Tag: Winters Blizzards

COUNTDOWN TO TWO-A-DAYS: Winters Blizzards

Football is fast approaching, and we at BigCountryPreps.com are committed to bringing you the information you need to prepare for your favorite team’s season.

We’ll be releasing our Big Country Preps Preseason Football Preview, the most comprehensive look at the upcoming Big Country football season anywhere, on Friday, Aug. 14. But you won’t have to wait until then to sate your gridiron appetite.

Leading up to the first day of fall football practice on Aug. 3, we’ll be spotlighting each 11-man team in the area and posing some of the key questions they’ll face in 2019 as part of our “Countdown to Two-a-Days” series.

After featuring San Saba on Saturday, we stay in District 4-2A Division I with the Winters Blizzards. On Monday, we will take a look at the Ballinger Bearcats followed by the Bangs Dragons on Tuesday.

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WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Young aces continue grind despite COVID-19 shutdown

The “What Might Have Been” feature series is Big Country Preps’ effort to celebrate area athletes who have seen their seasons affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The series will continue through June 15.

After flashing ace potential as freshmen in 2019, Jim Ned’s Tate Yardley, Anson’s Trevor Miller and Winters’ J.P. Killough had big things planned for their respective sophomore campaigns.

The three hurlers, part of a young crop of Big Country pitching standouts that also includes fellow sophomores Brooks Gay of Wylie and Snyder’s Derek Dominguez, were hoping to take the next step in their development and further cement their places among the area’s top arms.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent suspension/cancellation of all spring sport seasons by the University Interscholastic League limited their mound time to a handful of early-season outings. But it hasn’t kept them from continuing their pursuit of excellence.

All three have remained active in their training through the shutdown, viewing this period as little more as a speed bump on the way to their ever-increasing goals.

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FEATURE: Winters’ Jackson plans to block his way into playing rotation

Sema’Jae Jackson

WINTERS — He’s the fastest man wearing a Winters uniform. In fact, Sema’Jae Jackson is one of the fastest football players in the Big Country. 

A legitimate 4.4 man in the 40-yard dash equipped with above average hands, the senior slotback has had one serious weakness in his game that preventing him from getting more touches: blocking. 

That’s generally a big no-no in the ground-based flexbone offense, where slot backs are often called upon to deliver blocks downfield. 

Jackson, however, has come to realize this and is planning on expanding his game — enough to become a regular part of the offense and the big play threat his skill set equips him to be. 

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WINTERS TEAM PREVIEW: Blizzards believe they can retain momentum from 2018

WINTERS — A year ago, the Winters Blizzards surged from a 5-6 record in 2017 to a 8-4 mark, fueled largely by the expansion of capabilities in its flexbone offense. 

Where once there was strictly a straight-ahead power game, the Blizzards implemented and executed the very thing the flexbone was originally designed to deliver: the triple option. 

It proved crucial from the outset, with a 5-0 start and an eventual No. 3 seed in a brutal district behind powerhouses Hawley (10-2) and Stamford (9-3).  

The Blizzards’ offensive production jumped from 22.5 points per game in 2017 to 30.3 a year ago and their points allowed (helped by greater ball control) fell from 32.5 to 19.6. 

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PHOTO GALLERY: 7-on-7 Division III state qualifying tournament (93 images)

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PHOTO GALLERY: DIVISION II STATE QUALIFIER AT JIM NED

 

7-ON-7 FOOTBALL: Ground-oriented, option-loving Winters nearly passes way to state tourney

On a typical Friday evening in the fall, the Winters football team may throw the ball five times — 10 if desperate measures are required.

The flexbone-based Blizzards under coach Matt McCarty have made their living on the ground, reaching the playoffs for two straight years via the triple option. 

Nonetheless, McCarty saw fit to include his team in the annual statewide 7-on-7 competition, a pass-only “touch” football game meant to hone high school passing games to a fine edge over the summer. 

It subsequently stunned nearly everyone in attendance Friday at McMurry University, coming within a victory of passing its way to the Division III state tournament in College Station. 

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FEATURE: Youthful Blizzards one of area’s top surprises in 2019

Picture a high school baseball team that has 10 players who are either freshmen or sophomores. 

Add a stat sheet that has only one home run for the entire ball club through 14 games. And for good measure, add the fact that the team’s top pitcher is a freshman. 

Now try to guess what the team’s record would be at this point.  Sub-.500?  Perhaps .500 at best? 

You’d be incorrect with both estimates. 

The team in question is the 2019 Winters Blizzards, who enter today at 10-4 overall (6-2 in District 7-2A), having already posted more wins than they’ve managed over the past two years combined. 

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PHOTO GALLERY: Evan Ren’s Top 100 football photos for 2018

FEATURED SCHOOLS: Albany, Anson, Baird, Breckenridge, Brock, Brownwood, Clyde, Coahoma, Colorado City, Comanche, Cross Plains, Dublin, Eastland, Forsan, Hamlin, Haskell, Jim Ned, Merkel, Snyder, Stamford, Stephenville, Wall and Winters.

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Winters O-line ready to pave path back to playoffs

Folks in Winters can expect to see some heavy Blizzards this fall. But these are more likely to bring gold balls than snowfalls.

Coach Matt McCarty’s football team will hit the field this season with eight offensive linemen that weigh at least 200 pounds, including five that go 230 or larger, and he likes what that could mean for the success of his flexbone offense.

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Winters Blizzards look to build on last year’s turnaround

A year ago, Matt McCarty’s Winters Blizzards experienced one of the Big Country’s biggest in-season turnarounds. The mission now is to build on that.

Starting the 2017 campaign 1-4 following consecutive 2-8 seasons, the Blizzards rattled off four wins in their final five regular season games to earn their first playoff berth since 2014. And McCarty feels the strides made during that run — and the added confidence that resulted — has the Blizzards well positioned for bigger things in 2018.

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