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Denton Record-Chronicle

UNT’s move to C-USA, Jerrod Heard’s talent put them ...

In The Spotlight Inside: Ryan looks to contend • Denton aims for improvement • Argyle among 3A elite

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DRC Football

FOOTBALL 2013 About the section

Section credits The football helmets on the high school team pages are courtesy of Texas High School Helmet Project. The cover of the magazine and the section introduction pages were designed by Jason Lee.

Contents North Texas C-USA rivalries give UNT boost . . . . . . .6-7 Derek Thompson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8-9 Zach Orr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10, 13 Extra points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Conference USA preview . . . . . . . . .15-16 Brelan Chancellor . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17-18 Ryan Boutwell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19-20 Brandin Byrd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 UNT roster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Offensive line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23-24 Conference USA special section Visual tour of C-USA . . . . . . . . . . . .55-66 Denton ISD schools Jerrod Heard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26-27 Ryan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28-32 Denton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33-37 Guyer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38-42 Area high schools Argyle climbing ranks of elite . . . . . .45-47 Preseason all-area team . . . . . . . . .48-49 Area district review/preview . . . . . . . . .51 AP preseason poll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 Lake Dallas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67-70 Argyle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73-76 Aubrey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79-83 Krum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .85-88 Sanger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .90-93 Pilot Point . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .94-97 Ponder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .98-101 Liberty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102-105 Calvary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108-110 Weekly schedule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .113 2012 in review . . . . . . . . . . . . . .114-115

Section staff Director of sports Larry McBride . . . .lmcbride@dentonrc.com Section editor Brett Vito . . . . . . . . . .bvito@dentonrc.com Photographers Al Key . . . . . . . . . . . . .akey@dentonrc.com David Minton . . . . .dminton@dentonrc.com Staff writers Adam Boedeker . .aboedeker@dentonrc.com Ben Baby . . . . . . . . . .bbaby@dentonrc.com Patrick Hayslip . . . . .phayslip@dentonrc.com Special contributors Juston Braaton, Randy Cummings, Rich Luna, Adrian O’Hanlon III, Dave Rogers

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ON THE COVER

In The Spotlight The Denton Record-Chronicle’s 2013 football preview magazine focuses on teams and players stepping into the spotlight. North Texas is preparing for its first season in Conference USA, while Guyer is coming off a dramatic run to the Class 4A Division I state championship. Quarterback Jerrod Heard led Guyer to the title and has committed to Texas, making him one of the most visible players in the state.

August 29, 2013

KICKOFF

Denton Record-Chronicle

Brett Vito SECTION OVERVIEW

Spotlight focused on area’s best

T

here might not be a high school football player in Texas under a bigger microscope this fall than Guyer quarterback Jerrod Heard. All Heard did as a junior a year ago was lead the Wildcats to a state championship while putting together a series of transcendent performances, including accounting for seven touchdowns in a win over Georgetown in the Class 4A Division I state title game. The fact Heard committed to Texas before that championship run began increases the attention he will receive this season. The hype surrounding Heard is the story of the year in the Denton area, one that ties in well with the situation at North Texas. UNT will play its first season in Conference USA this fall after 12 years as the only Texas school in the Sun Belt. C-USA will have four teams from Texas in its new alignment, a group that will also include Rice, UTSA and UTEP. School officials believe joining the league will increase the exposure the program will receive across the state. The Denton Record-Chronicle’s sports staff examined how Heard, UNT and a host of other players and programs are handling moving into the spotlight this year for its annual football preview magazine. Heard talked about maintaining focus heading into his senior season, one he will spend guiding the Wildcats, who enter the season ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press Class 4A poll.

UNT’s move to C-USA, Jerrod Heard’s talent put them ...

In The Spotlight Inside: Ryan looks to contend • Denton aims for improvement • Argyle among 3A elite

Four of the Denton area’s top players, clockwise from front, North Texas quarterback Derek Thompson, Denton quarterback Cy Ward, Ryan defensive lineman J.T. Williams and Guyer quarterback Jerrod Heard will face situations where they will be in the spotlight this season. Thompson will guide UNT’s offense in the Mean Green’s first season in Conference USA. Denton will rely on Ward as it tries to improve as a program, while Williams will anchor Ryan’s defensive line as the Raiders aim to contend for a Class 5A state title. Heard will be perhaps the most visible of the four as the future Texas Longhorn tries to guide Guyer to a second consecutive state championship.

UNT head coach Dan McCarney and his players spoke of capitalizing on the opportunity joining C-USA will present. And those are just two of the examples of teams and players who will be in the spotlight in the Denton area this season. At Ryan, wide receivers Trent Willis and Xavier Gray will take on larger roles as the Raiders aim for a deep run in the Class 5A playoffs. Denton struggled last season, winning just one district game, and will depend largely on quarterback Cy Ward to handle the attention and pressure that goes along with guiding a team aiming to break out. Argyle will be the focus of statewide

attention just like Guyer. The Eagles have a shot at making a run at a Class 3A state title and feature four players who have committed to colleges that compete on the Football Bowl Subdivision level. The question is if all that talent will translate into a state title for the Eagles like it did for Heard and the Wildcats last season. There will be people across the state watching to see how the Eagles fare, just like they will be watching to see if Guyer can repeat and if UNT can capitalize on its move to C-USA. Those storylines put those teams and players in the spotlight.

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August 29, 2013

DRC Football

COVER STORY

C-USA switch gives UNT bigger stage By Brett Vito Staff Writer

There was nothing special about the placard designating the table reserved for the North Texas football team’s contingent at Conference USA media day this summer. Head coach Dan McCarney’s name and that of linebacker Zach Orr were spelled out in black lettering on a white, blue and red sheet of paper along with the phrase “2013 Football Kickoff” and the C-USA logo. McCarney eyed that nondescript piece of paper that represented so much for UNT before turning to Orr. “Conference USA,” McCarney said. “It feels good, doesn’t it?” Orr didn’t have to say anything. He just smiled. Seeing UNT listed as a member of a conference that also includes Rice, UTEP and UTSA, not to mention other regional rivals like Louisiana Tech, felt terrific for McCarney and Orr. The feeling is one shared by those associated with the program. Joining C-USA will offer UNT a host of benefits. None is more important than the opportunity to develop long-term rivalries with Texas schools that will increase the exposure the program receives across the state. The opportunity to shine on the stage rivalries provide — one so many other schools take for granted — was out of reach over the last 12 years when UNT was the lone Texas school in the Sun Belt Conference. “We will be able to get some rivalries going in Conference USA,” said McCarney, who is entering his third season at UNT. “I asked, ‘Who are North Texas’ rivals?’ when I interviewed for the job. To this day, I still haven’t found out who they really were before I got here. I’ve never coached at a place where we didn’t have a traditional rival.” McCarney spent most of his coaching career on either side of the Iowa-Iowa State rivalry and also worked as an assistant at Wisconsin and Florida. All have traditional rivals. Orr didn’t have the opportunity to play in-state rivalry games often during the first three years of his college career. UNT played just three Texas programs that compete in the top division of college football during his first three seasons with

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

North Texas athletic director Rick Villarreal speaks at a press conference on May 4, 2012, announcing that UNT will join Conference USA. UNT officially joined the league this summer and will play its first C-USA football game this fall. The switch to C-USA from the Sun Belt is expected to bolster UNT’s program, largely because the league includes three other Texas schools — Rice, UTEP and UTSA. the Mean Green. UNT lost each of those games, twice to Houston and once to Rice. More than once, Orr had to explain to a fellow UNT student who the Mean Green was set to play the following Saturday. That won’t be the case when UNT hosts Rice, UTEP and UTSA in consecutive games beginning with a nationally televised showdown with the Owls on Oct. 31. “Conference USA will be really good for North Texas because a lot of the teams we played in the Sun Belt no one had heard of,” Orr said. “Everyone knows who Rice is, who Tulsa is. Everyone has heard of Louisiana Tech. Fans and recruits know who we are and who we are going to be playing.”

Favorable factors Nothing matters more in Texas college football than games against in-state rivals. SMU and TCU began playing in 1915 and developed what has at times been a

C-USA A closer look For a closer look at Conference USA, the league’s lineup and references to it at North Texas, see Pages 55-66.

fierce rivalry now known as the “Battle for the Iron Skillet.” When Texas A&M left the Big 12 for the SEC before the 2012 season, the move fostered statewide debate because it ended several long-standing in-state rivalries, none more important than an

annual showdown with Texas that was first played in 1894. State representative Ryan Guillen, DRio Grande City, filed a bill in the Texas legislature earlier this year that would require the schools to play annually. Developing Texas rivalries with just a fraction of the passion the Texas-Texas A&M showdowns created would make a huge difference for UNT. The focus on football in Texas and its new in-state rivalries should help UNT more than anything in terms of reaching that goal, but two other factors will also play vital roles — the familiarity fans and players have with one another and the close proximity of the four Texas teams in the league. UNT has yet to play a C-USA game and has already felt the impact. “There is no doubt interest has picked See C-USA MOVE on 7

DRC Football From Page 7

C-USA move up,” UNT athletic director Rick Villarreal said. “The No. 1 thing people say when they walk up to me is that they are excited about the new conference. Even people who have not been coming to games, they know who Rice is.” There is a good chance fans who follow UNT know someone who attended Rice, UTEP or UTSA or have a connection to a coach or player at one of those schools. Many UNT fans will look across at UTEP’s sideline this fall at Apogee Stadium and see former Mean Green assistant coach Spencer Leftwich. The Miners’ offensive line coach was a key part of UNT’s staff during a run that saw the Mean Green win four straight Sun Belt titles from 2001-04. Some might even remember Leftwich’s son Mack running around after games on the turf at Fouts Field. Mack Leftwich is now a freshman quarterback at UTEP. “That’s what I really like about the new league,” Rice head coach David Bailiff said. “There are Texas schools in there. We have six home games and maybe a game at North Texas would be a seventh and a game at UTSA an eighth our fans can get to.” Houston and San Antonio are within a day’s drive from Denton, which makes it possible for fans of each team to travel to away games. The close proximity of the schools should bolster the familiarity UNT fans develop with their new C-USA rivals. Fans of the four Texas teams in C-USA are not the only ones who will enjoy a heightened level of familiarity with opponents in the league. Players on the four Texas teams in the conference will also see the difference, especially those at UNT who have not had a chance to play other schools in the state on a regular basis. Texas ranks among the top states in the country when it comes to producing college football players. UNT, Rice, UTEP and UTSA all recruit the state heavily, creating situations where players on C-USA teams have known each other since high school. Some will have the chance to play close to their hometowns while starring for a CUSA team. UNT’s players have yet to reach that point, but UTEP defensive lineman Adam Ayala has enjoyed the experience throughout his career. “I grew up close to Houston, so that game was always big for me when they

COVER STORY NORTH TEXAS The impact of Texas rivalries on attendance Six of the top 10 home games in North Texas history in terms of attendance came in showdowns with Texas foes. UNT drew a crowd of 23,743 in the 2010 season for its game against Rice, its new C-USA rival. UNT’s Lance Dunbar (below) rushed for 105 yards in a 32-31 loss. Attendance Opponent Date 1. 29,437 Baylor Sept. 6, 2003 2. 28,315 Baylor Aug. 31, 2000 3. 28,075 Houston Sept. 10, 2011 4. 26,012 Navy Nov. 10, 2007 5. 25,231 SMU Sept. 9, 2006 6. 23,743 Rice Sept. 11, 2010 7. 23,647 Army Nov. 21, 2009 8. 23,112 Tulsa Sept. 17, 2005 9. 22,837 TCU Sept. 1, 2001 10. 22,785 Tulsa Sept. 22, 2008

were in the league,” Ayala said of a team that left C-USA after last season. “I look forward to playing the other in-state schools. Those games are always important to me.” The high school playoffs and recruiting process in Texas also create familiarity among players. The top recruits in the state are often members of teams that advance deep into the postseason, giving them a chance to square off with state titles on the line. Texas recruits also keep track of where the other top players in the state are headed, which fosters a sense of familiarity among them that continues at the college level. “We look forward to those games against Texas teams,” UNT senior tight end Daniel Prior said. “We were recruited at the same time as their players. I was recruited by Rice. That makes it interesting.”

What still needs to happen Where C-USA falls short in some instances in terms of rivalries is a lack of history among the programs in the league. That is especially true when it comes to UNT. The Mean Green will play UTSA for the first time on Nov. 23. UNT has played Rice twice since 2008, but just three times overall. UNT and UTEP first played in 1951 and have played 21 games, the last of them in 1980. More than 33 years will have passed since their last meeting when the teams play on Nov. 9 at Apogee. McCarney and Villarreal spoke about the possibility of the Texas schools in CUSA creating a series of traveling trophies to help spark interest in those games and begin establishing the history they sometimes lack. “There is the opportunity for a lot of

these games to turn into rivalries,” UTSA quarterback Eric Soza said. “It can be a situation where everyone is competitive and you mark down on your calendar teams like North Texas.” UNT hasn’t beaten a Texas rival that plays on the Football Bowl Subdivision level since a 24-6 win over SMU in the second week of the 2006 season, partly because it hasn’t had many opportunities. UNT is 1-5 against opponents from Texas since then, with its only win coming last year against Texas Southern, a Football Championship Subdivision team. SMU came back to beat UNT 45-31 in 2007, Houston beat UNT handily in each of the last two years and Rice edged the Mean Green 32-31 in 2010. What really stuck with UNT fans, though, was a 77-20 drubbing by Rice in 2008. McCarney and other C-USA coaches believe the in-state rivalries in the league will be a whole lot more competitive than that game in the long run. UTSA, which is entering just its third season in program history, will catch up with the other Texas C-USA schools, while UNT and UTEP will also benefit. Rice has been the best team in recent years among the four Texas teams that will be in C-USA, but Bailiff said he anticipates the other Texas schools in the league being competitive to the point the games between the four teams are hotly contested. The more competitive games that are played, the more history will be created, adding another element to the games CUSA’s Texas teams play.

Benefits of rivalries The potential benefits of having Texas rivals for UNT are apparent when one looks at the history of the Mean Green’s program and those of the league’s other

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Texas members. “You will see when UTEP comes to UNT that there’s a big group of UTEP people here in Dallas,” C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky said. “You will look over at the stadium and say, ‘What happened? Where did they come from?’” The importance of games against Texas rivals to C-USA’s members from within the state is reflected in the attendance at those games. Of the 10 highest attended on-campus games in UNT history, six were for games the Mean Green played against a Texas rival. UNT drew 28,075 fans for the first game in Apogee in 2011, a showdown with Houston, which was a member of CUSA at the time. Rice’s 32-31 win over UNT in 2010 drew a crowd of 23,743 that ranks sixth in program history for a home game. Another key benefit of moving to CUSA for UNT will come in recruiting, where the Mean Green’s staff will have a chance to sell the proximity of rival schools and facing familiar Texas opponents to high school players across the state. UNT should benefit more than any of the other three Texas C-USA schools from the move. Rice, UTEP and UTSA were already facing in-state schools on a regular basis. McCarney has focused UNT’s efforts squarely in Texas and has started to see the benefit while landing some solid instate recruits. A total of nine high school seniors from Texas have committed to UNT since the school announced the move to C-USA, including highly regarded Flower Mound tackle Chris Miles. “Staying close to home was very important to me,” Miles said. “I like my parents being able to come and watch me play.” UNT’s coaches believe the opportunity to play close to home is important to a lot of players across the state. McCarney and his assistants had to convince players to come to the school and play in a league without another Texas team during its stay in the Sun Belt. UNT will have a whole lot more to sell now with the budding rivalries between the teams in C-USA listed on the Mean Green’s table placard at media day. That simple piece of paper brought home the reality of what lies ahead for Orr and McCarney. “Everywhere I have been, rivalries bring out the best in people,” McCarney said. “It’s the emotion, the excitement and the opportunity to win a game that means so much to everyone.”

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August 29, 2013

NORTH TEXAS

DRC Football

Mother’s tough love guided Thompson By Brett Vito Staff Writer

Derek Thompson was lying flat on his back in the North Texas locker room at Michie Stadium — his left leg broken and wrapped in a cast, his season over before it really began —when his mother walked in. Wendy Thompson traveled all the way from Glen Rose to West Point, N.Y., to see her son make the first start of his collegiate career against Army in 2010 and startled everyone in the room with what she had to say. “The first thing she said wasn’t, ‘Are you OK?’ or ‘How are you feeling?’” Derek Thompson said. “It was, ‘You had a receiver open.’” A smile spread across Derek Thompson’s face as he described the exchange, one that illustrates a relationship that shaped the UNT quarterback, who will start for a third straight year when the Mean Green faces Idaho in its season opener on Saturday. Wendy Thompson spent 17 years coaching girls high school basketball and is just as tough on her son as she was her players in Glen Rose, a town with a population of 2,500 located 62 miles southwest of Fort Worth. “She used to wear me out,” Derek Thompson said. “She didn’t give me any slack and was always pushing me. She pushed me around until I was in junior high. She’s tough.” That approach paid off for Wendy Thompson during a career highlighted by a trip to the state tournament in 1997 when she was the head coach at Henrietta Midway. Derek Thompson went along for the ride. Wendy Thompson remembers her son imitating players while toddling around the court in diapers. He was a fixture at practice and was like a little brother to his mother’s players. “I had about seven or eight girlfriends when she was coaching,” Thompson said. “All the high school girls loved me back when I was 10.” What Derek Thompson didn’t know at the time was the lessons he learned while following his mother’s teams formed a foundation that has helped him throughout a turbulent career at UNT. The broken tibia Thompson suffered against Army was just one twist along the way. Thompson has played for three head coaches and been beaten out for the starting job on more than one occasion. He wasn’t officially named UNT’s starter for its game against the Vandals until Monday afternoon. Thompson’s coaches and teammates say he has maintained a quiet confidence throughout his career despite those setbacks. He didn’t get too high when he led UNT to a win over Louisiana-Lafayette in a nationally televised game last season, or too low after throwing a key interception in a loss to Western Kentucky five weeks later. Thompson has kept on working no matter the circumstances and earned his teammates’ and coaches’ respect while displaying the work ethic he picked up from his mother. As a result, Thompson has carved out a niche in UNT football history by racking up yards and touchdowns while moving into the top 10 in program history in just about every See THOMPSON on 9

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

Derek Thompson spent his childhood hanging around with his mother’s high school girls basketball teams during her 17-year coaching career. Wendy Thompson was tough on her players and tough on her son, which helped prepare him for a turbulent career at North Texas.

DRC Football From Page 8

Thompson statistical category for quarterbacks. That niche could easily grow into a legacy this fall if Thompson leads UNT to its first winning season since 2004. If he does that, Thompson could be remembered for helping turn the program around. Wendy Thompson expects nothing less. “I want him to be great, to have good games and raise the level of play for the whole team,” she said. “I want him to be a leader and a role model and take his team to a bowl game. I want him to be able to put the team on his shoulders.”

The formative years

Derek Thompson was part mascot, part team manager for his mother’s teams growing up. “He went everywhere with me,” Wendy Thompson said. “He rode the bus to games and was our water boy at practice.” What Wendy Thompson soon realized was that her son was learning while he was watching, even at a young age. One of Wendy Thompson’s fondest memories of her son is watching him wander out on the court after a game, pretend to put a whistle in his mouth and throw a ball up in the air as if it was the opening tip of a basketball game. As Derek Thompson grew older, the lessons became more important. None were bigger than those that helped him develop the fortitude he needed to handle the responsibility he would take on later in life as a college quarterback. “What she really helped me with is the mental aspect of it and the toughness that you have to have to play a big-time position,” Derek Thompson said. “She taught me to keep an even keel and remember where you came from.” Thompson essentially came from nowhere to become arguably the most important player on UNT’s roster. Thompson didn’t believe he had a chance to play college football until his sophomore year of high school when former Stephenville assistant coach Tommy Dunn arrived in Glen Rose. Dunn saw right away that Thompson had the physical abilities to be a college quarterback. He realized his new quarterback was the total package later on when he got to know Thompson and saw the traits he picked up from his mother. Wendy Thompson quit coaching after

NORTH TEXAS THOMPSON Career stats

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton The following is a look at where quarterback Derek Thompson’s ranks in North Texas history with the leader in each category: Completion percentage 1. Riley Dodge 2008-10 64.7 4. Derek Thompson 2009-pres. 57.9 Passing efficiency 1. Scott Hall 2000-04 132.26 5. Derek Thompson 2009-pres. 121.97 Passing yards 1. Mitch Maher 1991-94 8,519 6. Derek Thompson 2009-pres. 4,551 Touchdown passes 1. Steve Ramsey 1967-69 69 7. Derek Thompson 2009-pres. 26

her son’s freshman season in high school so she could follow his career. “Wendy made my job a lot easier with Derek,” Dunn said. “She was really on him about his academics. If he ever had a lackadaisical attitude toward it, she would come down hard. It filtered over to athletics. I never had to worry about the way I coached him because his parents were supportive. He was very tough, not just physically but also mentally, because of his mom.” The guidance Wendy Thompson provided helped her son develop into a college prospect. Derek Thompson was not highly recruited but caught the eye of former UNT head coach Todd Dodge. Thompson committed to UNT even though Dodge signed his son, Riley Dodge, a high school All-American, the previous year. “We told Derek when he committed to North Texas that he would be behind Riley,” Wendy Thompson said. “He knew that he would not have to be as good as Riley, he would have to be better. It was up to him and how hard he worked if he would play.”

Carving out a role Nothing has been easy for Thompson since he arrived at UNT. Thompson was buried on the depth chart throughout his freshman season in 2009 before both Dodge, the starter for most of the year, and backup Nathan Tune were lost to injury in the final game of the season against Arkansas State. Thompson came off the bench to lead UNT on a late drive he capped with a 19yard touchdown pass in a 30-26 loss. Tune won the starting job the following year but dislocated his hip in the fourth quarter of a tight game with Rice. UNT again yanked Thompson off the bench. He threw four passes in a 32-31 loss. Thompson started a week later against Army and lasted just into the second quarter before defensive lineman Jarrett Mackey leveled him and broke his leg. Thompson was granted a medical redshirt and has come back to start for UNT the last two seasons. Along the way, UNT changed coaches twice — from Dodge to Mike Canales, who served on an interim basis after Dodge was fired in 2010, to current UNT head coach Dan McCarney. Those changes only added to the turmoil Thompson has endured while throwing for 4,551 yards and 26 touchdowns, totals that rank sixth and seventh, respectively, in school history. “He is about as composed as anyone who has been though this type of situation could be,” said Canales, who was UNT’s offensive coordinator under Dodge and holds the same role on McCarney’s staff. “He doesn’t let much faze him in terms of the ups and downs of his career. I applaud him for how he’s handled it. I don’t know many kids out there who would have been able to handle the situation. It shows his maturity and character.” Thompson has faced his share of adversity despite starting in each of the last two seasons. UNT has finished 5-7 and 4-8 during that time. That’s an improvement over previous years, but not where the Mean Green has aimed to end either season. Thompson endured a tough off-season after throwing an interception Jonathan Dowling returned for a touchdown to spark Western Kentucky in a 25-24 win in the Mean Green’s season finale. The Hilltoppers rallied from a 24-10 fourthquarter deficit to knock off UNT and scored twice after Thompson’s interception, but it was the Mean Green’s quarterback who took much of the blame for the loss. “He took it as a personal challenge,”

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UNT wide receiver Brelan Chancellor said of Thompson rallying from that setback. “Everyone took the Western Kentucky game hard. We all believe we should have won.” Thompson said he felt like the doubts some UNT fans have about his abilities grew after that game, especially after McCarney declared the quarterback job open for competition heading into spring practice. Highly regarded Kansas transfer Brock Berglund had arrived by that point and joined a competition that also included backup Andrew McNulty. Freshman Dajon Williams entered the fray in fall workouts and made a quick impression. Thompson never wavered. He continued to work and won the job. “I never lost confidence in myself,” Thompson said. “When people doubt me, it adds fuel to my fire.” The way Thompson has fought to hang on to the starting job in the face of those doubts has impressed McCarney, who has come to respect him as a person and a competitor. “Derek has always been able to hold his head high,” McCarney said. “He’s mentally tough and cares deeply about doing things the right way so he can lead this program to success.” Those traits — not the yards or the touchdowns — are what matter most to Wendy and Terry Thompson, Derek’s father. “I am very proud of the way he has handled it,” Terry Thompson said. “The way he has come back is part of who he is.” UNT’s coaches have gotten to know Derek Thompson’s family and come to understand the influences that helped shape their quarterback. They have no doubt the years Thompson spent on the bench with his mother in Glen Rose played a vital role in developing his talent and drive. Wendy Thompson is a regular at UNT’s women’s clinic, where the team’s coaching staff interacts with female fans. “You talk about being a competitor and athleticism,” McCarney said. “We laugh about it. I tell Derek the best athlete in the family is his mom. It’s fun to see. She doesn’t want to get beaten in anything.” Derek Thompson didn’t either while facing the challenges of a tough off-season when his future as UNT’s starter was in doubt. That competitive streak is the reason he will have the opportunity to put the lessons his mother taught him into practice during one final season as UNT’s starting quarterback.

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NORTH TEXAS

DRC Football

Orr returns to guide UNT’s defense By Brett Vito Staff Writer

North Texas head coach Dan McCarney doesn’t even want to think about the 2014 season — at least not the part about taking the field at Apogee Stadium without Zach Orr. The senior linebacker has been UNT’s defensive anchor, a team captain and an example for his teammates since McCarney took over as the Mean Green’s head coach before the 2011 season. “We need to cherish having one of the special guys who has ever played in a North Texas uniform,” McCarney said. “He is one of the most special young men I have ever been around and that’s a strong statement. He has character, competiveness, toughness, pride, doesn’t want to get beat and wants to win every snap and every series.” Those traits have made Orr one of the best players in recent UNT history, not to mention a key part of the Mean Green’s hopes to post a breakout season this fall. The former DeSoto standout was named to the preseason watch list for the Rotary Lombardi Award that goes to the top lineman or linebacker in the country each season. He’s arguably UNT’s top player, not to mention one of its key leaders. If UNT is to snap a streak of eight consecutive losing seasons, there is little doubt Orr will have to play a big part, especially with the Mean Green making a move to a higher level of competition in Conference USA after 12 years in the Sun Belt. “We have a chance to turn it around,” Orr said. “We are comfortable with coach Mac and his philosophy, plus we have a better defense than we have had in a long time.” Orr is a big reason why. He’s earned a spot on the All-Sun Belt second team in each of the last two seasons, despite the fact UNT finished with a losing record each year. Orr posted 108 tackles last season and made key plays that helped UNT win nine

NORTH TEXAS: IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton There might not be a more important player on North Texas’ defense than middle linebacker Zach Orr. The senior has earned a spot on the All-Sun Belt Conference second team in each of the last two seasons and finished with 108 tackles last year. UNT will need Orr to make critical plays and set the tone for its defense again this season.

games over the last two years. His second-quarter interception was a turning point in a 30-23 win over bowlbound Louisiana-Lafayette last fall. UNT didn’t play particularly well three weeks later against South Alabama, but won 2414 on a night Orr finished with a seasonhigh 12 tackles. Those performances are just one way to measure Orr’s impact. His teammates say the example he sets and the guidance he provides off the field is just as important. “Orr has always been a leader for this team,” defensive end Chad Polk said. “He is like a big brother on and off the field. He is so consistent. He performs at his best against every opponent.” It’s that leadership ability that led Orr’s

teammates to elect him a captain before his sophomore season. He’s been a leader for UNT ever since. McCarney said that the true definition of leadership is the ability to take players from where they are and help them get to where they need to be. Orr has contributed in that regard while helping set the tone for a loaded senior class looking to capitalize on its last chance to play in a bowl game. “I feel really good about where this team is at,” Orr said. “You look at your fellow seniors with Brelan Chancellor, Brandin Byrd, Will Wright, Hilbert Jackson, Richard Abbe and Derek

MEAN GREEN Quick facts Conference: Conference USA 2012 record: 4-8 (3-5, Sun Belt) Coach: Dan McCarney (9-15 in two seasons at UNT, 65-100 in 14 seasons overall) Returning starters: Eight on offense, eight on defense Key players: LB Zach Orr, WR Brelan Chancellor, OL Antonio Johnson, OL Cyril Lemon, S Marcus Trice, LB Derek Akunne Offense: Multiple Defense: 4-3 School enrollment: 36,111 Stadium: Apogee Stadium

See ORR on 13

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Good Luck This Season!

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NORTH TEXAS

DRC Football

EXTRA POINTS Keys to a successful year POINT OF CONCERN

North Texas struggled last season in the Sun Belt and will face a higher level of competition this year in C-USA. How UNT handles that move up and a tough nonconference schedule will determine how its season unfolds. The Mean Green won just three games against Football Bowl Subdivision teams last season, with one of those wins coming against newcomer South Alabama. The schedule is much tougher this year with games against national powerhouse Georgia, which opens the year ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, not to mention Ball State and Ohio in nonconference play. Both Ball State and Ohio played in bowl games last season.

