Collins familiar with new gig
By L. Scott Hainline
Finally, after two seasons in somewhat alien territory, it's Chris Collins' time.
The Clear Creek rising senior had been a quarterback since his pee-wee playing days, but as a sophomore, and because of varsity veterans ahead of him, Collins was asked to display his athleticism at wide receiver.
He started five times at wide out as a sophomore, and all 10 games last season, but now, he's the Wildcats' No. 1 signal caller.
I've been looking forward to this for two years," he said. I'm familiar with the position, but I'm still getting my feet back under me as a quarterback."
The last time Collins started under center he led the Clear Creek freshmen team to an 8-2 finish in 2007.
Collins did a great job in the spring, and the learning curve is not too steep because he's been there before," Clear Creek coach Darrell Warden said. He's such a great athlete, and he proved it at wide receiver, and he never complained."
Collins came out of spring workouts at 6-1 and 185 pounds, but he's determined to get up to 200, or possibly 205.
If I can get there and still run a 4.4 or 4.5 40 (-yard dash), I feel like I'll really be able to make something happen if no one is open," he said. I have confidence in my arm, but I also want to be able to move the ball when I have to run."
Collins got closer with senior wide receivers Tevin Jones and C.J. McElroy, and junior wide out Deion Lewis, in the spring, and he's excited about working with running backs Tad Pierce and Colby Davis over the summer and in fall workouts that begin Aug. 9.
The spring, summer and two-a-days are very important for our team because we have a chip on our shoulder and really want to have a good season," Collins said. I'm not going anywhere this summer, and there's a lot of players who have canceled trips so we can be in the weight room and work together on our own all summer."
Like the offense, the Clear Creek defense is more experienced, and it had several players emerge in the spring like linemen-turned-linebackers Clay Crume and John Payne, and free safety Logan Jentzen.
We started and played a lot of young players last year, including eight or nine sophomores, and the experience we have coming back was evident in the spring," Warden said. There's really no substitute for experience, and it was a big plus to have more in place."
The Wildcats scrimmage once with Hastings, and have Pasadena Memorial, Kingwood and Deer Park before getting into District 24-5A action.
Pearland is in and Ball out in the new 24-5A lineup.
I guess it's better than having them both in there because Ball (dropped to 24-4A) has been very good and always was in the playoff race," Warden said, and Pearland was pretty young last season, but still advanced to the playoffs, and they have to be one of the favorites along with defending champion Clear Springs.
After that, it's a wash and just wide open."
Clear Creek was 4-6 overall and 3-4 in district in 2009 and missed the playoffs for the first time in five seasons under Warden.
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