WHITNEY, Texas — After a 2020 season plagued by inconsistency, the Whitney Wildcats seem poised to rebound in 2021.
The Wildcats won just two games in the COVID-impacted season. As a result, they finished fifth in District 7-3A I and missed the playoffs.
"I'm not gonna blame COVID," Head Coach Mark Byrd said. "But I will say that we did have some inconsistent positions as far as the line, having new kids each week."
Byrd said the losses last season have served as motivation. He "sees a lot of hunger" from the returning players.
"We went into every game kinda feeling like we were beaten just because of new teams and a new district," senior receiver Kolt Byrd said. "But, we know the teams and who we're playing against, so this season, senior season, we gotta be ready."
One player Byrd mentioned as a potential breakout star is Garrett Peacock, who has emerged as a senior leader.
This year, returning to the playoffs is a main goal for the Wildcats, but to do that, they will have to limit big plays. In six of their seven losses in 2020, Whitney gave up more than 30 points. They gave up more than 40 five different times.
"You know, I think they've gotta take advantage of big plays," Coach Byrd said. "I think there were times last year where we were put in a big play moment and couldn't come through. Or, we let one happen. So just cutting down big plays defensively but making explosive plays offensively [will be the key]."
Whitney is projected to finish fifth in 7-3A I for the second straight year. They open the season against Quinlan-Ford.