TheOldCoach District 8-6A Preview

South Grand Prairie DB Jeffrey Okudah will look to lead the Warriors back to the playoffs in one of the state's toughest districts. Can they nab one of those four spots? Check out our look at the 8-6A race right here on THEOLDCOACH!

DISTRICT 8-6A

IN PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

DESOTO EAGLES

ENROLLMENT: 2,992 (3)

2014 RECORD: 10-2 6A Div. I Area Finalist

THE COACH: Todd Peterman

THE PLAYERS: Tristen Wallace (Sr., QB), A.J. Green (Sr., DB), Neiman Armstrong (Sr., DB), LaDarrian Brown (Sr., QB), KD Nixon (Jr., WR), Khari Muhammad (Sr., WR), Kirk Johnson (Sr., WR), Brendon Rushing (Sr., WR), Caleb Abroms (Sr., LB), Josiah Washington (Sr., OL), Edward Ingram (Jr., OL), Hyrin White (Jr., OL), Byron Hanspard (So., WR), Xavier Newman (Jr., OL), Caleb Brown (Sr., DB), Keylon Chapman (Sr., DB), Kelan Walker (So., RB), Dee Anderson (Sr., WR)

THE WORD: If not for Allen, DeSoto may have won three state championships in a row, but alas the Eagles failed in three tries to take care of Allen. Now the Eagles will look to bring home that elusive state title under new leadership as OC Todd Peterman takes over for Claude Mathis who left to take a job on staff at SMU. The offense will center around Ohio State commit Wallace, who missed most of 2014 with an injury, but when healthy he’s as electric as they come. He’s got a big arm, is quick and can show Tim Tebow-like running ability in short yardage situations, his ability is as unique as they come. He’s got plenty of weapons out wide including speedy junior Nixon who has started since his freshman year. There is a question at running back, but whoever is the lead ball carrier will run behind a massive OL led by Washington, Ingram and White. The defense returns five starters and loses some good talent up front and that will be a concern. The secondary is as always incredibly talented, led by Green who is racking up multiple FBS offers and Texas Tech commit Armstrong. “We are excited about this year, we’ve got as big an offensive line as we’ve ever had and we have a great group of skill. We need some youngsters to step up on defense and if we can get that I think we can contend,” said Coach Peterman. DeSoto got a potential boost from the transfer of LSU commit Anderson from West Mesquite, but his eligibility for 2015 is in question.

CEDAR HILL LONGHORNS

ENROLLMENT: 2,281 (7)

2014 RECORD: 14-2 Div. II State Champions

THE COACH: Joey McGuire

THE PLAYERS: Jaylon Jackson (Jr., ATH), Avery Davis (Jr., QB), Josh Stewart (Sr., WR/P), Eric Sutton (Sr., DB), Jameel Moore (Sr., DB), Kolbi McGary (Sr., DB), Dimitri Moore (Jr., LB), Devon Rader (Jr., LB), Joseph Lamott (Sr., DL), Clifton Coffey (Sr., DL), Jaylin Penton (Sr., DL), Donovan Runnels (Jr., OL), Camron Buckley (Jr., WR), Michael Clark (Sr., DB), Marquise Forman (Jr., RB), Richie Washington (Jr., RB), Kaegun Williams (Jr., RB), Charleston Rambo (Jr., WR)

THE WORD: Not only did Cedar Hill bring home their second straight state title, but the Longhorns vanquished district rival DeSoto on national television to bring home the 8-6A title. A fantastic group of seniors has graduated but as always the Longhorns have the pieces in place to reload. Help from a JV squad that went 10-0 will certainly not hurt thing for the ‘Horns. Just four offensive starters are back, but Versatile Jackson is one of the top athletes in the state and will be used in a number of different ways, he’s got a chance to be a matchup nightmare. Davis, who led the JV to a 10-0 record was the secret weapon in the state title game against Katy and he delivered on the biggest of stages rushing for 148 yards in the win. Stewart is a solid receiver and an all-state punter, while Buckley has a chance according to Coach McGuire “to be the next great receiver from Cedar Hill.” Rambo, who moved in from Dallas Wilson will give Cedar Hill depth as well. Forman will team with DeSoto transfer Washington to lead the rushing attack along with Stephenville transfer Williams who is one of the best multi-purpose backs in the state.. The front seven of the defense will be a strength with Lamott, Coffey and Penton all returning up front, Lamott was a first team all-district pick and Coffey is a three year starter. Moore and Rader at LB started all 16 games and bring speed and run stuffing ability to the CHHS defense. The secondary has a couple of holes to fill but Clark a transfer from Sachse should add some experience to the fold. “We lack experience but with our schedule, they’ll grow up in a hurry. This team is hungry and I like our chances to have another great year,” said Coach McGuire.

