For a town of just over 7,000 and competing at the class 3A level, Celina has also become a popular destination for college recruiters. Jake Raulerson , who will play at Texas next season, is the latest in the long line of Bobcat players who have earned scholarships.
Celina was under a new coach in 2012 with longtime offensive coordinator Bill Elliott taking over at head coach for the retired Butch Ford. Elliott had a successful season in his first year as a coach, leading the Bobcats to a 10-3 record and Class 3A Division II semi-finals. Leading the charge for his team was his son, sophomore quarterback Nathan Elliott, who appears to be the next big prospect to come out of Celina.
A starter since his freshman year, The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder threw for over 1,600 yards and 19 touchdowns with just 5 interceptions. He also added 500 yards and another 10 touchdowns on the ground in 2012.
Although his team made it to the third round of the playoffs, the younger Elliott feels they could've gone further but has plenty of optimism for next season.
"We did alright, I don't think we did all that we wanted to do but we did achieve a lot of our goals," Elliott said. "We did better than a lot of people would've thought. My dad took over this year as a head coach and it was different, but different in a good way. I think we had a pretty good year with all of the change and I think next year is going to be pretty good for sure."
Elliott was already accustomed with having his dad as a coach, but admits it was even better with him being the main guy in charge.
"It was real cool, there was a little more pressure but pressure isn't a big deal," Elliott said of his dad also being his head coach. "He's always called the plays and talked to me on the sideline, but it was just cool to have the head guy and be able to talk to him about everything at the dinner table. It was a lot of fun."
As a freshman Elliott completed just over 50% of his passes. He increased that mark to nearly 56% as a sophomore. Known more as a runner as a freshman, Elliott made it a point in the off-season to become a better passer in 2012. He looks forward to making more improvements as a junior.
"I would say the passing game, we don't pass the ball as much as other teams do but we really opened it up a lot more and I improved my game over the off-season last year," Elliott said on his biggest area of improvement. "I still need to work on getting my passing game better, my running game is more dominant than my passing game, but I'm going to work on getting that better.
"We're changing the game a little bit because we have good receivers and talent on our team so we're trying to get the ball out a little more. We're going to try to do mainly stuff from the gun and in the pocket."
With recruit interest happening at an earlier rate seemingly every recruiting cycle, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the 2015 prospect is already drawing interest from a few schools.
"For a while there wasn't anything but now it's kind of started after the season ended," he said. "Rice came by and talked to my dad and they want me to come to a camp. Texas A&M is showing quite a bit of interest in me which I think is really cool. A&M seems pretty cool to me. Those are the main two that have showed anything lately."
Over the summer, Elliott was interested in hearing more from TCU, where his father played in the late 80's, and Texas. However, things have been quiet when it comes to the Horned Frogs and Longhorns.
"They haven't showed any interest in my yet and I've never received anything from Texas, I just talk to the coaches when I'm down there," he said.
Although he hasn't received interest from the Frogs, he did pay close attention to them in their inaugural season of the Big 12.
"I thought it was good, I thought it was really cool seeing them finally in the spotlight and people not looking over them because they were in the Mountain West," he said of TCU. "They had a great year and that beat Texas so that's pretty freaking good. I was really impressed with them actually, especially after they lost Pachall and had to use a freshman and he did good. I thought it was a good season and I liked it."
Elliott plans to have a busy summer with camp stops to "every major school" in Texas.
"For sure TCU, Texas and A&M," he said of camps he plans to attend. "Rice too, because they have a satellite camp up in McKinney."