Cedar Park, Lake Travis, Liberty Hill and Wimberley are Central Texas football programs that have won multiple state championships.
In time, Dripping Springs coach Galen Zimmerman wants to join that elite club.
There is no reason the Tigers should fail in that quest, he said. The school is loaded with athletic talent. Soccer, softball and track are among several campus teams that have become regular state contenders. Dripping Springs — the No. 7-ranked team in the American-Statesman’s annual countdown poll, finished tied for fourth place in the state’s Lone Star Cup standings for Class 5A schools in the 2017-18 school year and tied for sixth in 2016-17.
And football, it appears, is on the verge of doing something special. Dripping Springs has been to the playoffs the past three years, won district championships the past two years and finished the 2017 regular season with a 10-0 record.
“We aspire to be like the school (Lake Travis) up north from us,” Zimmerman said. “Every time they go into a game they have a target on their backs. … You can be encouraged by how things are going, but if you’re ever satisfied, that’s when someone will get you.”
Coming off two successful seasons — the Tigers went 12-2 in 2016, 11-1 in 2017 — there is reason to feel optimistic.
Dripping Springs joins a district this season with teams from the Austin school district. If the Tigers can win non-district games against Kerrville Tivy, Hays and New Braunfels Canyon, they have a chance to go unbeaten in the regular season for the second straight year.
“Our goal is to go 1-0 each week,” quarterback Tanner Prewit said. “I have confidence we can go farther than we did last year. That team set the foundation and it’s up to us to follow them.”
Prewit admits he has “big shoes to fill” with the departure of former Tigers quarterback Trevor Greenman. Last season Greenman averaged 239 yards passing a game, 85 yards on the ground and combined for 47 passing and rushing touchdowns.
Prewit, who had 50 tackles as an outside linebacker last season, was the JV team’s quarterback in 2016.
The biggest difference between Greenman and Prewit?
“Trevor is quicker and faster while Tanner is more of a run-you-over kind of guy,” wide receiver Parker Alford said. “Tanner will hit you in the face.”
Zimmerman said Prewit’s value extends beyond passing and running with the football.
“We want guys who are leaders and Tanner has leadership qualities,” said Zimmerman, who added that his new quarterback is among the top lifters in the weight room.
Prewit will rely on running back Jake Cox, who rushed for 1,002 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior last year. Alford became a big-play specialist in 2017, averaging 28.5 yards a reception and catching eight touchdown passes.
The Tigers return only six starters from last year’s team — three on offense, three on defense — and Zimmerman said the Tigers do not have as much depth as last season.
Dripping Springs will rely on on a defense anchored by lineman Kevin Perrydore and linebackers Jakob Joy and Haden Dahl.
Barring injury, Zimmerman likes his team’s chances for having another memorable season.
“That’s the million-dollar question,” the coach said after being asked how far these Tigers can go. “They have the ability to contend for a district championship. We’ve got the ability to contend for a regional championship. I know that’s a lofty goal because there are a lot of great teams around Austin and Houston that we might see in the playoffs.”
ABOUT THIS SERIES
The American-Statesman’s annual ranking of the area’s Top 10 high school football teams regardless of classification continues with No. 7 Dripping Springs.