Last season’s pain might reap rewards this season for Cedar Park.
Ryan Fiala was thrust into the starting quarterback role against Georgetown after an injury to three-year starter Mak Sexton. He proceeded the Timberwolves come from behind to beat the Eagles and advance to the third round of the playoffs.
“It hurt at the time losing (Sexton), but long-term wise for us, it was really good for Fiala to get that experience,” Cedar Park head coach Carl Abseck said. “I think he’s going to have a great senior year and he’ll be kind of be a name for everybody.”
Fiala finished his junior year with more than 1,200 yards and 17 touchdowns through the air and topped the 200-yard mark twice in the last seven games of the season.
With a rigid offensive line in front of him and plenty of talented skill players around him, this will be a massive season.
“Any time a kid moves into a role as a senior, their attitude changes,” Abseck said. “Knowing that their time is short and it’s time to get it done now or never. I think that always helps him as far as speeding up the process and their leadership changes as that role changes as well.”
Two of the top three receivers return for the Timberwolves this year as the passing attack shapes up to be even more potent.
Brandon Breed finished second on the team with 415 yards and five touchdowns, highlighted by a 150-yard, two-touchdown game against district runners-up Hutto. Carson Neel had three touchdowns and more than 300 receiving yards.
“I’d like to see everybody come together as a team and just become one,” Breed said. “It helps a lot to have some receivers coming back, especially with our quarterback coming in halfway through the season. We can just build on the that and get the timing down.”
Fiala, Breed, Neel, receiver Logan Mayou and fullback Will Lipscomb already have some cohesion but up, but they’ve been working on it even more in the offseason.
“We’ve been running a lot more routes and catching a lot more balls and working on the little details that make the biggest difference in the games,” Breed said. “We can be (more explosive) than last year, it’s just a matter of clicking as a team.”