Cedar Park High School athletes prepare for collegiate football

Kristen Smith

     When the final ball is snapped at the end of the 2010 season and the Friday Night Lights are turned off, Cedar Park will say goodbye to a pack of seniors who will be graduating in June. However, there are a few 2011 graduates whose careers aren’t ending just then.

     Having athletes go to the next level is nothing new for Cedar Park. Last season, Holmes Onwukaife, Dom Espinosa and Joey Nichol signed with the Florida State Seminoles, the Texas Longhorns and the Air Force Falcons respectively. Now, they are awaiting their starts at the collegiate level.  When current Wolves Chet Moss, Collin Middleton, Spencer Drango, Matt Wofford and Jarrett Hudson sign their letters of intent this coming February they’ll join the list of Timberwolves playing college ball.

     Not every high school athlete earns the opportunity to go further in their career.   It’s an even greater honor when a player gets noticed by a notable team. When those five seniors go on to college they will all be playing for competitive Division One universities. For young men, when head coaches like Mack Brown of Texas come calling, it’s something they just can’t pass up.

     “I’ve dreamed about going to [The University of] Texas since I was little kid,” Chet Moss, senior linebacker, said. “I love their traditions, they have a great coaching staff and the proximity to home is a plus. It was just the opportunity of a lifetime.”

     Chances like that don’t just occur overnight. These boys have been working toward these moments for years and have put in long hours of extra workouts and extra time in the film room. 

     “I’ve played hard all four years at Cedar Park, and for three years I’ve been on varsity. I put in a lot of effort, and being this big (6’6”, 265 lbs.) is a plus,” senior offensive lineman Spencer Drango said.

     Although these seniors have earned the attention of college coaches, their time playing for Cedar Park is nowhere near done. With the talk around the whole team being about going to the state finals, the Timberwolves can’t afford for the commits to look too far ahead. Because the boys are valuable and are a big part of Cedar Park’s success, they’re known throughout not just the school but around the community as well. When they transition, people will remember what they accomplished during their time as a Timberwolf.

     “When I leave Cedar Park, I want people to remember how hard I worked, how dedicated I was to my teammates and how unselfish I was when it came to the game,” Moss said.

      Even though it’s an honor in itself to go play at the collegiate level, for Middleton, Hudson and Wofford the reasons they have chosen to attend the universities they have committed to, go beyond the gridiron. Both Middleton and Hudson will join 2010 graduate Nichol at the U.S. Air Force Academy next fall and after attending the academy for four years, will have the ultimate honor of serving their country. Matt Wofford will be alongside 2007 Cedar Park graduate Tyler Smith once he begins his run at Rice. Wofford will have the opportunity many wish they could have once he receives his degree from Rice – unless he departs early for the NFL. According to usnews.com, Rice ranks 17th among the best colleges in the country.

     “It is just such a great opportunity. [What Rice offered me] was just not something I could pass up. Their degree is the best in Texas, and I’m just lucky to have the chance to attend,” Wofford said.

     All five of these men are beginning to leave their mark at Cedar Park, and people look forward to seeing them play, not only during the 2010 season, but also when they continue on in their college football careers.