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Football Frenzy

Coaches Rush to Schedule Games

Brielle Hall, Photo Editor

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Chaos runs through the classroom as high school football coaches struggle to find opponents to play during the fall. Coaches dart table to table, but one large presence is missing: head coach Bill Elliott, whose absence follows a tradition started by legendary coach G.A. Moore.

“My deal about going to the region center is there are so many coaches and people are running around, talking and noise,” Elliott said. “I can be here with my computer and phone with the people who I want to talk to. It makes it a lot simpler for me to be able to focus and concentrate on what I’m doing.”

Once the UIL assigns each team to its district, one team is named district chair to organize everything. This cycle’s district chair is Melissa.

“We drew numbers, we have a system that we will draw numbers out,” Elliott said. “That will put us in order of schedule and that lays the whole schedule out, use a matrix that they have laid out that you follow.”

A major challenge is to find teams to play against since the Bobcats are known for their tradition and eight state championships.

“It’s hard for us to find people who want to play us,” Elliott said.  “Bigger schools are afraid to be beat by a small school, it makes them look bad. Little schools don’t want to play us because we’re bigger than them and they’re afraid we’ll beat them. It’s really hard to find games a lot of times.”

Non-district games will be against mostly 5A schools for the next two years. The current schedule includes home-and home games against Royse City, Frisco Heritage, Frisco Memorial, Liberty Christian, Ft. Worth Nolan and Ft. Worth Dunbar.

“They’ve got a lot of schools and talent, so we’ll be playing there,” Elliott said. “It’s a lot of speed which we’ll get used to. In district, it’s going to be great.”

With the move to 4A-Division I, the Bobcats will go from being one of the largest schools in its classification to one of the smallest. Schools with larger populations theoretically should have larger and faster athletes because of the larger pool from which to find players. 4A-Division I currently extends to 1,149 players, but schools at the top of the range could grow much larger than the cut-off before the next reclassification.

“The biggest challenge, I think, is that we have a tough schedule, but if we can come together as a team, we’ll be okay,” varsity quarterback Noah Ross said. “So our biggest need is to come together and bond as one team.”

This year’s state championship game will be at the Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington in December. The last year’s state championship winner, an undefeated Carthage team, currently resides in Region III with several other East Texas powers. That allows Celina to be in Region II, which is much smaller geographically than its Division II counterpart. Its skinny map runs as far north and east as Bonham, while extending down to Waco. Travel for playoffs will most likely be contained within the DFW area until state semifinals.

“Our region is going to be pretty tough for anyone in our region to get out,” Elliott said. “Whoever gets out of our region has a great shot at making it to state. Then, you would face off Carthage at state that’s because it’s really the best team coming out of Region 3 and 4.”

The bye week is scheduled for November 2nd, the week before the regular season closes with senior night against Argyle.

“It’s right before our last district game which will be Argyle,” Elliott said.”It’s a big rivalry game that actually plays to our favor to have two weeks to prepare for them. It actually worked out pretty good for us.”

Despite the new challenges for the upcoming season, Ross is looking forward to his senior year as a Bobcat.

“It’s my last football season,” Ross said. “The thing I’m looking forward to most next year is having fun, bonding with the underclassmen, and creating new memories.”

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