Three games and three wins into the season, the football team is already thinking of bigger goals.
After beating Dawson and Kingwood in a successful playoff run last season, the Wolverines have returned with strong leadership and are looking to play even better this year.
Multi-year players have shifted into leadership as seniors, which head coach Michael Allison has said helps the team improve.
“I think that this year, because of the experience they have, the kids, the players, have a better understanding of what we’re trying to do as a program,” said Allison.
Allison was talking about players like seniors Caleb Chapman and Mark Milton, both having recently already committed to Power Five D-1 universities, help fuel Brook’s offense every Friday night, while defensive leaders like senior Isaac Guinn keep things fired up on the opposite side of the ball.
Another advantage the Wolverines have going for them is a more experienced coaching staff. Defensive Coordinator Trae Grimes joined the team last year, and players like Dwight Daniel and Isaac Guinn have excelled under his new system. This, mixed with the offense of third-year Offensive Coordinator Wade Oliphant helped the Wolverines go 8-5 last year, which included two big wins in the state playoffs, their first playoff run since 2012 and their longest run in even longer. Chronicle sports analysts expect the team to take another shot at the playoffs again this season, but the team is taking things a bit slower.
“We teach our kids to go 1-0, so it’s always about the next game. We don’t look past the next opponent… Our goal is to play for a state championship,”Oliphant said.
After a big season in 2016, there has been sort of an attitude shift throughout the team. The senior leadership has promoted more discipline and the coaches are liking it. Players are feeling a lot more confident and prepared to go toe-to-toe with the rest of the teams in the district and in the playoffs.
Junior offensive lineman Richard Lewis said that he has felt the difference in attitude in this year’s team.
“Things are on a completely new level. I feel like we are prepared for anything any team tries to throw at us,” said Lewis
With players like offensive lineman Quintin Effinger and wide receiver Loronzo Thompson growing in the program, Clear Brook can expect to have more strong leadership in the coming years. The sophomore Thompson made the jump to varsity straight from the freshman team after a good performance last year, and Effinger made it on the varsity team this year as a freshman. Both have the potential to become leaders on the team in the coming years just as Guinn, Milton and Chapman have.
Lewis also says that Effinger and Thompson have a lot of potential in football.
“He [Effinger] meets all the standards the coaches set for him… Loronzo [Thompson] is fast and he’s a worker,” said Lewis.
2017 is looking like a good year for the Wolverines. With high expectations for each other, the team is hoping that their offseason preparations will pay off. They already have one playoff run under their belt, and the Wolverines have their eye on the state championship game on December 23.