Texans maturing as playoff contender

Posted Monday, Aug. 19, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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When you come to a football program that has no history, that sometimes means you’re walking into a situation where a malaise is prevalent and forcing folks to get out of their comfort zone isn’t easy.

That’s what Bill Patterson faced when he took over at Northwest in 2009. There wasn’t any doubt Leonard McAngus was popular among the Northwest folks. McAngus’ departure likely was unpopular in some circles. Then, when Patterson’s first team went 0-10 it likely gave the McAngus supporters reason to question the move.

Check three seasons later and the optimism around here likely hasn’t been this high since … well, ever. Northwest has made the playoffs in two of the last three seasons and put together its best season ever as Class 5A school in 2012 at 8-3.

Dare we say, there’s a noteworthy program being developed. Talk of returning to the 2013 postseason isn’t just talk. The Texans plan to be playing the third weekend of November.

“I think a lot of people had to decide whether we were going to be competitive in 5A or if were we going to (just) have a team,” Patterson said. “There’s a difference. I just see situation where our kids have worked hard to get to this point. They have an idea of what it takes to be successful.”

Patterson cites players being more accountable to one another by showing up for weights, going through the summer conditioning program and taking part in 7-on-7. Plus, he didn’t let players be “quasi” players. He didn’t take no for an answer. If he heard flimsy excuses for why a player couldn’t be there, he basically told them they were coming or else.

Patterson has turned around programs at Canyon and at Garland Naaman Forest. Now it’s happening at Northwest, because of consistency. His defensive and offensive coordinators have been with him for the last four seasons.

Patterson’s formula is being religious with strength and conditioning and playing strong defense. That’s not the only way to win, but it’s Patterson’s way. It’s how you deliver the message that makes the impact.

“The way it’s going is that you better have some people come to practice in shape because everybody else is,” Patterson said. “You get your kids believing this the best thing and then a lot of good things can happen.”

2013 Texans

Coach: Bill Patterson (5th season)

2012: 8-3 (6-1 in 4-5A) lost to Arlington Lamar, 37-30, in Class 5A Region I Division II bi-district round

Returning starters: 4 offense, 6 defense

Key returners: WR/RB Emmanuel Moore, DB Sam Jennings, DE Duke Kicinski, DT Joe Gonzales, RB Dennis Adrole, QB/RB/WR Dusty Cloud

Notable: With Draze Lawliss gone at QB, the battle is between junior Jesse Drummond and senior Dusty Cloud. Drummond appears to be more of the starter because Cloud is so versatile. He can play RB, WR and on defense at safety … Moore should be this team’s go-to WR.

The Texans will base defensively out of the 4-2-5 and offensively out of their 2-back. Those have been staples to the program … it will be running back by committee but Patterson is hoping one will emerge. The favorite is Adrole … the defensive line should be the best Northwest has ever fielded, led by Kicinski and Gonzales.

Talent appears to be coming to the program. Patterson estimates as many as 10 freshmen will be on the junior varsity this fall.

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