After a record-setting season in 2007, the Houston Sharpstown team will not settle for just making the postseason in 2008. With a large number of returning starters on both sides of the ball, coach Gary Gutierrez and the Apollo coaching opted out of spring training to get an extra week in the fall.
And according to Gutierrez, it was more than worth it.
“I think in our off season, since we did not have spring ball, our kids are just hungry to get back on the field,” Gutierrez said. “They really want to see what next season will bring. We made big strides this off-season. We are bigger, stronger, and faster I think we have developed a better team chemistry. I’m excited and looking forward to see what the 2008 season brings.”
Last season was monumental for the Apollos team as they finished with an 8-3 overall record and a trip to the Texas state playoffs. Now with that mark in history behind them the Sharpstown football team plans to keep that as it is, history.
The bar has now been raised.
“We went 8-3 last year which is the most in school history in a single season and I think we have done a good job turning around the program here,” Gutierrez said. “But now we feel like we are a lot better than just getting to the first round of the playoffs. For this year, our goals are not just to get in. We want to dance a little bit and I think we are headed in the right direction.”
And Gutierrez has the personnel to do it. One of his key returning starters is quarterback Sam Carter who had a solid sophomore campaign. Carter finished with nearly 2,400 passing yards and another 800 on the ground.
Other key players (to name a few) are wide receivers William Peck and Darius Jones and offensive linemen Chris Pickney and Jojo Davis. And don’t be surprised to see a few new faces as Gutierrez already has a few underclassmen ready to come in and contribute.
“We return a lot of kids. Our quarterback, three of our four receivers, and two starters on the offensive line,” Gutierrez said. “We also have a few underclassman who will step in and do the trick. I think our future will be bright.”
New goals, new attitude, and a new team. What does the future hold for the Apollo team?
“Our goals include making a run at the district championship and get in the playoffs and dance a little bit,” Gutierrez said. “Our kids are always talking about getting to the next level and I think they have worked hard enough to get to that level.”