KEY NEWCOMERS

Some of the most highly regarded players to join the North Texas program over the last two years have transferred in from other schools. The way UNT’s season unfolds will depend largely on how those players perform. Wide receiver Darius Terrell (Texas), running back Reggie Pegram (Purdue) and tight end Chris Loving (Blinn College) will all play key Terrell roles for UNT’s offense, while safety Zed Evans (Louisville) and cornerback James Jones (Kilgore College) are expected to be key contributors on UNT’s defense. Pegram “It’s going to be crucial to our success what role those transfers can play and what they contribute,” UNT offensive coordinator Mike Canales said. One of the Mean Evans Green’s problems a year ago was a lack of firepower offensively in a season UNT averaged just 20.9 points a game. Terrell and Pegram are expected to help UNT become more potent offensively, while Evans and Jones should bolster a defensive secondary that was a weakness last year when the Mean Green allowed 252.3 passing yards a game.

Photos by David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle

Senior Zach Orr, right photo, and junior Dererk Akunne, left, photo, will anchor a group of linebackers that is expected to be the strength of North Texas entire roster this fall. Orr led the team in 2012 with 108 tackles, while Akunne was second with 90. Will Wright, the third player in the Mean Green’s lineup, is a senior who has also started in his career.

POSITION OF STRENGTH North Texas returns its top two tacklers from last season in linebackers Zach Orr and Derek Akunne and also has a third projected starter who has extensive experience in Will Wright. The trio is expected to be the strength of not only UNT’s defense, but its entire roster as well. “That trio of linebackers, if they keep going like they have been, will be the best group that I have had since I have been

here,” UNT head coach Dan McCarney said. There is no indication that the trio will slow down this fall. Orr finished with a team-high 108 tackles Wright last season, when he was named to the All-Sun Belt Conference second team for the second straight year. Akunne has been somewhat over-

looked while playing next to Orr during his career but has been among UNT’s best playmakers. Akunne finished with 90 tackles in 2012 to go along with two interceptions and two sacks. Wright finished with 21 tackles last season when he started three games. The senior should have a larger role this year with a group of veteran linebackers.

tunity after the school agreed to pay Idaho a $410,000 guarantee. “We have our first home opener in 12 years, which is really important,” McCarney said. McCarney “We have a chance to have a great crowd. The students are

excited about it. You can feel it.” UNT needs to build on that excitement with a win. A loss would be devastating and leave the Mean Green facing a tough road to recovery with games against Ohio and Ball State in the next two weeks, followed by a trip to national powerhouse Georgia.

GAME OF THE YEAR North Texas will open the season at home for the first time since 2001 when Idaho visits Apogee Stadium on Saturday. UNT head coach Dan McCarney desperately wanted to open at home for the first time in his three-year tenure and the first time for the program since a 2001 game against TCU. The Mean Green will have that oppor-

DRC Football

CONFERENCE USA PREVIEW

C-USA in midst of transition By Brett Vito Staff Writer

There is an aura of mystery when it comes to how the race for the Conference USA title will unfold this fall in a time of transition for the league. Tulsa and Rice will start out as the favorites in the West Division, while East Carolina and Marshall are the cream of the crop in the East Division. Or at least that is the expectation heading into a season with a 14-team lineup that will be in place for only a year. ECU, Tulsa and Tulane will leave at the end of the season for the American Athletic Conference and will be replaced over the next two years by Charlotte, Old Dominion and Western Kentucky. C-USA officials and coaches say the turnover in the league makes projecting the conference race difficult. “I don’t know for sure how it will play out because there is not a history of competition among the programs in some cases,” C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky said. “We will learn a lot. My sense is that we will have a lot of competitiveness in both divisions. We will have some games that will be great, great games. Some will be the beginning of new rivalries. Some will be the end of old rivalries.” Tulsa returns several of its top players, including quarterback Cody Green, running back Trey Watts and wide receiver Keyarris Garrett. All played key roles in a season-ending surge that saw the Golden Hurricane beat Central Florida in the CUSA title game and then knock off Iowa State in the Liberty Bowl. “We have a lot of work ahead of us if we’re going to repeat as conference champions,” Tulsa head coach Bill Blankenship said. “We know just how good Rice and Marshall will be this season.” Tulsa is just one of several C-USA teams that finished 2012 on a high note. Rice has 19 starters back from a team that capped its season with a win over Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl. Louisiana Tech returns just seven starters and has a new head coach in Skip Holtz, but finished 9-3 a year ago behind freshman All-American running back Kenneth Dixon. The Bulldogs have stockpiled quality young players and also added quarterback Scotty Young, a former Ryan standout who transferred in from Texas Tech.

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C-USA Coaches’ poll The following is the preseason Conference USA coaches’ poll. First-place votes are in parentheses. WEST DIVISION Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Points 1. Tulsa (14). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 2. Rice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 3. Louisiana Tech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 4. UTEP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 5. North Texas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 6. Tulane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 7. Texas-San Antonio. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 EAST DIVISION Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Points 1. East Carolina (11) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 2. Marshall (2) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 3. Middle Tennessee (1) . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 4. UAB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 5. Southern Mississippi. . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 6. Florida Atlantic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 7. Florida International . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

C-USA All-conference team The following is the preseason AllConference USA team as selected by the league’s head coaches. Offensive Player of the Year Rakeem Cato, Jr., QB, Marshall Defensive Player of the Year Phillip Gaines, Sr., DB, Rice Special Teams Player of the Year Cairo Santos, Sr., K, Tulane

Courtesy Marshall Sports Information

Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato was named the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year in Conference USA. Cato threw for 4,201 yards last season and is a key reason Marshall is among the favorites to win the C-USA title. ECU, Marshall and Middle Tennessee all received votes in the C-USA preseason East Division poll. The Pirates return their key offensive skill position players, including quarterback Shane Carden, and are the preseason favorites. Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato was the C-USA Most Valuable Player in 2012, and will guide a team that could challenge the Pirates, while MTSU is coming off an 8-4 finish a year ago. The Blue Raiders return 17 starters and

appear to be the Sun Belt team best equipped to challenge right away in CUSA. UNT was picked to finish fifth in CUSA’s West Division and will enter the season as an underdog determined to exceed expectations. “Can we get it turned [around]?” UNT head coach Dan McCarney wondered this summer. “There are a lot of things that are in place for us to have a good football team this year, but we have a lot of work to do.”

FIRST TEAM OFFENSE QB Rakeem Cato, Jr., Marshall; RB Vintavious Cooper, Sr., East Carolina; RB Darrin Reaves, Jr., UAB; OL Jake Alexander, Jr., Tulsa; OL Stetson Burnett, Sr., Tulsa; OL Scott Inskeep, Jr., UTSA; OL Nate Richards, Sr., Rice; OL Matt Shepperd, Jr., Louisiana Tech; OL Will Simmons, Sr., East Carolina; WR Justin Hardy, Jr., East Carolina; WR Ryan Grant, Sr., Tulane; WR Tommy Shuler, Jr., Marshall; TE Gator Hoskins, Sr., Marshall DEFENSE DL Christian Covington, So., Rice; DL Justin Ellis, Sr., Louisiana Tech; DL Greg Hickman, Sr., FIU; DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Southern Miss; LB Shawn Jackson, Sr., Tulsa; LB Derrell Johnson, Sr., East Carolina; LB Andre Kirk, Jr., Florida Atlantic; DB Kevin Byard, So., Middle Tennessee; DB Lorenzo Doss, So., Tulane; DB Phillip Gaines, Sr., Rice; DB Marco Nelson, Sr., Tulsa SPECIAL TEAMS K Cairo Santos, Sr., Tulane; P Tyler Williams, So., Marshall; KR Reggie Whatley, Jr., Middle Tennessee; PR Trey Watts, Sr., Tulsa

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August 29, 2013

West Division LOUISIANA TECH BULLDOGS Head coach: Skip Holtz (first season at Tech, 88-71 in 14 seasons overall) Team: 30 lettermen, three offensive, four defensive starters return from a 9-3 team (4-2 WAC, third), 29 lettermen lost. Key player: Kenneth Dixon rushed for 1,194 yards and 27 touchdowns and was named a freshman AllAmerican. Outlook: The end of Tech’s season ranked among the Young worst finishes for a team nationally. The Bulldogs were 9-1 and ranked 19th before dropping their last two games and missing out on a bowl bid. Tech then saw head coach Sonny Dykes leave for Cal and lost 15 starters to graduation. The Bulldogs will look to rebuild around Dixon. Former Ryan standout and Texas Tech transfer Scotty Young heads into the fall as the Bulldogs’ quarterback.

RICE OWLS

Head coach: David Bailiff (30-44 in seven seasons at Rice, 51-59 in 10 seasons overall) Team: 54 lettermen, nine offensive, 10 defensive starters return from a 7-6 team (4-4 C-USA, tied for third in West Division), nine lettermen lost. Key player: Taylor McHargue rushed for 667 yards, the top total among C-USA quarterbacks, and threw for 2,209 yards. Outlook: Rice is the team best equipped to challenge Tulsa in C-USA’s West Division. The Owls lost just three starters and beat Air McHargue Force 33-14 in the Armed Forces Bowl. Surviving a tough early slate of games against Texas A&M, Kansas and Houston in the first three weeks of the season will be critical.

TULANE GREEN WAVE

Head coach: Curtis Johnson (2-10 in one season at Tulane) Team: 51 lettermen, eight offensive, eight defensive starters return from a 2-10 team (2-6 C-USA, tied for fifth in West Division), 17 lettermen lost. Key player: Ryan Grant is among the top wide receivers in C-USA and is coming off a junior season in which he caught 76 passes for 1,149 yards and six touchdowns. Outlook: Tulane returns 16 Grant starters and will look to take a step forward under Johnson, who had the Green Wave playing at a higher level at the end of the season. Tulane beat SMU and UAB and lost games to UTEP, Rice and East Carolina by five or fewer points in the final seven weeks.

TULSA GOLDEN HURRICANE

Head coach: Bill Blakenship (19-8 in three seasons at Tulsa) Team: 41 lettermen, seven offensive, three defensive starters return from an 11-3 team (7-1

CONFERENCE USA PREVIEW C-USA, first in West Division), 15 lettermen lost. Key player: Cody Green threw for 2,592 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior. Outlook: Tulsa returns the core of an offense that was among the most productive in C-USA. Running back Trey Watts (1,108 rushing yards) Green and wide receivers Keyarris Garrett (67 receptions, 845 yards) and Jordan James (41 receptions, 568 yards) will be back to bolster an offense with Green at the helm. Tulsa will have to rebuild on defense around linebacker Shawn Jackson, one of only three starters returning.

UTEP MINERS Head coach: Sean Kugler (first season at UTEP) Team: 42 lettermen, seven offensive, four defensive starters return from an 3-9 team (2-6 C-USA, tied for fifth in West Division), 22 lettermen lost. Key player: Wide receiver Jordan Leslie led UTEP with 51 receptions for 973 yards to go along with six touchdowns and will be among the top wide receivers in C-USA. Outlook: Kugler takes over a program that has regressed since an appearance in the 2010 New Mexico Bowl and bottomed out in a 3-9 seaLeslie son in 2012. Kugler, a former UTEP and longtime NFL assistant, will look to rebuild around an offense with seven returning starters, including Leslie and running back Nathan Jeffery (897 rushing yards).

UTSA ROADRUNNERS Head coach: Larry Coker (12-10 in three seasons at UTSA, 72-25 in nine seasons overall) Team: 50 lettermen, 10 offensive, eight defensive starters return from an 8-4 team (3-3 WAC, fourth), nine lettermen lost. Key player: Eric Soza threw for 2,085 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2012. Outlook: UTSA finished 8-4 in just its second season, which could be considered both impressive and deceptive. The Roadrunners did pick up wins over Idaho and New Mexico State, both Soza longtime FBS members, but also bolstered their record with wins over Division II programs Texas A&M-Commerce and Northwestern Oklahoma State. UTSA will face Oklahoma State, Arizona, Houston and a full CUSA slate this year. UTSA will rely on 18 returning starters to lead the way.

East Division EAST CAROLINA PIRATES Head coach: Ruffin McNeil (19-19 in four seasons at ECU, 20-19 overall) Team: 49 lettermen, eight offensive, eight defensive starters return from an 8-5 team (7-1 C-USA, tied for first in East Division), 18 let-

Carden

termen lost. Key player: Shane Carden threw for 3,116 yards as a sophomore and will be among the top returning quarterbacks in C-USA. Outlook: ECU returns several of its key offensive players, including Carden, wide receiver Justin Hardy (1,105 receiving yards) and Vintavious Cooper (1,049 rushing yards) and should also be stout defensively. Eight starters return who accounted for 78 percent (766 out of 977) of ECU’s tackles.

FLORIDA ATLANTIC OWLS Head coach: Carl Pelini (3-9 in one season at FAU) Team: 53 lettermen, seven offensive, eight defensive starters return from a 3-9 team (2-6 Sun Belt, tied for eighth), 17 lettermen lost. Key player: William Dukes caught 63 passes for 979 yards and four touchdowns last season and is FAU’s top offensive threat. Outlook: FAU struggled in its first season under Pelini, posting just two wins over Dukes FBS opponents — Troy and Western Kentucky. The Owls could have a tough time improving dramatically on a three-win season this fall with games looming at Auburn, Miami and South Florida in addition to their C-USA slate.

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL PANTHERS Head coach: Ron Turner (first season at FIU, 4261 in eight seasons overall) Team: 45 lettermen, three offensive, three defensive starters return from a 3-9 team (2-6 Sun Belt, tied for eighth), 28 lettermen lost. Key player: Jake Medlock finished with 13 touchdowns and just two interceptions while throwing for 2,127 yards as a sophomore. Outlook: In a somewhat bafMedlock fling move, FIU fired Mario Cristobal after last season and replaced him with Turner. Cristobal took over an FIU program that finished 0-12 in 2006 and led the Golden Panthers to back to-back bowl games in 2010 and 2011 before the program fell off. Turner will have his work cut out for him with just six starters returning.

MARSHALL THUNDERING HERD Head coach: Doc Holliday (17-20 in three seasons at Marshall) Team: 54 lettermen, eight offensive, seven defensive starters return from a 5-7 team (4-4 C-USA, tied for third in East Division), 10 lettermen lost. Key player: Rakeem Cato threw for 4,201 yards and 37 touchdowns as a sophoCato more and is C-USA’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Outlook: Marshall appears poised to challenge

DRC Football for the C-USA East Division title and a bowl berth after a bitter season-ending 65-59 overtime loss to East Carolina in 2012 that prevented the Herd from becoming bowl-eligible.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE BLUE RAIDERS Head coach: Rick Stockstill (43-44 in seven seasons at MTSU) Team: 46 lettermen, nine offensive, eight defensive starters return from an 8-4 team (6-2 Sun Belt, tied for second), 18 lettermen lost. Key player: Logan Kilgore threw for 2,571 yards as a junior and has 5,342 passing yards in his MTSU career. Outlook: MTSU was blasted 45-0 by Arkansas State in a season-ending showdown for the Sun Belt title and was passed over for a bowl bid Kilgore despite finishing 8-4. MTSU will have plenty of motivation after that snub and a chance to reach a bowl this season when the Blue Raiders return 17 starters.

SOUTHERN MISS GOLDEN EAGLES Head coach: Todd Monken (first season at USM) Team: 49 lettermen, four offensive, nine defensive starters return from an 0-12 team (0-8 CUSA, sixth in East Division), 22 lettermen lost. Key player: Senior Deron Wilson has started every game of his college career in the Golden Eagles’ secondary and has broken up 34 passes, a total that ranks second in program history. Outlook: USM is coming off one of the worst seasons in program history. The Golden Eagles finished 12-2 in 2011 under Larry Fedora, who left for North Carolina. The Golden Eagles replaced Fedora with South Carolina defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson and Wilson promptly went 0-12. USM fired Johnson and hopes to rebound under Todd Monken, who helped direct Oklahoma State’s high-powered attack as the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator.

UAB BLAZERS

Head coach: Garrick McGee (3-9 in one season at UAB) Team: 51 lettermen, eight offensive, eight defensive starters return from an 3-9 team (2-6 CUSA, fifth in East Division), 17 lettermen lost. Key player: Quarterback Austin Brown set a UAB freshman record with 2,673 passing yards to go along with 15 touchdown passes in 2012. Outlook: UAB showed signs of life late in 2012, beating Southern Miss and Marshall in consecutive games in the last month of the season. The Blazers return 16 starters and will look to build on that surge behind Brown, who leads an offense that Brown averaged 28.2 points a game last season. — Brett Vito

DRC Football

NORTH TEXAS

August 29, 2013

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Chancellor still out to prove value

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

North Texas wide receiver Brelan Chancellor hauls in a pass from Derek Thompson in front of Troy defensive back Bryan Willis last season at Apogee Stadium. Chancellor has left his mark on the program statistically over the course of his career, but still feels like he has something to prove in his senior season.

Small stature has led senior to play with chip on his shoulder throughout career By Brett Vito Staff Writer

Brelan Chancellor believes he has something to prove heading into his senior season at North Texas. In that way, nothing much has changed for a player who has produced in more ways than just about anyone else on the Mean Green’s roster. Chancellor twice set the UNT singleseason record for kick return yards, is all but assured of clearing the 1,000-yard mark in career receiving yards this fall and, barring injury, will finish his career

ranked among the top three players in school history in all-purpose yards. So just what is it that Chancellor feels like he has to prove? Chancellor Ask the former Copperas Cove standout and he will say that he still has to show he belongs on a college field. Those doubts come with the territory when one is as small as Chancellor is at 59 and 183 pounds.

“Ever since I was in little league, coaches told me I was too small,” Chancellor said. “That is why I play with a chip on my shoulder. I always come out and try to prove something.” More often than not Chancellor has succeeded in doing just that during his career at UNT, which will need him to play a huge role in its offense yet again if the Mean Green is to capitalize on the opportunity its first season in Conference USA presents. UNT wants to make a big impression early in its tenure in the league, and

Chancellor is a key part of the plan — even though he isn’t a particularly big guy. The Mean Green will use Chancellor as a kick returner, slot receiver and in the running game, giving him every opportunity to show his biggest asset — the heart that has helped him maximize his talent. “His heart is as big as someone who is 65,” UNT offensive coordinator Mike Canales said. “That is how I look at it. He’s got the heart of a giant, and that is how he plays.” Looking at where Chancellor stands in See CHANCELLOR on 18

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August 29, 2013

From Page 17

Chancellor

UNT history — and how the Mean Green fared without him at the end of last season — shows his value. Chancellor ranks sixth in UNT history with 3,539 all-purpose yards and can move into third place with another 297 yards. At that point only Lance Dunbar and Patrick Cobbs would rank ahead of him. Dunbar is UNT’s all-time leading rusher and plays for the Cowboys, while Cobbs played five seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Miami Dolphins. Chancellor is UNT’s all-time leader in kickoff return yards with 2,368. He can also crack the 1,000-yard mark in receiving yards this year — he currently has 919 — despite playing in a run-first offense and catching just one pass his freshman year. Chancellor came to UNT as a running back and had to learn to play receiver. “I feel like I’ve played well, but I haven’t reached my full potential yet,” Chancellor said. “There is always some way I can be better and separate myself from the rest. I’m never satisfied.” That is especially true after the way last

DRC Football

NORTH TEXAS CHANCELLOR Career stats The following is a look at North Texas senior wide receiver Brelan Chancellor: Receiving Year Rec Yds Avg TDs 2010 1 12 12.0 0 2011 37 457 12.4 3 2012 25 450 18.0 5 Totals 63 919 14.6 8 Rushing Year Att Yds Avg TDs 2010 2 0 0 0 2011 4 46 11.5 0 2012 16 155 9.7 2 Totals 22 201 9.1 2 Kick returns Year Att Yds Avg TDs 2010 33 923 28.0 2 2011 50 1,094 21.9 0 2012 18 351 19.5 0 Totals 101 2,368 23.4 2

season ended. Chancellor broke his collarbone on the opening play of a loss to Middle Tennessee in the eighth game of the season. “It hurt,” Chancellor said. “It was a big deal to me. I hate sitting out.” Losing Chancellor was just as big a deal

Rings & Things

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

North Texas wide receiver Brelan Chancellor breaks away from Western Kentucky defensive back Kiante Young during the 2011 season. to UNT, which was never the same offensively without him. UNT failed to reach the 20-point mark twice in the last four weeks of the season without Chancellor — the first time in a 37-19 loss to Arkansas State and again two weeks later a 42-16 loss to LouisianaMonroe. “It was like losing an extremity,” Canales said. “I depended on him so much. I still

try to get him the ball as much as I can and need to get it to him more.” Chancellor’s teammates certainly won’t oppose that plan. “Every time Brelan steps on the field, he’s a threat,” UNT quarterback Derek Thompson said. “I know when defensive coordinators are game-planning they are saying watch out for No. 3. He’s a playmaker and can do a lot of things.”

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August 29, 2013

NORTH TEXAS

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Boutwell, McCarney believe in D-line Senior returns to form after injury-riddled year By Brett Vito Staff Writer

There might not be a player on North Texas’ roster with a better perspective on what it will take for the Mean Green’s defensive line to meet head coach Dan McCarney’s lofty expectations than Ryan Boutwell. The senior has seemingly seen it all during his time with the Mean Green — playing tackle Boutwell and end while helping tutor a host of young players UNT will rely on heavily this season. Both Boutwell and McCarney like what they have seen from those young players and the group as a whole. “I like our defensive line a lot,” McCarney said. “We have more guys who can play. They look different physically. We are executing better and understand the

scheme better. I expect more production.” UNT’s hopes for a breakout season will hinge in no small part on its defensive line’s ability to meet those expectations. McCarney described UNT’s big-play production from its defensive front as nearly non-existent during his first two seasons, something he says must change this fall when Boutwell will once again be a key part of the Mean Green’s plans. Boutwell has started 20 games in three seasons with UNT and helps set the tone for a group that could be deeper than ever with his tenacious attitude. That approach helped him finish with 28 tackles as a sophomore before a series of setbacks — including a torn pectoral muscle and a knee injury — limited him last season. The senior is healthy again and up to 265 pounds for a final season when he will help guide a series of young players on what could be UNT’s deepest line in years. “I love playing with these guys,” Boutwell said. “Most of them have been See D-LINE on 20

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

North Texas defensive lineman Ryan Boutwell tackles Louisiana-Monroe quarterback Kolton Browning during a game at Apogee Stadium in 2011. Boutwell should be back in top form this season after injuries limited him in 2012.

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From Page 19

with Daryl Mason, myself and some other young guys,” Bellazin said. “We have to show what we have.” Having Boutwell at full strength should help UNT’s cause. “No one plays harder than he does,” McCarney said. “He has to play with a low center of gravity with his size. He has to play quick and play relentlessly and he does all those things. He’s one of those seniors who deserve good things because of his commitment to this program.” Bellazin worked out with Boutwell all summer and expects him to go out with a flourish. “Boutwell will make a difference,” Bellazin said. “He suffered with injuries last season, but had a great off-season. We worked out all summer. He is getting work at defensive tackle and is looking good.” Boutwell has helped guide UNT’s defensive linemen throughout fall workouts. The work ethic they have shown has made an impression on their teammates. “I have confidence in all of those guys,” UNT safety Marcus Trice said. “They are fearless, relentless and won’t take it when people don’t give maximum effort. They won’t take that from themselves or anyone else.”

D-Line here at least two years and have worked hard over the summer.” UNT is hoping that hard work helps the group make up for the production of K.C. Obi. The end was the Mean Green’s most productive defensive lineman last season, when he finished with 5.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage as a senior. Senior defensive end Aaron Bellazin posted 5.0 sacks and 9.0 tackles for loss in 2012. The rest of UNT’s returning defensive linemen managed just 3.5 sacks and 12.0 tackles behind the line on the season. The hope is that a host of players will help UNT improve on that total. UNT will have end Brandon McCoy and tackles Richard Abbe, Alexander Lincoln and Austin Orr back in addition to some young players the Mean Green is counting on to come through, including ends Daryl Mason and Chad Polk. McCarney said UNT could play nine to 10 defensive linemen regularly. “We had a lot of linemen play last year

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

North Texas defensive tackle Richard Abbe (97) wraps up South Alabama running back Kendall Houston last season at Apogee Stadium.

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August 29, 2013

NORTH TEXAS

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Byrd’s contributions often overlooked By Brett Vito Staff Writer

Brandin Byrd has never been the center of attention during his North Texas career. The senior running back spent two seasons playing behind Lance Dunbar, the school’s all-time leading rusher who is now with the Cowboys, and was overlooked last year when a flashier player emerged in backup Antoinne Jimmerson. Nothing much has changed this fall for Byrd, who once again beat out more heralded players for the starting job, including Purdue transfer Reggie Pegram. Being overlooked is just fine with Byrd, who Byrd wants nothing more than to contribute again this season. “I just go out and play and do whatever I can to help the team,” Byrd said. “Whatever happens with the rest of it happens.” That approach describes Byrd, whose quiet contributions have made him a valued part of UNT’s offense. The former Copperas Cove standout broke free for an 85-yard touchdown run that snapped a 14-14 tie and sent UNT on its way to a 24-14 win over South Alabama last season. Byrd finished with 109 rushing yards against USA and posted three 100-yard games overall while leading UNT with 875 yards. Byrd has 1,127 rushing yards in his career. A repeat of last year’s performance would give him a place among the top 10 players in UNT history in career rushing yards. “With the competition and depth that

BYRD 2012 statistics Running back Brandin Byrd, shown below in North Texas’ spring game led the Mean Green with 995 all-purpose yards in 2012. The following is a look at his contributions:

Category Attempts Yards Rushing 205 875 Receiving 18 92 Kick returns 3 28 Totals 226 995

TDs 4 0 0 4

we have at running back right now, it would be easy to take a guy like him for granted,” UNT head coach Dan McCarney said. “I don’t. “He’s a good blocker, a good receiver, will run the ball hard and is a tough guy.” Byrd contributed in a variety of ways last season. In addition to leading the team in rushing, he caught 18 passes for 92 yards and returned three kickoffs for 28 yards. Add those totals up, and Byrd led the team with 995 all-purpose yards. Tommy Perry joined UNT’s staff as its running backs coach after last season and quickly came to appreciate Byrd’s consistency and intelligence. “Byrd’s the kind of guy where if you see

him in the hallway before practice you can say, ‘Hey, on this play, why don’t you lean on that safety who is going to come free and then run right through his shoulder?’ That is all you have to tell him,” Perry said. “Then he goes out on the field and does it. There are not many guys who have both that kind of intelligence and that kind of talent.” UNT can always count on Byrd to be in the right place in pass protection to pick up blitzes and contribute in the passing game. Being a well-rounded and intelligent player is something Byrd takes pride in. “The game is 80 percent mental,” Byrd said. “You can be a guy who is a heck of an athlete, but if you don’t know what is going on out there, you are not going to be too good. You have to be technically sound.” Being technically sound is something that doesn’t grab a lot of attention, but it’s vital to a team’s success. Byrd’s teammates are quick to point out all the ways he contributes that can sometimes be overlooked. “Byrd is steady and is a great leader,” offensive lineman Antonio Johnson said.

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“We know we can count on him more than 110 percent. I don’t overlook him and neither do the guys on the team. We appreciate him.” Byrd will start again this season and lead a talented group of running backs. Jimmerson returns after missing the last two games of the 2013 season with a broken shoulder blade. Pegram will play as will Rex Rollins, a speedy redshirt freshman who will serve as a change-ofpace back. “Byrd doesn’t want to come off the bench,” McCarney said. “He wants to be the starter and go out there for that first series against Idaho. He has a quiet presence and a quiet dignity about him, but yet he has this fierce competitiveness inside of him. He is a joy to coach every day.” The consistency that Byrd has shown throughout his career is a big reason why. It’s something he takes pride in. “I try to let the game come to me and do my job so that I can help the team,” Byrd said. “Everyone has a strength to their game. One of my main ones is being consistent and knowing what to do.”

