Friday Night Lights Shine Bright on Christoval's Freshman QB
CHRISTOVAL, TX-- When someone thinks of a freshman starting at quarterback for any high school team, they tend to think of the season as a rebuilding process. That's not the case for Christoval in 2017.
The Christoval Cougars (2-4) are on a two game win-streak heading in to district play and looking to rebound after a slow start to the season.
The season was not supposed to start slow for the Cougars, however. Going in to 2017, Christoval looked to have an experienced quarterback in Senior Seth Wilkins. A lot has changed since preseason.
Wilkins has since been dismissed from the Cougar's program and the reins passed over to 14-year-old Brayden Wilcox.
"With [Brayden] knowing that's his role now, he's taken a hold of that and accepted the challenge," said second-year Head Coach Casey Otho. "He's put in the effort at quarterback earlier than he was expected to."
The effort from the freshman has translated well on the field. Wilcox has accounted for 1,277 total yards of offense and is the leading rusher for the Cougars. Wilcox, along with the Cougar's win streak, has started to generate a buzz in the quiet town of 504 residents.
While at Cooper's BBQ after meeting with Coach Otho and the Cougars, I got a chance to talk to some fans who had high praise for the Cougars. One older gentleman said he thought Brayden was "something special."
If you mention that to the five-foot-eight freshman, Wilcox will just shrug it off like a tackler on one of his nine touchdown runs this season.
While talking to Wilcox about his dual-threat ability, he passed off his success, saying "I wouldn't be able to do it without my [offensive] line. I have a lot of respect for them."
Wilcox, much like his demeanor, comes from a humble beginning. Brayden was born in Atlanta, Ga., before being adopted as a baby by his current mother and moving to rural Texas.
The freshman also mentioned not picking up a love for football until fourth grade when former Christoval Defensive Coordinator Danny Dubois started helping out some of the younger guys in the small community off of Highway 277.
"He really believed in me. He brought out my athletic ability," said Wilcox with a smile.
The ability of young Wilcox has started to open up some other dimensions to Christoval's offense that may not have been there before Brayden started taking the snaps.
"It's like having a wildcat formation," said Coach Otho "but [Brayden] can throw it."
Over his last two games, Wilcox has started to come into his own throwing the ball. Brayden has completed passes on 11 of 22 attempts in Christoval's streak for 232 yards. But his strength is definitely running the ball, where he's racked up 788 yards and nine touchdowns.
Wilcox and the Cougars will look to continue their form as they welcome the Eldorado Eagles (2-4) to Jack Pardee Memorial Stadium on Friday to begin district play.