College Station came within one point of making it to the state finals.
One point. That’s all that separated the Cougars from a shot at perennial power Aledo. One point. That’s all College Station lost by, a measly point that ended up being the difference between them and a fantastic team from Corpus Christi Calallen.
Unfortunately, one point is all you need to secure a win in football. Marquez Perez knows that better than most. His Cougars ended the 2016 season 14-1, that one point just outside of his reach.
“We use that as motivation, one game away, one point away from being in the biggest game in high school,” said Perez. “In the offseason, people were hurting, but the seniors have moved on, so the juniors, us junior moving on to seniors now, we have to take that leadership and move on from that game and into the next season now. We just use it as motivation right now.”
Perez wasn’t initially the starting quarterback for College Station last year. That job was held by Ty Brock, who passed for a whopping seven touchdowns and 402 yards before sustaining an injury against Killeen Shoemaker. Brock only started two games for College Station during his junior and senior years, he broke his leg in 2015, and in 2016, broke his leg again. Brock definitely had the talent to play effectively, after the season was over he signed with Sam Houston State. Perez started all but two games of the 2016 season, and to date has only lost one varsity football game.
So, Perez isn’t exactly a stranger to the big games and the pressure that goes along with them.
“Everybody gotta be on the same page,” Perez said, commenting on the pressure that comes along with playing in those big regional games. “Communication, chemistry, you know, stuff that comes in the preseason and into the season and into the region, like you said, we have one of the hardest regions, so everybody on the same page, chemistry.”
If it’s chemistry that makes College Station great last year, they won’t lack it this year. Brock wasn’t the only incredible player that they missed in 2016, they had to do without star cornerback Timarcus Davis last year as well due to an ACL injury. Those injuries helped harden an already tough Cougars squad, and will make them an even tougher out in the 2016 playoffs.
When asked about the expectations for this year’s College Station squad, Perez is candid.
“Of course, get back to the position we were last time,” Perez said. “A couple new guys are going to have to step up, but that’s fine. It’s always like that, a couple new guys are going to have to step up, I feel like everyone’s going to have to put a lot of pressure on me, which I’m fine with that, I like the pressure on me. It’s a big time situation so I like that, so keep everyone on the same page and keep the chemistry and we’ll be fine.”
College Station will open the 2017 season against Houston King on September 1st.
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