As the Pirates are in their fourth week of spring practice, the coaches have had the opportunity to begin to see how the team is forming. We were able to speak with Coach Slechta, the Pirate Offensive Coordinator, and Coach Jimmy Carter, the Pirate Defensive Coordinator, and they gave us a synopsis of their areas. Today’s post covers the offense.
Coach Royce Slechta is beginning his fourth year as Offensive Coordinator at Wylie High. His team of coaches for the offense includes Roger Byrd – offensive line, who is assisted by Dustin Shores, John Rose-running backs, Joby Focke-inside receivers, and Lionel Wrenn- outside receivers. As they begin to work on the 2013 season, the premise of their offense will remain the same as they will always take what the defense allows them to do. Year to year though, the influence of the offense may change. Last year the offense had a strong passing identity, as there were several strong senior receivers. This year as they begin the 2013 season, Coach Slechta believes that right now their strength lies in two areas – the offensive line and quarterback.
The offensive line has two strong returning starters with good experience in Laurent Njiki and Castin Neumeyer. The line as a whole is showing that they are bigger and more physical up front then a year ago. Brody Wright has shown great potential, as has Greyson Williams. Alex Garza has made the transition from guard to center. “We have some very bright guys up front. They are very intelligent and they don’t make many mistakes”, noted Slechta. There are several younger players also vying for the spots, which have given them about eight or nine guys to play five positions, thus giving good depth.
The other area that is showing very good depth and experience is quarterback, with returning starters, Kameron Kelly and Carsen Cook. Both have played in about as many varsity games as the other, in spite of the fact that Kelly was injured during the first game of last season. Slechta noted that they both have a very good grasp of what the Pirates do and what his expectations are.
The biggest objective during spring ball was replacing the seniors that left the program as wide receivers. As they work on that area, he is confident that they have a good group to choose from, although some are not as experienced on Friday night. Slechta believes that a couple of the potential receivers will have dual roles at defensive back, as well. A pleasant surprise this spring has been 6’3” – 185lb. freshman, Jordan Whaley. Coach Slechta said, “He still has a lot of learning to do and certainly makes mistakes day to day…but he has big play ability…if the ball is in his neighborhood, he’s going to make the play.” They are looking for him to be a big target for the Pirates offense. Some of the returners who have done really well during spring include sophomore Darius Carter and juniors Dylan Riley and Alex Wesley.
Battling for the position of running back are returning starter, Dontae Slay along with Romello Keck, Tristen Clark and Kevin Tran. They all show great potential and will give the Pirates the opportunity to make some plays. Slechta noted that each has a different style, yet they complement one another. “The depth is great there, which is a nice to have as we really didn’t have it last year”, said Slechta. Overall, Slechta believes they have accomplished much during spring and looks forward to what they can do from summer into the fall.
The annual Spring FCA Round-Up will be held at the Baseball field beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22. Derek Golden will be the speaker. Coach Cantu and his band will also perform. You don't want to miss this!
The practice schedule for the week of 5/20 is as follows:
Monday - 5/20 - Varsity am/pm
Tuesday - 5/21 - Varsity pm only
Wednesday - 5/22 - No practice
Thursday - 5/23 - Varsity am only
Friday - 5/24 - Varsity am only
There will be NO practice on Memorial Day - Monday, 5/27.
Continuing our conversation with Coach Howard, he now discusses the Defense.
Who are some of the key-returners on defense?
“Defensively our front seven should be real solid. We have three returning defensive linemen led by Israel Acuay, Michael Johnson and Divine Rockwell. All three of them are going to be solid upfront. We have two really solid linebackers in Ja’Vareyea Hicks and Devon Hughes. Outside linebackers, we have returning starter TK Rockwell, who is injured right now. He will play both ways. Ricardo Sandoval is another that is really stepping up. We have a lot of young guys vying for those spots also. In the secondary, we are going to be young but Joel “Ramero” Gomez, who was a receiver last year, has been moved back to safety and looks real good at safety. Our “lockdown” corner is Jarell Brown. He is going to be really solid on the corner. We are rotating a lot of the younger guys into spots to figure what they will do.”
