All gas no breaks

Hunter Mancuso

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Hunter Mancuso

Players stand at attention to the pre game coin toss

All gas no breaks. That’s the motto to live by when starting something new. Hit the ground running. An entire highschool football team had to live by that when going through something they hadn’t seen before.

Last year, Head Athletic Coordinator of Cypress Woods High School Trent Faith retired, leaving the school in need of a new head football coach.

Enter Cody Simper.

Previously coaching at Veterans Memorial High School in Corpus Christi, Simper moved north to begin his next chapter in Cypress.

Almost nothing in life comes easy and that was the case for the Cy Woods football team this year. Both coaches and players alike had to adapt and overcome changes in both people and playbook calls.

Players focused on the playbook changed. It was necessary to spend a lot of time on it since they had a set playbook for the last three years.

“[Adapting to a new coaching system] was actually pretty hard, but we figured out how to make it work at the beginning of the season,” said Trey Craft, quarterback and team captain of the offense. “Diving into the new offense from the triple option into the spread was pretty difficult, but I think we’re managing to catch on to it and we’ll be ready by playoff time.”

While the players were learning the new playbook, Simper had to focus on getting to know and develop relationships with the players, and become familiar with what works best for the team.

“I think so much of this profession and so much of this job relies on the human element inside the building,” said Simper. “I mean, we’re in the business of people, right? We want to know what gets them out of bed, gets them going.”

Once the team started to develop chemistry, it was time to start playing. The team worked their way through the district, earning an unexpected win against Cypress Parks High School who was undefeated at the time. One week later, they clinched the playoff berth.

It was time to be perfect.

“For playoffs, every team you face is gonna be good; You’re not gonna have any easy games,” said defensive back Josh Jones, a key piece in the team’s defensive success. “You have to be perfect every play, be ready to go.”

For Simper it was important that Woods kept up in talent with the other teams in the playoffs, but he also wanted to make sure that they didn’t lose sight of what was right in front of them.
His plan is to make sure the team doesn’t get content with just a playoff appearance and keeps fighting until the season is completely over.

Although the coaches played a crucial role in the journey to success, the players were ultimately the deciding factor.

“None of that credit goes to me; I didn’t play a single down in the game,” said Simper. “Our young men that were on the field got the job done, and I think it was a pivotal moment for them because it kind of illustrated the fact that, you know, they’re not intimidated by anybody.”

After already accomplishing so much, the team was able to soak in their success.

“[With] new coaching staff, It was debatable how the season was gonna go, but I think as a team we know what we’re capable of and we’re really starting to show it,” said Craft.

The work doesn’t end for the coaches after the season ends. Regardless of what happens, they’ve always got to stay locked in and have an eye on the future, supporting current players and seeking out talented prospects.

“That’s the reason why we spend as much time with our sub varsity teams as we do,” said Simper. “It’s why we’re at every single freshman practice,” said Simper.

The coaching staff also spends time at the middle schools in the area.

“We want to start identifying who the guys are that we feel like we can trust and count on to work hard and represent this program,” said Simper.

Although one year doesn’t necessarily determine the future of a team, the one year under Coach Simper has shown the growing potential of the Cy Woods football organization.

Regardless of what future players step onto the field under the new coaching staff, it’s safe to say they’ll be in good hands.