LACY LAKEVIEW, Texas — The Connally Cadets enter 2022 with high expectations after an early exit from the playoffs last season.
Head Coach Terry Gerik said the sting of last season's struggles has not only been a motivating factor for his players this offseason, but also for him as a coach.
"It'll humble you real quick," he said. "We made the playoffs and lost round one, and that's not one of our goals. Our goal is to win a district championship."
The Cadets return plenty of future Division I talent, despite losing four-star running back Tre Wisner, who transferred to DeSoto in the spring.
Quarterback Jelani McDonald is a dual-threat in the backfield, throwing for nine touchdowns and running for another six in 2021. McDonald is a four-star according to 247's rankings and is committed to play for Oklahoma State as a defensive back.
Another Connally defensive back, Jamarie Wiggins is committed to play for Rice next fall, and junior Kobe Black is among the top defensive prospects in the country.
"We have a pretty good senior class and we're real dedicated this year and committed," Wiggins said. "Our senior class has been knowing each other for a while, so we got good chemistry."
Connally is projected to finish second in District 11-4A II, behind Salado, but Gerik believes his group is well-positioned to come out on top.
"If we can take care of our nondistrict games, stay healthy and make it to district, we've got a great chance," Gerik said.
Connally enters the year ranked No. 21 in Conference 4A-II.
2022 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:
8/26 vs Mexia 7:30
9/2 at Waco La Vega 7:30
9/9 at Cameron Yoe 7:30
9/16 vs China Spring 7:30
9/23 vs Brownwood 7:30
9/30 at Springtown 7:00
10/7 at Gatesville* 7:00
10/21 vs Salado* 7:30
10/28 at Madisonville* 7:00
11/4 vs Robinson* 7:30
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