Voss vows fans will see a new Belton in 2008

Belton linebacker Kyle Voss has been one of the top players in Central Texas over the past two seasons. While he has received several individual honors in his career, Voss is determined to get the Tigers to the playoffs in 2008.

Ever since a close playoff loss to Leander High in 2003, there has not been much to cheer about when it comes to the Belton Tigers.

That season a Belton team led by Ramonce Taylor on offense and William Bell on defense helped the Tigers win a district championship. Since then however things have been very bleak in Bell County as the Tigers have not finished above .500 in any of the four seasons since and have also seen a turnover in head coaches.

But if Belton senior linebacker Kyle Voss is correct, then Tiger fans will hopefully be seeing the program turn the corner to greener pastures this fall.

"We're expecting to win, and we're coming to win this season," Voss states enthusiastically. "It's a new Belton, and everyone is going to see a new Belton this year."

The big reason for optimism at Belton High is because of Rodney Southern, who came over from Marshall High last spring to help revive the program. The Tigers went 3-7 in Southern's first season at the helm last fall but with an influx of young talent coming into the program and after installing a tough offseason program, Voss says the Tigers are ready to go to battle this fall.

"It was real, real intense," said Voss of Belton's revamped offseason program. "Coach Southern, he's a great coach and he's changed the whole program. We wouldn't be here right now if it weren't for him."

Where the Tigers were recently as a tribute to the athletes they have in the program was at the 7 on 7 state championships on the campus of Texas A&M in College Station. Though the Tigers fell in the first round of the consolation bracket to Arlington High, Voss and his teammates enjoyed their first trip to the state tournament as they were able to get some good work against some top notch competition.

"This is the first time we've been out here and it's kind of cool," said Voss of the state tournament experience. "There are a lot of good guys out here and there's some real good competition. I'm glad my team got out here."

One of the biggest reasons Belton got to College Station is Voss, who is also one of the biggest reasons for the high hopes Belton has this fall. One of the best linebackers in Central Texas, Voss followed up a sophomore season that saw him take home district newcomer of the year honors with a junior season in which he was a first team all-District selection as he recorded 109 tackles and forced two fumbles.

"I think my speed, athleticism, and my instincts and presence on the field," said Voss about what he feels are his strengths as a player. "I'm working on my strength, but you can always get better at everything as a player. You can never be satisfied."

At 6-feet tall and 215 pounds with solid 4.6 speed and a nose for the ball, it is no surprise that Voss is having several schools interested in his services. Already holding an offer from Texas State, Voss has Baylor and Kansas listed as his biggest suitors with TCU likely to enter the picture soon.

"I'm looking at Baylor, Kansas, Iowa State, Nebraska, and UCLA," said Voss, who also stated that he feels like Baylor and Kansas are close to putting offers on the table. "TCU, they're really close (to offering). I just sent out my spring film and they said they were going to get back to me when the dead period is over."

But before he makes his college choice, Voss will look to help Belton get back to the playoffs in 2008, which would be the icing on the cake to a fine prep career.

"It would mean everything to me because it's everything I've worked for," said Voss about reaching the playoffs. "You see a lot of guys that never make it there but I think we have what it takes to get that extra boost and make it this year."

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