PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
Division 1 Team in all caps
1. Wolfforth Frenship
3. Big Spring
4. Lubbock Estacado
5. San Angelo Lakeview
It's been a two horse race at the top of this district the past few years as Plainview and Wolfforth Frenship have split the past two district titles, however in the playoffs Frenship has fared a bit better as the Tigers have advanced to the state semi-finals two straight years. It appears this year Plainview will take a step back and Frenship should roll to a district title without much trouble. Plainview and Big Spring are still solid bets for the playoffs but I expect both Estacado and Lakeview to be much more competitive this year as well. Realignment for this district could be interesting, the loop could be very interesting as Big Spring and Lubbock Estacado are on the verge of dropping to 3A and this loop may get consolidated with the panhandle district for a possible 8 team district.
WOLFFORTH FRENSHIP TIGERS
2006 Record: 12-3 (lost to Waco 34-0 in the Division II State Semi-Finals)
Outlook:Although the season ending injury to QB Seth Doege is a big blow to the Tigers, they won't be needing sympathy cards from anyone. FHS is still a title contender as the talent on hand is excellent. Last year QB Matt Hill stepped in for an injured Doege and led Frenship to the semi-finals and he's more than capable. RB Michael Connor will be counted on more heavily and a defense led by Ryan Halliburton and Aaron Wampler will be very tough to move the ball against. If there is one weakness for the Tigers its overall team speed, as teams with more speed (Everman, Wichita Falls Rider, Waco) seemed to cause them the most problems as Everman and Rider played the Tigers tough and Waco knocked the Tigers out. However, the lack of speed reference is being picky at best, FHS did still win two of those three games.
2006 Record: 9-4 (lost to Aledo 28-12 in the Division 1 State Quarter-Finals)
Outlook:Angry Red may take a step back this year, the Bulldogs have had a great four seasons (subtract out the 5-5 record in 2004). In 2003 PHS was 10-3 and then in 2005 Plainview lost a heartbreaker to Stephenville in triple OT to finish 12-1 and then last year's 9-4 mark. The Bulldogs must replace Evan Hearn who was a big time back after he stepped in for Jamar Wall who graduated two years ago. A bigger loss may be of all-state lineman Spencer Thompson. WR Michael Egnew is the top offensive weapon but the Bulldogs have never been known as a team who slings it around much and his effectiveness may be limited without the big time back. Plainview may count on their defense early while the young offense matures.
BIG SPRING STEERS
2006 Record: 3-8 (lost to Hereford 31-24 in bi-district)
Outlook:BSHS has made the playoffs the past two seasons but eight loss seasons won't get things done, and new HC Mike Ritchey will be looking to get Big Spring back to their winning ways. The Steers haven't posted a winning season since an 8-5 mark in 2002. The defense took some hits to graduation but look for the Steers to score lots of points to make up the difference while the young defense matures. WR Sidney Parker gives Big Spring a solid pass catcher and sophomore RB Monte Anderson could emerge as a home run threat for the Steers. BSHS still looks to be a solid third place team and they could even make a foray into the second round of the playoffs this year.
LUBBOCK ESTACADO MATADORS
2006 Record: 2-8
Outlook:Danny Servance takes over for legendary HC Buster Leaf who did manage to get EHS two wins last year after the Matadors went 1-39 the four prior seasons. The numbers are improved at Estacado as 22 letterman are back and with JV kids coming up Estacado could carry over 40 players on the Varsity roster which is something they haven't had in a while. 8 defensive starters back will likley mean improved play on that side of the ball and the Matadors typically feature some of the top athletes top to bottom on the High Plains. WR Jeremy Watson and RB/DB Eric Washington are both game breakers on the offensive side of the ball.
SAN ANGELO LAKEVIEW CHIEFS
2006 Record: 0-10
Outlook:Lakeview is only two years removed from a trip to the playoffs and last year they hit rock bottom with an 0-10 season. The Chiefs will feature some experienced talent led by QB John David Baker who accounted for over 17 touchdowns as a sophomore. WR Mike Williams looks to be the top target for Baker in the passing game. 7 starters return on defense led by LB Darius Flowers and DB Johnny Harris. Lakeview should be able to notch themselves a win or two this year and depending on realignment next year they could be in the playoff mix.
FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Ryan Halliburton, DE, Sr. Wolfforth Frenship
Michael Egnew, WR, Sr. Plainview
Michael Connor, RB, Sr. Wolfforth Frenship
Sidney Parker, WR, Sr. Big Spring
Aaron Wampler, DE, Sr. Wolfforth Frenship