YEAR IN REVIEW: CALHOUN
Nov. 26, 2012 at 5:26 a.m.
It may still sting that its season is over, but at the end of the day, Calhoun's second straight undefeated regular season was a lot more than some anticipated from the 2012 team.
The Sandcrabs lost to Edcouch-Elsa in the Class 4A, Division II area playoffs Friday night to finish 10-1 on the season.
In a preseason poll of District 30-4A coaches, Richard Whitaker's team was predicted to qualify for the playoffs. But, few predicted the Sandcrabs would run over, around and through opponents like they did this year.
Calhoun swept through District 30-4A play, celebrated the 100th win of Whitaker's career on Oct. 26 and improved its regular season winning streak to 23 games. Not bad for a senior class that wasn't nearly as successful at the sub-varsity level.
"What a lot of people don't know about this senior class was in seventh grade and eighth grade these guys didn't win a game," Whitaker said on Oct. 26 after the Sandcrabs clinched a share of the district title.
"In ninth grade, they only won a couple games. This was a class that had resiliency. This was a class that continued to work. They stayed in the weight room, lift weights and run hard. They bid their time, played on the JV. When a majority of them had their chance this year, they really wanted to fill those shoes and they did."
One such player was offensive lineman Sean Tynes, one of 10 first-year starters on the offense in 2012. After Friday's loss, Tynes said he knew he had a role to play this year and was eager to do his best to help the team win.
Tynes and the rest of the Calhoun offensive line paved the way for the Sandcrabs to run for 4,837 yards and score 66 rushing touchdowns. The offense clicked at such a prolific rate that even in victory Edcouch-Elsa football Joe Solis gave credit to his opponents, and their scheme.
"Coach Whitaker, he does a heck of a job," Solis said. "I have the utmost respect for Coach Whitaker. .We're just happy to be able to play here. It was a great game."
Gabriel Casarez ran 18 times for 127 yards - his second straight 100-yard performance in the playoffs - in Friday's loss. The junior fullback filled in admirably for Cory Williams, finishing the year with 456 yards and four touchdowns in just four starts.
Williams was well on his way to a monster season when he tore his ACL against Victoria West in October. Nevertheless, the junior ran for 1,118 yards and 16 touchdowns in just over six games.
Marcus Klamm, Geoff Youngblood, Dustin Synder and Trey Robinson were leaders on a defense that reliably held opponents at bay until the offense opened up big leads.
One of the Sandcrabs few close contests was its district opener against Calallen. Calhoun's only shut out of the season was a memorable one, as marked the first time in 27 years Calallen was shutout in the regular season.
Klamm led the team in tackles and sacks, while Robinson's three interceptions led the Sandcrabs. On a personal note, Robinson can say that the last time he touched the ball in a varsity game he ran for a 102 yard touchdown.
"This group really opened our eyes early on that they had a lot of potential to be a strong team," Whitaker said in an Oct. 25 interview. "They did a lot of things well. From that first game on, we started adding some things and working on other things that we had not had in at that point - on both sides of the ball. ."
"These guys have stepped up and executed those things very well. I'm very proud of them. I think we have surprised a lot of people that we are in the position that we are in right now. We are certainly proud of the effort that this team has given us all year long."