District 7-6A: Enter the Dragon
Oct 02, 2014 01:16PM ● Published by Mike
by EJ Holland
Texas high school football coaches often divide football season into three different seasons.
The first is non-district play. That’s followed by district play which determines if you get to play in the third season — the playoffs. It is time to enter the Dragons into the second season. And while head coach Hal Wasson understands the importance of it, he isn’t approaching it any differently.
“To us, it’s just the next game. We want to keep everything the same,” Wasson said. “The kids know the stakes are higher now, but we want to keep the same mindset and start this thing with a bang.”
Due to UIL realignment, the Dragons are in one of the toughest districts in Class 6A. Along with Southlake Carroll, District 7-6A features Dallas-area powers Euless Trinity, Coppell and Colleyville Heritage, an always-tough Hurst L.D. Bell, Richland Hills and Haltom.
The slate gets started this Friday when the Dragons host Coppell. The Cowboys are 3-2 this season, with wins coming over Hebron, Eastern Christian (MD) and Hurst L.D. Bell. Their two losses of the season came to upstart McKinney Boyd and defending state champion Cedar Hill.
Coppell’s defense has been inconsistent on defense in 2014, and the Dragons are coming off their best offensive performance yet, which means there might be plenty of opportunities to light up the scoreboard. Still, Wasson is worried about Coppell’s physicality in the trenches with monster defensive end Chris Biggurs.
“Abilene is not Coppell. I’m glad we’re improving offensively, but we still have to be more physical,” Wasson said. “I think Coppell has an advantage up front with their size, so playing physical will be key.”
Southlake Carroll quarterback Ryan Agnew missed most of the game against Abilene with an injury but should be ready to roll against Coppell. With Agnew back in the fold, the offense shouldn’t be too much of a concern. But the defense is a different story.
It’s not that Southlake Carroll hasn’t done a serviceable job on that side of the ball, it’s that Coppell features one of the best one-two punches in the state in running backs Charles West and Brandon Rice who have combined to rush for 820 yards this season. And leading the way for them is stud offensive lineman Connor Williams, a Texas commit.
“Coppell is a talented football team with two outstanding running backs,” Wasson said. “We have to tackle. We have to have good technique because if we don’t, it could be a long night. And we can’t give up the big play.”