro­duced a rip­ple within the team. Payne, of­fen­sive line­man Austin Hisler and full­back Thomas Mid­dle­ton said they were con­fi­dent 2012 would be the year the Tim­ber­wolves would fi­nally reach state.

Their new coach en­cour­aged those thoughts while al­lud­ing to Cedar Park’s back-to­back losses in the state quar­ter­fi­nals.

In an­other early meet­ing with his team, Wil­lis set forth the team motto for 2012: “Fin­ish!”

Re­gard­less of the cal­en­dar, the Tim­ber­wolves be­lieve it’s their time.

Cedar Park’s Chad White­head (81) and Sam Brock cel­e­brate a TD re­cep­tion by Brock against Manor in the semi­fi­nals last Satur­day. RODOLFO

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.