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Tag: Hank Carter

NY Jets select former Lake Travis WR Garrett Wilson in the 1st Round of NFL Draft

With the 10th overall pick (acquired from the Seattle Seahawks) in the 2022 NFL draft The New York Jets to select Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson. The former Cavs Star will be a big target for franchise quarterback Zach Wilson in the 2022 season. On the small end as a wide a wide receiver at six feet and 183 pounds Wilson caught eight of his 13 targets that were deemed “contested” in 2021, per Pro Football Focus. With Wilson ability to his ball tracking, strong hands, timing and ability to react on the the ball, and his agility is a total package for any NFL QB!

Ohio State receiver Garrett Wilson plays against Cincinnati during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)


Jets fans will come to know what Lake Travis Cavaliers faithful have seen in the central Texas area 4 years ago with Garrets exciting play making ability, the Big Apple has something to cheer about on Sundays. Congratulations to the Wilson family.

#5 Garrett Wilson rushes for yards in Title Game in 2016.

High School Football: A Texas Tradition

A former South Texas sports editor who had recently moved to the Lone Star State from Arizona stepped into the press box on an idyllic Friday night and sat awestruck as the scene overwhelmed him.

Both sides of the bleachers were packed to the gills, and marching bands in full regalia took their designated place in the stands as cheerleaders, twirlers and dance team members spilled onto the field in single file.

Members of the student spirit crew exchanged gifts at midfield prior to the coin toss, but even before the kickoff, it was clear the young man was busy taking in every aspect of the scene unfolding below. 

“I guess Texas high school football is everything they say it is,” he remarked.

More reports came in from him over the coming months as he got a true taste of the state’s passion for all things gridiron-related. It was enough to realize that something most writers and fans take for granted is truly extraordinary.

And it wasn’t even the playoffs yet.

Yes, it’s that magical time of year when the match-ups become even more meaningful. Legends are born in the postseason, and if your team is lucky enough to capture a state championship, a small piece of immortality comes along with it.

Perhaps Liberty Hill head coach Jeff Walker said it best when he remarked, “Teams to remember play in December.”

Besides doing his best Dr. Seuss impersonation, Walker knows what it takes to run the gauntlet known as the playoffs. So does Lake Travis’ Hank Carter, for that matter.

Those coaches know that the postseason has its own mystique, and that no opponent is to be taken lightly. Since the format expanded to take four teams per district, there have been some memorable upsets every season. It’s unavoidable given the fact that 692 do-or-die games are played during the span of one postseason.

Just last season, Richardson Pearce, a 36-point underdog, took down Cedar Hill in the first round.

Forget March Madness. These are the real bracket busters.

As the final few Austin-area teams continue their march toward glory, the weather will turn colder and the smack talk on message boards throughout the state with undoubtedly heat up. It’s like Christmas come early, except without the cheap gift from your least favorite aunt.

So no matter how your favorite college or pro team is faring at the moment, keep an eye on the biggest ongoing tournament in the state. Who knows? The next Vince Young, Baker Mayfield or Drew Brees could very well be on their way to AT&T Stadium to compete for one of the state’s biggest prizes.

LT Cavs won the State Title in December of 2016 at AT&T Stadium. Photo Texas Sports Monthly

When the smoke has finally cleared, a dozen teams will remain standing. When the postseason began, that number was 704.

So good luck to those still attempting to hoist a state championship trophy in Arlington. And to those who have already moved on to the next sport?It’s only eight more months until two-a-days arrive.

Lake Travis face S.A. Madison in Area Round

AUSTIN — It’s common knowledge that Lake Travis spent the latter portion of the season trying to work through an injury to starting quarterback Hudson Card.

Thankfully for the Cavaliers, senior middle linebacker Maui Trevino is still there to command the other side of the ball. 

Head coach Hank Carter’s team kicked off the 2019 postseason by stifling Smithson Valley 21-3 at home on Friday, Nov. 15 in Austin. In that game, Lake Travis surrendered an early field goal to the Rangers but absolutely clamped down on the visitors for the remaining three quarters.

Trevino was in the middle of the action all night and helped slow Smithson Valley’s not-so-secret weapon — senior running back/wide receiver Greg Eggleston, who came into the contest averaging 11.7 yards per touch.

The Cavs limited the Rangers’ X-factor to just 15 yards on 12 carries, while Trevino piled on 10 total tackles to bring his team-leading season total to 91 prior to Lake Travis’ second-round matchup with San Antonio Madison.

