Cedar Park Christian football set to rebound from one-win season

Ben Fuchs makes a move on two teammates Aug. 19 during the opening day of practice.

It seems as though something big is brewing at Cedar Park Christian High School and it all starts with football.

When discussing new strategies and approaches, one word answers and eye shifting surrounded head Coach Craig Shetterly and some of his assistant coaches.

Though some teams might overlook Cedar Park’s football squad, they might want to think twice.

Despite last season not being the year Cedar Park hoped for, Shetterly looks on the positive side.

“It didn’t work out,” he said. “We got established from a program standpoint. We are looking forward to building the program. It all comes down to no more excuses. The team needs to discover a way to do what needs to be done.”

Focusing on fundamentals and details this year, Shetterly’s top goal is to stay competitive and play at 100 percent.

After a tough 1-8 season last year, the football team never gave up, but rather kept persevering to be something bigger the next year. In the off season they trained and lifted weights, while practicing this summer and even participating in two practices per day the last week of vacation.

Shetterly remarked on the team’s commitment.

“They’re excited and hungry. They want to win and compete to play football.”

Seniors Tim Abbott (tight/defensive end), Zac Boeckel (quarterback/wide receiver) and Josh Starbard (right tackle/defensive tackle) commented saying there is more commitment, more leadership on the team. After much deliberation, the trio named the “nutcracker” as their favorite drill since players are allowed to hit each other at full speed. The drill also involves the entire team, which was important to the seniors.

In the off season, Shetterly came up with a new drill involving a deck of cards. Though the guys say this is the worst drill, they might possibly have a secret liking for it. A player chooses one card from a standard deck and that card holds their fate.

Each suite means a different drill: draw a heart, do push-ups; draw spades and run sprints. The number of the card you pull out is the number you must perform as a team.

Through the summer sessions and workouts, the coaches hope to get guys more athletic, as well as to prevent injuries. “Last year we had 11 guys injured on the sideline,” Shetterly recalled.

After losing ten seniors last year, one might think the team would be difficult to balance again, but this doesn’t even faze Shetterly, who says, “Our team was young. There is not going to be a big change this year.”

But one thing that Shetterly insists upon for the 2009 season is that they stay strong as a team.

“We go on the field as a team, as a unit. It’s very intentional.”

This year, Shetterly has seven assistant coaches to help him fulfill his goals. Most of them are veterans and know a lot about the game.

“A good head coach puts better guys around him,” Shetterly said.

In three words Boeckel, Abbott and Starbard described their coach as, “passionate, outgoing and personable.” Abbots adds, “The coaches don’t only talk to us at practice. They coach out of love, not fear.”

As Shetterly approaches the beginning of his second year as head coach, he hopes to teach the team about life through football. “We want them to go far beyond the field. We want them to be leaders in the church, make them good husbands and fathers.”

When asked if his team motto still consisted of, ‘outwork everyone,’ he responded that was part of it, but this year they are more focused on, “Intensity is contagious.”

Even though last season didn’t go according to plan, Shetterly never lost sight of what one might call the bigger picture. “We’re trying to build a group of good men to be champions in life, so they can be prepared to be great men who can compete on and off the field.”

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