As we go into the third week, we will be talking with Coach Slechta, the offensive coordinator, and Coach Carter, the defensive coordinator, to get the latest developments and who might be the “up and comers”.
Registration is now open for the 2013 WHS Camp of Champs summer camps and Strengthening and Conditioning Program.
The Camp of Champs caters to students in 3rd - 9th grades. Each camp is $75. Camps begin June 10 and run through July 22. Please click here for camp brochure. To register on line - click here.
The 10th annual Strengthing and Conditioning six week program is designed for students who will be in 7th - 12th grades for the 2013-2014 school year. The comprehensive program is aimed at increasing each individual’s speed, strength, agility and flexibility along with an increased knowledge of nutrition.
The camp will begin on Monday, June 17th and end August 1st. There will not be a camp the week of July 1st – 5th. Each session will take place Monday through Thursday. Session I will be from 7:30 am – 9:30 am (Male athletes’grades 9-12). Session 2 will be from 10:00 am – 12:00 p.m. (Female athletes 9-12 and Incoming 7th and 8th boys and girls)
The Pirates have begun their 2nd week of Spring ball, so we met up with Coach Howard to see how things were going, particularly in regard to the offense.
It’s the 2nd week of training, give us an idea of what the goal is during Spring ball?
“As far as spring ball, the keys to spring ball are three things. First you are trying to develop depth. The second is you have a lot of young players, so you are trying to give them reps to see what they can do. And then three - a lot of teaching. Then the coaches can evaluate.”
Who are some of the key-returners on offense?
“Offensively it starts with Kameron Kelly at quarterback, and Carsen Cook as backup. We feel like our quarterback position is in pretty good shape. We have Alex Wesley as receiver. He didn’t get a whole lot of experience last year or a lot of time, but he comes back with being on varsity three years, so that should help him his third year. We then have Castin Neumeyer and Laurent Njiki up front and we’re looking for big things from them. Darius Carter is going to be a pretty good weapon as wide receiver. He played varsity last year. Dylan Riley will be solid in that area too. We are looking for Jordan Whaley to step up, also. All three are potential starters in that position. On the offensive line, we have a lot of young guys fighting for positions so that is wide open. The running back position is also wide open. Dontae Slay will be returning as running back, but Lorenzo Keck and Tristan Clark will be right there “neck and neck”. We are also moving TK Rockwell to running back, but he is hurt right now.”
With the current senior class that is graduating, what are some of the key areas on the offense you need to fill?
“The senior class this past year probably was not as talented as some of the ones we’ve had, but they played with great heart and great character. That’s the one thing that these young guys have got to come up on. They embraced the idea of family and they worked hard. We were behind in some ball games last year, and they never quit fighting. As a coach you take great pride in your kids playing four quarters. These guys are going to have to learn from the seniors last year and try to play four quarters. Last year, we had a pretty talented receiving core and our receivers are going to be young this year. When you lose a group of four main guys that played a whole lot and that were big contributors on offense, it becomes the area we have to work on this year.”
Coming up: Coach Howard looks at the Defense
Wylie High School is offering athletic physicals on Saturday the 18th of May from 8:00am to 11:00am. The cost is $25 per student and payment must be in cash or check (Checks should be made out to WPABC – Wylie Pirate Athletic Booster Club). The screening will occur at Matrix Rehabilitation of Wylie and Baylor Family Medical of Wylie, located directly behind Dairy Queen on Highway 78.
All students entering grades 7th, 9th & 11th are required to obtain a new physical and any student answering yes to any part of questions 1,2,3,4,5 or 6 of their annual medical history must also receive a new physical. No appointments are necessary and all proceeds will go directly to the Wylie High School Athletic Training Program.
Please direct all questions to Eric L. Maxey, Head Athletic Trainer Wylie High School at email@example.com or phone 972-429-3147
(L-R WPABC VP - Rudy Ramirez; Coach Howard; Pastor Keith Spurgin; WPABC Pres - Scott Neumeyer)
Saturday morning saw a great turn-out at the Pirate Family Breakfast held in the WHS Cafeteria. Over 220 players and family members attended the event to kick off Spring ball and Clean-up Wylie Day.