MANSFIELD TIGERS

ENROLLMENT: 2,323 (5)

2014 RECORD: 7-4 6A Div. II Bi-District Playoffs

THE COACH: Jeff Hulme

THE PLAYERS: Kennedy Brooks (Jr., RB), Salid Adebo (Sr., WR/DB), Sean Shanklin (Sr., DB), Kareem Adeniyi (Sr., WR), Greg Davis (Sr., DL), Sterling Savell (Sr., OL), Caleb Thomas (Jr., DL), Grant Ponder (Sr., OL), Jake Sweet (Sr., TE), Ju’Nathean McAllister (Sr., OL), Shamauri Mclain (Sr., DL), Jaelon Rainey (Sr., LB), Michael Christopher (Sr., WR), Zayne Johnson (Sr., DB), Corbin Fredrick (So., DB)

THE WORD: Mansfield got red hot towards the end of 2014 including getting a win over eventual state champion Cedar Hill, the Tigers season ended in disappointment however as they had Southlake Carroll on the ropes in the bi-district playoffs but surrendered a late lead in the loss. The Tigers offense should be outstanding as eight starters are back led by sensational junior RB Brooks who ran for 1300 yards in just six games, Coach Hulme thinks he’s one of the state’s top backs. Adebo and Adeniyi are two outstanding targets out wide and most of the offensive line is back, the big question for the Tigers is who will be the trigger man in their I based offense? The defense has some holes to fill as well as just three starters return, the one positive is typically the Tigers rotate a lot of guys in and out on that side of the ball so there is returning experience. Shanklin is a tackling machine from his safety spot and Adebo could see time as well in the secondary. Davis and Thomas anchor what should be a solid group up front, some young guys will certainly have to step up at the linebacker slot if Mansfield wants to become a true contender in Region I.

DUNCANVILLE PANTHERS

ENROLLMENT: 4,149 (1)

2014 RECORD: 3-7

THE COACH: Reginald Samples

THE PLAYERS: Jaron Bryant (Sr., DB), Marcell Southall (Sr., DL), Michael Myers (Sr., QB), Reggie Qualls (Sr., RB), Bailey Phillips (Sr., DB), Alfredo Porter (Jr., RB), Nathaniel Mederos (Sr., WR), Jakari Brooks (Jr., WR), Jaquel Pierce (Sr., OL), Kameron Holloway (Jr., OL), Cameron Devose (Sr., LB), Micah Mosely (Sr., DB), Eric Carrasco (Jr., K)

THE WORD: Has the sleeping giant been awoken? For the past few years Duncanville’s lack of football success has been a mystery, but now with former Skyline HC Reginald Samples in town could the Panthers be a force again in DFW? The team may not be at that level yet, but they should be vastly improved in 2015 despite bringing back just three offensive and two defensive starters. The defense will be led up front by Southall who is getting some major FBS interest this off-season, he’ll demand constant double teams. The secondary will be outstanding with Bryant and Mosely returning along with West Mesquite transfer Phillips who is committed to Tennessee. The offense will be anchored by QB Myers who has major dual threat ability, he’s got a solid group of skill kids but the Panthers do lack that big time offensive playmaker that is needed to compete in a brutal district. The question is will that playmaker emerge in 2015? The kicking game is in good hands with all state kicker Carrasco, he’s got range from 55 yards in.

