TheOldCoach District 7-4A Division I Preview

After making the Quarter-Finals a year ago, QB Ke'Mon Freeman will look to lead Texarkana Liberty-Eylau on a deeper run in 2015. District 7-4A Division I will be tough, however. Check out our preview right here on THEOLDCOACH!

DISTRICT 7-4A – DIVISION I

IN PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

TEXARKANA LIBERTY-EYLAU LEOPARDS

ENROLLMENT: 721 (5)

2014 RECORD: 8-6 4A Div. I State Quarter-Finalist

THE COACH: Steve Wells

THE PLAYERS: Ke’Mon Freeman (Sr., QB), Lagaryon Carson (Jr., DL), Thurman Morbley (Sr., WR), Denzel Green (Sr., DB), Lamont Byrd (Sr., RB), Franklin Smith (Jr., OL), DeMarcus Pegue (Sr., LB), Kameron Levingston (Jr., RB), Michael Lindley (Jr., DL), Dayshun McChester (So., OL), Deonte Crawford (Sr., DB), Andre Wiley (Sr., LB), Arymis Johnson (Sr., LB), Decorian Meadows (Sr., WR), Richard Mainor (Sr., DL), Demario Manley (Sr., DL), Garyco Witcher (Sr., WR), Kevin Florence (Jr., DB), Zach Johnson (Sr., OL), Henry George (Sr., LB), Davan Johnson (Jr., DB)

THE WORD: The Leopards returned to the playoffs for the second year in a row, finishing HC Steve Wells’ initial year at the helm as 7-4A Div. I Co-Champions with Paris. Liberty-Eylau put it together, winning 7 games in a row at one point, averaging 44.4 points per game and allowing just 24.4. Wells welcomes back a strong senior class that will have eight defensive starters returning from a year ago, as well as 5 returnees on offense, including QB Ke’mon Freeman, who accounted for 2,723 yards and 29 touchdowns as a junior. Freeman completed 89 of 183 passes for 1,442 yards and 16 touchdowns, but also was the Leopards’ leading rusher with 1,276 yards and 13 touchdowns. His top receivers should be Thurman Morbley (49-482, 6 TDs), Decorian Meadows (19-210) both back from last year’s playoff team. RB Lamont Byrd also returns, following a season in which he rushed for 567 yards and 6 touchdowns. But defense is where the Leopards really return the playmakers. Those include top tackler DL Lagaryon Carson with 91 tackles and LB DeMarcus Pegue, who had 80 tackles and 3 sacks, as well as DL Richard Mainor (44 tackles, 2 caused fumbles), DL Demario Manley (45 tackles, 2 caused fumbles) and Michael Lindley (57 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries, 3 sacks, 2 caused fumbles). Another key contributor defensively should be DB Denzel Green, who had 52 tackles and 2 interceptions a year ago.

PARIS WILDCATS

ENROLLMENT: 887.5 (2)

2014 RECORD: 8-5 4A Div. I Regional Semi-Finalist

THE COACH: Steven Hohenberger

THE PLAYERS: Demonquez Allen (Sr., QB), Drendarrious Rollerson (Sr., RB), Jakerrion Brown (Jr., WR), Phillip Sikes (Jr., WR), Graham Weatherford (Sr., WR), Kenneth Tyler (Jr., TE), Diarva Brown (Sr., WR/DB), Dakota Helm (Sr., OL), Mitchell Cole (Jr., OL), Dennis Coleman (Sr., DL), Ty Gray (Sr., DL), Dre McKinney (Jr., LB), Jalen Pipkins (Jr., DB), TD Williams (Jr., DB), Treavon Sims (Sr., WR), Jamar Sanders (Sr., DB), Luna Roberto (Sr., DL), DJ Samuels (Sr., OL), Bam Sims (Jr., DL)

THE WORD: Coming off an 8-win season, there is no reason to believe the Wildcats can’t be even better in 2015. Six offensive, and a like number of defensive starters, are back among 33 returning lettermen Coach Hohenberger welcomed to off-season workouts. Among those is QB Demonquez Allen, last year’s Offensive MVP in the district as a junior, passing for 2,190 yards (131 of 241) and 23 touchdowns, and rushing for 1,965 yards and 19 scores. RB Drendarrious Rollerson followed Allen’s rushing lead with 831 yards and 11 touchdowns, and Jakerrion Brown was next with 432 yards and 5 scores. Allen had a talented receiving corps and many of those players also return. The leading receivers back from 2014 are Rollerson (20-242, 2 TDs), Brown (14-238, 3), Phillip Sikes (13-162, 1), Graham Weatherford (4-120, 1), Diarva Brown (4-62, 1) and TE Kenneth Tyler (2-56). Returning to anchor the offensive line will be Dakota Helm and Mitchell Cole. Among the top defensive returnees are DL Dennis Coleman, DL Ty Gray, LB Dre McKinney, with Diarva Brown, Jalen Pipkins, and TD Williams in the secondary. Coleman, McKinney and Brown earned all-district first-team honors, while Gray was a second-team selection. Other Wildcats to watch will be WR Treavon Sims, DB Jamar Sanders, DL Luna Roberto, DL Antonio Ellis, DB Javonta Ladell, OL DJ Samuels and DB X-Tavious Gray. Sophomores RB/DB Donovan Williams, RB/LB Quindarian Perry and OL Zacheus Ellis played on the varsity a year ago as freshmen and should be ready to contribute again this season.