Keith Spurgin, pastor of New Hope Church Wylie, was the guest speaker. The importance of family at home and as a team was the theme for the day. Through personal testimony of his love for sport, Pastor Spurgin exhorted the team to believe in themselves, one another, as well as their coaches. His words of truth and life built confidence in the players. The parents were encouraged to be there for their boys as they go through this season of their lives by creating a firm foundation at home, which will then assist the coaches in creating a firm foundation on and off the field.
Due to the overwhelming number of RSVPs, there has been a change in the location. The Pirate Family Breakfast will now be held in the WHS Cafeteria. Please enter from the back parking lot.
Game 1 of the Hallsville/Wylie softball series will be webcast, starting at 7:15 p.m. on Friday. Click here for webcast link.
For Game 2, we are encouraging all Pirate fans to come out and support the Lady Pirates as they vie for the Bi-district title.
If needed, we will webcast Game 3 of the series, starting at 7:15 p.m. on Monday night.
The scheduled webcast of the Pirates vs. Royse City Baseball game on Friday has been cancelled, so that we might bring you the webcast coverage of the Bi-district softball series against Hallsville. Dates and times of the games will follow. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.
The Pirates will begin their Spring practice this Monday, April 29 with the Varsity practicing morning and evening and 9th grade practicing at 4:30 pm. The Varsity will have 3-4 practice days per week along with two Saturday practices through the month of May. This will culminate with the Spring Game and Family picnic on Tuesday, May 28. Freshmen will play at 5:00 p.m. and Varsity at 6:00 p.m. See calendar for tentative practice schedule.
Saturday, April 27
7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
Guest speaker: Rev. Keith Spurgin
WHS IMPAC Bldg/Field House
Cost: $2.00 per parent/guest
Free for football players
Continental Breakfast will be served!!!
Mark your calendar and make plans to attend this family event and bring a family member or fellow inactive football parent along. Tickets are on sale now in the athletic office. You can also pay at the door. YOUR RSVP IS NEEDED, please RSVP as soon as possible to Shiri Ndang - firstname.lastname@example.org, so we know how many guests to expect and feed.
CONTACT INFORMATION OF COORDINATORS
· To donate food and paper items, please email Charlotte Neumeyer at email@example.com.
· To volunteer to work at the breakfast or RSVP for the breakfast, please email Shiri Ndang at firstname.lastname@example.org.
· If there are dads who have not signed up yet but would like to volunteer to help with the Clean-Up Wylie Community Service Project, please email Scott Neumeyer at email@example.com.
The Spirit Shop & booster club (Brickbuilders) will be selling “hats” at the breakfast next Saturday. The cost of the hats are $20.00.
The hats are black in color and have a “W” on the front and AHMO on the side…They are the hats that the football coaches normally wear during games. A number of football parents have inquired about getting these “coach” hats in the past and so they will now be available for sale.
We will accept Cash, Checks & Credit Cards for the Hats…All checks should be made to: Wylie Pirate Senior Moms or WPSM.
House Bill 1374, is a bill proposing equal opportunity for home-school students to participate in UIL activities. It would allow children of families whom have chosen to be home-schooled to participate in UIL activities of their choosing, as part of their local public school’s team.
The THSCA is asking that you contact your Public Education Committee Representative below, to voice your opposition immediately. Testimony for and against the bill was given in a public hearing Tuesday, April 9. The bill was left pending in committee. It will be voted on in the near future (perhaps as soon as April 16th) by the Public Education Committee members. It is important, when calling your representatives on the Public Education Committee, to understand the areas of concern brought on if this bill passes. We have included a few talking points for you:
1. Academic standards for home schooled students are not mandated by statute while public schools are heavily regulated. (If a student can choose to be home schooled and still participate in the UIL, the student can avoid academic requirements set forth by the state.)
