Cedar Creek wrapped up spring football a few weeks ago playing Red River in the spring game in Coushatta.
First year head coach Steven Ensminger said he was pleased with what he saw from a Cougars squad that returns the nucleus of last year’s team that posted a 6-5 record and earned a spot in the Division IV playoffs.
Ensminger said he felt his team got everything it could out of the game
“We went into it with only about a quarter of our offense installed,” said Ensminger. “We didn’t really want to do too much. I just wanted to see them compete. I just wanted to see us get after it. I just wanted to see them hit somebody other than ourselves.
“We competed and were able to do some good things. We got a lot of open receivers. There is a lot of individual stuff we can clean up this summer while we are also doing summer workouts. But overall, I thought they responded and bought in. I think this year could be really special.”
Creek lost only three seniors off of last year’s team and returns the majority of its playmakers in 2022. The Cougars were a stellar defensive unit in 2021, setting numerous program records along the way. Ensminger saw signs of what made the Cougars so good under defensive coordinator Mark Ware.
“They are incredible,” Ensminger said. “The first half of the game was (scripted). We went 12 plays, 12 plays, 10 plays, 10 plays. The second half we played a true half of football. That’s when I wanted to see if we could keep up.
“And our defense was able to make a lot of plays. I thought the pass rush was great. I thought the secondary played well even though we were missing some guys. Overall, I thought they competed and did a great job.”
On the offensive side of the football, Creek returns quarterback Caden Middelton who is coming off a record-setting year where he broke the single season touchdown passes mark for the Cougars.
“Caden (Middleton) played well,” said Ensminger. “We haven’t had a lot of time to work one on one yet. We talked about doing a lot of individual stuff over the summer. He is a special player for us and we will lean on him. He is going to be the one who runs the show.
“I think the (offense) competed. We were able to get open a lot. We had a lot of missed assignments, but I knew that would happen. I just wanted them to go out and play fast. As I told them, I am going to mess up sometimes too. They are going to mess up, but I want them to mess up going full speed.”
Ensminger said the Cougars would begin four days a week of lifting and conditioning starting Monday. They are allowed to do 7-on-7 work and wear helmets, although pads aren’t allowed during the summer.
“We will continue to work on some install,” he said. “I am making them a playbook. We will give them some tests on the playbook. I just want to make sure we are all learning it. Once we get closer to the fall, we will have a little football school where we focus on rules, technique, details. I have a lot of things planned for the summer. It will be a grind but it will be a lot of fun.”
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