San Angelo Central Bobcats Set to Defend District Title in 2017
SAN ANGELO, TX — The San Angelo Central Bobcats ride into the 2017 season on a high note, following a memorable, and winning 2016 season. This is true even though the season culminated despairingly at the hands of a 6A powerhouse, Allen High, located in the northeast side of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. However, that feeling may come with a few bumps for a team that returns just six starters to the team and a quarterback moving from receiver in junior Maverick McIvor. Despite the questions surrounding such an inexperienced team, the Bobcats are poised to defend their district 2-6A championship earned a year ago.
“I think they’re hungry,” said Offensive Coordinator and Assistant Coach Kevin Crane. “They’ve heard all the talk about us graduating all these seniors, but I think it’s making them hungry to prove everybody wrong.”
Offensively is where the Bobcats are likely to see little to no hiccups due to inexperience with five starters returning. As mentioned before, McIvor, the backup quarterback a year ago, transitions to the starting role for the ‘Angry Orange’. “He’s been raised to play quarterback,” Crane said. “He’s such a good athlete.” While Maverick’s time at the position was primarily limited to garbage time situations a year ago, McIvor’s experience as a versatile receiver in 2016 will translate well when it comes to familiarity with the offense. McIvor also has the speed to be a true dual-threat quarterback for Central which will surely translate well in freeing up the Bobcat offense similar to how Cal Vincent did a year ago.
McIvor will have a solid receiving corps around him, especially with the transfer of Jesse Scott Jr. from Lake View. “[Jesse] may have more speed than we’ve had at that position in the past,” Crane added. With the receivers around him, there’s no doubt McIvor can thrive in the Bobcats’ offensive system.
The biggest question this season, on offense, is who will take the handoffs for the Bobcats with Daven Manning gone? In 2016, Manning accounted for just over half of Central’s rushing attempts in a running back group that featured three seniors. This year, it seems as though a battle in fall camp between senior Demarcus Cobb and junior Cody Parker will decide the starter for the Bobcats, with Cody Parker being the front runner.
Defensively, the Bobcats bring back one starter from 2016. The Bobcat faithful will notice the inexperience early on, but, with a very manageable non-district schedule, it should not hurt the Bobcats much. “Everybody says they’re young,” Crane said. “They’re just inexperienced. We have a lot of seniors playing for us who got quality time as backups last year.”
The biggest upside, on defense, for Central is the fact they return an experienced group of players to their secondary. Seniors Smith, Severson, Jakobe Green, and Otto Haynes will head up the secondary for the Bobcats to hopefully halt any threats downfield from opponents.
This will be another great season for Central High School, despite the inexperience. They always do tremendously at cultivating group after group of athletes, no matter who left the year prior. However, Odessa Permian brings back a group of 17 starters and that experience will go a long way. Permian will hand Central their only loss of 2017 and the Bobcats will go 9-1 this season, finishing second behind the Panthers. However, the Bobcats could make another run to the third round or deeper in the playoffs this season.
Central opens up their 2017 campaign at Abilene High School on September 1 at 7:30 pm.