Joe Willis may be Cedar Park's new Head Coach but he's not new to the Timberwolves. When Chris Ross took the Leander ISD Athletic Director job his longtime Defensive Coordinator was a natural replacement.
"Coach Willis was Coach Ross' second-hand man. So Ross stepped out, Coach Willis stepped in. It was like another piece of the puzzle stepped right in," said Jackson Paine.
"All of our staff returned. And to me that's our strength as a coaching staff is that we've all been here and we've worked with these kids - we know the system," said Coach Willis.
So it's no surprise that Cedar Park starts the year ranked 2nd in Texas! After all the Timberwolves might have a couple state titles already if not for their former district rival, five time defending champ Lake Travis.
"A lot of us aren't too happy that they moved out of the picture. I mean, everybody still wants their revenge," said Nate Gunn.
Cedar Park wants revenge from losing the last two state quarterfinals to the Cavs by a mere six combined points. With Lake Travis now in 5A most feel its Cedar Park's turn to win it all.
"We're not looking at it like Lake Travis is gone. We got this. We got some challenges ahead of us," said Cedar Park senior Riley Mayfield.
"We're just gonna do what we do and come out there and excel. I mean we're not gonna be stopped I don't think," said Cedar Park senior Ethan Fry.
Fry is a big reason why. The senior plans on sharing time with junior Nate Gunn in a quarterback competition gone right.
"Oh absolutely! Both of those guys bring a different skill set to the table," said Willis.
"I'm more the running, he's more the passing," said Fry.
"He's a z-back sometimes so I love throwing to him. He's a great receiver too," said Gunn.
"Ethan is so electric with the ball in his hands," said Willis.
"There's no telling what's gonna happen," said Fry.
However Willis uses his quarterbacks they'll have another huge line in front of them and a deep roster of running backs and receivers.
"We can line up and be pretty big and be pretty physical," said Willis. "I think this is one of the best offensive groups we've had since I've been at Cedar Park."
Mix in a senior-led defense that gave up a mere 12 points a game last season and maybe that #2 state ranking is just about right.
"They're curious and anxious to prove themselves and to be able to finish the year the right way," said Willis.