“Maui is the leader of our defense,” Carter said.  “He’s a three-year starter and embodies everything you want from  a middle linebacker. He’s smart, tough, instinctive and is a great tackler. I’m proud of the player that he’s become and he’s a huge part of our success this season.”

Of course, there were still plenty of eyes fixed on Lake Travis junior Nate Yarnell, who took over for Card during the week leading up to the Del Valle game. Yarnell went 3-0 in the last three weeks of District 25-6A competition, but it was unknown if the playoffs would prove to be a stumbling block.

However, the 6-foot-6 junior stood tall when it counted and helped turn the tide with a pair of touchdown drives in the second quarter. The first was capped by a 34-yard strike to Grayson Sandlin, while the second was an 81-yard march that saw Yarnell cover the final few feet on a 1-yard run.

“Nate did a lot of good things,” Carter said. “He made some big throws and runs when we needed them. He’ll continue to improve as he gets more games under his belt.”

The offense was also given a boost by running back Weston Stephens, who churned out 160 yards on 27 carries to help the Cavs keep the chains moving. 

Defensively, Trevino received additional support from defensive back D.J. Johnson and defensive end Trey Sofia. Johnson shadowed Eggleston all night, while Sofia caused a key fumble to help preserve the Cavaliers’ 14-3 halftime edge.

All of those players will be instrumental as the postseason rolls on. 

Lake Travis faces a matchup with Madison in the second round and will look to slow the Mavericks’ one-two punch of quarterback Michael Garza (1,801 total yards, 23 TDs) and running back Darien Gill (1,131 yards, 10 TDs).

There’s also hope that Card could return at some point down the line if the Cavs can keep on advancing. His prognosis, which initially stated that his injury required season-ending surgery, was changed to a four- to six-week timetable days after the Westlake game. It’s not known if Card will be healthy enough to get back on the field before he makes the move to the University of Texas, but even if he’s unable to return in 2019, Trevino and the defense will be ready for whatever comes their way.

Cavs smash Maroons 63-0

Everywhere you look in Cavalier Stadium six silver stars appear, each one representing a State Championship. Lake Travis came into the season looking to add their seventh star. To do this head coach Hank Carter says they will take it one game at a time. With their sights set on another championship the Lake Travis Cavaliers faced off against the Austin High Maroons in the third divisional game of the season.

The eruption from the Lake Travis tunnel could be heard and felt. The entire team was inside the iconic helmet tunnel jumping and shooting with a ferocity that would intimidate any opponent. After coming off a tough loss against Westlake, Austin High had another uphill battle against the Lake Travis Cavaliers. Ultimately Lake Travis walked away with a shutout victory winning 63-0 over the Austin High Maroons. Offensively Lake Travis dominated this game in both the ground and air totaling 770 yards.

Lake Travis had the ball to start the game, looking to seize the momentum early the Cav’s quickly picked up a first down. It got harder from there as Lake Travis would throw three straight in-completions resulting in the punter taking the field on 4th down.

Austin matched Lake Travis’ drive by picking up a first down but eventually stalling out. After Quarterback Charles Wright had quick-kicked the ball Austin had started winning the field position battle as they almost put Lake Travis on their own 1-yard line.

Despite bad starting field position Lake Travis placed together a steady drive working their way downfield. After the first three plays of the drive were runs; senior quarterback Hudson Card came back with a 17-yard strike off the RPO to Kyle Eaves setting Hudson Card up for another big throw down the right sideline. Running Back Marcelo Alanis capped off the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run to put the first points on the board.

Following another punt from Austin, Lake Travis put together another methodical drive downfield, including a big 26-yard pass from Hudson Card to Grayson Sandlin. The drive was capped off with a 15-yard touchdown run by Wesley Erving.

One thing that worked all day for Lake Travis was the quarterback roll out. Numerous times the Lake Travis offensive line allowed opposing defensive linemen inward to the pocket while Hudson Card rolled out and delivered a perfect throw for a big gain. This was the go-to concept for Lake Travis as they primarily pulled it out on key 3rd downs.

On Austin’s third offensive possession they drove downfield, including a big 15+ yard run by running back Grayson Davis as well as a wide receiver screen to captain Colby Kalbacher to pick up a first down. Austin had finally gotten past the halfway point and now they were on the Lake Travis 31 yard line. With the end-zone in site, Austin’s center mishandled the ball leading to a fumble and recovery by Lake Travis. This ended the drive and put Lake Travis in yet another good spot to score.