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No. 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 8 8 9 9 10 10 11 11 12 13 14 14 15 16 16 17 18 18 19 19 20 20 21 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 29 30 31 31 32 32 34 35 36 37 37 38 40 41 42 44 45 47 48

August 29, 2013

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NORTH TEXAS

MEAN GREEN Roster Player Pos. Zed Evans DB Turner Smiley WR D.Q. Johnson DB Reggie Pegram RB Brelan Chancellor WR Calvin Minor LB Darvin Kidsy WR Mark Lewis RB David Busby DB Andrew McNulty QB Hilbert Jackson DB Jordan Gill QB Derek Thompson QB Derek Akunne LB Marcus Trice DB Cooper Jones TE Carlos Harris WR Brandon Johnson WR Derrick Teegarden WR John Schilleci DB Darius Terrell WR Will Wright LB Dajon Williams QB James Jones DB Erick Evans RB Chris Loving TE Mike Marshall DB Brock Berglund QB Chad Davis DB Lynrick Pleasant WR Jamal Marshall LB Marcus Smith TE Brandon Allen DB Brady Brown WR Andrew Tucker DB Rex Rollins RB Freddie Warner DB Dimitri Wilhite RB Antoinne Jimmerson RB Zac Whitfield DB Brandin Byrd RB Bryan Monroe RB Zach Paul K Lairamie Lee DB Brock Squier DB Jarrian Roberts DE Kenny Buyers DB John Chelf WR Fred Scott LB Jamarcus Jarvis DB Willie Hubbard WR Zach Orr LB Brandon Davis LB Sheldon Wade DB Zach Olen K Brendan Campbell DB Blake Macek P Ricky Pratt DB Chad Polk DE Aaron Bellazin DE Tarik Jefferson LB Jake Smith LB Wylie Reinhardt TE

Ht. 5-11 6-0 5-11 5-9 5-9 6-3 6-0 5-10 5-11 6-1 6-1 6-0 6-4 6-0 5-8 6-4 5-8 6-0 6-0 6-0 6-3 6-2 6-3 5-11 5-9 6-4 6-0 6-4 5-10 6-2 6-3 6-4 6-0 6-5 6-0 6-1 5-10 5-8 5-9 5-9 5-10 5-8 5-9 5-10 5-9 6-2 5-11 5-11 5-11 5-10 5-10 6-1 6-0 5-11 5-10 6-2 5-9 5-7 6-0 6-2 6-0 5-11 6-4

Wt. 198 187 188 221 186 207 174 210 188 210 185 184 218 244 193 243 172 208 204 193 212 221 199 173 190 272 207 213 180 205 210 255 183 225 199 197 189 200 222 190 223 187 185 195 195 238 177 178 235 212 168 240 215 181 221 201 186 170 223 265 214 205 275

Yr. Jr. Fr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Fr. Fr. RFr. So. So. Sr. RFr. Sr. Jr. Sr. So. So. Jr. Jr. Fr. Jr. Sr. Fr. Jr. Fr. Jr. Jr. So. Fr. Sr. So. So. So. Sr. Fr. RFr. Jr. Jr. So. So. Sr. Sr. So. Jr. RFr. RFr. So. Jr. Fr. RFr. Jr. Sr. So. Jr. Sr. Jr. RFr. Jr. So. Sr. Jr. Jr. Fr.

UNT Schedule Date Opponent Aug. 31 Idaho Sept. 7 at Ohio Sept. 14 Ball State Sept. 21 at Georgia Oct. 5 at Tulane* Oct. 12 Middle Tennessee* Oct. 19 at Louisiana Tech* Oct. 26 at Southern Miss* Oct. 31 Rice* Nov. 9 UTEP* Nov. 23 UTSA* Nov. 30 at Tulsa* * — Conference USA game 49 50 50 52 53 54 56 57 58 59 62 63 64 65 66 68 69 70 70 71 72 73 74 76 77 78 79 80 82 83 84 85 86 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 98 99

Daryl Mason Robert Lewis Kaydon Kirby Sed Ellis Shawn McKinney Blake Dunham Malik Dilonga Mason Y’Barbo Tony Johnson Cody Nelson Cyril Lemon Sid Moore LaChris Anyiam Micah Thompson Michael Banogu Eric Keena Trevor Melugin Justin Manu Sir Calvin Wallace Antonio Johnson Ryan Rentfro Austin Burtnett Cam Feldt Harrison Sorge Travis Ellard Connor Trussell Dominick Walker Darnell Smith Nick Schrapps Carl Caldwell Quenton Brown Roderick Lancaster Drew Miller Tanner Smith Daniel Prior Ryan Boutwell Austin Orr LaJaylin Smith Brandon McCoy Mustafa Haboul Alexander Lincoln Cade Carter Richard Abbe Dutton Watson Jarrod Lynn Andy Flusche

Time 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 3 p.m. TBA 2:30 p.m. 6 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 6 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. TBA

DE 6-3 LB 6-0 OL 6-3 LB 6-3 OL 6-4 DS 6-1 DE 6-4 OL 6-2 DS 6-1 OL 6-5 OL 6-3 DL 6-1 OL 6-4 OL 6-4 OL 6-5 P 6-2 OL 6-2 OL 6-5 DT 6-2 OL 6-5 OL 6-4 OL 6-3 OL 6-5 OL 6-5 OL 6-3 OL 6-5 OL 6-5 WR 6-1 WR 6-3 WR 5-10 DE 6-4 WR 6-2 TE 6-1 TE 6-3 TE 6-2 DT 6-3 DE 6-4 LB 6-0 DE 6-2 DT 6-0 DE 6-2 TE 6-3 DT 6-4 DT 6-3 TE 6-0 DE 6-3

253 220 313 189 365 223 251 307 217 277 304 252 296 316 292 155 299 281 293 294 298 286 299 304 290 287 278 203 203 176 235 205 258 250 246 248 272 221 257 253 267 230 320 273 233 230

Jr. Jr. RFr. Fr. Jr. Jr. RFr. Jr. RFr. Fr. Jr. Fr. Sr. So. So. So. Fr. Jr. RFr. Jr. RFr. So. Jr. Fr. So. RFr. Fr. Sr. RFr. Sr. Jr. RFr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. So. So. Sr. RFr. Jr. Jr. Sr. RFr. So. Fr.

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August 29, 2013

23

Connection trio shares sparks UNT line By Brett Vito Staff Writer

Cyril Lemon chuckled this fall at the thought of the appropriate nature of the weekly routine he and a few of his North Texas teammates follow. Lemon, Antonio Johnson and Mason Y’Barbo all gather on Thursday nights during the season and settle on a place to eat out. The bill can get hefty at times for the core of the Mean Green’s offensive line. The three juniors combine to tip the scales at well over 900 pounds and tip the scales of competition in UNT’s favor more often than not on Saturdays because of their talent and the connection between them those meals help foster. “Any time you have players who hang out off the field, it helps you on the field,” Lemon said. “We have become friends, not just teammates. We have each other’s backs off the field and on the field.” That connection was evident last season, when UNT allowed just six sacks the entire season. That total was the lowest in the nation, which was an impressive feat considering UNT played LSU and Kansas State on the road in addition to facing four other teams that played in bowl games. There is a poster in the meeting room UNT’s offensive line uses at the Mean Green Athletic Center commemorating the achievement. UNT head coach Dan McCarney often refers to the power of the unit when talking about the group that seems a little overlooked when it comes to individual accolades. Aaron Fortenberry, UNT’s senior center who completed his career last season, was the only first- or secondteam All-Sun Belt Conference selection among the Mean Green’s offensive linemen last season. None of UNT’s trio of junior offensive linemen was named to the preseason All-Conference USA team this fall, either. Taken individually, UNT’s trio of veteran linemen might not stand out. Put them together and they are tough to beat. Just like Lemon, Y’Barbo credited the connection they share after having played together for years. Lemon and Y’Barbo start at guard, while Johnson is a tackle. “Antonio and I had a friendship

UNT A cornerstone trio Guards Mason Y’Barbo and Cyril Lemon and tackle Antonio Johnson form a core of three juniors that will power the North Texas offensive line this season. The following is a look at the group: Antonio Johnson, tackle The 6-6, 311-pound tackle has started 23 straight games in the first two seasons of his college career. The former Diboll standout played basketball in high school and has shown quickness and solid footwork for a player his size. Mason Y’Barbo, guard A player known as “Badger” at UNT because of his tenacity, Y’Barbo has started 24 straight games for the Mean Green. Y’Barbo, who is listed at 6-2, 309, was named honorable mention All-Sun Belt Conference last season. Cyril Lemon, guard Lemon has started all 24 games of his college career and earned honorable mention All-Sun Belt Conference honors in each of his first two seasons. Lemon is a monstrous player at 6-3, 321, and is terrific in pass protection.

immediately,” Y’Barbo said. “When Cyril started playing as a true freshman, he was right in there with us. That has helped us. The closer you are, the more trust you have with each other. Antonio and I don’t have to say anything. We know what each other are going to do. It’s second nature.” UNT quarterback Derek Thompson said one can often find the members of the Mean Green’s offensive line in the film room or on the field fine-tuning their game plan for the next week at 6 a.m. on weekdays. The group just goes about its business without much fanfare or recognition while keeping an even keel. See O-LINE on 24

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

North Texas offensive lineman Mason Y’Barbo hoists up wide receiver Brelan Chancellor (3) after Chancellor a touchdown last season at Apogee Stadium.

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August 29, 2013

From Page 23

O-line

“It’s a joy to be around those guys,” McCarney said. “Those three guys every single day are there with the same look on their faces. They work their tails off, don’t give in to adversity and don’t care who is on the schedule — a team that is 91 or 1-9. You are still going to get the same effort and productivity out of those guys either way.” McCarney and the members of the group give much of the credit to offensive line coach Mike Simmonds, who played four years in the NFL. No one appreciates what Simmonds and the core of UNT’s offensive line has accomplished more than Thompson. “They’re awesome,” Thompson said. “They do such a good job with blitz pickups and knowing what they are going to do. It was nice to know that I could drop back and see things down the field. It could be similar this year.” UNT is hoping that it will be. Fortenberry won’t be easy to replace, but the Mean Green still has Lemon, Y’Barbo and Johnson to build around and a reminder of what is possible hanging in

NORTH TEXAS

DRC Football

“Any time you have players who hang out off the field, it helps you on the field. We have become friends, not just teammates. We have each other’s backs off the field and on the field.” — Cyril Lemon, North Texas offensive lineman on the connection he shares with two other junior starters

their meeting room. The poster commemorating their six-sack season is special to each member of the trio. “We are very proud of only allowing six sacks,” Y’Barbo said. “It was a big accomplishment for us, something that isn’t done very often. It meant a lot to us and our coaches, but at the same time this is a new year and a new line.”

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

North Texas offensive lineman Cyril Lemon, bottom, blocks Arkansas State sophomore linebacker Qushaun Lee, clearing the way for running back Antionne Jimmerson to cross the goal line last season at Apogee Stadium.

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August 29, 2013

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COVER STORY

Heard in spotlight after dream year By Adam Boedeker Staff Writer

Guyer quarterback Jerrod Heard allowed weeks to pass before he went back and watched the final game of his junior season. The reason why might be hard for some to understand. By this point, it is no secret Heard put on a transcendent performance in the Class 4A Division I state championship game, leading the Wildcats back from a 16-point, second-half deficit and accounted for seven touchdowns to give the Wildcats their first state championship. Many kids would have been clamoring to watch the televised broadcast of the game to relive those memories. It took Heard nearly a month. “It took me a while to go back and watch it,” Heard said. “I don’t know why. I just didn’t want to watch it again. It was a while before I actually turned it on and watched it. “It gave me butterflies like I was about to go back out.” The question Heard and Guyer must answer now is if they can handle going back out this year, this time with a world of pressure on their shoulders. Many people would assume if Heard can repeat his performance from 2012, which included the two biggest games of his career in his team’s two biggest games, that the Wildcats will waltz to another state championship. With a preseason No. 1 ranking and one of the state’s top quarterbacks returning, the Wildcats are undoubtedly a favorite to repeat. Heard and his teammates are cognizant of the fact they will be the team everyone wants to upset. “We try to stay out of the media world,” Heard said. “Nothing’s wrong with it, but coming into the season you can’t be like ‘We’re No. 1.’ It’s a great thing we’re No. 1, and I think we deserve it, but we just have to stay level-headed and be thankful for being No. 1 and maintain that spot.” Pressure is something Heard has dealt with for two seasons now, but the upcoming years might prove to carry even more, both in high school and down the road as a Texas Longhorn.

Growing up

Heard had some big shoes to fill when he became Guyer’s starting quarterback

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

Guyer quarterback Jerrod Heard crosses the goal line for a touchdown during the Wildcats’ win over Georgetown in the Class 4A Division I state championship game last season at AT&T Stadium. Heard will be one of the most visible players in the state this fall. The senior has committed to Texas and will be under pressure to lead Guyer to another state title. entering his sophomore season. His predecessor, J.W. Walsh, led Guyer to two state semifinal appearances and lost a thriller in the Class 5A Division II state championship game as a senior. In his first game as the Wildcats’ starter in 2011, Heard’s mental lapse on a kneel play to kill the clock and seal a victory against Garland backfired as he kneeled too soon. That mistake gave Garland the ball with a chance at a game-winning field goal in the final seconds, one the Owls missed. That was a low point for Heard. Since then, he’s been on a massive upward trend. As a junior, Heard and the Wildcats’ offense sputtered early in the season, particularly in the passing game. Heard took most of the blame, but there were several factors. “Our early struggles in the throwing

game were several things [in 2012], whether it was wide receivers or the line’s protection, but where Jerrod was messing up was just not relaxing and doing what he does,” Guyer head coach John Walsh said. “I think he put some pressure on himself early last year that he finally let go of, but he wasn’t the sole reason for the struggles.” Guyer lost in the second round of the playoffs to end Heard’s sophomore season, the Wildcats’ earliest exit in the program’s playoff history and the only time the Wildcats have not made it to at least the state semifinals. Heard put up solid numbers, but also made expected sophomore mistakes that many 16-year-olds would have made playing top-level 5A football in a district See HEARD on 27

ON THE COVER Denton ISD Denton ISD Schools City to feature some of the ...

State’s Elite

Denton will feature several talented players this year, including, from left, Denton’s Aaron Maxwell, Ryan’s Sekou Clark and Guyer’s Thomas Ferguson.

DRC Football

COVER STORY

From Page 26

Heard

that included state champion Southlake Carroll and powerhouse Coppell. He finished that year with 2,300 passing yards to go along with 27 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while rushing for 717 yards and five scores in 12 games. In 16 games as a junior, Heard dwarfed those numbers on the ground with 2,164 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns. The entire passing game struggled early in the season, but Heard still threw for 2,115 yards and 18 scores. As the season wore on, Heard hit his stride and became more comfortable in his own shoes. “He improved tremendously as last season continued,” Walsh said. “You saw a big confidence boost come playoff time. He’s gotten better over the summer and in offseason, though. I’m really looking forward to what he’ll do on the field [in 2013]. He’s definitely improved from what we saw on Dec. 22. He’s a better QB right now.” That’s a scary thought for Guyer opponents, especially when you consider what Heard did in the final few games of last season.

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

HEARD Guyer quarterback piling up statistics The following is a look at the impact of Jerrod Heard, shown above in Guyer’s win over Birdville during its run to the Class 4A Division I state title, in his previous two seasons with the Wildcats: Season 2011 2012 Totals

Com.-Att.-Int. 134-222-10 157-252-7 291-474-17

Pass Yards-TDs 2,300-27 2,115-18 4,415-45

Rush yds./TDs 717-5 2,164-35 2,881-40

Team record Playoffs 8-4 5A-DII area finalists 14-2 4A-I state champs 22-6

Breaking through For much of last season, it seemed the Wildcats were on cruise control. Often jumping out to big leads in the first half, Heard usually found himself on the bench at some point in the third quarter cheering on his backup, David Haynes. Many high school football followers might have assumed the Wildcats and Heard would fare differently when playing teams on equal footing, which aside from district foe Wichita Falls Rider would have to wait until deep in the postseason. That’s when Heard stepped up his game to gargantuan levels and validated the Texas Longhorns’ choice to make him their Class of 2014 quarterback target — a spot usually reserved for the best high school quarterback in the state. “We see it every day in practice,” said Guyer tight end Jonathan Pershall. “We get up early and come out at halftime so you don’t see the full effect of what he can do. But when we get to big games and he gets to show everything, that’s when everyone can finally see it. That’s why he’s going to Texas.” At the time, Heard played perhaps his best game of the season in the regional final against Birdville. Heard rushed for

167 yards and two scores and threw three touchdown passes on 11-of-15 passing for 172 yards to send Guyer to the state semifinals for the fourth time in five seasons. In a heated matchup with Tyler John Tyler, the Wildcats’ muscle up front proved to be too much for John Tyler’s speed as Guyer raced out to a big lead before holding off a furious rally at the end and advancing to the state championship game. That night, Heard scampered for 318 of Guyer’s 613 rushing yards and scored four touchdowns on the ground. “It didn’t even register what he had done, until after I saw it on film,” Pershall said. “I was like, ‘God, this is a high school quarterback. I’m playing with this kid.’” Next up was the state championship game, in which Heard completed eight passes for 189 yards and two scores and rushed for 143 yards and five touchdowns, including three in the final six minutes of the third quarter that erased a 16-point Georgetown lead in Guyer’s 4837 victory. “You go from our semifinal game to our title game and an individual performance to get your team over the top and win big ballgames, that’s as good as I’ve seen,”

Walsh said. “What he has left to prove is if we do come against someone that can match us up front, ‘Can he do it from the 30-yard line [in a two-minute offense] and can he do it through the air?’” “What hasn’t he proven on a high school field? That’s it right there.”

Down the road While Walsh spread the blame around the entire Guyer offense for the Wildcats’ passing woes early in the 2012 season, he acknowledged Heard was one of many parts of the problem. He also believes his senior quarterback is ready to prove a lot of doubters wrong when it comes to his passing ability, and if the ESPN Elite 11 camp over the summer is any evidence, those doubters should get their jabs in soon. Heard finished fourth at the camp and drew high praise from Elite 11 coach and Super Bowl winning quarterback Trent Dilfer. “He’s gotten more accurate with the ball,” Walsh said. “You get more accurate with the ball when your mind’s processing the reads faster. As far as the summer camps, you take the top guys in the country and you finish fourth, that’s pretty

August 29, 2013

27

dang good. It’s a throwing camp. They weren’t asking Jerrod to run.” “We relied a lot on play-action last year, and I think this year we can just drop back and say ‘Hey, we’re four-wide and we’re throwing because the ball’s going where it’s supposed to go. Come stop us.’” Walsh stresses the only pressure on Heard this season is to be good every day in practice and in the film room. The pressure on Friday nights for Heard will be non-existent, Walsh said. He also believes his star quarterback doesn’t think about the pressure that comes with being a potential savior for a Texas program that has searched for one since Colt McCoy graduated. Heard admitted trying to live up to being the Texas pledge is something he thinks about. “Just having that title of being a future student-athlete at the University of Texas is a big magnifying glass on you,” Heard said. “If you want to be in that position you have to do what’s right and be a role model to others. That’s part of it. I’m prepared for that spotlight.” His ability to deal with that pressure leaves many of his teammates in awe. Some like Pershall take friendly jabs at Heard for being in the spotlight and on the cover of national magazines, although he is aware of the challenges his quarterback faces. “I know I couldn’t handle it,” Pershall said. “That’s just got to be crazy pressure to stay committed to that team [Texas] and worrying about other people talking to you and going to Elite 11, and then coming back here worrying about what we have to do here. But that’s why he is what he is, why he’s the quarterback and why he’s going to Texas.” As far as what awaits Heard in Austin after what he hopes is a back-to-back state championship campaign at Guyer, the quiet-natured, humble kid is ready for whatever comes his way. “I think about it [the future at Texas] constantly,” Heard said. “Not as much as I think about this team, but it’s always in the back of my head. I just made up my mind that when I get there I’ll go out there and compete, and when my time comes I’ll be ready.” But first thing’s first, and as for the pressure on Heard and his Guyer teammates to repeat, he welcomes it with open arms. “I want to have the pressure of doing it again,” Heard said. “I want to do it again for my team more than showing I deserve to go to Texas. That’s my biggest priority.”

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August 29, 2013

RYAN

DRC Football

Willis, Gray form potent pair for Ryan By Ben Baby Staff Writer

In last season’s playoff opener against Hurst L.D. Bell, wide receiver Trent Willis made the play that turned momentum in Ryan’s favor and helped the Raiders push into the second round of the Class 5A Division II playoffs. Against two defenders, Willis spun in the air and caught a deep pass. He came back down, gracefully stayed in bounds and scored a key touchdown. “That pretty much was our season in one catch,” senior quarterback Mitchell Bridges said. After Bell tied the game, Willis had another key catch to set up the late gamewinning field goal. In Ryan’s balanced offense, Willis and fellow senior wide receiver Xavier Gray will both play key roles in keeping Ryan’s offense rolling in a year when expectations will be raised. And while the passing attack isn’t as prolific as it was in the days of star quarterback Scotty Young, Ryan head coach Joey Florence is pleased with what his offense is capable of. “I hope we’re never as prolific as we were back then because it made it very difficult to play defense,” Florence said. “We want to be more balanced. This team right here is a very good offensive football team.” With the likes of Tyrone Williams and Maurice Gordon returning in the backfield, defenses won’t have the luxury of loading up to stop Ryan’s rushing attack because of the Raiders’ ability to pass the ball. Last season, Willis and Gray had three different quarterbacks trying to target them. Bridges missed four of the team’s nine regular season games and was knocked out of another game in which fourthstring quarterback Kevin Ray was forced to switch from wide receiver and lead the offense. Ray is gone and the other two backups, Gray and senior Preston Compton, will both be used primarily at wide receiver. Gray said the continuity those players

RYAN: IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton Wide receivers Xavier Gray and Trent Willis made a host of big plays for Ryan in 2012 and will be counted on to contribute again this fall when the Raiders take on a challenging schedule as a member of District 5-5A. Gray made a spectacular touchdown catch in the playoffs against L.D. Bell to tie the game and later caught a pass that set up the game-winning field goal.

developed over the years finally started to translate to the field in 2012. He expects those effects to spill over into 2013. “We’ve all been pretty good friends since freshman year and been playing with each other for a while now, so last year was the first time we got to do it on a consistent basis, so it felt good,” Gray said. “I think this year will be even better.” Bridges and Gray first came across each other during a track meet in eighth grade at Ryan. Bridges said both he and Gray were looking for a way out of the 100meter dash and were planning to false start. They never got the chance. “[Ryan defensive coordinator David] Thomas didn’t give us time,” Bridges said. “He shot the gun before we even got down.”

Florence called Gray the key to the team, from the wide receiver’s personality and leadership skills to his play-making ability once he gets the ball. “He’s not flashy, but he’s very hard to tackle when he gets the ball in his hands,” Florence said. “I’ve coached a lot faster and a lot more athletic guys, but he’s got an amazing ability of staying on his feet. People have a hard time of tackling him. He’s going to play a big part of what we’re going to do this year.” Last season, Gray compiled 304 receiving yards and a touchdown, while Willis reeled off 537 yards and six scores.

RAIDERS Quick facts District: 5-5A 2012 record: 6-5 (3-2, District 5-5A) Coach: Joey Florence (142-34 in 13 years at Ryan) Returning starters: six on offense, seven on defense Key players: DT J.T. Williams, QB Mitchell Bridges, RB Tyrone Williams, DL Nolan Robinson, WR Xavier Gray, WR Trent Willis, DE Alex Funches Offense: Multiple Defense: 4-2-5 School enrollment: 2,125 Stadium: C.H. Collins Athletic Complex

See RYAN on 32

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DRC Football

August 29, 2013

29

Good Luck This Season!

Ryan High School – Go Raiders!

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Ryan Raiders Varsity 2013 2011 Football Schedule

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Aug. 30 Sept. 5 Sept. 13 Sept. 27 Oct. 11 Oct. 18 Oct. 25 Nov. 1 Nov. 8

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Time

at Corsicana at Wichita Falls Rider at Wylie East McKinney at Flower Mound Marcus* at Hebron* Lewisville* at Coppell* Flower Mound*

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RYAN

31

‘Juicy’ extends Ryan’s run of top D-linemen By Ben Baby Staff Writer

The story behind J.T. Williams’ nickname stretches back to the days he roamed the middle school basketball courts. Prior to the start of an eighth-grade basketball game, the current Ryan defensive tackle went on a quest to find apple juice and failed when the vending machine was juiceless. When Williams returned to the court in his uniform, the game he was supposed to be playing in was already in the second quarter and he wasn’t going to be playing. Thus, the nickname “Juicy” was born. This season, Williams will lead another illustrious Ryan defensive line, something that’s almost expected on a yearly basis since the turn of the millennium. Ryan head coach Joey Florence lauded the leader of the defensive line and considered Williams among the best defen-

sive tackles to play for Ryan. “He’s as good as the ones we’ve had,” Florence said. “We’re talking about guys like Derek Lokey, Dontrey Flemings, Damon Medcafe. We’ve had some really good defensive tackles come through this program, and Juicy’s right in there with them.” This year’s defensive line is one of the deepest the Raiders have had in the program’s history. Along with Williams, Ryan features Sekou Clark and Alex Funches. Clark already has offers from Washington State, Tulane and Louisiana-Monroe. Funches could be on the verge of joining his teammates by grabbing his first major college offer. Senior Reese Strait moves from linebacker and will be starting alongside Williams at defensive tackle, and Nolan Robinson, a 2012 Associated Press firstSee D-LINE on 44

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

J.T. Williams is the latest in a long line of standout defensive linemen at Ryan, which has a top front again this year. Williams, better known as “Juicy” around the program, has already received several major college scholarship offers.

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DRC Football

RYAN

EXTRA POINTS Keys to a successful year POSITION OF STRENGTH

Maurice Arterberry will try to fill the void and ensure Ryan’s explosive running backs flourish in 2013.

If there’s one consistent aspect of Ryan teams under head coach Joey Florence, it’s the impressive play of the Raiders’ defensive line. For yet another year, Ryan’s crown jewel may be its defensive front. The likes of Alex Funches, J.T. Williams, Robinson Sekou Clark and Nolan Robinson hold down the front trenches for Ryan’s 4-2-5 defense. Robinson was an Associated Press first-team all-state selection last year. Williams, Clark and Funches will Clark be tough to handle for opposing offensive lines. The four linemen combined for 63.6 percent of Ryan’s sacks last season.

Ryan’s most impactful newcomer will be the player who led the junior varsity’s offense last year. Paul Hunter was the quarterback of the JV team in 2012 and will be asked to be the team’s starting free safety. Along with his defensive duties, Hunter’s athleticism and quickness will also be used on Hunter the offensive side of the ball. Hunter replaces Reynal Caldwell, who was arguably the team’s best player last season and was a unanimous all-district selection. Hunter’s growth will be critical for a young Ryan secondary that will be tested early and often.

POINT OF CONCERN

GAME OF THE YEAR

As strong as the defensive line is for the Raiders, the offensive line will be closely watched in 2013. Jake Hays, Austin Coker and Matt Griffin all departed from a front that was one of Ryan’s strongest units in 2012. While Dakota Laws and Tucker Cross return with experience, newcomers Tristan Brown, Skylar Hodges and

In a district with only six teams, each game carries more weight than games in a district with more teams. For Ryan, its district fate could hinge on the Raiders’ first 5-5A game at Flower Mound Marcus on Oct. 11. Florence said the team’s lengthy nondistrict schedule points toward Florence the district opener. A win against Marcus could set the right tone for the remaining four district games and set Ryan up for a favorable run in the postseason.

Cross

Brown

KEY NEWCOMER

RAIDERS Roster No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

Player Pos. Ht. Xavier Gray WR 5-10 Shomari Cann WR 5-8 Robert Conner WR 5-9 Paul Hunter WR 5-11 J.T. Williams DL 6-3 Tyrone Williams RB 6-1 Preston Compton WR 6-0 Randalle Williams DB 6-0 Mitchell Bridges QB 5-9 Jamaras Jordan DB 5-8 Jesse Rojas DB 5-7 Marc Orozco K/P 5-9 Wesley Ellis WR 5-6 Cade Kennedy DB 6-0 Amir Mohamed LB 6-3 Ronnie Coleman DB 5-8 Nolan Robinson DL 6-1 Alex Funches DL 6-3 Xavier Pittman WR 5-11 A.J. Anderson RB 5-10 Trent Willis WR 5-10 Sekou Clark DE 6-4 Reese Strait DL 6-2 Stefan Horton LB 5-6 Tre Rivera DB 5-8 Danny Meza WR 5-10 Jordan Murray WR 5-11 Maurice Gordon RB 5-10 Cameron Williams DB 5-10 Ridge Tull HB 6-1 Adrian Sanchez LB 5-7 Elijah Allen DB 6-0 Isiah Daniels DB 5-11 Reilly Martinez HB 5-11 Tristan Greer DB 5-10 Cole Carpenter LB 6-0 Saket Patel WR 5-6 Austin Garon LB 5-9 Zack Shilling DB 6-2 Ben Kimbrough RB 5-11

Wt. 170 150 160 180 270 210 185 170 185 160 160 180 140 160 220 160 195 205 165 205 165 240 250 170 180 170 160 185 150 205 185 160 180 195 155 190 165 185 185 160

Yr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr.

From Page 28

Ryan

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

Ryan wide receiver Xavier Gray pulls away from Wylie East defensive back Carlos Weathersby last season at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.

