Lake Travis has had 68 minutes of game action to prepare for its district football season.
Ready or not, Lake Travis will take on Bowie in a critical District 25-6A game Friday at Burger Stadium. Bowie has played 96 minutes — two full games — before battling the state’s second-ranked 6A team.
“We’re all in the same boat,” Cavalier coach Hank Carter said.
Neither Carter nor Bowie coach Jeff Ables are complaining about their schedules. When the UIL placed them in a nine-team district during its biennial realignment and reclassification of teams in February, they knew their players and coaches would have to adjust accordingly.
By contrast, the Cavs were in a seven-team district the past two years, giving them a schedule that included four non-district games. Bowie was the champion of a six-team district, giving the Bulldogs five non-district games.
“We really don’t look at it like that because it’s something we can’t control,” said Carter, whose Cavaliers have won state titles six of the past 11 years. “We’re not the only ones dealing with with this. Sure, we would have liked to have more (preparation).”
Carter added that his team will have “several tweaks” during the season and won’t be fully in tune until the seventh or eighth week.
Such is the challenge facing Class 6A teams in Central Texas. When 25-6A and 13-6A games kick off this week, the race for the playoffs is on.
Lake Travis was among a group of area teams whose schedule was rocked by storms last week. The Cavaliers (1-0) were unfortunate because they led Mansfield Summit 14-0 with 3:43 left in the first half when the game was scrapped. Officially, the partial game doesn’t exist in the record books.
Hendrickson (1-0) has had less preparation for its district season than Lake Travis. After opening the year with a 56-7 victory over Texarkana, the Hawks never took the field last Thursday as lightning strikes in Pflugerville forced a cancellation.
Westwood (2-0) is coming off two impressive victories — 38-21 over East View and 49-35 over Austin High — but is seeking a defensive identity before tackling Hendrickson on Friday.
Westwood coach Anthony Wood said he prepared for the shortened non-district season by giving extra reps to his first-year varsity players during spring ball.
“Normally teams won’t know what they’re good at or what they need to work on until the third or fourth weeks,” Wood said.
Vandegrift and Cedar Ridge open 13-6A with a blockbuster game on Friday. The Vipers and Raiders have at least one thing in common: both have beaten perennial playoff power Cedar Park during the first two weeks of the season.
But are they ready to play each other?
“I would really like to have had one more game (before opening district),” Cedar Ridge coach Sam Robinson said, whose team escaped the storms in the area and beat the Timberwolves 34-28 last week.
“It got really scary when it looked like we were going to lose that game due weather,” Robinson added. “And having to open up with Vandegrift, that would have been really tough.”
Vandegrift (2-0) has been one of the area’s most impressive teams, particularly on defense. In its two victories the Vipers have given up a total of 25 points.
“Between our scrimmage (against Belton) and these first two games, I think we’re ready for the games that really matter,” Vandegrift coach Drew Sanders said. “We don’t have the luxury of experimenting with different people in different positions. Right now our biggest concern is the quality of our district from top to bottom.”