If the Aubrey Chaparrals don’t return to the playoffs this season, it won’t be because the quarterback had trouble remembering the plays.
“I’ve been seeing and running the same offense since kindergarten,” junior Kyle Lynn said. “When I was in the sixth grade in Celina, I was already calling audibles and hot routes. Growing up in this offense, I’ve always felt like I was one step ahead, mentally.”
Lynn is the grandson of the legendary G.A. Moore Jr., the winningest high school football coach in Texas schoolboy history. Moore, 73, was Lynn’s high school coach until May, when Moore announced he was retiring after a 45-year career that includes eight state championships.
Lynn’s first memories revolve around his grandfather and winning teams at Pilot Point and Celina.
“I’ve been up at his two-a-days ever since I could walk,” said the 5-10, 170-pounder. “I was waterboy at Pilot Point forever and when he retired from coaching the first time [in 2004], I just came up here.”
Moore followed in 2009, leading Aubrey to an 11-2 record that first season before back-to-back 4-6 seasons.
Lynn was a backup quarterback who completed 51 percent of his passes for 319 yards and two touchdowns last year. But his three rushing touchdowns seem more relevant. Aubrey’s offense never relied on a big passing game under Moore.
Nor will it under his successor, Mike Segleski.
“We try to overpower whoever we’re facing,” Lynn said, “exactly how my granddad did it. Nothing’s much changed.”
Segleski, 40, knows about growing up in a coaching family. His father coached him at Comfort.
He’s no stranger to Lynn and the rest of the Chap players, either. He’s been at Aubrey since 2008 and was on Moore’s staff at Pilot Point. Aubrey’s defensive coordinator from 2008-2011, Segleski has kept the coaching staff intact.
“There’s not much difference,” Lynn said. “There’s no guy in a cowboy hat [Moore’s trademark] out there yelling at you, but we’ve got good coaches.”
Aubrey’s coaches plan to feature 6-4, 240-pound tight end/defensive end Collin Scribner. After making the all-district team as a sophomore, he blew out his knee and missed the 2011 season.
“Not having Collin made a huge difference in what we could do,” Segleski said. “Without him, defenses put nine men on the line of scrimmage and dared us to throw the football. He can stretch the field.”
Aubrey’s cast of marquee characters has turned over, as most of the team’s top ball-handlers from a year ago are gone.
Halfback Daniel Longhenry, who rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns while averaging 4.4 yards per carry, has the best stats among returners.
Offensive linemen Weston Osterman, Jacob Ortolani, Jordan Gullette and Jacob Johnson also return. They will look to add punch to a team that averaged 20 points, 211 rushing yards and 286 total yards per game last year.
“They’re smart, and they’re also mean and nasty,” Segleski said. “That’s perfect for what we’re trying to do, which is to cram the ball down your throat.”
Defensive back Nick Shovlin and linebacker Anthony Alford are back to lead Aubrey’s defense.
“Our goals are to run the football and play defense,” Segleski said. “We aim to do those two things and do them well.”
2011 record: 4-6 (2-3 District 9-3A)
Coach: Mike Segleski (first season)
Returning starters: Seven on offense, five on defense
Key players: RB/DB Robert DeLaTorre, WR/DB Nick Shovlin, QB/DB Kyle Lynn, RB/LB Sam Heath, RB/LB Anthony Alford, OL/DT Jacob Ortolani, OL/DT Jordan Gullette, TE/DT Collin Scribner
School enrollment: 516
Stadium: Chaparral Stadium
Keys to a historic season
Replace a legend
First-year Aubrey head coach Mike Segleski expects to have his predecessor looking over his shoulder this fall.
“He’ll be in the stands critiquing things,” Segleski said of G.A. Moore Jr., the Hall of Fame coach who was his boss both at Aubrey and Pilot Point before retiring.
Having access to Texas’ top high school coach of all time (423 wins) is pretty nice, the new coach said.
“Any question I might have, I have his insight,” Segleski said. “I actually called him after our first day of practice because something came up I wanted his help with.”
Adjust to a new district
After spending the past season in a District 9-3A lineup that included Argyle, the 14-2 state 3A Division II runner-up, the Chaparrals have been reassigned to District 10-3A for the next two seasons. But there will be no relief from Argyle, which comes along to 10-3A. Celina, 11-1 last year when it lost in the third round of the 3A Division I playoffs, is the defending 10-3A champion. Others in 10-3A are Frisco Lone Star, which was 4-6 in its second varsity season (same as Aubrey in 2011) and Carrollton Ranchview, which was 2-8 in 2011.
Help JV call-up excel
Junior Sam Heath (5-8, 175) carries some heavy responsibilities into the season.
A junior varsity player a year ago, he’s projected to be the team’s starting fullback and starting middle linebacker.
“If there’s somebody who can’t come off the field on defense, it’s Sam Heath,” Segleski said. “He’s also our starting fullback, but he has to be middle linebacker all the time. If we have to rest him, it’ll be on offense.”
Thrive in the kicking game
Senior Josh Giles was Aubrey’s top kicker in 2011. He’ll be back this year after booting 17 extra points and four field goals in 2011, the longest coming from 39 yards out. Aubrey needs Giles to have another solid season.