Two-A-Days Progressing for Whitehouse + New Head Coach Adam Cook
WHITEHOUSE -- A new head coach doesn't necessarily mean a new coaching staff for the Whitehouse Wildcats in 2013.
Former offensive coordinator Adam Cook now patrols the sidelines as the boss, but the vast majority of the staff that helped former head coach Randy McFarlin lead the Wildcats to a 10-2 record last fall is back for a season filled with high expectations.
The familiarity has helped Whitehouse during the first few days of two-a-day practices, Cook said.
"Everything's going great. We have so many (coaches) that have been there that it's been a smooth transition," said Cook, who added that the high school staff has only one coach who wasn't at Whitehouse at some level a year ago. "It's been a great two days. We're just trying to get better and build on it. The thing is we've gotta get up tomorrow morning and come back and do it again. That's what we talk to these kids about, about winning the day. That's what it's gonna take for us to reach the potential that we have."
That potential is a big reason Whitehouse sits at No. 6 in Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine's preseason Class 4A poll. The Wildcats started 2012 with a 9-0 record, and their two losses came by seven points apiece.
Plenty of key playmakers return from that team, including Texas Tech-committed quarterback Patrick Mahomes and three of his top four receivers from last year's team: Jake Parker, Coleman Patterson, and Jaylon Dews. The 6-foot-3, 203-pound Mahomes had a monster first year at quarterback, throwing for 3,800-plus yards, 46 touchdowns, and nine interceptions while running for almost 200 yards and six scores.
Whitehouse's lost Texas Tech signee Dylan Cantrell to graduation, but Parker, Patterson, and Dews combined for 150 catches, 2,266 yards, and 26 touchdowns.
Whitehouse should also be strong in the back seven, where senior linebacker Reggie Long returns along with classmates Chris Reese (outside linebacker/safety) and Isaiah Burton (cornerback), plus juniors Justin Dunning (safety) and Nate Brooks (cornerback). Dunning holds six BCS conference offers, while Brooks and Long each have two FBS offers.
"I think we can't lose focus of each individual thing we have. We do have those players that are coming back, but we made sure we told those guys coming in that what they did last year, it doesn't matter now," Cook said. "If we're gonna go from being a good team to a great team we've got to move it and propel that."
Cook said Whitehouse also returns three offensive linemen, though the 'Cats must replaced Texas A&M-Commerce signee McKenlee Smith and Lamar signee Hunter Conn. Seniors Austin Dickerson and Brandon Bobo have impressed during offseason and two-a-days, as well as classmate Kostin Wallace on the defensive side of the ball. The 5-foot-10, 330-pound defensive tackle impressed at an Oklahoma State camp in June at Tyler Lee and has had a strong offseason, Cook said.
Whitehouse's first scrimmage is Aug. 16 at Gilmer, which starts the season ranked No. 2 in Class 3A. Cook said the Buckeyes are a good example of what Whitehouse hopes to become.
"Coach Traylor and what he and his staff have been able to do there at Gilmer is phenomenal. A lot of people will say they've got the athletes, but I'm telling you they do a great job of getting those horses to run over there," Cook said. "That's where we wanna be as we go from good to great. I would consider them to be a great program in the state. Right now Whitehouse is a good program and we're trying to be great, so in order for us to do that we have to go up against that competition. For us it'll be a good measuring stick."