When Celina walked off the turf at Texas Stadium on Dec. 20 in what was the final high school football game ever played at Texas Stadium, the Bobcats had an awfully sour taste in their mouths.
They had just lost to Carthage, 49-37, in the Class 3A Division II state championship game after trailing by as many as 18 points. The loss kept Celina from earning its ninth state championship in school history, which would have added to its state record for championships by a single program.
Now, the Bobcats are back, and will be in search of that elusive ninth championship in 2009. And they'll be considered frontrunners to win the entire thing.
After winning the 2009 Fox Sports Southwest 7-on-7 Division II state championship earlier this month in College Station, the Bobcats are definitely on a bit of a roll. Not that Celina needs any confidence, but winning that tournament will do it, even though no coach tries to pretend it equates to 11-man football in any form or fashion.
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The simple fact of the matter is, this program has had a movie made about it, and that just shows the aura that comes with the Bobcats.
The 2009 edition won't be living off its tradition though. They are a legitimate contender talent-wise.
They return quarterback Cody Worrell, who threw for 1,278 yards and 17 touchdowns last year while rushing for 1,029 yards and 14 scores. He's the odds-on favorite to be the district's most valuable offensive player, but the best player on the team probably is linebacker Caleb Lavey, who stands 6 feet 4 inches, weighs 220 pounds and collected 197 tackles last season.
The Bobcats' district slate will help the Bobcats out in the postseason, as they play in perhaps the best 3A district in the state with 3A Division I state champion Prosper, Argyle and an upstart Sanger team.
They will have to tangle with some great teams deep in the postseason, and will likely end up in the state championship once again against either Carthage or West Orange-Stark. Except this year, I expect Celina to emerge with their ninth title.