Varsity football puts a ring on it

Varsity+football+puts+a+ring+on+it

Lydia Ward

Savannah Burchfiel

Although the world didn’t end as prophesied, the varsity football team did earn the state champion title as forecasted.

The T-wolves were granted their title as state champions for the first time in school history on Dec. 21, 2012, beating Lancaster 17-7 in the Class 4A, Division II state championship game at Cowboy Stadium.

The game took on a thrilling, roller-coaster quality mixed with excitement and anxiety. It started out unpromising when Lancaster put the first points on the board, and Cedar Park realized that they were in a new level of play. However, the T-wolves quickly adapted, tying the score by halftime with a touchdown by senior Ethan Fry and a series of powerful plays by junior Thomas Middleton and senior running back Mikal Wilson.

In the second half, a grim hue took over the stadium once again when junior quarterback Nate Grimm was out with an injury. Grimm returned a series of plays later, his leg cured with a makeshift cast of tape and an ice bag.

“I had to keep fighting for the seniors,” Grimm said. “I found out later that I had played on a broken leg, but knowing during the game wouldn’t have changed anything.”

One such senior, Wilson, led a series of game-changing drives toward the end zone. Wilson was named offensive MVP of the game

“It was an honor,” Wilson said. “Not only did I see my team’s effort pay off, but I saw my own personal hard work and dedication pay off.”

Seniors and underclassmen alike recognized the enormity of the game.

“Playing in Jerry’s World was a privilege,” Grimm said. “We look at every game as just another game we’re going to win, but it was definitely a step up in venues.”

Just as the stadiums grew bigger throughout the season, the Black Rain defense grew stronger each game and each quarter.  In the final quarter, an interception by junior Lane Waller set up a touchdown for Wilson and a fumble recovery by Peter Maneikis sealed the fate of the game.

For the sophomores and juniors, there was little room for rest between winning the championship and beginning to train for next year. With nearly twice as many current juniors on varsity than seniors, next year’s team already has the numbers needed for another winning team.

“Right now, we’re focusing on getting stronger, getting faster, and preparing for next season,” Waller said. “It’s up to us to keep our eyes on next year’s prize.”

Only time will tell if the next team of T-wolves can live up to the state champion title under the Friday night lights next fall.

“How many times in your life do you get to win state?” Waller asked. “We’re planning to twice.”