7-6A District Breakdown (part 1)
Aug 25, 2015 03:35PM
● By Dia
IV Seacat, Robert Barnes, Jake Oldroyd, Obi Eboh and Grant McFarlin stand guard of the Dragon end zone. Photo by Bludoor Studios
By EJ Holland
Southlake Carroll head coach Hal Wasson never showed any signs of stress.
Sure, there was reason to be worried — due to the UIL’s realignment, the Dragons were placed in one of the toughest districts in the state. But Wasson and his team remained calm, cool and collective en route to capturing their fourth straight district title.
But the road won’t get any easier in 2015. Perennial contenders Euless Trinity, Coppell and Colleyville Heritage bring back a number of talented players and are ready to dethrone the Dragons.
Meanwhile, L.D. Bell, Richland and Haltom all feel like they have something to prove in what should be another competitive year in District 7-6A. Here is a closer look at each of the teams vying for the district title.
Southlake Carroll — Tradition matters at the high school level, and there is no doubt Southlake Carroll has plenty of it. The Dragons can always be counted on to make a deep run in the playoffs, and this year is no different. But Southlake Carroll must first find its answer under center. Mason Holmes has earned the starting quarterback job and the upstart junior has has the luxury of handing the ball off to one of the best ball carriers in the Dallas-area — senior Lil’ Jordan Humphrey As a junior, Humphrey rushed for more than 1,800 yards and was one of the state’s biggest breakout stars. Zach Farrar gives the Dragons a big play weapon at wide receiver. He caught 29 passes for 554 yards and three touchdowns in his first year at the position. The Dragons are extremely young on defense. Senior cornerback Obi Eboh, a highly touted recruit, is the only returning starter and will have to step up as the leader of the unit. Head coach Hal Wasson believes consistency on both sides of the ball will be the key to success in 2015.
Euless Trinity — Euless Trinity is still one of the Dallas-area’s biggest powerhouses. But the Trojans will be missing a key piece to the puzzle this season. Iconic head coach Steve Lineweaver, 68, retired after 15 years with the program. Lineweaver posted a remarkable 175-29 record at Trinity and helped lead the Trojans to three state titles. Trinity promoted veteran offensive coordinator Chris Jensen to head coach shortly after Lineweaver’s departure, so don’t expect much to change. The Trojans still plan to run the ball down their opponents’ throats out of the I-formation with dual-threat quarterback Tyler Natee and highly touted running back Ja’Ron Wilson, who rushed for 1,791 yards and 22 touchdowns last season. Trinity is known for having a beefy offensive line, but the unit returns just one starter in Latu Maile. Defensively, the Trojans will be extremely young. Just two starters return in their base 4-3 defense. But one is monster defensive lineman Chris Daniels, one the state’s most sought after recruits. At 6-foot-3, 300 pounds, Daniels recorded 45 tackles and seven sacks last year and currently holds offers from Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and others. Trinity will have to grow up early and adapt to life without Lineweaver, but the Trojans are always a threat to win the district title.
Coppell — Defenses in District 7-6A can breathe a sigh of relief. Stud running back Charles West, one of the most electrifying running backs in the state if not the country, is gone due to graduation and so is most of the Cowboys’ intimidating offensive line — Oklahoma State pledge Dylan Galloway is back, however. So could Coppell be in for a rebuilding year? It’s possible. The Cowboys also lose starting quarterback Skyler Bonneau and return just two starters on defense. A number of inexperienced players will be asked to step up at key positions, requiring the Cowboys to grow up quickly. Coppell’s best weapon on offense is perhaps the man replacing West. Senior running back Brandon Rice rushed for 343 yards and five touchdowns last year and holds three FBS offers. Coppell will lean on Rice as senior quarterback Myles Paschall gets comfortable under center. Paschall has two solid wide receivers to work with in Obi Obialo and Josh Fink. The two combined to record 65 catches for 1,181 yards and 15 touchdowns a year ago. Senior defensive en Solomon Wise, who holds an offer from SMU, is the anchor of Coppell’s 3-4 defense and must step up as a leader to help this young unit grow.
Colleyville Heritage — Darren Allman left after his first year as head coach at Colleyville Heritage to take over as the new athletic director at Southlake Carroll. But the Panthers shouldn't miss a beat under the new guy in town — Joe Willis. A veteran coach, Willis led Cedar Park to two state championship appearances in three years. His career record between West Texas Iraan and Cedar Park — six seasons overall and three seasons at each — is 59-20. Heritage is also getting a boost from Grapevine Faith Christian quarterback transfer Cam Roane. As a sophomore, Roane lit up the private school ranks with 3,093 yards and 36 touchdowns with just six interceptions. Roane is quickly gaining notice as one of the state’s top young signal-callers. But the Panthers lean on the running game out of their Power Gun offense and lose bruising running back Demarco Corbin to graduation. Senior Jamarie Williams is the team’s top returning ball carrier — he rushed for 537 yards and two touchdowns last season. Junior Mario Ortiz will also see time in the backfield. Heritage’s 3-4 defense is headlined by all-district cornerback and Boise State commit Reid Harrison-Ducros. The senior notched 57 tackles and three interceptions last season. Heritage will be right in the thick of things at the top of the district.