The football team began spring training May 7 in preparation for the May 30 spring game. Each year, spring practices help to unite the next year’s team as they play for the first time as a new team.
“The goal is to get ready for next year,” junior Sean Angle said. “It’s exciting.”
However, this year, the team faces some new changes. Tim Smith recently announced his move from Cedar Park quarterbacks coach to Leander offensive coach. The new coach has not been announced yet.
“Without Coach Smith, practice runs differently,” sophomore Chris Hutchings said.
Last year, the team faced a loss when head coach Chris Ross left to become athletic coordinator for the district. However, the team adapted quickly when Joe Willis filled his shoes, and the Timberwolves ended up winning a state title.
“It’s always tough to see a coach go, but you have to work through it and adapt,” Hutchings said.
The senior class is another, more obvious loss. However, many of last season’s star players were juniors. When the juniors fill the leadership positions and the underclassmen join the varsity team, players face new team dynamics.
“It’s weird playing without the seniors,” junior Lane Waller said. “We’ve gotten used to them being around during the season. We’re excited about playing as a new team though.”
Despite the changes, the Timberwolves are optimistic about the team’s future. Winning the Class 4A, Division II state title in 2012 set the team on the track for success.
“Of course we expect to win,” Angle said.
For the first time since the fall season, players are able to practice in pads. Conditioning ramps up and technique is a focus. Scrimmages are held at the end of most weeks, when each line can try out new plays with contact.
“It gives us a chance to work on the basics,” Waller said. “Spring football gives us a chance to get a head start on the season.”