The season started out a little rough for Crete, the Cardinals
losing four of their first five. Of course, those four losses came to
teams which came into the season ranked in the top five in Class B. And
all of them would eventually finish the season ranked up there as well.
So, for a young team in Crete, this was a murderer’s row of sorts.
Crete found its legs, so to speak, the team finding an identity on
offense as junior Brock Sherman turned out to be that all-purpose type
player, getting anywhere from 30 to 40 touches per game.
his fellow junior teammate, offensive lineman Ryne Reeves, it was about
this time the team starting coming around. “Yeah, we just found our
identity, I guess you could say. I know Brock was getting around 200 or
so yards per game during that run.
That run lasted five
games and put them all the way into the quarterfinals of the playoffs
before they would lose their second game of the season to Omaha Skutt,
which finished second in the state to Aurora.
that streak Ryne had some additional good news as he found out in
October that he was invited along with around 500 kids from around the
country, to attend the Junior All-American Combine in San Antonio.
didn’t take long for Ryne to decide on going, because it was a chance
for him to do what he always wants to do. “It’s just about facing the
best,” Ryne said. “There were some big guys like a lineman from
Louisiana and another big one from Ohio. Then there was James Wilder,
that linebacker/defensive end from Florida.
rated as one of the best defensive ends in the country for the class of
2011, Wilder, who comes in at around 6-2 and 220 pounds, is more a
linebacker than he is someone who will be looked at to be constantly on
During the one-on-ones, which Ryne said
weren’t nearly as good as they would have been had they been allowed to
wear pads, there’s only so much Reeves, who comes in at around 80
pounds bigger than Wilder, could do to keep him from getting that edge.
“Oh yeah, he beat me. But it’s hard when you aren’t going in pads, and
he’s a lot smaller than I was. But I liked going against him, because
it gives you a window into what it’s going to be like at the next
level,” he said.
One particular thing Reeves said he
was happy with were the times he posted in testing. That’s usually not
something most kids like, especially down at the Alamo Bowl, where some
equate running on that surface to running on a thick sponge. But with a
reported shuttle time of 4.9 and a 40 time which Reeves believes was a
5.0 or lower, that’s a nice start to the calendar year.
going to be a year Reeves is looking forward too, because his football
team, which was laden with young talent, now finally looks at this
season, knowing they will have no less than nine starters coming back
on each side of the ball. “And there were guys who got lots of time
besides them. So, we have a really good team coming back,” Reeves added.
was the only team which finished the season with five losses and still
managed to find itself ranked in the top 10. Point of fact, they
finished ranked sixth in all of Class B. Reeves sees the work ahead and
knows there’s no letting up now. But he’s definitely excited about the
future. “We have to keep working hard, but I think everyone is excited
about the year coming up. We have experience and a lot of good
players,” he said. “It’s just about making yourself better and doing
the work. If you do that, good things can happen.”