Lions zone in on Millsap

BRAD KEITH brad.keith@empiretribune.com
Dirk DeVries: diving catch

Dublin turned heads even with a loss in its season opener, as people have lined up to comment on the improvements the Lions have shown.

Sure, they lost 27-7 to longtime rival Hico, but it was much better than the 61-0 thrashing they found themselves on the wrong end of when the teams met one year prior.

But Dublin head coach Bob Cervetto says it was disappointment he saw on his kids' following the game. He also called that a good thing.

"They weren't disappointed to be competitive again, they were excited about that for sure," he explained. "They were disappointed because they had a chance to win a football game and it didn't happen. That's a good thing because we want them to have those expectations - to expect to win when they take the field."

Now, Dublin zones in on Millsap, a team that was shredded 62-7 by Alvord last week. Millsap hosts the Lions at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

"The kids are excited. They know they made strides last week and I'm telling you, we're making big strides this week," Cervetto said. "We've had a great week of work so far and our coaching staff has done a great job of preparing these guys for the opportunity they want so badly to seize."

Cervetto was impressed with his team from many aspects Friday.

"Luis Garcia is an outstanding runner, but on Friday he was an outstanding cornerback and really came up in support against the run," Cervetto said. "I don't think he knows how good a player he can be, but he sure is a great kid.

"Zoey Kendall, just a freshman, stepped up for the first time under the lights and was solid. That's just Zoey, he's a solid individual," Cervetto continued. "His brother Ozzy (Kendall) started both ways at center and defensive end and did a really good job at end against a team in Hico that really likes to get around the ends and go outside. Rudy Rodriguez, our other end, also played well, and so did Michael Williams and Eric Curtoys defensively."

Cervetto said the kids are "bouncing around a little bit because they're so excited to get back out there this week," but also says he hasn't had a problem harnessing that energy.

"The kids are focused on the next opponent. We know this is another challenge and the goal each week is to rise to that challenge and be better than we were the week before," he said. "The kids realize that and they're doing a good job. It's so neat watching them grow."

Cervetto would also find it neat to see his team win for just the second time in what will be his 13th game as Dublin's head coach, but even that he keeps in perspective.

"It would mean what it does to any other team," he said. "You go into each game with a 50-50 chance, and you increase or decrease those chances based on how prepared you are. I feel we're very prepared, and if it goes our way Friday, what it means is that we're doing things right - in our preparation, in our attitude and in our work ethic every day. When those things are all in the right place, that's when you start to really win."

Follow Brad Keith on Twitter @etsports