Along with Gray, Willis became a big part of helping the Raiders go 6-5 last season and reach the area round of the 5A Division II playoffs. Willis had two touchdowns in Ryan’s playoff win over Bell and had four catches for 50 yards in Ryan’s season-ending loss to Cedar Hill, the eventual state runner-up. Bridges said it’s comforting having receivers he can trust in Gray and Willis. “It makes it a lot easier to be able to throw in that general direction and know that they have a chance of getting it,” Bridges said. “Not every ball has to be perfect.” Willis said Ryan will look to maintain

RYAN Schedule Date Opponent Aug. 30 at Corsicana Sept. 5 at W.F. Rider Sept. 13 at Wylie East Sept. 27 McKinney Oct. 11 at F.M. Marcus* Oct. 18 at Hebron* Oct. 25 Lewisville* Nov. 1 at Coppell* Nov. 8 Flower Mound* *District 5-5A games 42 43 44 48 50 52 53 55 57 58 60 62 63 65 66 70 72 73 76 80 81 88 90 94 96 99

Dylan Tomor Tederick Williams Kody West Jacob Kizer Conner Burris Maurice Arterberry Skyler Hodges Tucker Cross Peter Martin Anthony Young Sam Garcia Tyler Gaines Reuben Acton Bailey French Miguel Esparza Jacob Fuess Eric Summerlin Tristan Brown Dakota Laws Matthew Wagganer Perry Nichols Tevin Morales Roger Hernandez Donievin Oliver Ken Mclaurin Tony Caballero

DB DL HB DL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL WR WR DL DL DL DL DL

Time 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

5-10 5-11 6-1 6-1 6-0 5-10 5-8 6-3 5-10 5-10 5-5 5-6 6-0 6-2 6-1 6-1 6-3 6-0 6-4 5-10 5-8 5-11 5-11 6-0 6-3 5-8

160 240 260 205 250 250 225 310 240 220 225 250 270 230 230 230 210 315 280 165 150 160 210 250 265 190

Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. So. Sr.

the offensive rhythm the team had at the end of last season. “It motivates us, really,” Willis said. “I feel like this year, our offense is going to be better. We’re going to be really good.” In Ryan’s first preseason scrimmage against Fort Worth Southwest, shades of last season were visible. Bridges tossed a pass deep down the field in Willis’ direction. Willis turned in the air and plucked the ball off the back of a defender for a lengthy gain. Willis emphatically bobbed his head in the direction of his defender before his coaches restrained him. It’s a glimpse of the fire Ryan will carry into this season, where the team will look to chase the program’s third state championship trophy.

DRC Football

DENTON

August 29, 2013

33

Denton, Ward aim for improvement By Patrick Hayslip Staff Writer

Last season was eye-opening for the Denton Broncos and quarterback Cy Ward. In a new system with a new coaching staff, the Broncos were just beginning the process of becoming a team in head coach Kevin Atkinson’s image. “At one time last year, we started five sophomores on the offensive line,” Atkinson said. “We were very young up front, were young at the quarterback position and young at the running back position. We weren’t a great offensive team last year.” With the offensive line constantly in flux, Ward found himself in some undesirable and unpredictable situations, but this year’s offensive line has aged and added invaluable experience, something Ward is fully appreciative of. “They’re amazing,” Ward said. “They got so much stronger and so much more physical. The experience just helped us a ton. Anybody can throw the ball, but if you have all day and you can’t go through all your reads, it’s huge. They can hold the receivers forever. Time affects everything in football. It helps a ton.” Ward and the Broncos didn’t get off to a great start last year, losing to Bishop Lynch 30-14 in their first game of the season at home, but they responded by winning their next two games while their offense posted 76 points. The Broncos then stumbled in district play, but Atkinson got to see a glimpse of how the team handled its first experience with adversity. “Anytime you go through adversity it’s going to make you sharper,” Atkinson said. “It’s the way you become a good quarterback and a good offensive team; you go through some unfortunate events, but when you look back, it’s probably the best thing that could ever happen to you. I always tell our kids, you’re always in three different areas. You’re either going through adversity, just went through adversity or about to. We learned a lot about what not to do.” After throwing for 193 yards, a touch-

DENTON: IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton Cy Ward threw for 1,670 yards in 2012 to lead Denton in a tough season overall that saw the Broncos win just one district game. The Broncos return nine starters on offense this year and will look to bounce back behind Ward, who should benefit from playing behind a veteran offensive line and throwing to an experienced group of wide receivers.

down and an interception in the seasonopening loss, Ward showed he could learn from mistakes, responding with a 351yard game and five touchdowns six days later against Carrollton R.L. Turner. The Broncos’ 3-7 finish to the season humbled an already modest Ward, but he started every game and learned some hard, valuable lessons along the way while throwing for 1,670 yards and 13 touchdowns. One pitfall Ward, now a senior, fell victim to as the season went along was falling out of sync with his wide receivers, who struggled to stay healthy and grasp the new offense. This season, Ward knows where his playmakers are going to be with last sea-

son acting as a crucial crash course. “I was young,” Ward said. “I didn’t know what everyone in the offense was doing and this year, I made it a point to learn all of that. I want to be able to tell everyone what to do and where to go. Last year, I was kind of playing wide receiver too, so I started watching more film and taking more notes. It’s been a huge priority. I’ve been preparing for this year so much. I don’t know it fully yet, but I need to know all of it like a coach on the field.” Senior wideouts Adarian Harris and Deandre Coleman along with junior Key’andre Hearvey all pose matchup problems for opposing defenses with

BRONCOS Quick facts District: 5-4A 2012 record: 3-7 (1-6, District 5-4A) Coach: Kevin Atkinson (3-7 in one season at Denton) Returning starters: Nine on offense, five on defense Key players: QB Cy Ward, WR Adarian Harris, WR Ke’Von Buris, WR Key’andre Hearvey, WR Deandre Coleman, OL Judd Terry, NT Aaron Maxwell Offense: Spread Defense: 3-4 School enrollment: 1,851 Stadium: Bronco Field

See WARD on 37

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Denton Broncos Varsity 2013 Football Schedule

SPORTS MEDICINE 3000 North I-35 Denton, TX 76201 1-877-THR-WELL TexasHealth.org/Denton

Date

Aug. 30 Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 27 Oct. 4 Oct. 11 Oct. 18 Oct. 25 Nov. 1 Nov. 8

Opponent

Time

at Bishop Lynch R.L. Turner at Fort Worth Western Hills Lake Dallas* at Guyer* Wichita Falls* at Fort Worth Brewer* Azle* Wichita Falls Rider* at Byron Nelson*

7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7

p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m.

*5-4A Games www.orthotexas.com

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DRC Football

August 29, 2013

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Good Luck This Season!

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DRC Football

DENTON

Atkinson intrigued by Maxwell’s potential By Patrick Hayslip Staff Writer

Denton head coach Kevin Atkinson doesn’t need senior defensive lineman Aaron Maxwell to lead the Broncos in tackles this season. Denton has a host of linebackers Atkinson would like to see draw the attention and acclaim. For that to happen, Denton needs Maxwell to focus on using his physical tools to anchor the Broncos defensive front and occupy blockers, allowing Denton’s linebackers to make plays. Maxwell’s role will be integral to the Broncos’ prospects this season, as will his ability to accept it and set the tone for team. “Our big theme this year is, ‘Sacrifice Me for We,’� Atkinson said. “A lot of kids grow up where they freelance and they are good athletically, so they just go make plays. One of my biggest goals when they leave this program is that if I help this player get what he wants, then I’m going

to get what I want, plus more. But if I worry about myself first, then I’m going to come up short every time. If I’m playing nose tackle, my commitment is to help our linebackers become the leading tacklers in the district because I’m tying up double teams every single snap.� What Atkinson means by freelancing is a player abandoning his responsibility in pursuit of a game-changing play. For Maxwell, it’s not as complicated as living up to the team’s standards. To him, it boils down to the basics of human nature. “The big thing is learning how not to be selfish,� Maxwell said. “We are all born selfish, but with the linebackers I have to protect, it’s more than work ethic. It’s about bond. I’m not going to take on double and triple teams for somebody I don’t like. It’s about teamwork and about having a bond with each other.� See MAXWELL on 43

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

Denton head coach Kevin Atkinson believes defensive lineman Aaron Maxwell has the potential to be an impact player. He also wants Maxwell to help set the tone for a team-first approach he believes is vital to the Broncos’ hopes this fall.

Denton High School – Go Broncos!                         

     

 

          

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EXTRA POINTS Keys to a successful year POSITION OF STRENGTH

The Broncos’ stable of wide receivers will be the playmakers in coach Kevin Atkinson’s second year of the spread offense. Senior quarterback Cy Ward has a rapport with several wideouts and the arm to get the ball to them in the pocket or on the run. Seniors Adarian Harris, Ke’Von Buris and Deandre Coleman, Coleman along with junior Key’andre Hearvey, all collectively possess enough speed, size and savvy that the Broncos’ offense should improve. Atkinson’s infusion of a up-tempo, offense should provide enough touches to keep them engaged and in rhythm with Ward.

POINT OF CONCERN Denton’s offensive line was young and brittle last season, leading to several negative plays, mental errors and turnovers. As a result, the running game struggled and Ward was constantly being chased out of the pocket. The Broncos’ offensive line is again a concern, but has matured and developed consistency. Atkinson started several sophomores last season to build cohesion.

August 29, 2013

DENTON

KEY NEWCOMER In his first year on varsity, running back Xavier Scott will compete for a vital role in the Broncos’ spread offense after spending last season on the freshman team. With Atkinson looking for one of the halfbacks to take charge of the position, he expects Scott to be among those with a shot at starting. Atkinson expects his running backs to be three-tool players. In order to crack the top spot on the ladder, Scott will need to effectively pass block, be an effective receiver out of the backfield and use a balance of speed and physicality while taking care of the ball.

GAME OF THE YEAR Last season’s 5-4A district-opener against Lake Dallas saw the Broncos start slow while the Falcons outgained Denton 213-109 in the first half, scoring all of their points in the second quarter on the way to a 21-12 road victory. After winning just one district contest in 2012, this year’s district opener on Sept. 27 against Lake Dallas will be a crucial test. The Broncos will need to win the games against the district’s middle of the pack — Trophy Club Nelson, Brewer and Azle — in order to grab one of the four playoff spots.

BRONCOS Roster No. 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 11 13 14 15 17 18 19 21 22 24 25 26 27 28 30 32 33 35 36 37 39 40 42

Player Cy Ward Michael Husbands Tyson Hokes Xavier Scott Maurice Wharton Jake Cleveland Zac Muthiani Israel Galvan Cha’Michael Neal Adarian Harris Ke’Von Buris Deandre Coleman Christian Rodriguez Dailon Holmes Key’andre Hearvey Courtney Green Deavonte Doucet Gabriel Aranda Hayden Gray Alex McCann Javier Noriega Darius Scott Jesus Bautista Jacob Audirsch Dylan Tekell Kyle Panter Lorenzo Salas Javion Brewster Louis Torralba Mitch Damon Titus Hawkins

Pos. QB LB DB RB LB DB LB DB RB WR WR WR QB DL WR DB RB DB LB DB WR DB LB FB LB LB LB LB DB DL DL

Yr. Sr. Sr. Sr. So. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Jr. So. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. So. Sr. So. Jr.

From Page 33

Ward

Special contributor/Michael Clements

Denton quarterback Cy Ward runs through the R.L. Turner defense last season at Standridge Stadium in Carrollton. Ward is back this season and will look to capitalize on the experience he gained last season.

37

their height while senior Ke’Von Buris’ speed and hands balance out a wealth of receivers for Ward to trust. “He’s worked with a lot of those guys,” Atkinson said. “He’s worked with KB [Buris] since his freshman year along with Key’andre. I think he has a lot of confidence with him. He’s got confidence that if he throws the ball to one of those [receivers] that there’s no doubt they are going to catch it.” While Ward has developed a relationship with his receivers, there is much more of his game he needs to round out if the Broncos are going to be a playoff team this season. Ward wasn’t a shoo-in for the quarterback position last season, but his ability to escape pressure with his speed and downfield vision earned him the job. As a junior, he had to beat out senior Luke Satterfield for the starting job, and this season was

DENTON Schedule Date Opponent Aug. 30 at Bishop Lynch Sept. 6 R.L. Turner Sept. 13 at FW Western Hills Sept. 27 Lake Dallas* Oct. 4 at Guyer* Oct. 11 Wichita Falls* Oct. 18 at Fort Worth Brewer* Oct. 25 Azle* Nov. 1 Wichita Falls Rider* Nov. 8 at Trophy Club Nelson* *District 5-4A 44 45 46 47 50 54 55 56 57 60 61 62 65 75 76 78 80

Aaron Maxwell Kyle Hubbert Deontrae Murray Adam Bershell John Carmona Rowdy Clark Caleb Ridgeway Joe Gloria David Deramee Seong Jung Jacob Dodson Kade Wagner Ervin Williams J.D. Cherry Charlie Terry Mo Diop Jeffon Stowers

DL LB FB DL OL OL DL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL DB

Time 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr.

no different. “I honestly have confidence in both our quarterbacks,” Atkinson said. “Christian Rodriguez is a really good player, too, and the competition has made Cy even better. There was a real possibility that, ‘Hey, this kid might beat me out, so I’ve got to work extremely hard and keep it up.’ At the same time, it gives us a lot of confidence that we have two solid quarterbacks.” Ward has taken the quarterback position seriously, putting in the work in the classroom and in the weight room — anything to get better. That means earning the trust of his teammates and coaches and showing he can do what’s asked of him. “I’m trying to see that come out of Cy a little bit and confidence is established a lot of the time by having a lot of success, so he’s probably got to earn a few more things on the field,” Atkinson said. “In the weight room and on the track, our kids have seen him really put forth great effort, and I think he’s got the respect of all his teammates.”

38

August 29, 2013

GUYER

DRC Football

Haynes to play key role for Wildcats By Adam Boedeker Staff Writer

In the midst of the opening drive of Guyer’s early-season game last year against Colleyville Heritage, starting quarterback Jerrod Heard had to come out for a key second-and-long play after his helmet popped off. Facing second-and-15 from the Heritage 19-yard line, Guyer head coach John Walsh had to turn to a sophomore backup to keep the Wildcats’ momentum going. All David Haynes did was run a perfectly executed option read play for a 9yard gain to the Heritage 10-yard line before exiting the game and giving way to Guyer’s superstar quarterback. Heard punched the ball into the end zone four plays later to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead. The Wildcats went on to lose that game, but Walsh and the rest of the program knew after that one play they were in good hands should anything happen to Heard over the course of the season. “Everyone kind of knew last year when we played Colleyville,” Heard said of Haynes’ undeniable talent. “We definitely saw then that we had to have him on the field somehow. We kind of knew early that with his athleticism, he had to be on the field.” Make no mistake, Heard, the Texas pledge who is one of the top quarterbacks in his class, is still Guyer’s go-to player under center. But Haynes has built enough trust from his coaches that he will see more time at quarterback in 2013 and is also in line to be one of Heard’s best targets in the passing game as an outside receiver. “Entering the 2013 season, David has put himself in position to be one of our biggest impact players,” Walsh said. “He can do so much for us. To us, he’s like a starting quarterback — he’s that valuable. He’s starting at outside receiver for us, and so far he’s really developed into a real good outside threat for us.” All of that is great, but Haynes said his long-term goals are still more centered

GUYER: IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton David Haynes will play a variety of roles this season for Guyer. The junior will back up Wildcats quarterback Jerrod Heard in addition to being one of his top targets at wide receiver. Haynes could start at quarterback for a lot of high school teams, but elected to stay at Guyer and wait for Heard to graduate in the hope that he can be the Wildcats’ quarterback as a senior.

around throwing the football, not catching it. A year behind Heard in Guyer’s quarterback pipeline, Haynes ultimately wants to earn a scholarship to play quarterback in college but understands his main role in 2013 will be out wide, as long as Heard is healthy. Last season, serving primarily in mopup duty as a backup quarterback, the 6-2, 180-pounder completed 15 of his 22 pass attempts for 147 yards. He also caught one pass in a limited role as a receiver. On the ground, Haynes proved to be one of the bigger threats the Wildcats had and was the team’s fourth-leading rusher behind Heard and Guyer’s two starting running backs. He rushed for 400 yards

and five touchdowns on just 38 carries, good for an average of 10.5 yards per carry. “There wasn’t really a lot of pressure to prove anything,” Haynes said. “It was a lot of fun just to go out there and do the best I could in those [blowout] games. Of course, I got in with the [first-string] a little bit. The line is great and they opened up holes for me. It was easy to get a lot of yards.” The fact Haynes has stuck around at Guyer is a bit of good fortune for the Wildcats’ coaching staff. In an age where kids move to step into more favorable playing situations, Haynes has stayed put

WILDCATS Quick facts District: 5-4A 2012 record: 14-2 (7-0, District 5-4A) Coach: John Walsh (6133 in seven seasons at Guyer) Returning starters: Seven on offense, five on defense Key players: QB Jerrod Heard, RB D.J. Breedlove, DL Carl Thompson, DL Thomas Ferguson, LB Demontrie Taylor, OL Bryan Barrett Offense: Multiple Defense: Multiple School enrollment: 2,064 Stadium: C.H. Collins Athletic Complex

See GUYER on 42

H3

DRC Football

August 29, 2013

39

Good Luck This Season!

Guyer High School – Go Wildcats!

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DRC Football

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Date

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Colleyville Heritage

7 p.m.

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at Azle*

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Denton*

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*District 5-4A Games

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DRC Football

August 29, 2013

GUYER

41

Taylor showing he’s a force despite stature By Adam Boedeker Staff Writer

Demontrie Taylor is used to being underestimated. Listed at just 5-9, 173 pounds a year ago, Taylor entered his first season as a varsity starter at linebacker with what was likely a lot of question marks from outsiders as the Wildcats broke in three new starting linebackers. All Taylor did in 2012 was finish second on the team with 150 tackles, an interception and four fumble recoveries in helping lead Guyer to the Class 4A Division I state championship. Taylor’s head coach, John Walsh, knew his undersized outside linebacker would be a good player as a junior, but Taylor’s impact was more than even he saw coming. “He’s one of those kids who’s worked his tail off,” Walsh said. “I knew as a sophomore running scout team that he’d be big-

time. Last year we knew he’d be a really good player, but he did come in under the radar a little bit. He showed he is truly one of our best ever sideline-to-sideline guys. He’s everywhere.” Now, Taylor is an inch taller and nearly 20 pounds heavier, and while he still might not be a hulking presence for the defending state champion and the No. 1 team in the Class 4A Associated Press preseason poll, he’s ready to improve on his big year in 2012. “I don’t really look at my size as a disadvantage. I look at it as a challenge,” Taylor said. “I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder because I’ve never been put where I want to be put. I have goals in life and it’s a fight every day to accomplish those. When I go in the weight room, it’s a grind to get where I want to get.” Walsh and several of Taylor’s teammates See TAYLOR on 43

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

Linebacker Demontrie Taylor is a force for Guyer, despite being undersized. He finished second on the team last season with 150 tackles and has attracted the attention of major college coaches heading into his senior season.

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42

August 29, 2013

DRC Football

GUYER

EXTRA POINTS Keys to a successful year POSITION OF STRENGTH

It may seem obvious that the Wildcats are set at quarterback with one of the state’s best returning after leading his team to a state championship last year. But it’s not just Texas pledge Jerrod Heard fortifying the Wildcats under center. Heard They have some serious depth there. Head coach John Walsh calls backup quarterback David Haynes the second best quarterback in the district, and he could very well be right. Haynes will see plenty of action and could set himself up for a big senior year in 2014.

POINT OF CONCERN

While the guy under center is sure to be strong, the guy getting the ball to the quarterback is up in the air and a legitimate concern for a loaded team. The center position is one of few real battles still to be sorted out and is up for grabs between two seniors, Kyle Jaskulske and Jordan Thompson. Center has long been a point of strength for Guyer and

it’s not out of the question that trend continues, but it’ll be up to those two to make sure it does.

KEY NEWCOMERS This season will mark the third straight with a new face manning the middle linebacker position, often seen as the leader of a defense. This time around, Marcel Thomas will Edwards step in to replace last year’s starter Terence Belton and will look to duplicate Belton’s taking advantage of his one year in the spotlight. At safety, Guyer will have two new faces Wallace Walsh is raving about in Ian Edwards and Jordan Wallace.

GAME OF THE YEAR Jaskulske

Thompson

The Wildcats have a marquee matchup to open the season against Class 5A Division II finalist Cedar Hill, but in the grand scheme of things, the game is for nothing but bragging rights. On Oct. 25, the No. 1 Wildcats travel to Wichita Falls to play No. 10 Rider, and that game will almost certainly determine the District 5-4A championship. Guyer defeated Rider, 21-10, a year ago to win its first outright district title.

WILDCATS Roster No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34

Player Adam Scott Jerrod Heard DJ Breedlove DeMarcus Owens Alex Honey Demontrie Taylor David Haynes Trey Woods Tripp Reed Anthony Taylor Jordan Wallace Ian Edwards Logan Helal Eric Ramon Tyler Smith Brandon Daniel Thomas Ferguson Derek Watson Carl Thompson Dale Hodge Will Sanders Adam Scott Marcel Thomas Joe Silvaggio Dharrius Timmons Brady Byrd Issac Singletary Eric Reyes Preston Villalobos Bryce Brown Collin Clayton Michael Carrillo Nate Maki Jose Carrillo

Pos. WR/DB QB/DB RB/DB WR/DB WR/DB RB/LB WR/DB RB/DB WR/DB RB/LB WR/DB WR/DB WR/DB WR/DB WR/DB WR/DB TE/DL TE/DL TE/DL RB/LB WR/DB WR/DB RB/LB RB/LB RB/DL TE/DL WR/DB RB/LB QB/DB WR/DB RB/DB RB/LB RB/LB RB/LB

Ht. 5-8 6-3 5-9 5-10 6-3 5-10 6-2 5-9 6-3 5-10 6-0 6-2 5-11 5-9 5-9 5-9 6-1 6-3 6-3 6-0 6-0 5-9 5-10 6-0 5-10 6-0 5-11 5-10 5-9 5-9 5-9 5-9 5-10 5-9

Wt. 165 200 180 180 180 190 185 170 180 185 180 185 185 170 170 170 230 220 240 185 180 170 205 190 190 200 170 180 160 160 160 170 185 170

Yr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. So. Sr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. So. Jr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. So. Sr. Jr.

From Page 38

Guyer

Special Contributor/Matt Strasen

Guyer quarterback David Haynes, right, runs past Ryan Griffin during practice last spring. Haynes will back up Jerrod Heard and play wide receiver this fall.

knowing he likely has just one year to secure his future as a quarterback. “My dad just told me that it was better to stick it out and keep working hard because these coaches know what they’re doing,” Haynes said. “I knew I’d be used somehow. That’s why I just decided to stay here. “This program is so much better than so many other schools, I know everybody and I’m comfortable here. I’ve been here since I was in kindergarten. It just didn’t make sense [to move elsewhere].” Walsh understands the temptation to leave and said many kids in Haynes’ position might have done so and he would not have held it against him. But he said Haynes’ decision to stick around was not a surprising one since he has

GUYER Schedule Date Opponent Aug. 29 at Cedar Hill Sept. 5 Colleyville Heritage Sept. 13 Flower Mound Marcus Sept. 27 at Azle* Oct. 4 Denton* Oct. 11 at Trophy Club Nelson* Oct. 18 Lake Dallas* Oct. 25 at Wichita Falls Rider* Nov. 1 at Wichita Falls* Nov. 7 Fort Worth Brewer* *District 5-4A 36 37 38 39 41 46 49 53 54 55 58 59 60 63 70 72 74 75 78 82 83

Laith Smadi RB/LB Brad Grems K/P Kolos Urbanyi K/P Jered Jerger WR/LB Albert Carrillo WR/DB Isiah Correa OL/DL Jomel Mercado OL/DL Blake Timmons OL/DL Hunter Krastin OL/DL Jordan Thompson OL/DL Kyle Soltero OL/DL Max Herbig OL/DL Dylan Palmer OL/DL Kyle Jaskulske OL/DL Bryan Barrett OL/DL Gunnar Pinkerton OL/DL Jerod Fritsch OL/DE David Fletcher OL/DL Sam McCormick OL/DL Remmington Reed TE/DE Jonathan Pershall TE/DE

5-9 5-9 5-10 5-11 5-10 5-10 5-10 6-1 5-10 6-2 6-1 6-1 5-10 6-2 6-2 6-1 6-4 6-0 6-4 6-2 5-10

Time 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

175 160 160 170 170 255 240 250 255 235 245 220 220 240 300 270 220 250 315 190 215

Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr.

been telling the junior what his future could hold since he was a high school freshman. “It’s high school football, but a lot of kids in his position would have tried to transfer somewhere else to get playing time their junior year at the quarterback position,” Walsh said. “I know he wants to play quarterback in college. He’s treated the program right, and when he graduates I think he’ll see the program has treated him equally.” Haynes’ quarterback mentor, and the guy that will be throwing him the ball in 2013, has no doubt Haynes will follow in his footsteps in 2014. “Even though he’ll have just one year to really shine [at quarterback], I’m not doubting that one year he might even get a state championship for himself,” Heard said. “He has the drive and all the tools, and he just wants to stick with it and grind it out.”

DRC Football

August 29, 2013

From Page 41

From Page 36

Taylor

refer to him as a “physical freak.” Despite his diminutive stature for a linebacker, he’s one of the strongest players on the team and also possesses the speed to cover a wide receiver in pass coverage. It’s that unique blend of ability that has college coaches calling, and doing so with regularity. So far, Taylor has a lone Football Bowl Subdivision offer from New Mexico State, but there could be more coming. “Houston is talking to me weekly about him as a hybrid safety/outside linebacker,” Walsh said. “He has [defensive back] hips. He flips his hips really good and has extremely quick feet. His coverage skills are really good for a linebacker.” Taylor said he also is receiving heavy interest from New Mexico and Kansas State and has also heard from Colorado State’s coaches. He said it was a relief when he got that first offer from the Aggies after seeing his former teammates and fellow linebackers from last season not get FBS interest like he thought they would. “It’s so stressful in high school,” Taylor said. “Like wondering, ‘Will I play [Division I] ball?’ I thought [former Guyer linebackers] Terence [Belton] and Terrell [Singleton] would go sky-high DI and they didn’t, and I was pretty discouraged and surprised. Then once I got the calls and the people coming to me it was relieving.” At the same time, Taylor knows his work is far from complete. Defensive end Thomas Ferguson, a fellow senior leader on the defense, said Taylor has expanded his leadership role. Ferguson said Taylor’s athleticism has always been present, but where he is standing out heading into their senior year is in the mental aspect of the game. “He’s always been really good for us, and everyone on the team knows that,” Ferguson said, “but he has been kind of under the radar. He’s gotten stronger, if that’s possible. He’s almost as strong as me and I’m on the defensive line, and he’s crazy fast, too. “But now he’s coaching people out on the field. He’s smart, strong and fast. He does it all.” Ferguson said it’s a comforting feeling for him and his fellow defensive linemen to know that if they get beat up front, they can count on Taylor to make a play in the

43

Maxwell

The Dallas Morning News/Louis DeLuca

Guyer linebacker Demontrie Taylor comes away with the ball after recovering a third-quarter fumble during the Class 4A Division I state championship game last season. Taylor played a key role in Guyer’s 48-37 win over Georgetown at Cowboys Stadium and is back to help spark the Wildcats’ defense this season. second, and even third level. “It’s crazy how strong and fast he is at the same time,” Ferguson said. “He’ll be on one side of the field and all the sudden he’ll be making the tackle all the way on the other side. Even in games like [Tyler John Tyler in 2012] with those crazy-fast kids, he was faster than them.” With the defensive front expected to be stronger than last year’s unit — anchored by guys like Ferguson and Carl Thompson

— and drawing double-teams consistently, there are several factors in place that point to an even loftier tackle total for Taylor as a senior. Taylor said he won’t settle for anything else. “I always need to be better,” he said. “Even though I have [an FBS offer on the table] and I did that last year, last year is gone. I need to prove I can do it again and do it even better.”

It sounds like a simple approach to a team sport, but Maxwell has to demand double teams from the opposing offensive line like an overpowering center draws double-teams in basketball. Adhering to his gaps and focus so his teammates can make the designed play is a role that can take time to accept. “He was our best defensive lineman last year, but still, he’s had to learn not to freelance and not to do what he thought he needed to do,” Atkinson said. “With that said, he’s become really coachable and he really understands the scheme and what his responsibility is.” Besides commanding the attention of the offensive line, Maxwell commands the respect from his teammates in the locker room, weight room and on the field. “By the way he power-lifts in the mornings, to the way he carries himself on and off the field and academics, all of those things have improved for him and they are a positive light on the other kids,” Atkinson said. “They say, ‘Man, I want to follow this guy.’ ... [He’s] got money in the bank with players and coaches on our staff. When [he] talks, they listen.” Maxwell isn’t your average senior, as he was born in the summer and is on the younger end in his class. When Atkinson first met Maxwell last year, he sensed Maxwell’s vision, but wanted to make sure his desire was equal. “He’s a kid that came in who was very sure of himself,” Atkinson said. “I wasn’t so sure that his work ethic matched what he wanted to accomplish, and after talking to him, he was a little immature. I got to know him and he’s really matured since I’ve been here. He’s matured mentally and physically. He’s really latched on to our core values and what we believe. I think he’s going to benefit from that. I think he’s going to be a big surprise this year and have a great senior year.” Now that Maxwell has his work ethic on par with his desire, he said he’s discovered the path to success. “I was 15 years old when I met [Atkinson] and I knew the day after the last game of my sophomore year that I was going to start as a junior,” Maxwell said. “My work ethic at the time was good, but I was worried about getting a scholarship. Now, I work harder for my teammates and the better we get, the better I get.”

