by Steve Gamel

Guyer football coach John Walsh isn’t kidding when he says he is more excited about this year’s spring football schedule than he’s been in a very long time. Having 17 returning starters back from a playoff team a year ago will do that for your confidence. “We feel as comfortable as we’ve felt in a long time because of the starters and other players we have coming back,” Walsh said. “It’s a big senior class and big junior class, so we are pretty veteran heavy – which is a good place to be. And they’re all in the right spots.”

Guyer opens its spring schedule April 22 and will conclude with a spring game on May 16. Walsh has every reason to believe his team could be one of the top programs in Class 6A next year because of those 17 returning starters, and the spring is designed to get all those key players back on the field together and knock off any rust before the summer. This year’s star-studded cast includes running back Kaedric Cobbs, who was nearly impossible to bring down while rushing for 1,487 yards and 19 touchdowns. On top of that, sophomore quarterback Eli Stowers had a breakout season as he passed for 1,571 yards and 13 touchdowns and rushed for 1,119 more and nine scores. Defensively, the Wildcats will return most of their starters, including defensive tackle Grant Mahon. Mahon, an Oklahoma State commit, missed last season with a back injury.

Walsh didn’t go so far as to say his coaching staff won’t have to do as much coaching during the spring, but having so many veterans does help. Guyer finished 5-5 during the regular season but seemed to be hitting its stride late and proved that with a dominant 52-21 first-round playoff win over a Flower Mound team that won a district title and was in the middle of one of its best seasons in program history. After that, the playoff bracket appeared to be shaping up in Guyer’s favor. But the Wildcats had to get past Lake Ridge first. The two teams put together an absolute slugfest while combining for 92 points and nearly 1,000 yards of total offense. In the third overtime, Lake Ridge scored on a 15-yard touchdown pass then added a two-point conversion before its defense finally held Guyer out of the end zone to secure the win.

One area of focus is at wide receiver, where Seth Meador leads a crew that includes Deuce Harmon and Zhighlil McMillan. Meador alone makes the Wildcats a dangerous team in the passing game. “We are still going to run the football, but if you’re going to ask more from the receivers, spring is the best time to do it. You take that and add in the fact that we have four of our five offensive linemen back and our two running backs, and it’s a good team. We are pretty thick, and defensively it’s about the same.” Walsh added, “It’s the most depth and the most returners we’ve had in a long time. My job is to get some teaching in, get them as strong as I can get them, and get them to the field healthy.”

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