Wildcat football looking for new groove


Grace Erskine

Senior JJ Lee runs defensive play at Hebron game (photo by Grace Erskine)

Grayson Krumnow, Sports Editor

Varsity team trying to find winning path to finish season

The Wildcat football team has begun their 2018 season with non-conference games against Hebron, Eastwood El Paso and Rowlett.

The team started the season with a tough one point loss to the Hebron Hawks, with a score of 27-28, but showed lots of promise in the run, then holding Hebron to somekey stops late in the game.

The team then played another home non-conference game against the Eastwood Troopers. After going scoreless in the first quarter, the Wildcats erupted to score 72 points, winning the game by a score of 72-48. This win improved their record to 1-1.The team finished up their non-conference schedule, playing their only away non-conference game of the year against the Rowlett Eagles.

This game resulted in a seven point loss for the Wildcats, losing by a score of 17-24. This loss dropped the team’s record to 1-2.

These non-conference games started a 10 game season. They then open their district play against consensus top national team, the Allen Eagles.

“We’re hoping to go out and make a statement in district,” senior wide receiver Payton Wheeler said.

This is the 11th consecutive season for the team under head coach Jaydon McCullough. Since 2008, Plano holds a 61-53 record.

Plano is coming off a 7-4 season, including a 4-3 record in district. This earned them a spot in the 6A state tournament, which resulted in a 21-28 overtime loss in the first round against the Trinity Trojans.

“I am excited for a new football season,” senior Waseem Anderson said. “It’s a new year to go out and achieve the ultimate goal of winning a state championship.”
Plano came into this season with a lot of question marks. They will have less than half of their starters returning from last season, including quarterback and many impact players on defense.

“It’s tough when we lose seniors, because they’re more mature, but at the same we try and be proactive with mirroring our defense,” Plano defensive coordinator coach Ryan Cox said. “We develop our kids all through the seventh grade.”

Returning from last year is senior running back Kyron Cumby, who rushed for over 1400 yards and 19 rushing touchdowns on 156 carries. The senior is expected to be the main player used in a heavy rushing attack this season.

Plano had a very high-powered offense, averaging 28.1 points per game with five games scoring over 35 points. The team hopes to replicate that this year.

“It all starts up front, it’s a team first mentality,” Plano offensive coordinator coach Joey Stone said. “If one person gets away from that mentality, then we’re not going to be as good as we could be.”

However the team struggled at times on the defensive side of the ball, giving up 26.4 points per game.

“If you’re holding people to 17 points, that’s pretty impressive,” Coach Cox said. “I’m not happy with that 26 [points] at all.”

Plano comes into the season with hopes of making a return to the state tournament, and making it deep into the playoffs with a goal of winning their eighth state championship.