99° F Monday, July 24, 2017

Clarence Guidry’s most recent weekend was a probably a good sign that the junior is ready for a heavier workload in his senior season.

After playing 14 innings of baseball on Saturday, Guidry went up to Desoto on Sunday and began his football season. Guidry competed at the VTO Elite 100 Rivals Football Camp and was the Most Valuable Player at the camp.

On Monday, Guidry was back in Pflugerville in full pads taking snaps on offense and defense on the first day of spring football practice.

“It was tiring,” he said with a smile. “Playing baseball from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. — all day, we had two tough losses — and then that next day to have to go to Desoto for that football game …and then coming out here [Monday], not resting up at all … it turned out very well.”

Guidry’s busy weekend is an indication of what the fall could be as the second team all-district running back is expected to be a starter at corner back for the 2013 Panthers squad as well as a dangerous weapon on offense.

“I’m going to be tired, but I have to do what the team needs me to do,” Guidry said. “If we want some wins, I have to play both ways to help the team out.”

Guidry played corner in place of Jay Byrd last season during district play and he said the experience was helpful as he enters spring football this season.

“It helps a lot going against one of the top wide receivers last year [Cedar Ridge’s Raymond Racine] during the district,” he said. “Locking him up, so it helps my confidence. Now it’s my third year on varsity, so I feel like everything is coming in not at a fast pace, but at a normal pace. It feels very well.”

Guidry said he’s excited for the new season and there hasn’t been any troubles switching sports outside of actually ending the baseball season and starting spring football.

“I would love to be practicing with my [baseball] guys right now,” Guidry said of baseball ending. “I love my guys right here and my football team, but I wish we could at least have one or two more weeks in the playoffs. It was bittersweet.

Okafor, Gooden take P’ville to the NFL

Missouri linebacker Zaviar Gooden, University of Texas defensive lineman Alex Okafor and Texas A&M wide receiver Ryan Swope were all taken in the NFL Draft last weekend. Gooden was selected by Tennessee with the final pick of Friday’s third round while Arizona drafted Okafor in the fourth round and Swope in the sixth round on Saturday.

Josh Boyce of nearby Copperas Cove was also drafted. The TCU wide receiver was drafted by New England with the fifth pick in the fourth round, one spot before Arizona drafted Okafor.

Gooden graduated from Pflugerville in 2008 while Okafor belonged to the school’s 2009 graduating class. The two players were teammates on a team that reached the Class 5A, Division II championship game in 2007.

Swope graduated from Westlake in 2009. Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles and Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker played with Swope on Westlake’s 2006 Class 5A, Division I runner-up team and the Chaparrals can also claim New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and Chicago tight end Kyle Adams among their alumni.

Arizona general manager Steve Keim told the Associated Press that Okafor was the athlete the Cardinals were looking for in the draft.

“He’s long, he has good athleticism and a natural knack for rushing the passer,” Keim said.

Okafor played with the Cardinals’ standout linebacker Sam Acho and told the AP that the friendship he has in place will help him.

“It’s great because one of the things you have to transition to in the NFL is making all new friends on the team and getting to know people,” Okafor said. “But I get to come in with a guy that I played two years with and was already a mentor of mine. It’s a perfect situation.”

— Contributing reporting by Danny Davis

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