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Humble seeks redemption for 1-win 2017 despite jump to 6A

July 24, 2018

Editor’s Note: This season preview is the second in a series looking at the seven high schools within the Observer’s boundaries —including Humble, Atascocita, Summer Creek, Kingwood, Kingwood Park, Crosby and Huffman.

Humble faces an uncertain future as one of the state’s smallest Class 6A schools after the recent UIL realignment.

But after enduring another injury-riddled season that included only one win - the fewest in coach Charles West’s first six years - the only certainty is his Wildcats are eager to put the past behind them.

“It’s on to the next one,” West said.

“You can’t live in the past. You’ve got kids to get ready to go, and every year’s a new year. I’m just thankful to Humble ISD for continuing to have faith in me to get the job done. That’s what I’m here to do. I just need to stop having all these injuries happen to my football team, and I’ll be fine.”

West said most of the players slowed by injuries last year graduated, but he does return promising junior center Ryan Suge, who played through a nagging hamstring injury most of last season.

He’s ready for a fresh start, as are the rest of the Wildcats players.

“It’s unfortunate we didn’t get the job done (last year), in getting the victories, but we did a lot of other good things, besides winning ballgames,” West said. “(Now) everybody has a chance. It’s a clean slate. You prepare your kids, get them out there ready to play, and let the chips fall where they may.”

The Wildcats didn’t go through spring practice this year, but they did make strides during 7-on-7 football, and strength and conditioning camp, West said, creating excitement for two-a-days in August.

“A lot of these kids never played varsity football, so now they have a chance,” West said.

They’ll have the chance to play a lot, too.

The Wildcats have only six returning starters (three offense, three defense), and after struggling to stay healthy recently, West plans to prepare as many players as possible to play multiple positions.

“We try to prepare for everything, but you have limited practice time, and a limit to a lot of things, when you do that,” West said. “We’ve just got to prepare them to go out there and do the best they can.”

West expects Isaiah Robinson to put his best foot forward.

The senior rushed for nearly 900 yards last season, West said, and he’ll carry a bigger load for the Wildcats in 2018.

“He’s ready,” West said.

“He’s a great leader, a hard-working young man, very strong and fast, and he’s got great hands.”

Who will he run behind?

That remains to be seen, West said. Most of the candidates to start on the offensive line are coming up from sub-varsity.

“We didn’t go through spring ball, so we’ll have to do some evaluating the first week of practice in the fall,” he said.

The Wildcats return quarterback Chase Pena and wide receiver Justin Lawson.

Pena and junior QB Dexter Wible took turns calling signals this summer, and West said they’ll compete in fall camp.

Juniors defensive tackle Tavian Coleman and linebacker Antonio Singleton lead the defense.

“(Coleman’s) a big body (6-1, 250),” West said. “We don’t get enough of those. And he’s another guy who is going to play both ways. He’s athletic, very good in the trenches, (and) he’s physical.”

Humble scrimmages Klein Cain on Aug. 17 at Klein Memorial, and Channelview and Heights, in a three-way, Aug. 23 at Turner Stadium.

It opens with Northbrook at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, at Tully Stadium.

Then the Wildcats will renew old rivalries and create new ones, with the Pasadena ISD schools, when District 22-6A play begins Sept. 13.

They haven’t seen sister-schools Kingwood or Atascocita since 2009, and haven’t played a Pasadena ISD team since facing Dobie in non-district in 2011 - the year before West took over as head coach.

“I like the tradition,” West said. “Summer Creek was in our district, so we know what they’re about, but I’ve never played Kingwood or Atascocita. But I know there’s a lot of tradition and it’s going to be a lot of fun. The main thing is we want to go out there and get our kids ready to compete.”

Jason McDaniel is a freelance writer who can be reached at jasonrmcdaniel@outlook.com.

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