Pay mild attention to the No. 2 ranking for now if you are a Navarro football fan. Bulldog Coach Brian Mayper knows full well the trepidations the SWJCFC schedule offers over the final seven weeks of the regular season.
All pre-conference results and national plaudits will have to be shoved aside starting Thursday when the Bulldogs visit Cisco at 7:30 p.m. to open the SWJCFC ledger.
“They don’t give us Ws because of our rankings,” Mayper said. “You’ve got to earn every last victory in this conference.
“Look at us last year. We did a really good job at the end of the year, but we let a couple of games get away from us in the middle of the season. I’ve got a couple of examples to use as reminders of how we need to go about our business.”
You can bet he’s already brought up both regular-season losses from 2012 as his team prepares for the annually pesky Wranglers.
“We talk to our players about being humble,” Mayper said. “They cannot be satisfied with what they’ve already done. We stress focusing on ourselves, not on what anybody else is doing in the conference. If we do what we can do, we’re not going to have to worry about anybody else.”
That does not mean the Bulldogs won’t be wary of Cisco, a team they led 28-14 at the half before scoring 28 straight points in the final 30 minutes in last year’s game in Corsicana. Navarro was caught off guard by a reverse pass on the opening play, setting up the game’s first touchdown.
Navarro quickly righted itself, ripping the Wranglers for 658 yards.
Cisco showed a little firepower in a season-opening 38-21 loss to Garden City, gaining 373 yards. But three turnovers, combined by woeful 33 percent passing (14 of 42), prevented the Wranglers from mustering much of a challenge to Garden City.
Quarterback Jacorey McQueen, a talented dual threat transfer from Midwestern State, was only 5 of 24 for 157 yards and two scores against Garden City.
Sophomore Jared Mapps is the most talented of the receiving corps, catching a 73-yarder from McQueen and averaging 42.3 yards on three receptions.
“(Cisco) is very similar to us offensively,” Mayper said. “They are going to try to work with a fast tempo and maybe spread it out a little more than we do. Defensively, they pretty much mirror what we do as well, so they’re No. 1s will be going against each other all week.
“And I wouldn’t be surprised to see them open up with a gimmick play of some sort like last year. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit.”
Based on how the Bulldogs defeated No. 6 Hutchinson (41-16) two weeks ago, there probably aren’t too many things they cannot handle.
After giving up the final 10 points of the first half to allow Hutchinson to close within 28-16, the Bulldog defense went into shutdown mode. Spurred by the sterling play of Waco Midway freshman linebacker Chrishard Buhl, Navarro’s defense shut down a potent Hutchinson offense.
“I went in at halftime and told them, ‘you have to shut them out in the second half,’ and I was extremely pleased with the way they played,” Mayper said.
“(Buhl) is really a smart kid and a disciplined player. You don’t have ask him or tell him anything twice and you can go into more depth with him about what you are trying to do on defense.”
Mayper has seen the same thing in uber-efficient quarterback Josh Greer, who has completed 63 percent of his passes and managed a run-heavy start to the season.
“Josh is one of the best quarterbacks in the conference,” he said. “I’d argue that he’s the most disciplined quarterback in the conference. He’s smart, knows our offense and he’s going to continue to be a major part of our offense moving forward this season.”
That’s not something the rest of the league wants to hear.
Navarro football: Bulldogs, who remain No. 2 in the national poll after their bye week, open conference play in Cisco
Area schedule for the week
Here's a look at this week's schedule for Golden Ciircle teams and Navarro College. The schedule does not include upcoming bi-district playoff games in softball because times and sites have yet to be determined.
GC Baseball/Softball: Blooming Grove sweeps Rice in baseball and softball
Blooming Grove's Lions needed this one.
Heck, they need all of them.
That's where they're living today on the Blooming Grove diamond, where everyone knew going into Friday's game with Rice that the Lions need to win their final three games to have a chance of nailing down the final playoff spot in District 23-2A.
One down, two to go.
“It's in our hands,'' said Blooming Grove Coach Matt Anderson moments after his kids beat Rice 8-0 Friday night. “As long as we take care of our business we'll be fine.''
GC Softball/Baseball Roundup: Frost girls win district title
Frost's Lady Polar Bears needed to win to nail down the district title and they never trailed, jumping out to a 7-0 lead en route to an 11-7 clinching victory over Itasca Friday on the road. They wrapped up their second district title in a row with a 9-1 record and enter the playoffs next week at 13-1.
CHS Baseball/Softball: Whitehouse sweeps Tigers in baseball and softball
The Tigers lost a tough game to Whitehouse, 11-3 as the Wildcats' ace, Pat Mahomes, who went four innings and gave up all three runs on two hits and five walks
GC Basketball/Baseball: Mildred's Connor Hill sees life clearly
There was never any doubt for Connor Hill, never any question about what he would do or how he would do it.
Sure, there was that meeting with his mother and father and talks with the doctor when he was 10, talks and meetings that came accompanied with worry and concern.
But never from Connor.
He just never dwelled on the fact he played sports with one eye. He didn't worry or talk about it when he was 10 and he never talked about it at Mildred High, where Hill emerged as a star on the basketball court and baseball diamond.
GC Track & Field: Roundup — Frost girls win area meet
The Frost Lady Polar Bears made a shambles of their district track & field meet last week, scoring 206 points, and they were dominate again in the area meet Thursday, scoring 162 points to win the meet at Blooming Grove.
Morgan:The new endangered species
Am I just that old, or have amateur athletics gone absolutely nuts these days? On second thought, don’t answer that unless it’s yes to the nuts part.
High School and college basketball are on the verge of being totally ruined by AAU basketball. Top roundball prospects are identified by the junior high level if not earlier.
GC Track & Field: Area meet Roundup
Corsicana's Gilfillan wins 4A area pole vault title; Frost girls win 1A area team title, Frost boys finish second
GC Baseball: Mildred falls to Riesel, 9-0, on the road
Mildred managed a hit and struck out 12 times in a 9-0 loss on the road that could have given the Eagles some cushion in the 23-2A standings. They are now 5-6 with a game at league-leading Teague Tuesday.
CHS Soccer: Tigers boys and girls top off season with strong showing on All-District teams
That tough and gutsy style of play sent both the boys and girls teams into the playoffs and on Thursday the Tigers were rewarded again for their fine seasons as two boys won special honors,four boys were named to the All-District first team and two girls earned first-team honors.
Michael Roman, who did a little of everything — and did it well — was named the District 28-4A Utility Player of the Year, and sophomore defender Jesus Barreto was named the district's Newcomer of the Year.
- More Sports Headlines
- Area schedule for the week