2016 District 5-6A Breakdown by Schedule
Sep 22, 2016 06:43PM
● By Mike
The 2016 Dragons are ready to tackle district 5-6A. Photo by SnappedDragons.com/S. Johnson
Flower Mound Jaguars - 9/23/16
Flower Mound has been a district bottom-feeder for years and is coming off a one-win campaign. But the tide might be turning in the Jaguars’ favor. Flower Mound has a new attitude and swagger thanks to first-year head coach Brian Basil, who takes over the struggling program after 10 years at Irving MacArthur. A veteran coach, Basil has the experience and determination to right the ship, but he will inherit an extremely young team this season. The defense, in particular, was marred by graduation as it returns just two starters. Luckily for Flower Mound, one of those starters is junior linebacker Connor Lee. He recorded 107 tackles and two sacks and was named the Defensive Sophomore of the Year last season. The unit will also receive a boost from defensive end Brandon Bascue, who missed all of last season due to injury. There is some potential on offense as well. Basil is implementing his version of the spread offense and has a couple of key pieces to the puzzle in running back Ifeanyi Uzowihe and offensive lineman Eric Curl. Simply put, Flower Mound has nowhere to go but up after last season.
Euless Trinity: 9/30/16
No Steve Lineweaver? No problem. Despite losing one of the most iconic head coaches in Texas high school football history, Euless Trinity was once again able to win a district title and advance to the state playoffs — knocking off the nation’s top ranked football team, De La Salle of California, in the process. But this year will present an even more daunting challenge. The Trojans must replace the majority of their offensive production following the graduation of quarterback Tyler Natee and running back Ja’Ron Wilson — the two combined for more than 3,200 yards of offense. Still, Euless Trinity will continue to do what it does best, and that’s run the football and overpower the opposition in the trenches. Offensive lineman Manase Mose and defensive lineman Chris Makahununiu will be expected to control the line of scrimmage. Euless Trinity also has two of the most talented defensive backs in the district in John Davis and Cameron Jones — both hold multiple FBS offers. Speedy back Courage Klein will replace Wilson at running back, while Malini Maile is the new starter under center. Neither has much experience, but then again youth will be a problem all around. The Trojans return just seven total starters.
Lewisville Farmers: 10/7/16
Lewisville lost 49 total lettermen but brings back a good amount of starters back on both sides of the ball from a team that just missed making the playoffs last season. The Farmers will be highlighted by one of the most prolific playmakers in not only the entire state but also the country. Alabama wide receiver commit Tyrell Shavers is an absolute beast on the outside. Shavers stands at 6-foot-6, 205 pounds and runs a verified 4.38 40-yard dash. The freak athlete caught 53 passes for 1,081 yards and 10 touchdowns and will constantly command double teams in Lewisville’s Pistol offense. Lewisville, however, has yet to decide on a full-time quarterback to get Shavers the ball and lost some beef along the offensive line, including Texas signee Denzel Okafor. Lewisville has five starters back in the fold in its 3-4 defense, but the Farmers must improve after surrendering more than 30 points per game last season. Senior defensive back Matthew Kibbey is the unquestioned leader of the unit after recording 104 tackles and earning first team all-district honors a year ago. Senior linebacker Ahmadric Pelican (101 tackles, 5.5 sacks) and defensive end Khristian Lee will also be key contributors on defense.
Flower Mound Marcus Marauders: 10/14/16
Flower Mound Marcus is coming off a successful season that saw the Marauders rack up double digit victories and advance to the second round of the state playoffs. But replicating last year’s success might be asking too much. Flower Mound Marcus was hit hard by graduation. The Marauders lost 56 lettermen, including Stanford tight end signee Kaden Smith and Texas defensive end signee Andrew Fitzgerald. In total, Flower Mound Marcus brings back just 10 returning lettermen. Youth will obviously be an issue, especially early in the season, but head coach Gerry Stanford is one of the best in the business and knows what it takes to win. And it all starts on the defensive side of the ball. The Marauders run a 4-2-5 scheme similar to that of TCU, which means they put a heavy emphasis on getting to the quarterback and preventing big plays on the back end. Iowa cornerback commit Matt Hankins will lead the charge after notching 34 tackles and two interceptions a year ago. Flower Mound Marcus runs a balanced offense. Quarterback Michael Henry and running back Aaron Kovacevich are new faces in the backfield, but both have the potential to make Flower Mound Marcus a contender.
Trophy Club Byron Nelson Bobcats: 10/21/16
It’s the beginning of a new era at Byron Nelson as Travis Pride takes over at head coach after a successful stint at Mansfield Summit that saw him compile a 49-31 overall record and lead the Jaguars to five state playoff appearances. Pride has also been a head coach at Wichita Falls and hopes to take a solid Byron Nelson program that finished 6-5 last season one step further. That, however, is much easier said than done. Pride inherits a Bobcats team that was decimated by graduation on defense. Byron Nelson returns just one starter in defensive tackle Tristan Allen, who will be counted upon to provide plenty of senior leadership. Pride is installing a 3-4 defensive scheme and will need his new faces to adapt quickly. Pride is also bringing his own version of the spread offense to Byron Nelson and has two big-time weapons in wide receivers Tyler Milliken and Pascal Mondombo. The two combined for 75 receptions, 1,371 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns last season as Byron Nelson averaged more than 30 points per game. If the Bobcats can grow up in a hurry on defense and adjust to Pride’s style, they could make some noise this year.
L.D. Bell Blue Raiders: 10/28/16
It was a rough start to the Mike Glaze tenure at L.D. Bell last season as the Blue Raiders notched just one victory in his first year at the helm. The Blue Raiders struggled in all facets of the game as they were outscored by an average of 25 points. But there is certainly reason for optimism this season. L.D. Bell is now familiar with Glaze’s coaching style and schemes and brings back one of the most experienced teams in the district. Seven starters return on both sides of the ball, respectfully, and the Blue Raiders are ready to prove they can contend for a playoff spot. L.D. Bell runs a balanced multiple attack on offense that will be centered around running backs Terry Pace and Ivan Traylor. Both ball carriers stand at 5-foot-6 but are electric with the ball in their hands. Senior defensive back Nick Dillard and senior defensive lineman Tevita Ahio will anchor the defense. L.D. Bell also has an X-factor in wide receiver/defensive back Christion Nealy, who will see time on both sides of the ball. L.D. Bell should make strides this season, but it might take another year for the Blue Raiders to really have a breakout season.
Hebron Hawks: 11/4/2016
Hebron found a way to sneak in the playoffs last year and could once again be a threat to reach the postseason. Yes, the Hawks are young, returning just five total starters, but they do have key players coming back at key positions, including junior quarterback Clayton Tune. One of the Dallas-area’s most talented signal-callers, Tune passed for 1,825 yards and 21 touchdowns as a sophomore. Tune, who was named the District 6-6A Offensive Newcomer of the Year last season, will be the focal point of the offense, but Hebron’s bread and butter has always been the running back. Veteran coach Brian Brazil still operates out of the I-formation and will lean on senior running back Derian Vaughn. The 5-foot-9, 155-pounder is an elusive back that rushed for 845 yards and eight touchdowns a year ago. On defense, Hebron returns just two starters, but they are now home to one of the state’s biggest transfers in junior cornerback Verone McKinley III. With more than 20 FBS offers to his name, McKinley is a true shut down corner that will completely take away one side of the field in Hebron’s 3-4 defensive scheme.