A&M Consolidated’s new coach Lee Fedora has always told his teams that no one has a starting job before fall camp starts.
This year it rings truer in more than a decade.
He said it after his Navasota team won state in 2014, and he had perhaps the best pass-catch duo of all-time in Texas with Shelton Eppler and Tren’Davian Dickson coming back for another year. He doesn’t like for players to feel complacent, and always wants them competing.
Fedora enters his first season as head coach at Consol, the school he played at as a state finalist in 1989 and later began his coaching career as an assistant.
Anyone who’s seen Fedora in the last 15 years will see a familiar style, and lots of familiar faces. More than half of his coaching staff from two Navasota state championships join him at Consol, including the offensive and defensive coordinators. His old linebackers coach joins him as well as the quarterbacks coach.
David Raffield did a commendable job the previous six years, guiding the Tigers to the playoffs each season. He left to take over the program at the new Cypress school opening up. Last year Consol lost the season opener to Richmond Foster, which made it to the state semifinal. Consol lost to state runner-up Temple in district and lost to district champion College Station.
Fedora has made a habit of restoring programs. He hasn’t had the opportunity to take the keys of a pretty good machine and soup it up from there. But that time has come, and he gets to do it at his alma mater.
Expect to see a spread offense with as many as five receivers, or sometimes four receivers with a running back alongside the quarterback. Expect no huddles and a hurry-up tempo. It’s how Fedora runs practices, the weight room and meetings.
If the returning and incoming players buy into the entire system — terminology, work ethic, being on time, supporting their teammates, accountability and overcoming obstacles — then Consol will be a team to watch for years to come, starting this fall. And not just on the regional level.
RB Robert Franklin, WR Tony Williams
Williams carried the receiving load last year with 650 yards and 10 touchdowns — both leading the team. Franklin rushed for 1,125 yards and 14 touchdowns.
QB Cade Williams, OT Zach Ruiz, DL Josh Ellison
Williams passed for nearly 2,000 yards with 17 touchdowns last year. Expect those numbers to soar in 2017. Williams added 400 yards rushing with eight rushing scores. Zach Ruiz was a first-team all-district selection last year.
Josh Ellison was the district’s Defensive Newcomer of the Year in 2016 as a sophomore.
Consol is a winning program and Fedora is a winning coach. History, tradition and the future will meld on campus this year. If everything clicks as it could, then Consolidated could be a dangerous team.
Copperas Cove comes to Tigerland Stadium on Sept. 1 to kick off the season. The Tigers travel to Richmond Foster and Austin High the next two weeks before getting College Park at home. The Tigers need to learn Fedora’s offense quick as the first part of district is the toughest.
The first four games in District 18-5A are: Waco, at Temple, College Station, at Bryan. Consol relatively gets a breather with University and Rudder to close out the season.
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