Dischler, Peeples ready to lead way for Bobcats

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, August 30, 2017

By Ronnie Hughes

Leader Correspondent

ORANGEFIELD — It was a season filled with close games and what-ifs for the Orangefield Bobcats in 2016, finishing, 5-6 overall and 2-2 in District 12-4A Division II. The top spot in the district has belonged to the Mustangs of West Orange-Stark since joining the district, leaving the other three of four post season spots up in the air each season.

The Bobcats would draw the fourth seed last season which pinned them against a number one seed, Bellville Brahmas, in the bi-district round of the UIL playoffs. The Bobcats kept it close, but the Brahmas pulled away in the fourth quarter for the win, leaving the Bobcats hungry to prove themselves in 2017. They’ll rely on a small core of seniors to set the tone, but have a young hard-nose bunch moving up in the ranks ready to make some noise.

First Team All-district strong safety Zach Dischler, will help lead the defense into the 2017 season. His 95 tackles, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries last season is an impressive stat line, but the way he attacks the game is more impressive. Spending hours on film combined with hours in the weight room will translate into success on the field. Dischler knows the importance of film sessions which helps him prepare to read the opposing offense and bark out signals to the rest of the defense. Although putting a notch in the win column each week is the ultimate goal, Zach has goals that reach beyond the 2017 season.

“Bobcat football is built on pride, toughness and representing our school and families well on and off the field,” Dischler said. “I want to leave behind a program my little brother can look at, take pride in and know what he’s inheriting when he gets to varsity.”

Dischler enters his third year as a varsity player in 2017. He will take reps at halfback this season as well which will add to his work load, but not in a way he expects it will hamper his defensive play. He admits he’s embracing the expanded role and is preparing to have his best season yet.

“Everybody has to stay healthy and execute play in and play out,” said Dischler. “As for myself, I must prepare for every scenario, watch my film and what touches I do get on offense I must make a positive impact that moves the ball forward for my team.”

Those touches Dischler will get on offense he will get a boost from senior offensive guard, Michael Teeples, who spent most of last season as a First Team All-District tight end.

The transition to guard in 2017 is a task Teeples is excited to take on. Knowing the guys in the trenches don’t get much recognition on the highlight films, he knows and reminds the rest of the lineman just how important their role is to the success of the team.

“The guys in the trenches are special and have their own thing,” said Teeples. “Game day it’s our job to get the offense into the end zone. Our efforts aren’t highlighted on Friday nights, but it shows on Saturday during film who’s doing their job.”

As a guard Teeples will prepare differently this season, because in head coach Josh Smalley’s offense many of the plays involve a pulling-guard. Teeples answered without hesitation the importance of keeping his legs strong and getting faster so he can lead the way for the running backs.

This younger Orangefield squad will need the leadership of Teeples and Dischler this season to keep the underclassman locked into the game while remaining disciplined. One important player both mentioned as a vocal leader and motivator was Brett Fregia, who they say you’ll never hear complain, always there for the good of the team and he’s humble, but gets the job done while making their jobs easier.