2015 ETSN.fm East Texas Football Super Team Coach of the Year: Whitney Keeling, Waskom
Waskom has become an elite program in a relatively short amount of time. Since 2013, the Wildcats own a 45-2 record, and have reached at least the state semifinal round in each of the past three postseasons.
The man leading the program, head coach Whitney Keeling, guided Waskom to its first state title in school history in 2014. But few expected Waskom to make another run at it the following year.
Gone were four of his top five rushers, including college signees Kevin Johnson (SMU) and Junebug Johnson (Tyler Junior College).
"We never dreamed of winning state again," Keeling said. "(We had) too many holes to fill, we only returned three offensive guys and six defensive guys."
But not only did Waskom repeat as champs, it did so with a perfect 16-0 record. The 2014 team suffered a loss in the season opener.
For his efforts, Keeling is the 2015 ETSN.fm East Texas Football Super Team Coach of the Year. He follows last season's winner, Mineola's Joe Drennon.
"It was the never-quit attitude," Keeling said. "There were a lot of games where we started out slow and got behind early, but they never got down and kept fighting. You usually don't get that from a bunch of young guys. But the seniors had been in a lot of big games and i just think they never got rattled."
Keeling was quick to point out that he does not deserve all of the credit.
"It has been an amazing journey to say the least," he said. "I'm not sure of all the records that we have broken in six years. But to be 60-17 and 16-1 in the playoffs is a great testimony to our coaches and kids and how hard they have worked to turn this program around to be one of the best in the state."