2. This bill could encourage students who struggle academically to drop out of UIL member schools and enroll as a home- school student to meet No Pass No Play requirements.
3. Home- school students are not governed by standards mandated by statue, such as no pass no play, health and safety training, and an eight hour after school practice limitation rule as are all UIL member schools participants.
4. HB 1374 would destroy the sanctity of the full time student requirement for participation in UIL activities for its member schools.
Chair – Rep. Jimmie Aycock (Killeen) (512)463-0684 firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Vice Chair – Rep. Alma Allen (Houston) (512)463-0744 firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Rep. John Davis (Houston) (512) 463-0734 firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Rep. Joe Deshotel (Beaumont) (512)463-0662 firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Rep Harold Dutton, Jr. (Houston) (512)463-0510 firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Rep. Marsha Farney (Georgetown) (512)463-0309 firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Rep. Dan Huberty (Houston) (512)463-0520 firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Rep. Ken King (Canadian) (512)463-0736 firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Rep. Bennett Ratliff (Coppell) (512)463-0468 firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Rep. Justin Rodriquez (San Antonio) (512)463-0669 firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Mike Villarreal (San Antonio) (512)463-0532 firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
WHS Girls Powerlifting Team, coached by Coach Kenny Wilkerson, had an excellent year ending their season as Regional Champions and sending several girls to state. In recognition of their accolades, the team is in the process of putting together a 2012/2013 team poster, but lacks the resources. Therefore sponsors are needed. Total cost of sponsorship is $200. If you are interested or know of any business which is willing to sponsor ALL or some of the Powerlifting Team Poster, please contact Coach Wilkerson at firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP. Sponsor information will appear on the poster, so this is a good way to advertise a business.
All football players will participate in a community service project cleaning up Wylie and planting a garden at the Wylie Christian Care Center on Saturday, April 27, 2013. We are looking for 8 -10 dads (preferably those who have a pick-up truck and have flashers that work) to help with this event. Contact Scott Neumeyer at email@example.com if you are interested in helping.
Before the boys, dads & coaches head off to do the Clean-up Wylie community service, we will have an All-Family Breakfast with special speaker, Pastor Keith Spurgin from New Hope Church Wylie. We need a couple of moms to serve the breakfast that morning. You must be able to be there from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. to help set-up, serve and clean-up. The menu for the breakfast is being finalized. We will need a few moms to donate and cook certain breakfast items (egg casserole, biscuits, sausage patties, bacon, etc.). Please contact Shiri Ndang at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in helping or cooking. We will be feeding about 150- 170 people (players, coaches and parents).
The Pirates were out in full strength last night for the 2013 Pirate Lift-a-thon. Players for all teams participated in this annual fundraiser that was held in the main gym. The top Varsity lifters were Alex Garza - 365; Brody Wright - 340; Divine Rockwell - 335; Laurent Njiki - 335; Izzy Acuay - 315; T.K. Rockwell - 300; Castin Neumeyer - 300. The funds raised from this event will assist in purchasing equipment for the season. Many thanks to all who gave their support!
With a 5-1 victory over Mabank yesterday, the Lady Pirates advance to the Class 4A Region II Final against undefeated Highland Park. Game time is 11:00 a.m. today, Saturday, April 13 at Standridge Stadium.
The Lady Pirates defeated Frisco Liberty last night to take the Class 4A Region II Quarterfinal with a 1-0 win. Casey Gray scored 8 minutes into the first half. They now advance to the Regional Semifinal and will play Mabank at Carrollton Farmers Branch ISD's Standridge Stadium on Friday, April 12 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students.
April 12 is the deadline for OL Parents to order knee braces for their son. Although the Booster Club will subsidize most of the costs, interested parents will have to pay $100. To sign up, please contact Coach Eric Maxey (Eric.Maxey@wylieisd.net). All checks should be made payable to “Wylie Pirate Athletic Booster Club (WPABC)” with your son’s name/Knee braces notation in the memo section.
The Spring/Summer Football calendar is available to print by clicking here. Please note that Spring ball dates are subject to change due to inclement weather.