Cypress High School football program preps for season

The Cypress High School Centurion football team has been working awful hard to prepare for the upcoming season this summer. They are stacked up within a very competitive and intense Empire League, and are doing all that they can to make big moves for the competition that lies ahead.“We’ve been breaking down and rebuilding both our offensive and defensive lines by pitting them against each other in practice,” says Rick Feldman, who is Cypress High School’s head football coach.“As a team, we know that we have a lot to overcome, especially with the fact that most of our veteran players have now graduated. We have a lot of new young rookies who are a little inexperienced, but we are training them, and they are really catching on to our game style.”This last point was very evident in watching some of the fresh and vibrant talent of players like Eugene San Agustin, Diego Schindler, and German Barajas who showcased tremendous abilities during both offensive and defensive practices.“Our team has been participating in several 7-on-7 tournaments with other schools within the region, and it has really strengthened our squad,” Feldman said.. “Our running game has been really explosive during the past several years, and now we are adding a whole new passing tandem to the game play of our team. It’s going to spread the field and give us much more options.”This new grid-iron outlook is all thanks to Cypress High School’s newly appointed offensive coordinator named Jeff Crooks. Crooks looks to build upon the weapons that the Centurions already possess, primarily from the running standpoint, while adding new passing schematics to further deepen the Centurion’s bolstering arsenal.“I really like the way that Crooks is incorporating what the team did last year,” said Feldman. “He just added his style, and wound up combining styles. It’s turned into more of a spread offense oriented format. The players are learning a lot under it, and are continuing to grow well.”Physically, the Centurions look like they have responded greatly to the new offensive game play that was introduced by Crooks. The receivers and tight-ends looked efficient in means of catching and controlling passes, while also still being able to recover quickly in the midst of contact from speedier defenders.“It’s about being hungry and motivated,” says Andrew Khiev, who is one of the star players returning in his senior year to play quarterback for Cypress High. “This season is going to be dedicated to proving all of our critics wrong; it’s dedicated to proving everybody wrong. So many out there are talking about how our team is going to crumble, because all of our other veteran players have graduated and moved on last year, but were are not buying into that kind of talk."We are going to prove to them that our team is not going to crumble, and that we have a bunch of young guys who are extremely talented, fast, strong, and aggressive. They are ready to compete and carry on where the older players left off.”Benny Morales, who is the Centurions’ returning star linebacker, also concurs with Khiev’s prior statements.“Yes, it is true that we have lost most of our original team, but the underclassmen have been working hard and have proven themselves," Morales said. "They have grown a lot from all of the 7-on-7 tournaments that they have competed in against other rival schools. They have also been hitting the gym and weight room hard. We are still unhappy that Valencia High School won the league championship last year. We haven’t forgotten, and we want payback. We want a shot at them. We want to prove that we are still a great team even without the veterans. We also want to take it to Kennedy.”The hint of animosity within Morales’ tone can be attributed back to Cypress High School’s one point loss to the Valencia High School football team this past October in a nail biting 14-13 loss at Valencia High’s Stadium.The Centurion’s only loss would come to the Tigers, and would leave them to conclude the 2013-2014 season with a 4-1 record. Valencia High School would run off with the undefeated record and the league title. Cypress High School’s other arch nemesis, Kennedy High School, would finish last season with a 2-3 record. They would eventually claim fourth place overall in the Empire League Standings.Cypress High School’s defense still looked really agile and flawless with the way that they were able to clog up passing and rushing lanes. Safeties and cornerbacks choked out any space between the receivers and tight-ends, and were even able to pick off some passes down the stretch during practice.“We are just feeding off of the excitement of this upcoming year,” explains Morales, as he continued to lead the defensive charge.Feldman loves his new youthful squad’s sense of consistency and urgency. “Still, my main goal is to build these guys into not only better football players, but better people off the field as well,” he said.Cypress kicks off its season against Woodbridge High School on Friday, Aug. 28, at Handel Stadium. The game is set to begin at 7 p.m.

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