SOUTH GRAND PRAIRIE WARRIORS

ENROLLMENT: 3,196 (2)

2014 RECORD: 5-6 6A Div. I Bi-District Playoffs

THE COACH: Brent Whitson

THE PLAYERS: Greg Eisworth (Sr., QB), Jeff Okudah (Jr., LB), Karsten Castillo (Sr., OL), Caesar Williams (Sr., DB), Teon Taylor (Sr., LB), Chase Napoleon (Sr., LB), Jakharius Smith (Jr., DL), Josh Gray (Sr., OL), Caleb Mathis (Sr., OL), Jancoba Vongor (Jr., OL), Antanza Vongor (So., DB)

THE WORD: South Grand Prairie only had a 5-5 record in the regular season, but the Warriors gave powerhouse Euless Trinity all they wanted in bi-district before falling in overtime. Six offensive starters return for SGP led by Ole Miss commit QB Eisworth, one of the top dual threat signal callers in the state. A lot of his skill talent has graduated, but the Warriors do bring back plenty of experience up front with Gray, Mathis and Vongor returning. The defense is led by versatile Okudah who is one of the most highly recruited players in the state for the Class of 2017. The defense will be solid with Williams and Vongor in the secondary as well joining Okudah. Smith and Taylor will lead the front seven which lacks some depth and will need some young guys to make a quick impact in this brutal district. “Top to bottom this will be the best team we’ve had at SGP since I arrived, we’ve got a tight knit group where selfishness is not tolerated,” said Coach Whitson.

GRAND PRAIRIE GOPHERS

ENROLLMENT: 2,553 (4)

2014 RECORD: 5-5

THE COACH: Gary Bartel

THE PLAYERS: Miracle Broussard (Sr., WR/DB), Martin Cano (Sr., OL), Juan Correa (Sr., K), Roderick Green (Sr., OL/DL), Abraham Newsome (Sr., RB), Jakaris Strother (Sr., WR/DB), Qua Johnson (Jr., DL), Jordan McGuire (Jr., RB/DB), R.J. Williams (Jr., LB), DeMarcus Marshall (So., OL), Reggie Williams (So., DB), Leo Rodriguez (So., QB)

THE WORD: In a lot of other districts Grand Prairie would be a playoff team, but in the grind that is 8-6A the Gophers typically struggle to simply avoid the district cellar. After going 1-9 in 2013, the Gophers improved to five wins in 2014. Coach Bartel’s squad does have a chance to be improved in 2015 as seven offensive and five defensive starters return. The offense has playmakers in Broussard, Strother and Newsome leading the way but GPHS has a question mark at QB, sophomore Rodriguez is slated to be in contention to take over under center. On defense keep an eye on juniors DL Qua Johnson and LB R.J. Williams, both had outstanding sophomore campaigns. The Gophers lack depth in the offensive and defensive lines and that’s what has really held them from being in contention for a playoff spot. Can they pull a big surprise and sneak into the top four in 2015?

MIDLOTHIAN PANTHERS

ENROLLMENT: 2,313.5 (6)

2014 RECORD: 3-7

THE COACH: Doug Wendel

THE PLAYERS: Marquise Edwards (Sr., ATH), Garrett Hopgood (Sr., DL), Parker Rampy (Sr., OL), Adam Schroeder (Sr., ATH), Dalon Samek (Sr., RB), Cedrick Whitaker (Sr., DB), Choyce Redman (Sr., DB), Cameron Kennaley (Sr., DL), Brandon Consalus (Sr., LB), Blake Garnder (Sr., DB), Drake Wayland (Jr., LB), Dillon Arie (Sr., OL), Jake Brown (Jr., OL), Sammy Carreon (Jr., DL), Jarrett Sterns (So., ATH) THE WORD: In a bit of a surprise this off-season Midlothian HC Lee Wiginton left to start up the program at Midlothian ISD’s second high school. In steps Doug Wendel who comes in from Ardmore OK, he’ll install a spread option attack in Midlothian as his personality is running the football. The Panthers return seven offensive starters but the change of scheme will be interesting to see how the returning talent adjusts. What is critical in the option scheme is the QB position and that’s a big question mark. On defense the Panthers have several versatile athletes returning with Edwards, Whitaker and Redman leading the way. “Our kids have really adapted well to the transition, we’ve got nine new coaches on staff so there’s lot of changes but we have great leadership,” said Coach Wendel.


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