DRC Football

COVER STORY

August 29, 2013

47

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

Argyle head coach Todd Rodgers thrusts his arms in the air after the Eagles seal a 51-35 win over Gilmer in the Class 3A Division II regional final at Tiger Stadium in Corsicana during the 2011 season. Gilmer came back to beat Argyle in the regional semifinal last year. Those trips deep into the playoffs, and a host of talented players who have committed to play major college football, solidify Argyle’s status as an elite program.

From Page 46

Argyle

The high-profile senior recruits are a testament to the shift that’s occurred over the years at Argyle. Ask different people when the program’s ascent occurred, and different answers will be given.

ON THE COVER Argyle Area High Schools Major college talent, history of success have Argyle ...

Climbing the Ranks

Changing the culture

The list of goals posted in Argyle’s locker room wasn’t always as lofty as it is now. “The goals used to be — beat Bridgeport, make the playoffs and I don’t know what the other one was,” Sadler said. “Now it’s win district, play in December and win state. The mindset coming in is a lot different than what it was.” Sizelove remembers when he was in eighth grade, when his older brother, Jake, was a senior inside linebacker for the Eagles. Back then, Sizelove said it was almost a given that the Eagles would lose to the likes of Prosper and Celina. Then in 2009, Argyle faced Prosper, which entered the contest as the defending 3A champions. Argyle won 17-14. It’s when Sizelove believes the program start-

The Argyle trio of, from left, safety Connor Wilson, wide receiver Ian Sadler and linebacker Sam Sizelove are expected to spark the Eagles this season.

ed its stretch of success. Sam Sizelove wears Jake’s number, plays his position and might be doing it better than the older brother who’s currently playing at Tulsa. Even after that win over Prosper, Sam Sizelove said the mentality hadn’t fully shifted in Argyle.

“Even my freshman year when we played Lovejoy in my first game ever in high school, they were the No. 1 team in the state and there was a huge intimidation factor going in,” Sizelove said. “But I don’t really feel that anymore, just knowing that we can beat anybody we want to.” When Wilson transferred to Argyle from Coppell last season, he said he didn’t know what to expect, but he knew Argyle experienced success in the past. And he’s quickly gained the confidence that the rest of the team carries into each game. “It feels like we’re going to battle,” Wilson said. “We don’t have anything in our minds telling us that we’re not going to come out on top.”

Raising standards When Rodgers took over the program in 2003, Argyle was coming off a 1-9 season. Since then, Argyle has only missed the playoffs once and reached the state championship game in Class 2A and 3A. The first time Rodgers changed the program’s goals was in 2005, when Argyle lost to Newton in the 2A Division I title game. But when it comes to the shift in the

program’s mentality, he pointed toward the time around the 2008 season that saw Argyle unexpectedly fall in the second round of the playoffs to Kaufman. Rodgers believes his team could have advanced a couple more rounds in the playoffs. “I said, ‘I’m sick and tired of that,’” Rodgers said. “There’s got to be higher expectations. We’ve got to set the bar higher. There’s no reason we should lose a game.” The Eagles changed their training regiment and increased the difficulty of summer workout programs, all in an effort to raise standards at Argyle. Argyle is still seeking its first state championship. Hopes of returning to the state’s biggest game after a loss in the 2011 3A Division II to Wimberley were dashed last fall when the Eagles lost to Gilmer in the 3A Division II regional semifinals. This year, Rodgers said his team is poised to make the playoffs and make a strong run. He understands the pressure and the expectations, but he says the goals haven’t changed in the locker room. Another deep playoff run this season will validate the status Argyle has gained the last few years as one of 3A’s top teams.

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QB Brandon Boyzuick, Argyle, Sr.

RB Nick Ralston, Argyle, Jr.

Boyzuick finished his first season as a starter strongly. He completed 54.4 percent of his passes and threw for 1,989 yards and 19 touchdowns. Boyzuick should be in for a great year with weapons like WR Ian Sadler and RB Nick Ralston at his disposal.

Ralston has been contributing since his freshman season at Argyle and was the area’s leading Class 3A rusher with 1,699 yards and 21 touchdowns last year. As a proven workhorse in the backfield, Ralston will be a key cog in the Eagles’ offense.

OL Dakota Laws, Ryan, Jr.

RB D.J. Breedlove, Guyer, Sr.

Laws will play a significant role after Ryan lost three starters. The Raiders starting left tackle will be charged with maintaining stability on an inexperienced front, clearing the way for Ryan’s rushing attack and protecting QB Mitchell Bridges.

The shifty, deceptively powerful runner missed time in 2012 with injury but still eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark and scored 14 touchdowns. Now a senior, Breedlove will be counted on to carry the load at running back for the Wildcats.

OL Bryan Barrett, Guyer, Sr.

WR Ian Sadler, Argyle, Sr.

Barrett helped Guyer rush for 5,137 yards last year and will be relied upon to keep the Wildcats rolling. The left tackle finished with 34 pancake blocks. Despite lining up on the best opposing pass-rusher, Barrett graded out at 86 percent.

The Texas Tech pledge rushed for 13 scores, threw for one and caught 12 touchdown passes on 47 receptions for 1,014 yards. In the Eagles’ return game, he was dynamite with four punt return and two kickoff return scores.

OL, Brad Lundblade, Liberty, Sr.

WR, Josh Jackson, Lake Dallas, Sr.

Lundblade is a four-year starter and one of the top college prospects in the area. Multiple Football Bowl Subdivision schools have offered a scholarship to Lundblade, a four-year starter who will anchor Liberty’s offensive line again this season.

Jackson is arguably the Falcons’ top offensive weapon. The senior played defensive back in 2012, but switched to wideout to improve Lake Dallas’ struggling offense. He and sophomore quarterback Dagan Haehn already have a rapport.

OL, Emilio Hernandez, Lake Dallas, Sr. Hernandez gave up just two sacks all of last season with 12 pancake blocks and graded out at 93 percent. The senior was a second-team AllDistrict 5-4A selection at left tackle and will slide over to right guard this year.

OL Hayden Hood, Argyle, Sr. Hood will anchor a line expected to pave the way for running back Nick Ralston and protect quarterback Brandon Boyzuick. Hood is following in his brother’s footsteps at Argyle and is expected to shine after seeing time at center a year ago.

DRC Football

PRESEASON ALL-AREA: OFFENSE

WR, Deandre Coleman, Denton, Sr. Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

Guyer quarterback Jerrod Heard led the Wildcats to the Class 4A Division I state championship last season and was named the Offensive MVP of the state title game. Heard has committed to Texas and will try to finish his high school career on a high note this fall.

Player of the Year: QB Jerrod Heard, Guyer It appeared Jerrod Heard had his signature game in the Class 4A Division I state semifinal last December against Tyler John Tyler. Heard rushed for a school-record 318 yards while scoring four touchdowns and leading the Wildcats to a thrilling last-minute victory to propel them to the championship game. In that title game, Heard one-upped himself. Trailing by 16 points in the third quarter, Heard rushed for touchdowns on three consecutive possessions, giving Guyer the lead and eventually the state title. Heard is back for his senior season and is coming off a summer in which he performed well at the Elite 11 passing camp, addressing one of the question marks in his game and setting himself up for an even better senior season.

Coleman led Denton with 34 receptions for 470 yards to go along with four touchdowns last season and is one of the Broncos’ top playmakers. Coleman has big-play explosiveness to go along with above-average size and strength.

K Cole Hedlund, Argyle, Sr. Hedlund didn’t have many opportunities and statistically, had a down year after breaking the national high school record for most field goals made in a season. The Arkansas pledge knocked down 7-of-10 field goals in 2012.

DRC Football

PRESEASON ALL-AREA: DEFENSE

DL J.T. Williams, Ryan, Sr.

Argyle’s star inside linebacker is entering his fourth year playing at the varsity level. Sizelove, who has committed to Kansas State, racked up 140 tackles, including seven behind the line of scrimmage and should be in for a big senior year.

LB Demontrie Taylor, Guyer, Sr.

DL Micah Capra, Argyle, Sr.

After finishing second on the team in 2012 with 150 tackles, an interception and four fumble recoveries, the undersized outside linebacker showed he has a nose for the football. Head coach John Walsh expects even bigger numbers this fall.

Capra becomes one of the leaders on Argyle’s defensive line after having a breakout year in 2012. Capra finished last season with 86 tackles, five tackles for loss, four sacks and a forced fumble and should build on those totals as a senior.

DL Thomas Ferguson, Guyer, Sr.

LB, Matt Marrs, Liberty, Sr.

A three-year starter, Ferguson enters his senior year coming off a 10-sack season that also saw him rack up 67 tackles as a defensive end for Guyer. He finished with 20 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and 12 quarterback hurries.

Last season’s leading tackler, Marrs will anchor the Warriors’ 4-3 defense. Head coach Greg Price is impressed with his reliability and work ethic and said his standout from last season should lead the team in tackles again this fall.

DL Carl Thompson, Guyer, Jr.

DB Trey Woods, Guyer, Jr.

Thompson looked to be full of potential as a starting sophomore defensive tackle for last year’s state championship squad. He racked up 57 tackles with 11 coming behind the line of scrimmage to go with a pair of sacks and 13 quarterback hurries.

As a sophomore a year ago, Woods was thrust into starting duty at cornerback, and it didn’t take long for him to grow into that role. Woods finished the year with 81 tackles, including four behind the line of scrimmage, and broke up 10 passes.

DB Reese Thompson, Argyle, Sr.

LB Colton Hinnrichs, Argyle, Sr.

LB Cole Carpenter, Ryan, Sr. Carpenter moved up to Ryan’s varsity squad in the middle of last season and finished the year as one of Ryan’s biggest assets. Carpenter compiled 56 tackles in the team’s last four games, including 17 tackles in a playoff loss to Cedar Hill.

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LB Sam Sizelove, Argyle, Sr.

Williams had a strong junior year and should build on it in 2013. Ryan’s standout defensive tackle tallied 12 tackles for loss, four sacks and 91 total tackles last season. Williams and the rest of Ryan’s defensive line will give opponents fits.

Don’t overlook Hinnrichs, who became a capable starter for the Eagles in 2012. The Argyle linebacker compiled 115 tackles, five sacks and seven tackles for loss. Hinnrichs and fellow linebacker Sam Sizelove form a formidable duo.

August 29, 2013

The Dallas Morning News/Sarah Hoffman

Argyle defensive back Connor Wilson will be among the leaders for the Eagles’ defense this season. Wilson, pictured at Eagle Stadium during the first practice of the fall on Aug. 5, has committed to Kansas State and will try to help lead Argyle to the state title before he continues his career on the college level.

Player of the Year: DB Connor Wilson, Argyle It was easy to pick who the area’s top newcomer was last season. Wilson came to Argyle from Coppell and established himself as the area’s top defensive back. He finished the year with eight interceptions and returned two for touchdowns. Wilson also piled up 126 tackles and four fumble recoveries in his junior year. Over the summer, Wilson’s potential was validated when he orally committed to Kansas State. Wilson suffered a hip-related injury in a playoff win over Melissa and missed the Eagles’ ensuing loss to Gilmer in the 3A Division II regional semifinals. At the start of this fall’s practice, Wilson said he’s healthy heading into his senior season. If Wilson and the rest of Argyle’s stout defense can stay healthy, the Eagles should be in position to make a run at their first state championship.

Thompson is experienced after starting for Argyle for two seasons and is one of the top cornerbacks in the area. Last season, he swatted away 18 passes, amassed 51 tackles, posted an interception and returned a punt for a touchdown.

DB, JonAaron Howell, Liberty, Jr. Howell is versatile and will see time at cornerback, running back and wide receiver. The junior is one of Liberty’s fastest players and is intelligent, Liberty head coach Greg Price said. Liberty will lean on Howell as it looks to build on a 7-5 season.

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District 5-5A Teams Rec Dist. PF PG Coppell 11-1 5-0 368 131 Ryan 6-5 3-2 269 269 Hebron 6-5 3-2 221 249 Flower Mound Marcus 4-7 3-2 202 259 Flower Mound 3-7 1-4 185 285 Lewisville 1-9 0-5 177 289 Coppell Cowboys Coach: Joe McBride 2012 Record: 11-1 (5-0) Returning Starters: 6 on offense, 5 on defense Hebron Hawks Coach: Brian Brazil 2012 Record: 6-5 (3-2) Returning Starters: 4 on offense, 6 on defense Marcus Marauders Coach: Bryan Erwin 2012 Record: 4-7 (3-2) Returning Starters: 7 on offense, 6 on defense Flower Mound Jaguars Coach: Dane Johnson 2012 Record: 3-7 (1-4) Returning Starters: 3 on offense, 2 on defense Lewisville Fighting Farmers Coach: Gregg Miller 2012 Record: 1-9 (0-5) Returning Starters: 6 on offense, 1 on defense

District 5-4A Teams Guyer

Rec Dist. 14-2 7-0

PF 737

PG 401

Wichita Falls Rider 12-3 6-1 522 278 Azle 7-4 4-3 330 247 Lake Dallas 7-5 4-3 252 279 Trophy Club Nelson 7-3 4-3 320 236 Fort Worth Brewer 5-5 2-5 273 314 Denton 3-7 1-6 164 339 Wichita Falls 2-8 0-7 131 302 Wichita Falls Rider Raiders Coach: Jim Garfield 2012 Record: 12-3 (6-1) Returning Starters: 6 on offense, 6 on defense Byron Nelson Bobcats Coach: Brian Polk 2012 Record: 7-3 (4-3) Returning Starters: 7 on offense, 2 on defense Azle Hornets Coach: Devon Dorris 2012 Record: 7-4 (4-3) Returning Starters: 5 on offense, 5 on defense Brewer Bears Coach: Kord Smith 2012 Record: 5-5 (2-5) Returning Starters: 6 on offense, 5 on defense Wichita Falls Coyotes Coach: Danny Russell 2012 Record: 2-8 (0-7) Returning Starters: 6 on offense, 6 on defense

District 9-3A Teams Gainesville Krum

Rec 12-1 9-2

Dist 4-0 3-1

PF 466 446

PG 209 205

Sharon K. Lowry

Bridgeport Decatur Sanger

4-7 2-2 227 425 4-6 1-3 298 291 0-10 0-4 136 349 Gainesville Leopards Coach: Keith Hall 2012 Record: 12-1 (4-0) Returning Starters: 8 on offense, 7 on defense Bridgeport Bulls Coach: Danny Henson 2012 Record: 4-7 (2-2) Returning Starters: 4 on offense, 8 on defense Decatur Eagles Coach: Kyle Story 2012 Record: 4-6 (1-3) Returning Starters: 3 on offense, 2 on defense

District 10-3A Teams Rec. Dist. PF PG Argyle 11-2 4-0 540 152 Celina 10-3 3-1 540 266 Frisco Lone Star 7-4 2-2 359 378 Carrollton Ranchview 2-8 1-3 149 384 Aubrey 2-8 0-4 151 298 Celina Bobcats Coach: Bill Elliott 2012 Record: 10-3 (3-1) Returning Starters: 5 on offense, 5 on defense Frisco Lone Star Rangers Coach: Jeff Rayburn 2012 Record: 7-4 (2-2) Returning Starters: 8 on offense, 5 on defense Carrollton Ranchview Wolves Coach: Terry Smith

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2012 Record: 2-8 (1-3) Returning Starters: 6 on offense, 4 on defense

District 5-2A Teams Callisburg Whitesboro Boyd Pilot Point Bowie Paradise Ponder

Rec. Dist. PF PG 9-2 5-1 378 247 7-4 5-1 397 300 7-5 4-2 323 327 7-3 4-2 272 194 6-4 2-4 256 164 1-9 1-5 146 369 2-8 0-6 216 315 Callisburg Wildcats Coach: Ritchie Pinckard 2012 Record: 9-2 (5-1) Returning Starters: 4 on offense, 4 on defense Whitesboro Bearcats Coach: Eddie Gill 2012 Record: 7-4 (5-1) Returning Starters: 7 on offense, 9 on defense Boyd Yellow Jackets Coach: Brandon Hopkins 2012 Record: 7-5 (4-2) Returning Starters: 5 on offense, 4 on defense Bowie Jackrabbits Coach: Dylan Stark 2012 Record: 6-4 (2-4) Returning Starters: 8 on offense, 4 on defense Paradise Panthers Coach: Britt Hart 2012 Record: 1-9 (1-5) Returning Starters: N/A

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Birdville, Ennis, Fort Bend Marshall, CC Calallen, Amarillo, Brenham, FW Southwest. Class 3A School Points Prv 1. Stephenville (10) 203 3 2. Carthage (10) 202 9 3. Gilmer (1) 177 10 4. Navasota (1) 134 1 5. Argyle (1) 133 7 6. Kilgore 119 — 7. La Marque 97 5 8. Graham 49 — 9. Bellville 29 — 10. Abilene Wylie 25 2 Others receiving votes: Silsbee, Celina, West Orange-Stark, El Campo, Jasper, Gatesville, Henderson, Shallowater, Wimberle, Port Isabel, Gainesville, Tyler Chapel Hill, Kennedale. Class 2A School Points Prv 1. Newton (13) 205 3 2. Cameron Yoe (7) 195 2 3. East Bernard (2) 180 4 4. Refugio (1) 115 1 5. Canadian 95 — 6. New Boston 93 5 7. Daingerfield 89 — 8. Wall 79 — 9. Tatum 55 — 10. Cisco 38 9 Others receiving votes: Franklin, Hallettsville, Sonor, Callisburg, Grandview, Corsicana Mildred, Lexington, Rogers, White Oak, Elysian Fields, Arp, Hempstead, Hughes Springs, Lago Vista, Littlefield, Teague, Godley, Centerville.

August 29, 2013

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Here is The Associated Press preseason high school poll, with first-place votes in parentheses and the team’s ranking in last week’s poll: Class 5A School Points Prv 1. Allen (14) 227 6 2. Katy (6) 205 1 3. Cibolo Steele (2) 176 3 4. DeSoto 139 2 5. Southlake Carroll 129 7 6. Euless Trinity (1) 124 — 7. Austin Westlake 75 — 8. Galena Park North Shore 62 — 9. Houston Lamar (1) 49 — 10. Coppell 34 4 Others receiving votes: Cedar Hill, Skyline, Lake Travis, Arlington Martin, Converse Judson, Arlington Bowie, SA Northside O’Connor, Lufkin, Tyler Lee, SA Northside Brandeis, SA Madison, Abilene, Abilene Cooper, Longview Class 4A School Points Prv 1. Guyer (17) 224 7 2. Cedar Park (6) 211 — 3. Aledo 136 3 4. SA Northside Brennan 119 9 5. Lancaster 106 — 6. Whitehouse 92 — 7. Humble Summer Creek 73 10 8. Tyler John Tyler 58 2 9. Georgetown 39 — 10. WF Rider 38 — (tie) Texas City 38 — Others receiving votes: Highland Park, Pearland Dawson, Mesquite Poteet, Leander, Elgin, Manor, Nederland, Leander Rouse, Wolfforth Frenship,

STATE HIGH SCHOOL POLLS

                                                        

                  

   

              

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August 29, 2013

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Inside Apogee Stadium North Texas will best be able to promote its move to Conference USA inside Apogee Stadium. The C-USA logo was painted on the field this summer and a motivational sign was hung in the locker room.

Photos by David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle

The Conference USA logo on the turf will be one of the prominent signs that refer to North Texas’ spot in the league inside Apogee Stadium. Others will be visible only to the Mean Green’s players, including a sign in the locker room that refers to UNT’s ultimate goal, a C-USA championship. UNT is hoping its move to a new league will help improve attendance at home games, especially among students, bottom right.

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August 29, 2013

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Direction of the program While there are several tangible pieces of evidence that North Texas has entered a new era in program history, the immediate impact of the move to C-USA will be judged by the Mean Green’s production under Dan McCarney.

Photos by David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle

North Texas head coach Dan McCarney, above, speaks during the Mean Green’s annual media day this summer. McCarney took over a struggling program and has won nine games in his first two seasons, one more than UNT won in the four years before his arrival combined. UNT is hoping its move to C-USA and the return of a few key players, including running back Antoinne Jimmerson, bottom right, and cornerback Zac Whitfield will help it continue its upward trend.

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DRC Football

August 29, 2013

LAKE DALLAS

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Simpson’s versatility to spark Falcons By Adrian O’Hanlon III For the Denton Record-Chronicle

Brandon Simpson is still a weapon, but he’s no longer a secret. After getting touches at three positions to help his injury-plagued Lake Dallas team reach the playoffs last season, the Falcons’ senior will remain an impact player this year in an attempt to help the school to its 11th consecutive postseason. But when choosing which position he prefers, Simpson was less decisive than when he has the ball in his hands. “I like playing receiver, but then I like running the ball, too,â€? Simpson said. “I like catching it and running people over. It’s just one of those hard decisions.â€? Simpson’s versatility was crucial a season ago when a rash of injuries forced him to line up virtually everywhere for the Falcon offense. Last year, Simpson threw for 160 yards, ran for 390 yards and finished with 60 receiving yards with a combined five touchdowns. “It’s nice to have someone like him because you’re able to have a whole lot of formations without having to bring a whole lot of people into the game,â€? Lake Dallas coach Michael Young said. “He can be a tight end, receiver or running back. He can play Wildcat quarterback some. He’s great to have around.â€? After the Falcons limped into the 2012 playoffs and lost in the Class 4A Division II area round, the injury bug stayed in season. Simpson suffered a dislocated right collarbone in the spring game and senior receiver C.J. Harris broke an arm during the summer that will sideline him until midway through the district slate. Potential injuries and a strong district schedule, including defending Class 4A Division I state champion, Guyer, brought a new slogan for the Falcons as they look to extend their postseason streak to an 11th straight year. “Our motto is ‘Grind,’ because in our district, it’s really going to be about being able to grind each week to make the playoffs,â€? Young said. “We could play well against Rider, and then lose to Brewer and then Nelson. Then you’re in a point       

       

LAKE DALLAS: IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton Brandon Simpson contributed in a variety of ways for Lake Dallas last season when he rushed for 390 yards, threw for 160 yards and picked up 60 receiving yards. Falcons head coach Michael Young expects Simpson to play a similar role as an all-around threat this fall when Lake Dallas looks to advance to the playoffs for the 11th consecutive season.

deal [tiebreaker] and might not get in. “We just need to take care of the ones you’re supposed to take care of.� Simpson said he has higher expectations than the final postseason bid for the Falcons this season. “Definitely third,� said Simpson, who made a near-full recovery prior to preseason workouts. “We shouldn’t have been that low [fourth] last year, having to fight for a spot in the playoffs.� Just four starters return on each side of the ball, but the Falcons could have a special defense. “We really think we’re better because we’re a little faster and bigger,� Young said. Despite committing recently to play cornerback at Iowa, senior Josh Jackson will

switch his focus to playing receiver this year to give the Falcons a deep threat for sophomore quarterback Dagan Haehn. “We have some great receivers at slot and outside,� Jackson said. “Last year we didn’t have as many receivers, but we got some up from the JV.� Although he is new to varsity, Haehn has looked like a veteran. Last year, Lake Dallas struggled with its passing game, which led to a 63-14 loss against Guyer and almost an early end to the season. Young said this season could be different because of Haehn’s passing ability. “Guyer’s a great school and they have a chance at being the [Division I] state champion again,� Young said, “But I think we can be competitive with anybody.�



    

FALCONS Quick facts District: 5-4A 2012 record: 7-5 (4-3, District 5-4A) Coach: Michael Young (64-28 in eight seasons at Lake Dallas) Returning starters: Four on offense, four on defense Key players: WR C.J. Harris, LB Mason Hite, OL Emilio Hernandez, WR/QB/DB Josh Jackson, LB Joseph Oppong, WR/LB Brandon Simpson, DL Josiah Tauaefa Offense: Spread Defense: 4-3 School enrollment: 1,230 Stadium: Falcon Stadium

  

     

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Lake Dallas High School – Go Falcons! Lake Dallas Falcons 2013 Football Schedule Date

Opponent

Aug. 30 Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 27 Oct. 4 Oct. 11 Oct. 18 Oct. 25 Nov. 1 Nov. 8

Time

at Richardson Pearce Frisco Centennial Newman Smith at Denton* Byron Nelson* at Wichita Falls Rider* at Guyer* Wichita Falls* at Fort Worth Brewer* Azle

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August 29, 2013

LAKE DALLAS

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Jackson set to show skills for Lake Dallas By Adrian O’Hanlon III For the Denton Record-Chronicle

Josh Jackson was a lock to return to his role as a cornerback for Lake Dallas this season, but his priorities will shift as the team’s new primary receiver. After receiving a scholarship offer this summer to play cornerback at Iowa, the Falcons’ senior looks at his new offensive focus as a chance to show his full skill set. “I think it’s great because I’m great at receiver and can go up and get the ball,” Jackson said. “Coach said we need a deep threat and I want to help get the offense going this year.” Athletes like Jackson are rare. As a junior, he had 18 catches for 199 yards, saw time at quarterback and qualified for the 4A state track meet in the triple jump. Lake Dallas head coach Michael Young thought prior to last season that Jackson could develop into the best player in school history and stands by his prediction.

“I said it last year that he’s got a chance at being the best player we’ve ever had,” Young said. “He didn’t have quite the year he wanted last year because of some injuries, but I still believe he has a shot.” Jackson, who has committed to play cornerback at Iowa, also has stepped into a leadership role. Four sophomores will start for the Falcons’ offense, including quarterback Dagan Haehn, who Jackson has worked with for nearly a year. “We have a great connection,” Jackson said. “We’ve been practicing over the summer and even last year. He knows if he throws it to me, I’ll go up and get it.” Already a fan of Jackson’s production on the field, Young said he admires the senior’s growth off the field as well. “He’s gotten bigger, faster and stronger, but he’s really grown as a leader for us,” Young said. “He’s always been a great kid, but he’s matured in how he practices and how he works.”

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

Lake Dallas senior Josh Jackson has shown a variety of talents during his time with the Falcons, seeing time at both wide receiver and defensive back. He will play mostly at receiver this year before moving to cornerback in college at Iowa.

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EXTRA POINTS Keys to a successful year POSITION OF STRENGTH

When teams lose top players, they often struggle to find replacements. Lake Dallas senior wide receiver C.J. Harris, who finished with 205 yards receiving yards and a touchdown last season, is out for up to eight weeks with a broken arm, but the Falcons have the talent and Simpson depth to recover. Iowa pledge Josh Jackson (199 yards, one touchdown) will see even more time as the team’s deepthreat receiver, while senior Brandon Simpson (60 yards) will find ways to get open in the slot, along with junior Garrett Shackelford.

Young said of the defensive tackle position. “Playing a 4-3, we need to have eight guys that can play. We think we have them, but there’s a couple of people that we’ll need to get better and hope they don’t get hurt.”

KEY NEWCOMER Last year, Lake Dallas struggled to stretch the field with its passing game. This year — and most likely the two after that — the Falcons have an arm to lean on in sophomore quarterback Dagan Haehn. Haehn led the Lake Dallas freshman squad to a 7-3 record a season ago and has turned heads since the first day of preseason workouts. Haehn proved he can throw accurately on nearly any route.

GAME OF THE YEAR POINT OF CONCERN

A solid core of players in the secondary and at linebacker has head coach Michael Young predicting that Lake Dallas will have a top-3 defense in the district. The Falcons’ weak link at defensive tackle may be hidden by stronger pieces of the chain. “I think if anything, depth is a concern,”

DRC Football

LAKE DALLAS

The key to the Falcons’ season is how they play at Wichita Falls Rider on Oct. 11. Lake Dallas, which was struggling with injuries at the time, lost 26-7 to Rider in 2012. Young said the game against the Raiders is huge because the two teams will most likely end up in the same playoff bracket amongst the smaller 4A schools.

