At Woodrow Wilson High School this year, Head Coach Damon Miller and coaches Ron Elliott and Paul Bozarth are looking forward to rebuilding their football team after last season’s 2-8 record.

This is Miller’s second year in charge. Formerly the team’s defensive coordinator, he helped guide the Wildcats to the District playoffs in 1991.

This season will give Miller a chance to implement more of his ideas, building on a transitional phase from last season, says Bozarth, Woodrow’s varsity secondary/receivers coach. The thrust of this year’s game plan will be a return to basics and a concentration on more solid defensive coverage, Bozarth says.

Bozarth says Miller adds a positive, fun attitude to the game.

“He’s always telling the kids that football should be fun, athletics should be fun, and I think the kids appreciate that,” Bozarth says.

Having to rebuild the team is partly due to the fact that many of Woodrow’s key players graduated last year, making way for what Bozarth describes as a “core nucleus” of new players from junior varsity.

The Wildcats are minus 22 seniors, including tight end Aaron Sherman, center Chris Hendricks, guard Jose Cordova and wide receiver Duke Barnes.

Nonetheless, Elliott says the slew of promising new players will make for a stronger team. Sophomore team members include receivers Tim Moore, David Garcia and Steven Smith; and guard Erik Cordova, Jose’s brother.

These new players will find support from senior Wildcats such as tackle Ward Richmond, linebacker Jason Powell and guard Pat Hendricks.

“We won’t know who the quarterback will be probably until we step on the field at our first game,” Elliott says. “We have three contenders: Damien Irving, Ron Taylor and John Pedigo.”

While anticipating a tough season – eight of the team’s 10 scheduled opponents are playoff contenders – Elliott predicts an interesting and fun season.

“A lot of it is going to be based on how fast these guys can mature,” Elliott says. “They’ve got a lot of growing to do, being such a young team, but they’re high-spirited and they seem up to it.”

“We’re going to be a little short on speed and strength, but we’ve got a lot of enthusiasm,” Bozarth says. “And that goes a long way; just look at the Rangers. If we can be competitive this season, it’ll be a good year.”

“We want to concentrate on building a strong nucleus of the team, like in ’91.”

The Wildcats play their first game Sept. 5 against the Athens Hornets in Athens.

News & Notes

BOY SCOUTS REGISTRATION: The Boy Scouts will recruit new members at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 31 during School Night for Scouting. The Circle Ten Council of the Boy Scouts will send representatives to all DISD elementary schools to sign up new scouts and answer parents’ questions. For information, call 637-1480.

PTA RECRUITS MEMBERS: Lakewood Early Childhood PTA, an organization for mothers of pre-school children and infants, is holding two events for prospective new members. On Aug. 18, the PTA hosts a Mom’s & Kid’s Pool Party at 7140 Brookcove from 3-6 p.m. On Sept. 7, there is a Decadent Dessert Party at 6523 Lakewood Blvd. from 7-9 p.m. Parents interested in joining the PTA can get information at these events. To attend, call 821-6836 or 826-6862.

PTA PARTY: Stonewall Jackson Elementary’s Early Childhood PTA holds a Membership Kick-Off Party Aug. 26 at 9:30 a.m. on the school’s playground, Delmar and Anita. Membership is open to parents with children five years old and younger, regardless of school boundaries. For information, call Liz Glenn at 827-9281.

BACK TO SCHOOL: DISD students on a traditional calendar return to school Aug. 14. Students at year-round schools began class last month. Pre-kindergarten students, who must be at least four years old on or before Sept. 1, register Aug. 14-18 and begin class Aug. 21. Kindergarten students must be at least five years old on or before Sept. 1 and will be released at noon Aug. 14-18, beginning full-day classes on Aug. 21.

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.