Pigskin Preview: Wink Wildcats
WINK, Texas (KOSA) - Wink started last season 12-0. Personally, I think the Wildcats would have won their 3rd round playoff game against Albany. But Wink made too many mistakes. Albany went on to win the 2A DII State Championship.
“It took me a long time to watch that video,” Wink head coach Brian Gibson said. “And honestly I’ve only watched it a couple times.”
“I feel like our season ended way shorter than it should’ve,” junior running back and linebacker Hudson Morgan said.
Wink must replace a decorated senior class, including quarterback Kanon Gibson (West Texas A&M), receiver Jordan Tally (UTPB), and lineman Jesse Putnam.
“We lost a lot of leadership,” Coach Gibson said. “Those guys won 41 games for us over the course of four years. When we had to have a play, it was Kanon and Jordan, or run behind Jesse. Well we don’t have that anymore.”
“There’s people you can’t replace, but this team is still something special,” Morgan said. “We still have a lot of talent. There’s a lot of guys out there that are competing their butts off.”
In 2023, Wink will hang its hat on defense, with tons of experience there.
“We’re loaded at linebacker,” Gibson said. “We’re about six deep there, and all of them can play.”
“I’ve got to give it to our d-line,” senior lineman Ethan Turegano said, including himself. “We’ve got a very powerful front and I think that’s something Wink is very strong for.”
Turegano and fellow linemen Grayson Ellis, Sklyen Copeland, and Eddie Rey Mendoza will lead the offense in the trenches. Behind them is a host of ball carriers, including Morgan and Bryan Wilcox.
“We have four or five running backs that, if they got the ball every game, could have 1500 yards each,” Gibson said.
At quarterback, it’s a battle to replace Kanon, between his understudy, 6′3″ junior Jayden Tally, and Kermit transfer Jeremiah Gallardo.
“They’re both really talented,” Morgan said. “They can produce what we want.”
Whether it’s one or both quarterbacks, Wink has high expectations for this season.
“I’d be a fool to say we don’t expect to be 12-0 again, playing Albany in the 3rd round,” Gibson said.
“We’ve got a lot of new faces,” Turegano said. “But our goal is still the same. We’re gonna go get that state title and that’s gonna be our goal for the whole season.”
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