FALCONS Roster No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 27 35 36 37 43 44 45 48

Player Pos. Ht. Brett Sasser WR 6-1 Dagan Haehn QB 6-0 Josh Jackson WR 6-2 Jamal Carter DB 5-8 Ty Boggs WR 5-10 Jacob Galloway DB 5-7 Andrew Craig DB 5-11 Brandon Simpson LB 6-1 Nick Krygsman WR 6-1 Dylan Waters DB 6-0 Micah Fitzgerald LB 6-1 Keegan Brewer DB 5-11 Gerald Bryant DB 6-0 Courtenay Holder RB 5-10 Walker Valceus TE 6-0 Mason Hite LB 5-10 Josh Rowe DB 5-11 C.J. Harris WR 5-10 Joseph Oppong LB 5-9 Robert Jackson DB 5-8 Mark Contreras RB 5-5 Thomas Parsons DB 5-10 James Dunne RB 5-10 Jeremy Beason DL 6-0 Kain Cox LB 5-9 Jacob Peppard LB 5-10 Marcus Girma DL 5-11 Mitchell Withrow DL 5-11 Josiah Tauaefa DL 6-1 Cooper Davenport DL 6-3

Wt. 165 175 180 150 175 145 165 190 185 160 190 165 165 170 210 205 180 160 185 145 175 170 165 180 180 170 190 215 235 225

Yr. Jr. So. Sr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. So. Sr. So. Jr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. So. Sr. Jr. So. So. Sr. Sr. Jr. Jr.

LAKE DALLAS Schedule Date Opponent Aug. 30 at Richardson Pearce Sept. 6 Frisco Centennial Sept. 13 Newman Smith Sept. 27 at Denton* Oct. 4 Trophy Club Nelson* Oct. 11at Wichita Falls Rider* Oct. 18 at Guyer* Oct. 25 Wichita Falls* Nov. 1 at Fort Worth Brewer* Nov. 8 Azle *District 5-4A 54 55 56 61 62 65 66 70 71 73 75 77 79 82 84 85

Cody Carroll Trey Lusk Riley Chenault Cody Shipman Andrew Vinton Emilio Hernandez Tim Parry Bryce MacDougall Chase Stanley Joey DePiazza Cody Pierce Travis Frederickson Dalton Montgomery Garrett Shackelford Hunter Blanton Christian Perez

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August 29, 2013

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ARGYLE

August 29, 2013

73

Capra an overlooked force for Argyle By Rich Luna For the Denton Record-Chronicle

If one had to name a preseason Most Valuable Player for the Argyle Eagles, there would be a slew of names to consider. For openers, there are four players from the state’s No. 5-ranked Class 3A team already committed to Football Bowl Subdivision programs — linebacker Sam Sizelove (Kansas State), wide receiver Ian Sadler (Texas Tech), kicker Cole Hedlund (Arkansas) and defensive back Connor Wilson (Kansas State). Certainly all are worthy. Consideration could also be given to returning quarterback Brandon Boyzuick and returning running back Nick Ralston. But here’s someone else to consider — Micah Capra. He’s a 6-foot-3, 280-pound senior defensive lineman who will also spend time at offensive guard. Last year, he had 48 tackles, 38 assists, five tackles for loss, caused a fumble, recovered two fumbles and had four sacks. “The thing about the defensive line is that every snap is a fight,” Argyle defensive line coach Daniel Lundy said. “They know they will get hit. It’s not a matter of if or when, but on every play they will get hit. We’ve got to win every fight to win the battle. We’ve got to put egos aside to do what is best for the team. “Micah truly understands all that. Our line feeds off of Micah. As he goes, we go. He has grown up around men who have served our country, and he has carried that sense of service to this team.” Capra will anchor a defense that last season allowed 238 yards and a mere 11.7 points per game. The defense recorded three shutouts and held opponents to less than eight points in five other games. The Eagles lost twice, the season opener to Abilene Wylie, and not again until falling to Gilmer in the postseason. It was a disappointing finish for a team that had reached the state finals in 2011. But with 30 seniors, including nine returning starters on offense and nine returning starters on defense, there is a renewed optimism at Argyle. “Everyone knew we had to step up com-

ARGYLE: IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton Defensive lineman Micah Capra is often overlooked, but is a highly valuable member of Argyle’s defense that is among the area’s best. The senior made a host of big plays for the Eagles last season, including posting four sacks, recovering two fumbles and causing another. Capra’s performance 2012 will elevate him to a more visible role this season.

ing into this season,” said Capra. “We played our hearts out last year and things didn’t go our way. So we talked about what we had to do, and I don’t think there’s a guy out there who wants to let this team down. For me, I’m going to do everything I can to help our team succeed.” It’s that type of selflessness that has Capra committed to his team and his future. His father and uncles all served in the military. One brother is in the Coast Guard and his other brother, Mark, is at the U.S. Naval Academy. Capra is hoping to follow his brother’s footsteps to the academy. “It’s being part of something bigger than yourself,” he said of his desire to attend the Naval Academy. “It’s an honor that I would be very proud of.”

Before that time comes, Capra and the Eagles must find a way to stay focused when expectations are high. Along with Capra, the Eagles return three starting linebackers in Colton Hinnrichs, Sizelove, and Colton Katzen, and four defensive backs in Wilson, Reese Thompson, Hunter Treadwell and Dalton Ledford. “We’re very fortunate that we have a lot of good leaders,” Argyle head coach Todd Rodgers said. “We have quality players that can take criticism along with positive encouragement. Games are won and lost in the trenches and these guys really play keys roles in our success or failure. They are a selfless group who has dedicated themselves to improving their skills and mastering their craft.”

EAGLES Quick facts District: 10-3A 2012 record: 11-2 (4-0, District 10-3A) Coach: Todd Rodgers (100-30 in 10 seasons at Argyle) Returning starters: Nine on offense, nine on defense Key players: QB Brandon Boyzuick, RB Nick Ralston, LB Sam Sizelove, WR Ian Sadler, WR Jon Pucciarello, K Cole Hedlund, DL Micah Capra, DB Connor Wilson Offense: Spread Defense: 50 defense/multiple School enrollment: 680 Stadium: Eagle Stadium

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Argyle High School – Go Eagles! Argyle Eagles 2013 Football Schedule Date

Aug. 30 Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 20 Sept. 27 Oct. 4 Oct. 17 Oct. 25 Nov. 1 Nov. 8

Opponent

Time

at Abilene Wylie Fort Worth Nolan Paris at Kennedale at Dallas Wilmer Hutchins Dallas Madison at Carrollton Ranchview* Frisco Lone Star* at Aubrey* Celina*

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*District 10 3A games

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ARGYLE

75

Hood guides Argyle’s strong offensive line By Rich Luna For the Denton Record-Chronicle

Leadership can be defined in many ways. On the football field, the quarterback is often viewed as the team’s leader. In the case of the Argyle Eagles, that would be Brandon Boyzuick. But there is another leader on the Eagles’ offense and his calls will be just as crucial for Argyle’s success this season. Center Hayden Hood leads an experienced, talented and big offensive line for the fifth-ranked Class 3A team in the state. If the Eagles are to make a run deep into the playoffs and contend for a state title, the 6-foot, 215-pound Hood and his fellow teammates must be able to control the line of scrimmage. “He is the quarterback of the offensive line,” Argyle offensive line coach Steve Chancelor said of Hood. “He makes all the line calls. We’ve got a lot of experience on the line. They can recognize a defense and

adjust to what they’re seeing. It’s become second nature for them.” Hood just smiles as he listens to Chancelor. “We all get along so well on this team,” Hood said. “We all know our jobs. We’ve worked hard, we know what we have to do and we know when we line up, we’re backing each other.” Hood is partly motivated to succeed by family pride, as well. His older brother Harrison, who wore the same No. 56, was an all-state performer who graduated from Argyle in 2010. Hood, who added 20 pounds since last season, is indeed part of a stellar cast. To one side, he’ll have 6-foot, 260-pound junior Matt Waggoner, a move-in from Keller. On the other side will be former Marcus player Michael Castle, a 6-foot, 290pound senior. Zach Haas-Benson (275 pounds) and Matt Hiter (265 pounds) are both returning starters on the line.

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

Center Hayden Hood is the leader of Argyle’s offensive line. The unit is one of the Eagles’ best. Hood has gained 20 pounds since last season in an effort to prepare for a deep run in the Class 3A playoffs.

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ARGYLE

EXTRA POINTS Keys to a successful year POSITION OF STRENGTH

The Eagles have 30 seniors and “athletes in the skill positions,” Eagles head coach Todd Rodgers said. Leading the way are four players committed to Football Bowl Subdivision schools — linebacker Sam Sizelove (Kansas State), wide receiver Ian Sadler Ralston (Texas Tech), safety Connor Wilson (Kansas State) and kicker Cole Hedlund (Arkansas). Add quarterback Brandon Boyzuick, running back Nick Ralston, defensive lineman Micah Capra, three returning linebackers and four returning starters in the secondary, and the Eagles are loaded with veterans.

POINT OF CONCERN

Argyle has all the talent it will need to make a deep playoff run. The key could be not overlooking any step along the way. “We need to be able to stay focused and have a selfless mentality,” Rodgers said. Given Argyle’s experience and skill level, the Eagles are likely to be favored in every game, possibly with the exception of

the opener at Abilene Wylie. They must guard against being over-confident. As with every team, the Eagles must avoid injuries, although they have above-average depth.

KEY NEWCOMER Rodgers cited the work ethic and commitment of senior defensive back Dalton Ledford, who has moved to defense fulltime. “He had been a role player for us, but we committed to him and told him if he took ownership, he could earn a spot on defense, and he responded,” Rodgers said.

GAME OF THE YEAR Arygle’s season-opener against Abilene Wylie could set the tone for the year. The Eagles’ only regular-season loss in 2012 was the season opener against Wylie, 3114. This time, the teams will play in Abilene in a matchup of top 10 teams — Argyle is ranked fifth and Wylie is ranked No. 10 in the Associated Press Class 3A state poll. “Sure, we want to get off on the right foot,” Rodgers said. “We want to play well and that will be a good test for us.”

Player Dalton Ledford Brandon Boyzuick Reese Thompson Ian Sadler Jon Pucciarello Taylor Sweatt Hunter Treadwell Chase Green Colton Katzen Connor Wilson Cole Hedlund Gage McCook Cooper Rodgers Alex Pound Tanner Boyzuick Zack Zembraski Hayden Daniel Jaxson Baum Nick Ralston Chance Bode Drew Estrada JC Chalk Hudson Speed Chase Cole Brayden Helliker Cody Phillips Reagen Page Terry Moore Ricky Pool Colton Hinnrichs Sam Sizelove Shane McKinney Jacob Forrer Tyler Steely Joe Forrer

Pos. DB QB DB WR WR LB QB WR DB DB K WR QB LB LB DB DB DB RB DE WR DB LB WR RB DB LB RB DL LB LB LB TE DE LB

Yr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. So. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. So. Jr. Jr. So. So. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. So. So. So. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. So. So. Sr. So.

ARGYLE Schedule Date Opponent Aug. 30 at Abilene Wylie Sept. 6 Fort Worth Nolan Sept. 13 Paris Sept. 20 at Kennedale Sept. 27 at Wilmer-Hutchins Oct. 4 Dallas Madison Oct. 17 at Carr. Ranchview* Oct. 25 Frisco Lone Star* Nov. 1 at Aubrey* Nov. 8 Celina* *District 10-3A 46 48 52 53 55 56 58 61 62 64 65 66 70 72 73 74 75 77 79 83

Jon Brittenum Jake Weaver Christian Hackney Matt Waggoner Micah Capra Hayden Hood Paul Hamel Jett Monroe Austin Bergstrom Hunter Stewart Zack Lasley Zach Haas-Benson David Bearden Michael Castle Matt Hiter Kel Straubmueller Zach Mahon Ty Crawford Ty Smith Trey Pruett

Time 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

LB LB LB OL DL OL OL OL DL DL DL OL OL OL OL DL OL OL OL WR

Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. So. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. So. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. So. Jr.

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August 29, 2013

77







 







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AUBREY

August 29, 2013

79

Aubrey turns to running game for spark By Dave Rogers For the Denton Record-Chronicle

Necessity isn’t just the mother of invention for the Aubrey Chaparrals. It has caused them to buck high school football trends. With a rash of injuries forcing first-year head coach Mike Segleski to play three different quarterbacks last season, the Chaps became a run-dominant team. “It seems crazy with all the passing offenses in high school now, but because of the situation we were in last year, we had to look elsewhere,” Segleski said. “We feel like now we can be in the game and win with 100 yards per game passing.” Daniel Longhenry, who missed most of the final three games with a knee injury, rushed 90 times for a team-high 454 yards, despite playing in only six games last year. The 6-1, 210-pound senior, who topped 100 yards rushing in three games, should head up Aubrey’s offense. “I was getting used to having 100 percent confidence in that knee,” Longhenry said. “It’s knowing that you can drive 100 percent forward and hit someone with a knee like that. The first scrimmage put confidence back in me, and I’m very sure it’s back to where it needs to be.” Longhenry is one of six offensive and six defensive starters returning. “Daniel has recovered well,” Segleski said. “He’s our workhorse. He’s never going to go 100 yards, but if you need four yards, he’ll get it for you. We’re going to hammer at people. That’s what he does best.” Longhenry’s injury was just one of several Aubrey dealt with last year, when it also lost lineman Weston Osterman for the season when he broke his leg twice in the span of a year. Six expected starters missed the season opener, setting the tone for a rocky 2-8 head-coaching debut for Segleski. Senior linebacker Sam Heath (5-8, 200) made it to the season’s third game before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Like Longhenry and Osterman, he has come back better than ever, Segleski said.

AUBREY: IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton Daniel Longhenry rushed for 454 yards last season, despite suffering a knee injury that prevented him from playing in most of the final three games of the 2012 season, when the Chaparrals suffered a host of injuries and finished 2-8. Aubrey will depend on Longhenry to power its offense and lead the way in what the Chaparrals hope is a bounce-back

Senior Chancy Hull (5-8, 195) is a returning all-district player at guard and linebacker and another key performer. “He’s probably our most athletic football player,” Segleski said. “He could be a fullback, but we do a lot of pulling and misdirection. We’ve got to have him at right guard.” Seniors Tanner McQueen (6-0, 235) and Alex Quintana (5-8, 210) are returning starters at center and left guard, respectively. They join Osterman and Hull in leading the way for running backs Longhenry and Clay Kelly (36 carries, 149 yards last year). “I feel like the team is really strong this year,” Longhenry said. “We’re a lot closer than previous years and I feel like we are

a lot stronger together. I think we are strong unit this year and we have great things ahead of us. We have a big, strong line this year that can move some weight and that we trust.” Quarterback Mason Robinson and receivers Calvin Stang, Cody Hawthorne, Cameron Moore and RyLee Hellman will also play key roles. Moore and Hellman are both sophomores listed as 5-7 and 140 pounds. Moore “is probably the fastest kid in our program,” said Segleski. The coach said he has designed a Wildcat package for Hellman, last year’s emergency fill-in at quarterback, who will also start at cornerback and play various offensive positions.

CHAPARRALS Quick facts District: 10-3A 2012 record: 2-8 (0-4, District 10-3A) Coach: Mike Segleski (28 in one season at Aubrey) Returning starters: Six on offense, six on defense Key players: RB/LB Daniel Longhenry, OL/LB Chancy Hull, ATH RyLee Hellman, OL/DL Weston Osterman, DB Cole Cannon Offense: Pro-style Defense: 3-5-3 School enrollment: 516 Stadium: Chaparral Stadium

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Aubrey High School â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Go Chaparrals! Aubrey Chaparrals 2013 Football Schedule Date

Aug. 30 Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 20 Sept. 27 Oct. 4 Oct. 11 Oct. 25 Nov. 1 Nov. 8

Opponent

Time

at Pottsboro Anna at Whitesboro at Pilot Point Sanger Forth Worth Trinity Valley Frisco Lone Star* At Celina* Argyle* at Carrollton Ranchview*

7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

*District 10-3A Games

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DRC Football

August 29, 2013

AUBREY

81

Aubrey lineman ready for return from injury By Dave Rogers For the Denton Record-Chronicle

Weston Osterman enters the 2013 season looking to rebound from a lost year. In that way, the big lineman isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that different from Aubreyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team as a whole after a 2-8 campaign. Osterman missed the entire 2012 season after breaking his leg not once but twice in the past year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that fun, but I got through it,â&#x20AC;? the 6-foot-4, 280-pound senior said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s made me stronger.â&#x20AC;? A nose tackle and backup offensive tackle as a sophomore, Osterman made the best of his six months off his feet, adding 100 pounds to his bench press best. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He moves really well for his size,â&#x20AC;? Aubrey head coach Mike Segleski said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Offensively, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s our right tackle and he just crushes people. At nose guard, he can lock up an offensive lineman, find the ball, escape the blocker and get to

the ball carrier.â&#x20AC;? Osterman first injured his leg in Aubreyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opening scrimmage last summer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My leg just snapped,â&#x20AC;? he recalled. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I ended up with a titanium rod from my kneecap to my ankle.â&#x20AC;? In the winter, with bone mended but the hardware still in place, doctors cleared Osterman to resume training. He was running a 400-meter sprint, anticipating the start of track season. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It just snapped again,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the middle of the 400, I started to speed up and it happened. The doctor said it was a freak accident.â&#x20AC;? Osterman needed less time to recover the second time around and took advantage of it by improving his technique. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Last year, since I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t play, I really tried to memorize the plays,â&#x20AC;? he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;so I feel pretty good about my offense. Defensively, I worked on my hand movements [to get rid of blockers].â&#x20AC;?

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

Weston Osterman will be back in Aubreyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lineup this fall after missing the entire 2012 season. The senior lineman broke his leg twice in the span of a year, but has recovered and will start at right tackle and nose guard.

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DRC Football

August 29, 2013

83

EXTRA POINTS Keys to a successful year POSITION OF STRENGTH

tion that last year saw constant change.

Aubrey will have two or three running backs on the field at all times led by senior Daniel Longhenry. The 6-foot-1, 210pounder rushed for 454 yards and two touchdowns on 90 carries before injuring his anterior cruciate ligament in the eighth game of the 2012 season. Senior Clay Kelly (5-8, Kelly 155) can be either a runner or receiver from his halfback position and junior Phillip Wilds (5-10, 175) has the ability to gobble up yards. Sophomore RyLee Hellman (5-7, 140) is the X-factor. He is expected to play wide receiver, running back and Wildcat quarterback.

POINT OF CONCERN

The Chaparrals need their only quarterback with varsity experience to play elsewhere, so the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s big preseason question mark is under center. Senior Mason Robinson (5-10, 165) is the heir apparent at quarterback and Aubrey is looking to him to solidify a posi-

No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 17 20 22 23 24 25 26 30 32 36 50

KEY NEWCOMER The returns of starters Weston Osterman, Sam Heath and Daniel Longhenry from injuries will be a boost for Aubrey. But when it comes to a total varsity newcomer, Phillip Wilds is the Chaparralsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; big bet. The junior was the top rusher on Aubreyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s junior varsity a year ago. He is expected to play both in the secondary and in the running back rotation.

GAME OF THE YEAR Aubreyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s district opener against Frisco Lone Star is a classic David vs. Goliath situation. With the Chaparrals having an enrollment of barely more than 500 and Frisco Lone Star expecting well more than 1,000 students to draw its team from, the Rangers will have a depth advantage. A year ago, Lone Star won 39-28 en route to Aubrey finishing 0-4 in district play. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If we beat them, we feel pretty good about getting into the heart of district â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Celina, Argyle and Carrollton Ranchview,â&#x20AC;? head coach Mike Segleski said.

CHAPARRALS Roster Player Pos. David Borella 5-7 Cody Hawthorne 5-8 Clay Kelly 5-8 Cameron Moore 5-7 RyLee Hellman 5-7 Josh Millican 6-0 Mark Steinhoff 5-7 Daniel Rodriguez 5-8 Conner Strube 6-0 Calvin Stang 6-0 Tyler Williams 5-8 Mason Robinson 5-10 Hunter Wroe 5-7 Seth Even 5-8 Evan Moore 5-10 Ryan Dick 6-0 Cole Cannon 5-6 Daniel Longhenry 6-1 Sam Heath 5-8 Matt Duncan 5-8 Tanner Gardiner 5-8 Phillip Wilds 5-10 Jack Ver Hoef 6-0 Tyler Rollwage 5-7 Ross Brumley 5-8 Jose Meza 5-6

Ht. 140 140 155 140 140 160 180 155 175 190 150 165 140 140 170 150 145 210 200 160 145 175 190 150 160 210

Wt. WR/DB WR/DB RB/DB WR/DB QB/DB WR/DB RB/LB RB/DB QB/LB TE/LB RB/DB QB/DB WR/DB WR/DB K WR/DB RB/DB RB/LB RB/LB RB/DB RB/DB RB/DB RB/LB RB/LB RB/LB OL/DL

Yr. Jr. Sr. Sr. So. So. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. So. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Fr. Jr. Sr. Sr. So. Sr.

  

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AUBREY Schedule Date Opponent Aug. 30 at Pottsboro Sept. 6 Anna Sept. 13 at Whitesboro Sept. 20 at Pilot Point Sept. 27 Sanger Oct. 4 F.W. Trimble Tech Oct. 11 Frisco Lone Star* Oct. 25 at Celina* Nov. 1 Argyle* Nov. 8 at Carr. Ranchview* * District 10-3A 52 53 54 55 56 60 61 64 70 72 76 77 82

Chancy Hull 5-8 Alex Quintana 5-8 Noah Vaughan 6-0 Chandler Teague 5-8 Tanner McQueen 6-0 Blake Stevens 5-11 Drake Wilt 5-10 Luke Hartman 5-8 Joey Bettis 5-10 Gerry Markee 6-0 Weston Osterman 6-4 Jackson Wiest 6-2 Will Green 6-0

195 210 200 170 235 190 180 190 250 230 280 250 160

$%& '()*+

Time 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

OL/LB OL/DL OL/DL OL/LB OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/LB OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL TE/DE

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Sr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Sr Sr. Sr. So. H3

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KRUM

August 29, 2013

85

Krum looks to continue steady growth By Randy Cummings For the Denton Record-Chronicle

Ever since Krum began its football program six years ago, the Bobcats have written their history step-by-step, checking off the first win, the first varsity win, the first district win, the first playoff game and the first batch of all-district players to wear Krum’s blue and white. Now another goal awaits the 2013 Bobcats: winning a district championship. It’s the next logical step for the Bobcats, who a year ago roared through a 9-2 season in their first year in a UIL district, placing second in the league with a 3-1 mark and advancing to the playoffs. “This is my seventh year that I’ve been together with all these guys that I started out with in pee-wee football,” said senior linebacker/receiver Brennan Ellis. “So I expect a lot this season. I expect more — winning district and going to Week 2 of the playoffs.” Added senior offensive lineman Hunter Howard: “We set the bar pretty high last year. I think we got everybody’s attention. But I knew from the players we had coming up that if we worked hard we could be better than last year.” Krum has six offensive and six defensive starters back from 2012, including key All-District 9-3A performers such as Ellis, Howard, Dane White (RB/CB) and Dylan Coffin (TE/LB). A total of four offensive starters and four defensive regulars earned all-district honors a year ago. Caz Wojciak, a three-year starter at quarterback, is no longer with the team, which will force Krum to adjust and rely on Ellis, Coffin and White at the skill positions and Howard up front to help the offense run smoothly. On defense, three returning linebackers who earned all-district honors last season in Ellis, Coffin and Morgan Sprayberry should anchor a unit that will make it tough on opposing offenses. “The team last year really set the bar high for us,” said Gary Robinson, who has built the program as Krum’s only head coach. “With the kids who played on that team last year and are coming back, they

KRUM: IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton Krum enters the season aiming to win a district title, the next logical step in the growth of its program after a 9-2 finish last year. The Bobcats’ chances of reaching that goal will hinge on the performance of a host of veteran players, including, from left, wide receiver Brennan Ellis, tight end Dylan Coffin, linebacker Morgan Sprayberry and offensive lineman Hunter Howard.

know what to do now. They know what it’s going to take to stay there.” Staying among the 9-3A leaders and climbing that next rung on the ladder as district champs this season is the main challenge facing the Bobcats in 2013. Krum lost 20 seniors off last year’s squad and for the first time will be relying on bringing up newcomers from the junior varsity to fill in key spots. But Krum won the JV district title last year, so for most of the younger players the transition to a varsity schedule may not be that tough. “I think the players feel like they’ve got a lot more respect to earn and more things to prove — that last year wasn’t a one-time deal,” Robinson said. “I think

they’re going to come out extra hard and make sure that it wasn’t. I think we’ve mentally prepared them for that.” Howard, second-team all-district a year ago, has gained an inch in height and about 25 pounds from his listed measurements a year ago and is the cornerstone of a sizeable offensive line that could be pivotal to Krum’s offense this year. White is moving over from cornerback to start at running back. Ellis and sophomore Jacob Enis are expected to be Krum’s primary targets in the passing game. “It’s time for the seniors to step up and be leaders on this team,” said Robinson. “Luckily, on our team a lot of the seniors are all-district players and good athletes. It’s their responsibility to lead this team.”

KRUM Quick facts District: 9-3A 2012 record: 9-2 (3-1, District 9-3A) Coach: Gary Robinson (15-6 in two seasons at Krum) Returning starters: 7 on offense, 6 on defense Key players: WR Brennan Ellis, RB Dane White, TE Dylan Coffin, OL Hunter Howard, LB Morgan Sprayberry, DL Ely Sanchez, WR Jacob Enis Offense: Multiple Defense: 3-4 School enrollment: 460 Stadium: Bobcat Stadium

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Krum High School â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Go Bobcats! Krum Bobcats 2013 Football Schedule Date

Opponent

Aug. 30 Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 20 Sept. 27 Oct. 4 Oct. 11 Oct. 18 Oct. 25 Nov. 1

Caddo Mills Farmersville at Alvord at Paradise at Wichita Falls Hirschi Burkburnett at Bridgeport* Decatur* at Sanger* Gainesville*

Time

7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

*District 9-3A games

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DRC Football

August 29, 2013

KRUM

87

Krum to rely on White for boost in backfield

By Ben Baby

Staff Writer

Even before Krum shocked many around the state by finishing second in District 9-3A last year, junior Dane White knew he was going to be the starting running back this season. In fact, White was aware of what his role would be in 2013 when he first entered high school. With the departure of standout running back Reed Flores, White takes over a rushing attack that carried Krum to a playoff berth in 2012. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Since Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been in high school, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always known,â&#x20AC;? White said of receiving the chance to play running back late in his career. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got some shoes to fill, but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m ready for it.â&#x20AC;? Last season in the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first year in University Interscholastic League play, Flores rushed for 1,420 yards. While Flores was dominating in the

backfield, White was playing cornerback. Krum head coach Gary Robinson said heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always felt White could have stepped in at running back, but Whiteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s athleticism allowed him to play defense. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s such a good athlete,â&#x20AC;? Robinson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We liked to put him on the other teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best receiver.â&#x20AC;? Over the summer, White (5-9, 190 pounds) lifted weights and worked on being quick in short bursts as he prepared to tackle the new role. In an offense that will be without quarterback Caz Wojciak after his dismissal from the team, White will be forced to help carry the running game. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be a huge key for us,â&#x20AC;? Robinson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got an offensive line thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pretty equivalent to the one we had last year. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re hoping he gets 1,500 to 2,000 yards for us this year, and if stays healthy, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very capable of doing that.â&#x20AC;?

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

Krumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dane White knew he would receive an opportunity to start at running back during his junior season after Reed Flores graduated. White prepared for that opportunity by spending extra time in the weight room this summer.

Krum High School â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Go Bobcats!                         

     

 

          

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EXTRA POINTS Keys to a successful year POSITION OF STRENGTH

Krum has several all-district performers returning on what could be a strong offense. Wide receiver Brennan Ellis, tight end Dylan Coffin and key offensive lineman Hunter Howard have been playing together since a young age and are now seniors. Krum will look to that core to help make up for Howard the loss of quarterback Caz Wojciak, who is no longer on the team. “What I’m relying on is that we’re going to execute very well on offense,” Krum coach Gary Robinson said. “Our offensive line will take care of business. We’re going to execute because they’ve been under me for so long they know exactly what they need to do.”

POINT OF CONCERN

Having lost some seniors to graduation last year — the first time in the program’s short history — the Bobcats will have some spots filled by newcomers to varsity.

DRC Football

KRUM

“Now we’re like other programs where we have to fill some spots,” Robinson said. Incoming varsity players include juniors Colton Richards and Ely Sanchez on the offensive line and sophomore Jacob Enis at cornerback.

KEY NEWCOMER As a sophomore last year, Dane White became a presence in the secondary and earned all-district honors. While he’s not a newcomer to the program, he’s headed to a new position — starting running back.

GAME OF THE YEAR One need only look a few miles north of Krum to find the Bobcats’ fiercest rival and key game on the schedule: Sanger. Most of the players know one another and have competed against each other, making the game the one that is circled in red. “It used to be Ponder in the basketball days,” said Robinson, “but as the school’s grown, now in my mind and I think in the kids’ mind, it’s Sanger. That’s a big game.” This year the two teams will collide in Sanger on Oct. 25.

