By The Telegram
Taylor Roop, Jace Moore, Dexter Hittle, Anthony Hernandez, Irvine Manriquez, Omar Miramontes, Cory McCurry, Thane Whitham, Jaime Maldando, Miguel Ariza.
The 2008 senior class for the Moscow Wildcats will go down as one of the tops in school history.
Coach Erik Willimon, in his first year at the Wildcat helm, guided this deep and talented Wildcat team to the semifinals of the Eight-Man Division II playoffs before falling 56-46 to eventual runner-up Victoria. Their only other loss came to Eight-Man Division I Santa Fe Trail League rival Deerfield, which went two games into its postseason run.
The 10-2 Wildcats have now departed and in their wake is a young and eager team just waiting to etch their mark into the MHS book.
Willimon can't wait for the new season to begin when the 'Cats open at home against Balko, Okla.
"We are very young," Willimon said. "We only have two seniors on this team so our (underclassmen) must step up for us to be successful."
Two seniors who Willimon will be counting on for leadership are Ismael Flores (6-1, 175) and Dalton Cross (5-9, 160). Flores will be handling kicking duties as well as running back and defensive back. Cross will play on both sides of the ball at line spots.
There is another Roop waiting in the wings, 5-9, 140-pound sophomore Breck, the younger brother of Telegram All-Area selection Taylor, who also made the Top 11 his junior year. Sophomores Ty Herman (5-10, 155), Jonathon Manriquez (5-10, 170), Ozvaldo Granillo (5-11, 170, so.), and juniors Zane May (offensive line), Ray Garcia (6-1, 165,) and Hamid Martinez (5-10, 248) will be the foundation for Willimon to build his team.
"We play to win them all," Willimon said. "This team is capable of making it back to the playoffs, depending on how they develop during the season."
Willimon's multiple front offense makes it difficult to prepare for by an opponent and he plans to utilize multiple defensive formations depending on the opponent.
"We also have a solid freshman class that might see some playing time," Willimon said.