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Cash's on-the-money deliveries paying dividends for China Spring

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DJ Ramirez, Chad Conine and Brice Cherry get together every week to chat about high school football.

One can never tell what the future holds but sometimes your destiny writes itself for you.

And with a name like Cash Davis McCollum how could you not expect a 6-foot, 4-inch, 210-pound quarterback with a slingshot for an arm.

“You know the movie ‘Bull Durham’,” explained Michael McCollum, Cash’s father and an assistant football coach at China Spring High School. “The guy’s name is Crash Davis and I wanted to name him Crash Davis, but my wife said ‘No, we can’t name him Crash.” So I said, ‘How about we take the ‘R’ out. Let’s call him Cash Davis.’”

Unlike the cocky, jaded veteran catcher played by Kevin Costner, Cash’s confidence is subtle — collected. He’s cool under pressure.

“I just try to stay calm, not try to get too hyped up or too slow,” Cash said. “I try to speed up the process throughout the first drive. The second drive, I try to get more rowdy and hyped.”

His father echoed the sentiment, noting his son is pretty calm off the field as well.

“He doesn’t get too rattled even at home,” Michael said. “He stays pretty calm and I see that on Friday nights as well when the bullets start flying and people are coming at him. He does a good job of trying to keep his cool.”

Having family in the area and being a Robinson High graduate, it made sense for Michael and his family to return to Central Texas and take the job at China Spring. But even though Cash was the starting QB his sophomore year at Wimberley, that didn’t mean he was just going to fill in for the Cougars. He wanted to earn it.

“I just wanted to compete and build relationships with all of my teammates while I tried to work for the starting job,” Cash said.

Although he hasn’t been at China Spring very long, it became clear early on that he would be the guy for the job.

“We already had a guy kind of in that position, and we just wanted to see him compete,” said China Spring head coach Tyler Beatty. “Talking to Coach McCollum, (Cash) didn’t want to be given the job. He wanted to work for it. He came out and was here in the summer, building relationships with those receivers, and it was evident, more so from the receivers saying, ‘This is our dude.’”

Experience is something that can’t be replicated or practiced and Cash’s time at Wimberley is something that has made him effective at China Spring. In four games he’s completed 65 of 99 passes, throwing for 1,025 yards and 11 touchdowns, giving up just three interceptions. Although he didn’t have to do much running prior to joining the Cougars, that doesn’t mean he won’t take off when he’s asked to. He’s posted 27 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown.

But entering a program fresh off a state championship to fill in a role previously held by the Super Centex and DC’s Texas Football Player of the Year can’t be easy. But Cash doesn’t have to be Major Bowden.

“Major was an incredibly gifted athlete and he had the ability to throw and obviously he was able to run exceptionally well,” Beatty said. “Where Cash is able to kind of counterbalance that is he’s able to distribute the football. We don’t have to rely on a 40-yard pass every time because of the athletes we have on the perimeter. We can get it to the edge or hand it to Kyle (Barton) to kind of alleviate a quarterback having to run.”

In his short time with the Cougars, Cash has allowed his ability to speak for him and with time, Beatty hopes his leadership becomes more vocal the more he builds those relationships he’s established within the team.

“Most of his leadership has come through his actual ability,” Beatty said. “And you know, whenever that time is that we start offseason, he’ll get an opportunity to become a vocal leader and really help out. We hope over the course of the season he starts to get comfortable in that and starts to demand some things out of his teammates that they aren’t necessarily getting out of the other leaders right now.”

One can never tell what the future holds, but for Cash McCollum there will certainly be a football involved. Having grown up on the sidelines as his dad is currently in his 20th year of coaching, the sport is something he was born into.

“You can never tell how kids are going to turn out,” said Michael McCollum. “He’s been around football games since he was two months old. …He just loves to be out there, playing the game of football. If he’s not out here, he’s at home throwing a football or constantly just watching the game just because he enjoys the game.

“It’s been nice to see him kind of grow up a little bit. And so far he’s doing well and I’ve been proud of everything that he’s done so far.”

• China Spring is a pretty incredible story, winning state last year for the first time since 1978. That team produced nine first-team Super Centex players, seven of which are gone, including Texas Football and Super Centex POY Major Bowden. How have the No. 2-ranked Cougars, sitting 4-0, been able to maintain this championship-caliber team? DJ Ramirez, Chad Conine and Brice Cherry get together every week to chat about high school football.

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