BOBCATS Roster No. 1 2 3 4 7 8 9 10 12 15 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 28 30 32 50 55 56 59 60

Player Brennan Ellis Jacob Enis Cade Wall Riley Marshall Rashad Davis Ethan Harrison Miguel Licea Carter Stokes Gavin Noack Nate Walterscheid Tyrone Emery Ian Concepcion Colten Graham Dylan Serna Brad Hull Christian Martinez Dane White Dylan Coffin Matt Jelen Morgan Sprayberry Carlton Kutas Taylor Holley Hunter Howard Brandon Gonzalez Andrew Ponce

Yr. Sr. So. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. So. Sr. Jr. So. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr.

KRUM Schedule Date Opponent Aug. 30 Caddo Mills Sept. 6 Farmersville Sept. 13 at Alvord Sept. 20 at Paradise Sept. 27 at W.F. Hirschi Oct. 4 Burkburnett Oct. 11 at Bridgeport* Oct. 18 Decatur* Oct. 25 at Sanger* Nov. 1 Gainesville* *District 9-3A 63 65 67 70 71 72 75 76 77 78 81

Time 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

Jordan OKelly Logan Shipley Mike Pena Ely Sanchez Thomas Fron Colton Richards T.J. Wiley Rey Vega Austin King Jordan Mitchell Conner Johnson

Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr.

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August 29, 2013

SANGER

DRC Football

Jackson’s arrival gives Sanger a boost By Rich Luna For the Denton Record-Chronicle

When Tre’von Jackson walked into the Sanger football office last May, he wasn’t quite sure what to expect. On the other side of the desk, Sanger head coach Chuck Galbreath was hesitant to get too excited just then. Jackson, the leading rusher for the Class 4A Denton Broncos, was about to move with his family to Sanger, a 3A school with a team that was coming off a winless season. “I knew it was a small school that made it to the playoffs a lot,” Jackson said. “I was surprised to hear they hadn’t won any games last year.” Galbreath did some research and could only sit, wait and hope. “At the time I remember thinking it would be nice to have someone like him,” Galbreath said. “He’s a good looking kid and seemed to have a really positive attitude.” Jackson moved and is now entrenched in Sanger’s system, giving Galbreath and the Indians optimism that 2013 will be a season to remember. Jackson, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound junior, will join returning starter Derek Shelby (6-0, 205) in the backfield, forming what Galbreath calls a “two-headed monster.” Jackson rushed for 483 yards on 88 carries, scoring twice, and catching 19 passes for 132 yards in Denton’s pass-oriented offense last season. Shelby, who missed six games due to a high-ankle sprain, rushed for 560 yards on 85 carries, scoring five touchdowns, in just four games. The two backs have differing styles — Jackson is an elusive runner who will cut and is able to easily go outside while Shelby will use his size and increased strength to carve out inside yardage. Both will be utilized in the passing game with returning quarterback Brandon Mann. Shelby believes the two-back attack will force opposing defenses to stay on edge, particularly with Mann’s ability to throw and run the ball. “Our expectations are so much higher

SANGER: IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton Former Denton standout Tre’Von Jackson found a new home in the off-season when his family moved to Sanger. Jackson rushed for 483 yards and posted 132 receiving yards last season at Denton and will join Derek Shelby in a two-back system. Sanger is hoping the duo will help the Indians recover from a winless season in 2012.

for this season,” Shelby said. “I want to get that bad taste [of last season] out of my mouth. There’s just such a different attitude this year. He’s [Jackson] part of the reason. We have more people who can make things happen. We were young last year and we worked hard all summer. We seem like a more complete team.” Jackson said his confidence is strong, as well, bolstered by a positive summer workout with his new teammates. “I knew this change was something I was going to have to deal with,” he said. “These guys made it easy. They welcomed me and I felt good from the start. One of the biggest things for me was learning the new offense and getting to know everyone. You couldn’t tell this is a team that

lost every game last year.” Many would want to forget an 0-10 season, but the players have labeled this season their “Payback Tour,” an opportunity to show that 2012 was a speed bump for what has traditionally been a strong program. The Indians did make the playoffs in 2011, their 21st playoff appearance. “Last year was probably the toughest coaching challenge I’d ever been through,” Galbreath said. “We were in a tough spot with all the injuries. But these kids never quit. The minute the season ended, they were ready to get back to work. The talent is there. We don’t have an easy schedule by any means, but I can tell you right now, this team is going to be ready to play.”

INDIANS Quick facts District: 9-3A 2012 record: 0-10 (0-4, District 9-3A) Coach: Chuck Galbreath (33-29 in six seasons at Sanger) Returning starters: Seven on offense, eight on defense Key players: RB Derek Shelby, RB Tre’von Jackson, CB/WR Wyatt Broxson, OT Austen Lange, DE Dalton Hassell, DT Clay Worthey, LB Will Carter Offense: Multiple spread Defense: 4-2-5 School enrollment: 722 Stadium: Indian Stadium

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August 29, 2013

91

Sanger High School â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Go Indians! Sanger Indians 2013 Football Schedule Date

Opponent

Aug. 30 Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 20 Sept. 27 Oct. 4 Oct. 18 Oct. 25 Nov. 1 Nov. 8

at Dallas Madison Liberty Christian Pilot Point at Boyd at Aubrey Frisco Lone Star at Gainesville* Krum* at Bridgeport Decatur

Time

7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

*District 9-3A Games

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DRC Football

SANGER

Mann ready to move into starting QB role By Rich Luna For the Denton Record-Chronicle

It was just a matter of time before Brandon Mann was ready to lead Sangerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offense, and that time is now. After sharing quarterback duties last season, Mann is set as the starter who is driven to turn the Indiansâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; fortunes around after a disappointing 2012. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I used to get so mad at myself, but now, I want to stay positive,â&#x20AC;? said Mann, a 6foot-1, 205-pound junior. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve learned how important my teammates are, how hard weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve all worked, and we all have such a positive attitude, me included.â&#x20AC;? That approach has Sanger head coach Chuck Galbreath confident his quarterback has developed the skills necessary to lead Sanger as the Indians attempt to rebound from an 0-10 season. Mann, likewise, wants to rebound from a sophomore season in which he shared quarterback duties with Wyatt Broxson,

who will play cornerback and wide receiver. Mann threw for just 90 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions and rushed for 71 yards. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I got some good experience last year and I know I wanted to build from that,â&#x20AC;? Mann said. Mann hit the weight room, led Sangerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 7-on-7 team this summer and also spent hours watching film. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was able to see things I hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seen before,â&#x20AC;? Mann said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You see so much when you break down the film.â&#x20AC;? Galbreath was impressed with Mannâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commitment to learning the game. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He has grown so much as a player,â&#x20AC;? Galbreath said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a real high-character kid with a great work ethic.â&#x20AC;? The Indians figure to be more aggressive, working out of a spread offense. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I love having the spread,â&#x20AC;? Mann said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be able to get the ball out with a lot of options.â&#x20AC;?

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

Brandon Mann will start at quarterback for Sanger after sharing those duties with Wyatt Broxson last year. Mann dedicated himself to improving during the off-season by spending extra time lifting weights and watching film.

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DRC Football

August 29, 2013

SANGER

EXTRA POINTS Keys to a successful year POSITION OF STRENGTH

KEY NEWCOMER

The running game behind returning starter Derek Shelby and newcomer Treâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;von Jackson, who started for Denton last year, should be Sangerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strength. Shelby rushed for 560 yards in four games before being injured, while Jackson led Denton with 486 rushing yards.

Without a doubt, Jackson will be Sangerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top new player. Jackson makes the Indians versatile in the backfield and he will also be an added threat catching passes. Galbreath also cited the return of junior linebacker Wilding Smith (6-2, 250), a baseball star who stayed away from football for several seasons, as vital.

POINT OF CONCERN

The Indians must stay healthy. Injuries impacted the team in 2012. Key starters such as Shelby and offensive linemen Kyle Scheffler and Brance Watts missed multiple games because of injuries. There is more depth in the program, but the Indians still must avoid major injuries.

GAME OF THE YEAR The season opener against Dallas Madison will be Sangerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most important game. The Indians are coming off a winless season and a win to start the 2013 campaign would help bolster the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s confidence.

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INDIANS Roster No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 12 13 14 15 18 20 21 22 23 24 28 30 32 33 40 41 42 44 50 51 52

Player Chance Cockrell Wyatt Broxson Dakota Branch Cameron Florez Kion Evans Peyton Howard Dalton Hassell Xavier Longoria Logan Thomas Steve Esquire Damien Hallowell David Bibb Brandon Mann Tyler Gallardo Treâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;von Jackson Grant Carter Baley Garza Derek Shelby Josh Secrest Lance Hunter Kyle Link Jarrod Huther Turner Barnes Will Carter Collin Jones Gersey Johnson Dylan Welborn Heath Jones Austen Lange

Pos. WR/DB QB/DB K WR/DB RB/DB RB/DB TE/DE WR/DB WR/DB WR/DB QB/DB TE/LB QB/LB WR/DE RB/DB RB/DB TE/LB RB/DE WR/DB RB/LB WR/DB RB/LB RB/LB RB/LB OL/DE RB/LB OL/DE OL/DE OL/DT

Ht. 5-10 6-3 5-11 5-8 5-7 5-10 5-11 5-10 5-9 5-8 5-9 6-2 6-1 6-0 5-10 5-8 6-1 6-0 5-9 5-10 5-9 6-0 5-8 5-7 5-10 5-10 6-2 6-0 6-1

Wt. 150 190 140 160 150 160 190 170 160 150 160 195 205 180 185 160 215 205 150 170 170 200 175 160 190 175 230 210 245

Yr. Jr. Sr. So. Sr. Sr. Fr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Jr. So. Jr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Jr. So. So. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. So. Sr.

SANGER Schedule Date Opponent Aug. 30 at Dallas Madison Sept. 6 Liberty Christian Sept. 13 Pilot Point Sept. 20 at Boyd Sept. 27 at Aubrey Oct. 4 Frisco Lone Star Oct. 18 at Gainesville* Oct. 25 Krum* Nov. 1 at Bridgeport* Nov. 8 Decatur* *District 9-3A 53 54 55 56 58 59 61 65 66 70 72 74 75 76 77 84

Jacobi Verdin Brandon Gehrke Brance Watts Conner Barnes Adrian Duran Wilding Smith Dustin Lambert Kyle Scheffler Garrett Grayson Dalton Harmon Grayson Briney Jaden Tomlinson William Venable Clay Worthey Zack Morris Taylor Roach

OL/LB OL/DT OL/DT OL/DL OL/DT RB/LB OL/DT OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DT OL/DL TE/DE

Time 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

5-8 5-11 6-3 5-10 5-9 6-2 5-11 6-0 5-10 5-10 6-1 6-5 6-2 6-4 6-6 6-4

170 Sr. 220 Jr. 250 Jr. 220 Jr. 240 Jr. 250 Jr. 220 Jr. 270 Sr. 220 Jr. 215 Jr. 230 Jr. 290 Jr. 240 Jr. 230 Jr. 260 Jr. 185 Jr.

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August 29, 2013

PILOT POINT

DRC Football

Pilot Point aiming for return to playoffs By Dave Rogers For the Denton Record-Chronicle

After missing out on the playoffs in 2012, the Pilot Point Bearcats know there are two ways to avoid a repeat: Get better or get luckier. Veteran coach Rob Best expects his team to do both as Pilot Point returns two dozen lettermen and five starters on both offense and defense from a squad that went 7-3 a year ago and missed the postseason on a tiebreaker. “You’ve got to be fortunate, you’ve got to stay healthy and the ball’s got to bounce right,” said Best, the second-year head coach whose team tied for the third and final playoff spot in District 5-2A (Division I) after untimely turnovers late in the game cost it a victory over league champion Whitesboro. Maybe the best news for the Bearcats is the return of senior running back Tristan Jurecka and junior quarterback Travis Garrett, who combined for 2,775 of Pilot Point’s total offense — 87 percent — a year ago. “Our line is a lot better, so we will have a lot more holes,” Jurecka said. “We are running a faster offense so it gives me and Travis more chances to score. I think we are going to be pretty good. We’ve improved a lot from where we were last year this time.” Jurecka (5-10, 215) rushed 154 times for 944 yards and 12 touchdowns. “He was knocking on the door for 1,000 yards,” Best said. “He has good vision going up to the line of scrimmage and he’s very deceptive with his speed. He’s a pretty good all-around athlete.” Garrett (6-0, 170), a four-sport competitor for the Bearcats, showed his athleticism on the football field by playing both quarterback and punter as a sophomore. He ran 164 times for 849 yards and 12 touchdowns and completed 78 of 146 passes (53 percent) for 982 yards and eight touchdowns with five interceptions. “Travis is a threat when he runs the football, and he’s improved his throwing,” Best said. “He has 10 more games under

PILOT POINT: IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton Wide receiver Creed Bright, left, and Tristan Jurecka will play large roles for Pilot Point’s offense this season, when the Bearcats will aim to return to the playoffs after narrowly missing out on a postseason berth in 2012. Bright caught 17 passes in 2012, while Jurecka rushed for 944 yards. Pilot Point will look to the duo to spark its offense.

his belt and a summer to work on his throwing. We think he’ll be better in both categories.” Junior Creed Bright (5-10, 150) is the top returning receiver, having snared 17 passes for 191 yards and two scores. Junior Matthew Greenwood (5-11, 160) caught five passes for 66 yards as a reserve. “We’ve got good balance,” said Best, who has been a football coach for more than three decades, mostly for college programs. “We feel like we’ve got some receivers to get the job done passing.” Senior left tackle Eric Zepeda (5-10, 235) is the only returning starter on the offensive line. Defensively, junior linebacker Jacob David (6-0, 188) is the top tackler back,

with a combined 62 solos and assists. Junior defensive end Jonah Fritz (6-1, 210) was in on 51 tackles, including eight sacks. Other returning starters are junior lineman Rigoberto Benavidez (5-10, 318) and safeties Zachary Hairell (6-0, 162) and Byron Whitfield (6-2, 175), a senior and junior, respectively. Pilot Point will look to those veterans to guide its way back to the Class 2A playoffs that are expanding from three to four qualifiers per district this year, but the Bearcats aren’t looking for outside help. “We earned and fought and sweated our way through all of those wins last year,” Best said. “We’ve got to fix what we need to fix in the other three.”

BEARCATS Quick facts District: 5-2A (I) 2012 record: 7-3 (4-2, District 5-2A (Div. I) Coach: Rob Best (9-10 in two seasons at Pilot Point) Returning starters: Five on offense, five on defense Key players: QB Travis Garrett, WR Creed Bright, RB Tristan Jurecka, WR Matthew Greenwood, OL Eric Zepeda, LB Jacob David, SS Byron Whitfield, DE Jonah Fritz Offense: Spread Defense: 4-3 School enrollment: 428 Stadium: Massey Stadium

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DRC Football

August 29, 2013

95

Pilot Point High School â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Go Bearcats!! Pilot Point Bearcats 2013 Football Schedule Date

Aug. 30 Sept. 6 Sept. 13. Sept. 20 Sept. 27 Oct. 4 Oct. 11 Oct. 18 Oct. 25 Nov. 1

Opponent

Time

Bonham Lindsay at Sanger Aubrey at Callisburg* Boyd* at Ponder* Paradise* at Whitesboro* Bowie*

7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

*District 5-2A Games

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96

August 29, 2013

DRC Football

PILOT POINT

Garrett will take over as leader for Bearcats

By Dave Rogers

For the Denton Record-Chronicle

The Pilot Point Bearcats arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hitching their wagon to junior quarterback Travis Garrett this season. Instead, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re riding in the wagon with him. Pilot Point finished 7-3 in Garrettâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first season as signal-caller in 2012. What was missing was a playoff berth. A pair of late-season District 5-2A (Division I) losses left the Bearcats out of the postseason. Pilot Point needed to win in its last game of the regular season and receive some help. The Bearcats beat Bowie 31-17, but Callisburg topped Whitesboro, leaving Pilot Point out of the playoffs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I remember after we got our business done that night, we were just waiting,â&#x20AC;? Garrett said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The suspense was insane. When we heard the news, it was a hard time. But that drove us this yearâ&#x20AC;? Garrett rushed for 849 yards and 12

touchdowns and passed for 982 yards and eight more scores in his first varsity season. But he says trying to be a team leader as a sophomore was a tough assignment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This year Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m playing more on a level with all of my peers Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve known since eighth grade,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more comfortable.â&#x20AC;? Garrett is expected to add defensive responsibilities this fall, starting as outside linebacker. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not only am I taking hits, now Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m getting to deliver some,â&#x20AC;? he said, clearly relishing the prospect. He also relishes the prospect of leading his team. To keep everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s focus, the Bearcat players have made a group declaration that â&#x20AC;&#x153;everybodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in the wagon, everybodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s committed,â&#x20AC;? Garrett said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We even have our own Pilot Point wagon,â&#x20AC;? Garrett added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re bringing it with us to all our games to help keep us focused.â&#x20AC;?

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

Travis Garrett threw for 982 yards and rushed for another 849 in a highly productive first season as Pilot Pointâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quarterback. Garrett will play an even bigger role this season when his teammates will look to him for leadership.

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DRC Football

August 29, 2013

PILOT POINT

EXTRA POINTS Keys to a successful year POSITION OF STRENGTH

235) is the only returning starter up front. Senior left guard Clint Lawson (5-11, 190) and sophomore center Tyrone Bruce (5-7, 202) played some as varsity backups last year. But sophomore right guard Basil Gist (5-10, 226) and junior right tackle Lucas Greenwood (6-1, 200) will enter the season without varsity experience.

Pilot Point has experienced players at several key positions. The Bearcats are strong up the middle with veterans at quarterback, defensive line and safety. Quarterback Travis Garrett has 10 games of varsity experience, plus nearly two years of film study with his coaches. Linemen Rigoberto Benavidez, John Groff Benavidez and Jonah Fritz and safeties Zachary Hairell and Byron Whitfield should be able to improve on a defense that last year held opponents to under 20 points and 250 yards per game.

Pilot Point will have two new cornerbacks this season in Chris Patten and Foster Morris. The Bearcats are hoping that Patton, a junior, and Morris, a sophomore, will quickly adjust to playing on the high school level.

POINT OF CONCERN

GAME OF THE YEAR

While Pilot Point has several key players returning, it lacks experience on its offensive line. “It’s our big Achilles’ [heel],” head coach Rob Best said. “We just aren’t proven in the offensive line. Hopefully with two scrimmages, we’ll have a better understanding of what we need.” Senior left tackle Eric Zepeda (5-10,

Pilot Point will have a chance to avenge a key loss from 2012 when it faces Whitesboro on Oct. 25. Whitesboro won the next-to-last regular-season game 46-34 after Pilot Point led 14-0 early and 21-18 at halftime. A win would have made Pilot Point district champs if all other league results remained the same.

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BEARCATS Roster No. Player Pos. 1 Travis Garrett QB/S 2 Matthew Greenwood WR/S 3 Chris Patten CB/WR 4 Xavier Alexander QB 5 Creed Bright SR/DB 7 Ramiro Mendoza K 8 Byron Whitfield FS/WR 9 Joseph Davis WR/DB 10 John Groff DE/RB/TE 11 Jalyn Marick WR/DB 12 Jacob David LB/OL 14 Hunter Balderas QB/DB 15 Foster Morris CB/WR 18 Zachary Hairell FS/WR 19 Derek McGee CB/WR 20 Tristan Jurecka RB/LB 21 Jarrett Wilson LB 22 Sebastin Guerra WR/DB 24 Jonah Fritz DE/TE 27 Jamaal Anderson SR/DB 32 Steven Castorena LB/TE 33 DaCoven Bailey SR/DB 34 Cody Beathard LB 35 Enos Baltazar RB/LB 52 Dakota Clendenen OL/DL

Ht. 6-0 5-11 5-9 5-9 5-10 5-9 6-2 5-10 5-9 5-8 6-0 5-9 5-10 6-0 5-6 5-10 5-9 5-8 6-1 5-9 5-9 5-9 5-10 5-6 5-8

Wt. 170 160 147 155 150 155 175 143 187 130 188 165 145 162 145 215 165 144 210 150 164 165 173 165 170

Yr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Jr. So. Jr. Jr. Jr. So. So. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. So. Sr. Sr. Sr.

PILOT POINT Schedule Date Opponent Aug. 30 Bonham Sept. 6 Lindsay Sept. 13. at Sanger Sept. 20 Aubrey Sept. 27 at Callisburg* Oct. 4 Boyd* Oct. 11 at Ponder* Oct. 18 Paradise* Oct. 25 at Whitesboro* Nov. 1 Bowie* * District 5-2A 53 54 55 56 61 66 72 75 76 77 82 85

Clayton Sprabary Rigoberto Benavidez Tyrone Bruce Clint Lawson Toby Alexander Basil Gist Eric Zepeda Lucas Greenwood Zachary Lohbauer Branson Burger Jesus Romo Clayton Williams

DL/OL DL/OL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL DE/OL OL/DL OL/DL WR/DB WR/DB

Time 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

5-10 5-10 5-7 5-11 6-1 5-10 5-10 6-1 5-8 5-9 5-8 5-11

185 318 202 190 210 226 235 200 235 215 135 145

Sr. Jr. So. Sr. Sr. So. Sr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Jr. So.

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98

August 29, 2013

PONDER

DRC Football

Schuelke hopes to build power at Ponder By Adrian O’Hanlon III For the Denton Record-Chronicle

Drenched after another day of preseason workouts in the triple-digit heat, Ponder players walked past a three-foot tall statue of a lion just outside the door of the fieldhouse. “We ought to tear that down and build a bigger one,” Ponder head coach Glen Schuelke chuckled within earshot of the players. Although he said it in jest, the first-year head coach was serious about his vision of building the struggling Ponder football program into a playoff contender. After former Ponder coach Russ Phillips left this summer to become an assistant at Guyer, Schuelke was hired for his reputation of being a program builder to lead a team with a 9-21 record in its first three seasons of football. Ponder fans will hope their new coach can recapture the same success when he molded the struggling football program at Prairiland into a perennial postseason fixture. Prior to hiring Schuelke, the Patriots had a combined record of 18-82 from 1990-99. In the next decade under Schuelke, the Patriots went 75-33, including a 2005 second-round playoff loss to eventual Class 2A runner-up Argyle. “When a team goes 18-82 in a 10-year span, that’s hard to break,” Schuelke said. “That’s a bunch of kids that are used to losing and the coaches were too, but you can change everybody’s mind. You just have to get after it.” Ponder players seemed to buy in to their new coach early in preseason workouts. Within just a few practices with the new coach, Lion junior Chris Aivaliotis, a returning starter on the offensive and defensive lines, said Schuelke’s coaching style is turning heads. “We’re excited to have him and like what he has us doing,” Aivaliotis said. “He’s a really nice guy, but will get onto us when we need it, to keep us focused on turning the program around.” Aivaliotis will man the trenches on both sides of the ball this season for a young Lions’ squad with four returning offensive

PONDER: IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton Head coach Glen Schuelke hopes to build a winner at Ponder and will depend largely on three key offensive skill position players in, from left, wide receivers Spencer Waldo and Christian Worthington and quarterback Trey Dunlap. Worthington finished with 614 receiving yards last year, while Waldo and Dunlap bring speed and athleticism, to Ponder’s offense.

starters and seven returners on defense. Perhaps his most crucial role will come on offense, as the 2012-13 all-district offensive lineman is set to anchor a team transitioning from a spread system to the run-heavy wing formation. “We’ll play as well as our linemen block,” Schuelke said. “The skill positions are going to have to play well, but the offensive line is going to play a more physical game than they’re used to.” Making the offensive switch will be even tougher without 88.48 percent of team’s scoring output from a season ago. Last season, Ponder quarterback Reid Sanders and running back Brennan Sooter combined for more than 3,000 yards and scored 192 of the Lions’ 217 points. Now, they’re gone.

Junior Trey Dunlap is primed to replace Sanders under center, despite not attempting a single pass in 2012. Dunlap brings the athleticism and run-game experience essential for a wing quarterback after rushing for 68 yards on 12 carries last year. Dunlap will have two talented receivers ready to make plays. Ponder seniors Christian Worthington (34 catches, 614 yards, four touchdowns) and Spencer Waldo (one catch, 12 yards) provide speed to both wing spots when the Lions start to open up the offense. On the other side of the ball, Ponder is primed to improve from allowing 31.5 points per game last season. Waldo,

LIONS Quick facts District: 5-2A (Division I) 2012 record: 2-8 (0-6 District 5-2A (I) Coach: Glen Schuelke (86-62 in 14 seasons, first year at Ponder) Returning starters: Four on offense, seven on defense Key players: OL/DL Chris Aivaliotis, DB Brandon Dodson, QB/LB Trey Dunlap, OL/DL Ryder Perry, DL Junior Rivera, WR/DB Spencer Waldo Offense: Wing Defense: Multiple School enrollment: 370 Stadium: Ponder Field

See PONDER on 101

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DRC Football

August 29, 2013

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Ponder High School â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Go Lions! Ponder Lions 2013 Football Schedule Date

Opponent

Time

Aug. 30 Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 20 Sept. 27 Oct. 4 Oct. 11 Oct. 18 Oct. 25 Nov. 8

at Muenster Alvord at River Oaks Castleberry Nocona Whitesboro* at Bowie* Pilot Point* at Callisburg* Boyd* at Paradise*

7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

*District 5-2A (D1) games

      

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August 29, 2013

DRC Football

PONDER

Aivaliotis a powerful force on Ponder line By Adrian O’Hanlon III For the Denton Record-Chronicle

Linemen rarely get the credit they deserve. People look at the eye-popping stats of star players without a second thought about the big guys up front battling for position and leading them to the end zone. Ponder lineman Chris Aivaliotis returns this season as a starter on both sides of the ball, following an all-district campaign when the Lions finished 2-8 overall and 0-6 in District 5-2A (Division I). With quick feet for a 5-11, 240pounder and a nose for the lead block, the junior often led the charge as Ponder racked up 3,051 yards in 2012. He doesn’t expect to take the spotlight this season, but Aivaliotis wants to lead the Lions’ program out of the dark. “With so many young guys, I know I’ll have to step up and be a leader,” Aivaliotis said. “Everyone wants to turn this pro-

gram around because we’re tired of people thinking we’re an automatic win.” Ponder is just 9-21 in its first three years of football. Under its fourth head coach in as many seasons, Aivaliotis said Ponder has the potential to make its first playoff appearance with new head coach Glen Schuelke. “We’re all buying in to what he’s teaching us because we’re ready to win,” Aivaliotis said. “We have some talented players and a good coaching staff, so it could be a good year.” Schuelke praised Aivaliotis as the team’s top lineman. If Aivaliotis continues to show his passion to win through intensity and leadership on the field and in the weight room, Schuelke said it will spread like a cold. “Winning takes care of a lot of things,” Schuelke said. “The kids want to win. The coaches want to win. That’s as good a start as any.”

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton

Chris Aivaliotis starts on both Ponder’s offensive and defensive lines and helps set the tone for the Lions, who are aiming for a breakout season after finishing winless in district play last year.

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DRC Football

August 29, 2013

PONDER

EXTRA POINTS Keys to a successful year POSITION OF STRENGTH

Without knowing a single player entering preseason workouts, Ponder’s firstyear head coach Glen Schuelke received a pleasant surprise after the first day of practice. “We’re better athletically than I thought we would be,” Schuelke said. “Some teams have 12 good athletes. Where I came from, we were lucky to have five good Worthington athletes.” Ponder has three of those athletes returning to lead a solid secondary in seniors Christian Worthington, Spencer Waldo and Brandon Dodson.

POINT OF CONCERN

Replacing former quarterback Reid Sanders, who passed for nearly 2,000 yards last season, presents a huge challenge, especially when the team is set to transition to a run-oriented offense. Ponder entered preseason workouts with Trey Dunlap leading the team’s new wing offense, after he did not register a

single pass attempt last year. What he lacks in experience throwing the ball, he makes up for with the running ability essential for a wing quarterback.

KEY NEWCOMER Transitioning from a spread offense to the run-heavy wing formation is virtually impossible without a talented running back. Lion junior J.J. Torres will give Ponder the elusive, workman-style runner it needs to make the first year under Schuelke a success.

GAME OF THE YEAR What better way to test a young team than to open the season at a perennial playoff contender? Ponder head coach Glen Schuelke believes picking up a win in the opener on Aug. 30 at Muenster could spark the Lions’ season. Muenster plays in a Class 1A — one smaller than Ponder — but with several players returning from the regional semifinal squad that finished 9-4 a season ago, the Hornets will challenge Schuelke’s new system and his players’ transition to it.

