Last year’s District 6-2A Champion, Windthorst Trojans, relied on a school record setting passing game featuring Hunter Wolf at quarterback and some very productive receivers, namely Nathan Bales, Colton Bates and Awtry Blagg. All but Blagg have graduated so finding replacements at quarterback and wide receivers will have a lot to do with Trojan chances to repeat as champions of District 6-2A
Cy Belcher, a junior, will take over at quarterback in the spread offense with the goal of surpassing Hunter Wolf’s 3,150 passing yards. As Head Coach Chris Tackett, now in his eighth year explained, “It’s not like we’re putting a young kid in there that hasn’t run the offense. Cy knows the offense, he’s just going to have to perform.” Belcher threw for 283 yards and 5 touchdowns last year in relief of Wolf. His father, offensive coordinator Scott Belcher, knows well what his new quarterback can do. Together they should be a tough combination for defenses to stop.
Belcher’s role at quarterback will be made easier with Blagg, listed at 6’4” 202 pounds, as a primary game changing target. Last year he had 56 receptions for 835 yards and 11 TDs. Bales and Bates will be replaced by Kyle Wolf and Bryson Jackson, both with great promise. Last year Wolf had 20 receptions for 219 yards with 2 TDs. Jackson is a 6’4” senior who was sidelined due to injury last year. Said Tackett, “You hope you have them ready to perform the rolls vacated, but to what degree is yet to be determined.” Speedster Gage Gillispie should provide another quality target.
Last year the Trojan rushing game featured Ethan Belcher who rushed for 651 yards and four touchdowns in an attack relying mostly on the pass. Currently recovering from an injury, Tackett was not sure when he would return, but was confident he would be a factor later in the
year. Haven Vieth, a 5’11” 170 pound sophomore, will take over at running back in Ethan Belcher’s absence. The offensive line will be anchored by returning starters Tryston Harding and Andrew Scheffe.
The defensive side of the ball for the Trojans will have a solid core of linebackers including Harding, Scheffe, and Jacob Lindemann. Blagg at defensive end and in the secondary Cy Belcher when called on to go both ways return experience to the defense. Jackson will be available at the other defensive end opposite Blagg.
The Trojans will be asked to deal with three 3A schools in the first three games of the season. The season opener on Friday August 30 is at home against the Henrietta Bearcats. The Jacksboro Tigers are next on the road followed by a loaded Holliday Eagle team. The final two non-conference games are against Seymour and Hawley. The five District 6-2A, Division 2, games stack up much like last year with Windthorst and Santo tabbed as the frontrunners. The two toughest district games will be on the road at Santo and Archer City. The rivalry with Archer City on October 11 will be the first game in district after an open date. The Santo game will be on October 25.
The Trojans in addition to being loaded with talent have another plus in their favor. The coaching staff has been expanded to include 3 coaches with head coaching experience. Dylan Stark, previously Head Coach and Athletic Director at Bowie, joins the staff in a family move allowing him to coach on a staff with his wife Heather, but also a chance to coach his children. Hayden Cavazos joins the staff in a move from Electra. Offensive coordinator Scott Belcher, Daniel Cole, and Tyler Owen round out the Windthorst coaching staff.
Tackett closed his remarks after a recent pre-season practice emphasizing what he continually preaches, “Team first. We try to get players to buy into that. One guy can’t do it. Team first.” That philosophy has served the Windthorst Trojans very well in the past and will no doubt give them a great chance to repeat as District 6-2A champions and beyond.