Football preview: Krum ready to make history yet again

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David Minton/DRC
Krum junior quarterback Caz Wojciak, left, and senior defensive lineman Leo Sanchez will lead Krum into its first season in a district this fall. The shift will make the Bobcats eligible for the playoffs for the first time in the four-year history of the program. Wojciak, who threw for 1,096 yards last year, called this season, “the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Krum has been on a four-year journey to establish itself among the state’s football-playing fraternity, making history at every juncture of the trip. And this fall, the Bobcats reach their destination, with opportunities to write even more history.

Finally, the Bobcats will compete in a UIL district. With that transition comes the chance for the school’s football program to win its first district game, seek a district title, earn individual league honors and, ultimately, reach the state playoffs.

“It’s real exciting,” said senior defensive end Leo Sanchez, smiling and stating the obvious.

With Krum’s increased enrollment came the move to a new classification and District 9-3A along with established programs at Decatur, Sanger and Gainesville.

But with a squad of players that essentially has been playing together the past four years — all 11 offensive and defensive starters from the last two seasons are back — head coach Gary Robinson believes the Bobcats are ready to make more history.

“We can go back to 2008 — these juniors and seniors were seventh- and eighth-graders — and from the very beginning they’ve been making history,” Robinson said. “The first time we had practice at 6:30 in the morning with that bunch of seventh-graders, they made history. The first time we won a ballgame, they made history then.

“Then when they became ninth-graders, we won our first high school game. Then two years ago we beat Ranger in a varsity game and made history. Last year was the first time we’d ever played 10 varsity games.”

Junior quarterback Caz Wojciak, a two-year starter who passed for 1,096 yards and 11 touchdowns in Krum’s 6-4 season last year as an independent, calls the upcoming season “the opportunity of a lifetime.”

“Four years ago we were playing seventh-grade ball on a cow pasture and now we’re going to be playing 3A ball and are in a district,” he said. “This is where we wanted to be.”

Krum’s players have not only gained experience, they have also grown physically, putting them on an equal playing field with their opponents.

The Bobcats return their top two rushers from a year ago in senior Reed Flores (745 yards, 9 TDs) and sophomore Dane White (631 yards, 7 TDs). The team’s three leading receivers from 2011 also return, including senior team leader Zack Hughes (357 yards receiving, 7 TDs).

Robinson is equally excited about an offensive line led by seniors Aaron Gilmore (6-3, 240) and Josh Reeves (6-0, 200).

“We’ve got a smart offensive line that really understands our blocking schemes,” Robinson said. “They can do it in their sleep.”

Defensive lineman Leo Sanchez was the Bobcats’ leading tackler last season with 60 stops, but Krum’s strength on defense appears to be in its linebackers and secondary.

Junior linebacker Dylan Coffin was one of two players to finish with 55 tackles (Wojciak, as a defensive back, was the other). Senior Travis White (6-1, 170) led the team with his three interceptions from the secondary.

“There’s nobody in the state of Texas that’s in the position we’re in,” said Robinson. “There’s nobody about to play district games for the first time and move up from 2A to 3A. We’re sitting right where we can do something great.”

 

BOBCATS

Quick facts

District: 9-3A

2011 record: 6-4 (Independent)

Coach: Gary Robinson (16-11 in four seasons at Krum)

Returning starters: 11 on offense, 11 on defense

Key players: QB Caz Wojciak, RB Reed Flores, WR Zack Hughes, RB Brennan Ellis, OL Aaron Gilmore, DL Leo Sanchez, DB Travis White, LB Dylan Coffin

Offense: Multiple

Defense: 3-4

School enrollment: 475

Stadium: Bobcat Stadium

 

Four downs

Keys to a historic season

Earn Respect From All

The long, steady process of building a program from the ground up is about to reach its anticipated conclusion. Now the Bobcats — players, coaches and all involved — are ready to earn a little respect for what they’ve accomplished. They’re out to prove they’ve got a solid program that’s ready to compete. “Our No. 1 goal is to earn respect from the other teams in our district, from other schools in the area and from the state,” head coach Gary Robinson said. By the end of the season, Krum hopes to have established itself on the varsity level.

 

Fight From Start to Finish

One way the Bobcats can earn the aforementioned respect, Robinson notes, is by being competitive in every minute of every game. “We want to be competitive in every game we play from the opening kickoff to the last play,” he said. “We’re not going to stop fighting, no matter what.” 

 

Adjust to district play

Last season, the Bobcats played a 10-game schedule as an independent against an assortment of opponents, hoping to post a winning record. That goal still stands, although in 2012 Krum will, for the first time, be facing a true district schedule with an upgrade to Class 3A competition. “We want to have a winning season and get to the playoffs,” senior defensive lineman Leo Sanchez said. “We want to shock everybody.”

 

Keep playoff goal in sight

Speaking of the playoffs, the Bobcats believe that’s another dream they can make come true. Krum has posted winning seasons the last two years, so the next goal is reaching the playoffs. “We’ve never had a playoff to look forward to at the end of a season,” quarterback Caz Wojciak said. “Now that we’re at this point, we finally can try to make a run and shock some people. It’s exciting.” Qualifying for the postseason is another challenge, but Krum’s players and coaches having been conquering challenges while building the program for four years.

 


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