George Ranch has seen its boys basketball team, volleyball team and track teams all have postseason successes this year. Now head football coach Nick Cavallo hopes some of that can be translated onto the gridiron.
The Longhorns played their spring game Thursday afternoon at neighboring Reading Junior High School because their field is being renovated with a new turf and track.
George Ranch ends spring practice with a lot of depth, but still trying to fill some holes from last year’s team. The Longhorns also want to build off of the successes of their basketball and track teams.
The Longhorns went 4-6 last year in a very tough District 23-6A, but with a good group of players returning, Cavallo feels good where his team is going into the summer.
“We wanted to build an identity on offense and defense, and I felt we did that,” he said. “Second was depth, to find 22 guys that can help us on both sides of the ball. On the varsity side, we’ve gotten a lot closer to that.
“And the third is to see how much we can retain. We put in a lot offensively and defensively, and we’ll see how much they can retain going into fall camp.”
The offense will have a lot of talent back, as quarterbacks Sam Miller and B.J. Glover both showed signs of making big plays. George Ranch saw the loss of two good running backs that have to be replaced, but Brett Jetton looks to step up.
The receiving unit has a lot of young talent, with Andre Falkquay as the lone returning starter. But Cavallo looks to his offensive line, namely tackle Kevin Ireson, who has become the anchor of the unit. “You clearly saw that he was a cut above (in practice),” he said.
On defense, the Longhorns lost seven linemen to graduation. That means that the unit will have to rely on a strong group of defensive backs, led by Faybien Marks and Steven Woods to make plays until the front seven is solidified.
Both Marks and Woods bring speed to the defense, which was shown in George Ranch’s performance in track this year.
“We feel we’re ahead of the game at our skill positions and with our speed,” Cavallo said. “Our two dynamic players on offense and defense each ran relays for track. So it’s a direct correlation from the track to the field.”
With spring practice over, Cavallo wants his team to hit the weight room often over the summer to get stronger in preparation for a tough 2019 schedule, beginning on Aug. 30 at Dickinson.
“We’ve got to come out of the summer a lot bigger and a lot stronger,” he said.