For the rest of the half, Austin was not able to pass midfield but Lake Travis was able to score touchdowns including a 20-yard touchdown pass from Hudson Card to senior receiver Grayson Sandlin, a 15-yard touchdown pass on a roll out to Kyle Eaves and their biggest play of the half when wide receiver Grayson Sandlin broke a short slant for a 50-yard touchdown, his third so far. It was safe to say that the Lake Travis passing attack could not be stopped as they totaled 499 yards through the air. Despite all of this scoring Austin’s defense did come big on a forced and recovered fumble to stop Lake Travis.

Going into halftime Austin needed to improve their big play ability. Something that they had been great at all year was haunting them throughout the first half. One of the reasons that they often stalled out near midfield was they were not able to generate big plays. This was the deciding factor in the game. If Austin was able to generate more big plays they would have found themselves in closer competition.

Offensively, the second half was not much better for Austin as they once again stalled near midfield allowing Lake Travis to start chewing clock. Lake Travis hit a big 52-yard passing touchdown on just their 3rd play of the half, on this one Hudson Card connected with Kyle Eaves essentially putting the game away.

Lake Travis slowed their offense down as they put second string quarterback Nate Yarnell in. They also slowed down the tempo trying to run the clock out and claim another victory. The Cavaliers are now 3-0 in district play and 4-1 in the regular season.

Coach Hank Carter had this to say when asked which player he thought had a breakout game, “That’s a good question – I think several, Grayson Sandlin made an awesome run after the catch, this is something we have been working on with him and wanting to see him do. I also think Weston Stephens had a great game as well as Gary Gordon.”

Lake Travis walked away with another win, once again they look like divisional favorites. Lake Travis has a favorable matchup against the Lehman Lobos next Friday and then what we are all waiting for, the Battle Of The Lakes! Lake Travis vs Westlake on Oct 11th. Austin has a must-win matchup with Del Valle this Thursday that could determine the playoff contenders.

Cavs lose week 1 but not out History Shows

AUSTIN — When a team as good as Lake Travis drops its season opener, it’s always going to become statewide news.

But does that mean that head coach Hank Carter’s Cavaliers are in for a rough go in 2019? A quick look at the history books offers a resounding no to that inquiry.

In fact, the last two times that Lake Travis opened a season at 0-1 under Carter — in both 2016 and 2017 — Lake Travis ended up playing for a Class 6A state championship on both occasions. Each season-opening loss came against perennial powerhouse Converse Judson.

Following a 35-28 setback against Judson to kick off the 2016 campaign, Carter and the Cavs responded by embarking on a 15-game winning streak that led to the program’s sixth state title. A year later, Lake Travis lost 65-45 to the Rockets in a shootout but managed to bounce back by advancing to yet another championship game.

In the end, the Cavaliers fell short of a seventh title, as Allen prevailed 35-33 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

It was another DFW-area team — Arlington Martin — that knocked off Lake Travis in the 2019 debut for both teams. Martin struck for three scores in the second half to break open a tie game and secure a 35-14 triumph.

It was just the second non-district regular season loss for the Cavaliers in the past three seasons combined. However, there’s no need for panic among the Lake Travis faithful.

The Cavs are still loaded offensively with Texas commit Hudson Card at quarterback and talented skill players such as wide receiver Kyle Eaves, tight end Lake McRee and running back Weston Stephens around him. Defensively, linebackers Maui Trevino and Nick Villarreal will look to help tighten a few screws after Martin quarterback Zach Mundell broke loose for 176 rushing yards and three scores in the opener.

Give Martin some credit as well. It’s not like Lake Travis lost to an upstart team or even a fringe playoff contender. From 2010 to 2017, Martin won 10 or more games six different times and was expected to compete for a state championship last season before limping to a disappointing 5-6 finish.

One of those losses was a 35-14 setback against the Cavaliers in the 2018 opener.

So while Martin exacted a bit of revenge and has the solid start it was after to 2019, it would be extremely foolish to write off Lake Travis or expect a down season from Carter and company.

The smart bet is that the Cavaliers will right the ship before District 25-6A play arrives and still end up playing past Thanksgiving once the playoff arrive. If that’s the case, the loss to Martin will be nothing more than a footnote — and also another example of why Lake Travis is one of the premier programs in Texas.