Expectations were high surrounding San Angelo Central in 2016. The Bobcats had several returners on both sides of the ball and there was a belief around the program that they could make a deep run in the postseason.
For head coach Brent Davis, he also shared his own expectation entering last season.
“We felt like we were going to have a good football team. We had quite a few back from the year before when we went 11-2. Everything just came together and after beating a really good Abilene High team in that first game, I felt pretty good. I just didn’t know that we were going to be undefeated in the regular season, but our kids rose to the occasion.”
And a special season it was. The Bobcats ran through District 2-6A with relative ease, going undefeated during the regular season and winning every game by at least 14 points. They looked like the premiere state title contender in West Texas.
Then, came the matchup that may have been the biggest game played in West Texas in years: a showdown in the regional semifinals against powerhouse Allen.
“It was special. Our stadium holds 17,500 and we were able to get over 20,000 in for that game, most of them from San Angelo. It was an electric atmosphere. It was the biggest game that we had since I’ve been here.”
More than 20,000 fans packed San Angelo Stadium to take in this game. Unfortunately for Central, an injury to starting quarterback Cal Vincent put a damper on the Bobcats’ chances as the team saw their season end at 12-1.
“I wish we would’ve won that game. Allen played really well and we played well too. That game was great to be part of and hopefully we can get to a point where we can take that next step.”
Now comes the hard part. How does San Angelo Central follow up in 2017? Davis will look to re-tool with several new faces. The Bobcats replace seven starters on offense and ten on defense and he’s looking forward to seeing what the new faces do with a greater opportunity.
Davis also acknowledges that it’s a rebuild and it will take time to put it together. That said, he’s still very confident that they can put together another winner in 2017.
“We’ve got to regroup. We’ll go through spring practice and find our football team for 2017. Our kids are working hard and they’re doing everything we’re asking them. We’re going to be a little bit different of a football team. We’re not going to have as much experience as last year so we’re going to have some guys step up and I think they will.”
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