TROPHIES T N U O  E C TC. S I D

101

LIONS Roster No. 2 3 4 5 9 10 12 22 24 31 42 48 50 51 52 66 71 73 77

Player Jose DeLeon Trey Dunlap David Faughtenberry Nate Betterton James Branin Christian Worthington Spencer Waldo J.J. Torres Brandon Dodson Nick Rivers Justin Elder Scott Shafer Chris Aivaliotis Jacob Whited Ryder Perry Zack Turner Nick Thompson Junior Rivera Christian Daugherty

Ht. 5-6 6-0 6-0 5-11 5-9 5-10 6-1 5-8 5-9 5-9 5-11 5-11 6-0 5-6 6-2 5-10 6-2 5-8 6-3

Wt. 164 167 155 138 170 162 169 155 177 128 131 197 251 159 215 170 230 230 313

Yr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr.

From Page 98

Ponder Worthington and senior Brandon Dodson all return in the secondary, while linebackers Dunlap and senior Ryder Perry and linemen Aivaliotis and Junior

PONDER Schedule Date Opponent Aug. 30 at Muenster Sept. 6 Alvord Sept. 13 at R.O. Castleberry Sept. 20 Nocona Sept. 27 Whitesboro* Oct. 4 at Bowie* Oct. 11 Pilot Point* Oct. 18 at Callisburg* Oct. 25 Boyd* Nov. 8 at Paradise* *District 5-2A (D1) 78 79 88 89

Thomas Waite Zach Simpson Josh Pitman Dustin Ferguson

Time 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

5-10 6-0 6-2 6-1

270 Jr. 199 Jr. 171 So. 180 Jr.

Rivera will man the defensive front. After finishing 2-8 overall and 0-6 in District 5-2A (I) in 2012, most preseason polls picked Ponder to finish last in the league. “We’re trying to make the playoffs,” Schuelke said. “If we’re not trying to get to the playoffs, why are we out here?”

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102

August 29, 2013

LIBERTY

DRC Football

Liberty hopes changes produce results By Randy Cummings For the Denton Record-Chronicle

Sure, the team nickname’s the same and the school colors remain navy blue and gray, but the Liberty Christian Warriors have undergone some notable changes that could be key to any success they achieve during the 2013 season. On offense, the Warriors will primarily operate out of the “Pistol,” with the quarterback and a single running back lining up in a shotgun formation several yards behind the center. On defense, the switch has been made to return to a 4-3 alignment that features four down linemen and three linebackers. These are changes head coach Greg Price hopes will give his Warriors a better chance at success: an easier means to attack on offense, either on the ground or in the air, and a way to better stop opponents’ running games on defense. “Dropping back out from under center makes it a little easier for the kids in completing passes and being a little more efficient in the running game,” said Price, whose Warriors went 7-5 a year ago when they finished tied for third place in TAPPS District 1-I. “It’s a lot easier with shotgun snaps.” After spending the last two seasons in a 3-4 defensive setup, Price decided last spring to return to a 4-3 lineup. “When we went to the 3-4, we did it because a lot of our opponents were in a four-wide spread,” said Price. “One of the things I felt we didn’t do a good enough job with is making sure we stop the run. We had the defensive linemen and linebackers to go back to the 4-3.” With six starters returning on both offense and defense, the Warriors will have some holes to fill around a solid core of experienced players. An offensive line anchored by five seniors — starting with standout guard Brad Lundblade — should lead the offense while the three expected starters at linebacker — senior Matt Marrs, junior Hunter Griffith and sophomore Kyleb Howell — could be the strongest area on defense. Liberty’s rushing attack will fall largely

LIBERTY: IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton Liberty has switched to the Pistol offense and will rely on running back JonAaron Howell to make the move a successful one. Howell rushed for 816 yards last season and also caught 12 passes for 223 yards. The Warriors will look to get the ball to Howell early and often in the run-based set and will also depend on him defensively, where he will play safety.

on the shoulders of senior JonAaron Howell, who will also lead the secondary as a safety. Meanwhile, newcomer Colby Moore won the starting quarterback job and will lead an offense the team’s starting running back is excited about. “I’m pumped about it,” JonAaron Howell said of the new offensive format. “It’s tough to stop because you have motion both ways and from the shotgun you don’t know which way it’s going.” Providing the pass protection and run blocking up front will be Lundblade, who at 6-3, 290 pounds, is the standout in a big offensive line that will include fellow seniors Austin Mann, Weldon Whittle, Connor Cox, A.J. Seely and junior Cameron Brasher.

“I think the offense, having the experience we have, is really going to be big for us,” said Lundblade. Price decided to incorporate the “Pistol” formation into his offense in the spring. “One of the things we want to do is … incorporate the formation into what the kids already know, as opposed to revamping the entire offense,” Price said. “We want to keep the solid aspects of the downhill run game — just from a shotgun snap. And having the ability to get the ball out a little better from a shotgun snap and throwing the ball should increase our completion rate.” Changes, Price hopes, that will increase the Warriors’ chances at making a deeper run in the playoffs in 2013.

WARRIORS Quick facts District: TAPPS Division I – District 1 2012 record: 7-5 (3-3, TAPPS Division I – District 1) Coach: Greg Price (32-17 in five seasons at Liberty Christian) Returning starters: 6 on offense, 6 on defense Key players: RB/SS JonAaron Howell, OL Brad Lundblade, QB Colby Moore, WR/LB Hunter Griffith Offense: Pistol Defense: 4-3 School enrollment: 464 Stadium: Bowles Stadium

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Liberty Christian High Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Go Warriors! Liberty Christian Warriors

2013 Football Schedule Date

Opponent

Time

Aug. 30 Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 20 Sept. 27 Oct. 11 Oct. 18 Oct. 25 Nov. 1 Nov. 8

Springtown at Sanger Celina at Grace Prep Prestonwood Christian* Bishop Dune* at John Paul II* Trinity Christian* at Fort Worth Nolan* at Bishop Lynch*

7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

*TAPPS Division 1-1 Games

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LIBERTY

August 29, 2013

EXTRA POINTS Keys to a successful year POSITION OF STRENGTH

Size and experience on the offensive line may not be exciting to some, but it sure gets head coach Greg Price excited. Led by star and fouryear starter Brad Lundblade (6-3, 290), the line will rely on the additional senior leadership of Austin Mann (6Mann 1, 190), Weldon Whittle (6-0, 240), A.J. Seely (6-2, 280) and Connor Cox (5-11, 230) to provide the Warriors with a strong foundation up front.

POINT OF CONCERN

Actually, Price is focusing on two areas to solidify before the season kicks off: quarterback and secondary. Senior newcomer Colby Moore solidified one of those spots when he won the quarterback competition in the preseason. The secondary

No. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 22 24 27 28 29 30 32 34 37 39 40 42 44 45 50

returns a starter in senior safety JonAaron Howell and will likely count on sophomores Givon Washington and Dakota Sanchez at the two cornerback spots.

KEY NEWCOMERS Price likes what heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seen so far from sophomore linebacker Kyleb Howell and Washington in the secondary. Howell may also play some at fullback. Washington got a few starts late last season.

GAME OF THE YEAR In the mind of Price, there are two games the Warriors have circled on their schedule: Plano Prestonwood and Forth Worth Nolan. In three years as a member of District 1-I, Liberty Christian has yet to defeat either. You can hear the frustration in Priceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voice when he states that the Warriors have two games of the year.

WARRIORS Roster Player Pos. Jordan Brown WR/DB Hunter Griffith WR/LB Tanner Moseley RB/DB JonAaron Howell RB/DB Kyleb Howell RB/LB Zach Keller RB/DB Drew Hunnicutt QB/DB Colby Moore QB/DB Danny Linahan WR/LB Cody Hughes WR/DB Cole Irwin WR/LB Gavin Menichini WR/DB Austin Horton WR/LB Justus Lee WR/DB Mickey Grebe WR/LB Adura Amosun WR/DB Nick Starkel QB/DB Nelson Nicholson WR/DB Givon Washington WR/DB Matt Marrs FB/LB Hunter Hillier WR/K Dakota Sanchez RB/DB Ayodeji Amosun RB/DL Nick Horton WR/DB Ryan Vollenhals RB/DB Coleman Fish WR/DB John Paul Kosub WR/LB Hugh Jeffery FB/DL Caleb Bridges FB/LB Johnny Alday FB/LB Brandon Harrison FB/LB Christian Palmer FB/DL Austin Mann OL/DL

Ht. 5-10 6-3 5-11 5-11 6-0 5-6 6-1 6-1 5-11 6-4 6-1 6-3 5-9 5-9 5-11 5-9 6-2 5-9 5-10 5-9 6-1 5-9 5-11 5-11 5-6 5-8 5-10 6-0 5-10 5-10 5-7 5-10 6-1

Wt. 170 225 175 190 195 145 175 200 200 190 175 200 190 180 160 160 160 155 145 170 165 160 180 175 148 135 165 195 180 185 160 185 195

Yr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Sr. So. Jr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. So. Jr. Jr. So. Jr. So. Sr. So. So. So. So. So. So. Jr. Jr. Fr. Jr. So. Sr. Sr.

LIBERTY Schedule Date Opponent Aug. 30 Springtown Sept. 6 at Sanger Sept. 13 Celina Sept. 20 at Arl. Grace Prep Sept. 27 Prestonwood Ch.* Oct. 11 Bishop Dunne* Oct. 18 at John Paul II* Oct. 25 TCA-Addison* Nov. 1 at Fort Worth Nolan* Nov. 8 at Bishop Lynch* *TAPPS Division 1-1 52 53 55 56 57 58 59 62 64 66 72 74 75 76 78 79 91 99

Tobyn Steffey OL/DL Cameron Brasher OL/DL Garrett Sawyer OL/DL Zack Buchholtz OL/DL Taylor Barber OL/DL Weldon Whittle OL/DL Connor Cox OL/DL Brian Davis OL/DL Devon Namey OL/DL Jason Clemons OL/DL A.J. Seely OL/DL Brad Lundblade OL/DL Jaden Cook OL/DL Nick Valenzuela OL/LB Matt Mullen OL/DL Tyler Cox OL/DL Will McClain FB/DL Cole Austin K/P

Time 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

5-11 6-1 5-10 5-10 6-1 5-11 5-10 5-11 5-11 5-8 6-1 6-3 5-11 6-0 6-0 5-11 6-1 5-9

200 220 185 200 190 225 220 160 230 190 285 295 195 190 240 238 205 155

Jr. Jr. So. Jr. So. Sr. Sr. Jr. So. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. So. So. Jr.

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August 29, 2013

DRC Football

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The following is the 2012 Denton RecordChronicle All-Area team: MVP QB Jerrod Heard, Guyer, 6-3, 190, Jr. Offensive Player of the Year WR Ian Sadler, Argyle, 5-11, 185, Jr. Co-Defensive Players of the Year LB Terence Belton, Guyer, 6-1, 200, Sr.; DB Connor Wilson, Argyle, 6-2, 195, Jr. Newcomer of the Year RB Richard Whitaker, Guyer, 5-10, 179, Sr. Coach of the Year John Walsh, Guyer FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE QB â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Brandon Boyzuick, Argyle, 6-0, 190, Jr. RB â&#x20AC;&#x201D; D.J. Breedlove, Guyer, 5-8, 170, Jr.; Reed Flores, Krum, 5-6, 154, Sr.; Nick Ralston, Argyle, 5-11, 205, Soph. WR â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Keâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Von Buris, Denton, 5-9, 170, Jr.; Ellis Jefferson, Guyer, 6-4, 200, Sr.; Trent Willis, Ryan, 5-10, 150, Jr. OL â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Bryan Barrett, Guyer, 6-1, 285, Jr.; Tanner Fought, Argyle, 6-3, 235, Sr.; Matt Griffin, Ryan, 6-3, 290, Sr.; Billy Morgan, Krum, 6-4, 290, Sr.; Patrick Morris, Guyer, 6-2, 280, Sr. PK â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Mikael Sroka, Liberty Christian, 5-10, 170, Sr. FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE DL â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Connor Allen, Guyer, 6-1, 210, Sr.; Desmond Oliver, Ryan, 6-1, 250, Sr.; Graysen Schantz, Lake Dallas, 6-3, 245, Sr.; J.T. Williams, Ryan, 6-2, 240, Jr. LB â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Colton Hinnrichs, Argyle, 6-2, 210, Jr.; Fred Roman, Pilot Point, 5-8, 180, Sr.; Terrell Singleton, Guyer, 5-10, 180, Sr.; Sam Sizelove,

August 29, 2013 Argyle, 6-3, 225, Jr. DB â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Dante Basher, Lake Dallas, 5-9, 175, Sr.; Reynal Caldwell, Ryan, 5-8, 150, Sr.; JonAaron Howell, Liberty Christian, 5-10, 180, Jr.; Reese Thompson, Argyle, 6-0, 170, Jr.; Travis White, Krum, 6-0, 172, Jr. SECOND-TEAM OFFENSE QB â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Mitchell Bridges, Ryan, 5-9, 185, Jr.; Caz Wojciak, Krum, 5-10, 165, Jr. RB â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Camron Cornett, Liberty Christian, 5-10, 180, Sr.; Tristan Jurecka, Pilot Point, 5-8, 193, Jr.; Tyrone Williams, Ryan, 6-1, 190, Jr. WR â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Deandre Coleman, Denton, 5-8, 155, Jr.; Bryce Williams, Lake Dallas, 6-3, 230, Sr.; Christian Worthington, Ponder, 5-11, 157, Jr. OL â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Zach Colpean, Guyer, 5-10, 235, Sr.; Jordan Deagen, Argyle, 6-2, 285, Sr.; Jake Hays, Ryan, 5-10, 240, Sr.; John Laubacher, Lake Dallas, 6-5, 310, Sr.; Brad Lundblade, Liberty Christian, 6-3, 290, Jr. PK â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Marc Orozco, Ryan, 5-9, 180, Jr. SECOND-TEAM DEFENSE DL â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Micah Capra, Argyle, 6-1, 255, Jr.; Thomas Ferguson, Guyer, 6-1, 220, Jr.; Colton Lively, Lake Dallas, 6-1, 235, Sr.; Nolan Robinson, Ryan, 61, 190, Jr. LB â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Matt Davis, Aubrey, 5-9, 190, Sr.; Ryan Duggan, Denton, 6-1, 195, Sr.; Brice Escobedo, Sanger, 5-11, 190, Sr.; Matt Marrs, Liberty Christian, 5-9, 170, Jr.; Demontrie Taylor, Guyer, 5-9, 180, Jr. DB â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Jake Fleckenstein, Krum, 5-11, 168, Sr.; Chris McGee, Denton, 5-9, 160, Sr.; Roman Mitchell, Lake Dallas, 6-0, 200, Sr.; Graham Richardson, Liberty Christian, 5-10, 160, Sr.; Tavi Sanches, Guyer, 5-10, 180, Sr.

107

Denton Record-Chronicle/Al Key

Guyer head coach John Walsh talks with offensive coordinator Mitch Stovall during practice last season. Walsh was named the Denton Record-Chronicleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Coach of the Year after leading Guyer to the Class 4A Division I state title.

                              

     

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August 29, 2013

CALVARY

DRC Football

Talented freshmen set to guide Calvary By Adrian O’Hanlon III For the Denton Record Chronicle

Denton Calvary went fishing last offseason and came back with full nets. Five talented freshmen will help five sophomores take on responsibility of returning the Lions to the playoffs after Calvary lost its three most productive players from a season ago. A lack of experience has Calvary head coach Lionel Gillespie counting on fish in 2013, but he still expects to win. “I’m looking at it as more of a growing year,” Calvary head coach Lionel Gillespie said. “You can say it’s a rebuilding year, but I don’t like saying that because it’s kind of like you’re expecting to lose. I feel like, since our district graduated a lot of guys, we’ll definitely be right in the mix this year.” After going 5-6 overall and 2-3 in TAPPS Six-Man 2-I with a first-round exit from the playoffs last year, Calvary was hit hard in the off-season. The Lions lost two reliable skill players to graduation last season in all-district running backs Matt Hood and Jesse Wells, while former quarterback Justin Rush decided to forego his senior season in pursuit of a military career. Despite having to fill the void left by two cogs in the ground-and-pound offense from a season ago, Hood and Wells (who will both serve as assistant coaches this year), and filling a roster with 10 underclassmen, Gillespie said the new young nucleus players already play like winners. “That was pretty much our heart and soul at Calvary, but this year, I feel like we’re coming back tougher,” Gillespie said. “Those young guys are very, very tough and resilient, so I feel like we’ll pull out a couple wins due to them being tough and not used to losing.” That attitude from the five freshmen undoubtedly comes from their undefeated 9-0 record last year in junior high. Although the accomplishment lacks much of a comparison to the level of competition the young Lions will face this sea-

CALVARY: IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton Calvary running back Jacob Hood will carry a heavy load during his freshman season for Calvary, which lost several key skill position players to graduation after the 2012 season. Hood was a member of team that finished 9-0 last season in junior high. Calvary will move from a I-formation offense to the spread this year take advantage of Hood’s speed and quickness.

son, including a district game against returning state champion Dallas Covenant, freshman quarterback James Helzer plans to spin any intimidation factor in Calvary’s favor. “It’s one of those things that will make them kind of look down at us and it’ll make us be like, ‘Let’s go hit them in the mouth,’ and really test them,” Helzer said. Filling the shoes left behind by Hood and Wells, Helzer and freshman running back Jacob Hood bring their own version of a dynamic duo to the Lions’ backfield. Both freshmen have quick feet — quick enough to score every time they touch the ball — and a connection built from playing sports together since the

sixth grade. After tasting success last season, the freshmen have the swagger and expectations of a playoff team. “We’re used to winning and we all have confidence in our abilities,” Jacob Hood said. “We want to stay with everyone [in district play] and just hold our own.” Because of a lack of size, Calvary’s offense, which scored 38.3 points per game last year, will convert from a runheavy I-formation to the spread offense. Lion sophomore Brayden Humphrey returns limited experience at receiver, but provides a solid route runner and some of

RAIDERS Quick facts District: TAPPS Six-Man 2-I 2012 record: 5-6 (2-3, TAPPS Six-Man 2I) Coach: Lionel Gillespie Returning starters: zero on offense, zero on defense Key players: QB/LB James Helzer, RB/DB Jacob Hood, WR/DB Brayden Humphrey, WR/LB Gavin Mercer, RB Joshua Barnes Offense: Spread/Pistol Defense: Multiple School enrollment: 126 Stadium: Bronco Field

See CALVARY on 110

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109

Denton Calvary Academy â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Go Lions! Denton Calvary Lions 2013 Football Schedule Date

Opponent

Aug. 30

Lucas Christian

7:30 p.m.

Sept. 6

at Austin Veritas

7:30 p.m.

Sept. 13

Austin Hill Country

7:30 p.m.

Sept. 20

Covenant Classical

7:30 p.m.

Oct. 12

at Greenville Christian

2 p.m.

Oct. 17

Harvest Christian

7:30 p.m.

Oct. 26

Dallas Covenant

1 p.m.

Nov. 1

at Heritage Christian

7:30 p.m.

Nov. 9

at Dallas Tyler Street

2 p.m.

      

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August 29, 2013

DRC Football

CALVARY

EXTRA POINTS Keys to a successful year POSITION OF STRENGTH

Despite the loss of do-it-all running backs Matt Hood and Jesse Wells this offseason, Jacob Hood is fit to follow in the footsteps of his older brother as Calvary’s next feature back. The freshman has a quick first step and good vision, which usually translates well at the Helzer next level. He will also give freshman quarterback James Helzer a reliable passing option out of the backfield. Helzer is a viable run option in his own right, but Calvary can also hand it off to Joshua Barnes.

POINT OF CONCERN

Calvary gave up at least 50 points to three of its district opponents last year, including eventual state champ Dallas Covenant (56-0), and in its bi-district loss to New Braunfels Christian (55-8), partly because of poor tackling. “That’s what we had a lot of problems with last year,” Gillespie said. “Last year we gave up a bunch of touchdowns

because of [missed] tackles. We’re definitely stressing that and getting guys in the right position to make a tackle, but we’ll definitely get better at that this year.”

KEY NEWCOMER Hood carried a big load for the undefeated Calvary junior high squad a season ago with the same vision and production as his big brother, running-back-turnedassistant-coach Matt Hood. “I’m excited to follow my brother,” Hood said. “I just want to work hard and be a leader; push everyone to get better.”

GAME OF THE YEAR Like a true rivalry game, the contest between Calvary and Watauga Harvest usually decides a playoff berth and features two teams looking to settle a grudge. “We just don’t like each other much,” Hood said. “It always seems like that’s the game it comes down to for us to make the playoffs.” The Lions will have a little more on the line entering the Oct. 17 home game, looking to avenge last season’s 58-51 loss.

LIONS Roster No. 4 6 8 9 11 12 19 20 22 24 27 43 44 88

Player Matt Schaeffer Joseph Peters Zach Elder Brayden Humphrey Jacob Peters James Helzer Gavin Mercer Brennan Bloom Wyatt Teske Nathan Schaeffer Jacob Hood Joshua Barnes Zack Masey Tyler Gerwig

Ht. 5-10 6-3 6-0 5-10 5-10 6-2 5-11 6-0 5-7 6-1 5-6 5-9 5-10 6-4

Wt. 140 195 185 175 180 165 155 180 150 170 140 175 195 185

Yr. So. Sr. Sr. So. Jr. Fr. So. Sr. Fr. Fr. Fr. So. Fr. Sr.

CALVARY Schedule Date Opponent Time Aug. 30 Lucas Christian 7:30 p.m. Sept. 6 at Austin Veritas 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13 Austin Hill Country 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20 Covenant Classical 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at Greenville Christian* 2 p.m. Oct. 17 Wataga Harvest * 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 Dallas Covenant* 1 p.m. Nov. 1 at Heritage Christian* 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at Dallas Tyler Street* 2 p.m. * TAPPS Six-Man Division I District 2

From Page 108

per district game, including a 56-0 loss to Dallas Covenant. But don’t judge a book by its cover. Calvary has focused on its defensive techniques in preseason workouts and the team’s character has Gillespie confident entering the season. “I’m kind of anxious to see how we’ll fair against Dallas Covenant,” Gillespie said. “We’ll definitely gameplan differently [than last season], but I feel like we’ll have more of an edge.”

Calvary the surest hands on the team to boost the new passing attack. On the other side of the ball, the Lions will re-emphasize defensive positioning and tackling techniques after allowing 40.8 points per contest last season. District play exposed the Lions’ defense further, as Calvary gave up 48.4 points

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August 29, 2013

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DRC Football

August 29, 2013

Thursday, August 29 Guyer at Cedar Hill, 7 p.m. Friday, August 30 Denton at Bishop Lynch, 7 p.m. Ryan at Corsicana, 7:30 p.m. Lake Dallas at Richardson Pearce, 7:30 p.m. Argyle at Abilene Wylie, 7:30 p.m. Aubrey at Pottsboro, 7:30 p.m. Caddo Mills at Krum, 7:30 p.m. Ponder at Muenster, 7:30 p.m. Sanger at Dallas Madison, 7:30 p.m. Springtown at Liberty Christian, 7:30 p.m. Bonham at Pilot Point, 7:30 p.m. Lucas Christian at Calvary (Bronco Field), 7:30 p.m. Saturday, August 31 Idaho at North Texas, 6 p.m. Thursday, September 5 Ryan at Wichita Falls Rider, 7 p.m. Colleyville Heritage at Guyer (C.H. Collins), 7 p.m. Friday, September 6 R.L. Turner at Denton, 7 p.m. Frisco Centennial at Lake Dallas, 7 p.m. Anna at Aubrey, 7:30 p.m. Fort Worth Nolan at Argyle, 7:30 p.m. Farmersville at Krum, 7:30 p.m. Liberty Christian at Sanger, 7:30 p.m. Alvord at Ponder, 7:30 p.m. Lindsay at Pilot Point, 7:30 p.m. Calvary at Austin Veritas, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 7 North Texas at Ohio, 6 p.m. Friday, September 13 F.M. Marcus at Guyer (C.H. Collins), 7 p.m. Carrollton Newman Smith at Lake Dallas, 7 p.m. Denton at Fort Worth Western Hills, 7:30 p.m. Ryan at Wylie East, 7:30 p.m. Paris at Argyle, 7:30 p.m. Aubrey at Whitesboro, 7:30 p.m. Krum at Alvord, 7:30 p.m.

Pilot Point at Sanger, 7:30 p.m. Ponder at River Oaks Castleberry, 7:30 p.m. Celina at Liberty Christian, 7:30 p.m. Austin Hill Country at Calvary (Bronco Field), 7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 14 Ball State at North Texas, 3 p.m. Friday, September 20 Argyle at Kennedale, 7:30 p.m. Krum at Paradise, 7:30 p.m. Nocona at Ponder, 7:30 p.m. Sanger at Boyd, 7:30 p.m. Liberty Christian at Grace Prep, 7:30 p.m. Aubrey at Pilot Point, 7:30 p.m. Covenant Classical at Calvary (Bronco Field), 7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 21 North Texas at Georgia, TBA Friday, September 27 Lake Dallas at Denton, 7 p.m. Guyer at Azle, 7 p.m. Krum at Wichita Falls Hirschi, 7 p.m. McKinney at Ryan (C.H. Collins), 7:30 p.m. Argyle at Wilmer Hutchins, 7:30 p.m. Sanger at Aubrey, 7:30 p.m. Whitesboro at Ponder, 7:30 p.m. Prestonwood at Liberty Christian, 7:30 p.m. Pilot Point at Callisburg, 7:30 p.m. Friday, October 4 Denton at Guyer (C.H. Collins), 7 p.m. Trophy Club Nelson at Lake Dallas, 7 p.m. Dallas Madison at Argyle, 7:30 p.m. Burkburnett at Krum, 7:30 p.m. Fort Worth Trinity Valley at Aubrey, 7:30 p.m. Frisco Lone Star at Sanger, 7:30 p.m. Ponder at Bowie, 7:30 p.m. Boyd at Pilot Point, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 5 North Texas at Tulane, 2:30 p.m. Friday, October 11 Wichita Falls at Denton, 7 p.m.

Guyer at Trophy Club Nelson, 7 p.m. Lake Dallas at Wichita Falls Rider, 7 p.m. Ryan at Flower Mound Marcus, 7:30 p.m. Frisco Lone Star at Aubrey, 7:30 p.m. Krum at Bridgeport, 7:30 p.m. Pilot Point at Ponder, 7:30 p.m. Bishop Dunne at Liberty Christian, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 12 Middle Tennessee at North Texas, 6 p.m. Calvary at Greenville Christian, 2 p.m. Thursday, October 17 Argyle at Carrollton Ranchview, 7:30 p.m. Watauga at Calvary (Bronco Field), 7:30 p.m. Friday, October 18 Denton at Fort Worth Brewer, 7 p.m. Lake Dallas at Guyer (C.H. Collins), 7 p.m. Ryan at Hebron, 7:30 p.m. Decatur at Krum, 7:30 p.m. Sanger at Gainesville, 7:30 p.m. Ponder at Callisburg, 7:30 p.m. Liberty Christian at John Paul II, 7:30 p.m. Paradise at Pilot Point, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 19 North Texas at Louisiana Tech, 3 p.m. Thursday, October 24 Dallas Covenant at Calvary (Bronco Field), 6 p.m. Friday, October 25 Azle at Denton, 7 p.m. Guyer at Wichita Falls Rider, 7 p.m. Wichita Falls at Lake Dallas, 7 p.m. Lewisville at Ryan (C.H. Collins), 7:30 p.m. Frisco Lone Star at Argyle, 7:30 p.m. Aubrey at Celina, 7:30 p.m. Krum at Sanger, 7:30 p.m. Boyd at Ponder, 7:30 p.m.

113

Trinity Christian at Liberty Christian, 7:30 p.m. Pilot Point at Whitesboro, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 26 North Texas at Southern Mississippi, 6 p.m. Thursday, October 31 Rice at North Texas, 6:30 p.m. Friday, November 1 Wichita Falls Rider at Denton, 7 p.m. Guyer at Wichita Falls, 7 p.m. Lake Dallas at Fort Worth Brewer, 7 p.m. Ryan at Coppell, 7:30 p.m. Argyle at Aubrey, 7:30 p.m. Gainesville at Krum, 7:30 p.m. Sanger at Bridgeport, 7:30 p.m. Liberty Christian at Fort Worth Nolan, 7:30 p.m. Bowie at Pilot Point, 7:30 p.m. Calvary at Rockwall Heritage, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 7 Fort Worth Brewer at Guyer (C.H. Collins), 7 p.m. Friday, November 8 Denton at Trophy Club Nelson, 7 p.m. Azle at Lake Dallas, 7 p.m. Flower Mound at Ryan (C.H. Collins), 7:30 p.m. Aubrey at Carrollton Ranchview, 7:30 p.m. Celina at Argyle, 7:30 p.m. Decatur at Sanger, 7:30 p.m. Ponder at Paradise, 7:30 p.m. Liberty Christian at Bishop Lynch, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 9 Denton Calvary Academy at Tyler Street, 2 p.m. UTEP at North Texas, 2:30 p.m. Saturday, November 23 UTSA at North Texas, 2:30 p.m. Saturday, November 30 North Texas at Tulsa, TBA

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Football 2013