PRINCETON PANTHERS

ENROLLMENT: 988 (1)

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

THE COACH: Lee Wilkins

THE PLAYERS: Colt Collins (Sr., QB), Brandon Talley (Sr., WR), George Flores (Sr., RB), Sadavion Matthews (Sr., WR), Regan Wilkins (Jr., DB), Dylan Price (Sr., DB), Dylan Templeman (Jr., DL), Keelan Lechner (Jr., OL), River Carey (Sr., DL), Daniel Hernandez (Jr., WR), Julio Vasquez (Jr., K), Cody Morrow (Sr., OL), Fernando Valenzuela (Sr., OL), Nathan Calderon (Jr., LB)

THE WORD: The Panthers return 25 lettermen, including eight offensive starters and seven on defense from a team that reached the playoffs as the district’s 3rd seed, finishing with a 7-4 record. Top returnees include senior skill-position players such as QB Colt Collins, WR Brandon Talley, RB George Flores, WR Sadavion Matthews and DB Dylan Price. Also back are DL River Carey, WR Daniel Hernandez, DB Regan Wilkins, DL Dylan Templeman, OL Keelan Lechner, K Julio Vasquez, OL Cody Morrow, OL Fernando Valenzuela and LB Nathan Calderon. Collins at QB was named the district’s Offensive Newcomer of the Year, following last season. Flores was a first-team RB selection on the all-district team. “With so many starters back on both sides of the football we feel one of our strengths will be experience. We played so many underclassmen last year that got quite a bit of playing time in all three phases of the game,” said Coach Wilkins. “We also feel our depth along the offensive and defensive lines will be much better than in the past, and that our overall strength has improved greatly.” Weaknesses this year’s Panthers must overcome are a lack of overall team speed and toughness, and a young secondary.

PITTSBURG PIRATES

ENROLLMENT: 719 (6)

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

THE COACH: Brad Baca

THE PLAYERS: Brian Baca (Jr., QB), Nathan Capers (Jr., OL), Alex Carlock (Jr., DL), Tray Walker (Jr., ATH), Quinton Edney (Jr., DL), Billy Kimble (Jr., QB/WR), Dejour Dowell, (So., WR), E.J. Hill (Jr., DL/FB), Deldric Shields (So., DB/WR)

THE WORD: Coach Brad Baca steps in to the head coaching role, replacing Dickey Meeks, who retired after guiding the Pirates to back-to-back playoff appearances in 2013 and 2014.The Pittsburg cupboard is far from bare, with 30 returning letterman. Baca will welcome 7 offensive starters and 8 on defense back when pre-season workouts begin. Junior QB Brian Baca, a move-in from Cleburne, where he threw for 2,490 yards and 22 touchdowns, and rushed for 752 yards and 7 touchdowns, earning first-team all-district honors, is expected to step in at QB. Kimble, last year’s QB, should make the transition to WR. Other returnees to watch will be OT Nathan Capers, DL Alex Carlock, ATH Jerrell “Tray” Walker, and DL Quinton Edney. WR Dejour Dowell, FB/DB EJ Hill and DB/WR Deldric Shields also return and should provide key contributions. Carlock was a second-team all-district choice, making 38 tackles with 1 tackle for loss. Edney had 30 tackles, 5 TFL and a forced fumble. Dowell came on to make 23 catches for 235 yards and rush the football 13 times for 77 yards and a touchdown. Hill earned Defensive Player of the Year honors with 33 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 TFL, 1 FF, and 1 recovery to go with a safety. As a DB, Shields was credited with 39 stops, 3 passes broken up and a fumble recovery. “I believe this team has great character and work ethic,” said Coach Baca. “We have improved our overall team speed and strength and are returning a bunch of kids.”

PARIS NORTH LAMAR PANTHERS

ENROLLMENT: 846 (3)

2014 RECORD: 6-4

THE COACH: Tim Billings

THE PLAYERS: Trey Scudder (Sr., DB), Klayton Drake (Sr., LB), Ryder Bryant (Jr., OL), Ashton Chaffin (Sr., LB), Versache Buchanon (Sr., QB), Javon Franklin (Jr., RB/LB), Julique Franklin (Jr., WR), Austin Allison (So., WR), Matt Gibbons (So., QB), Tyler Hill (So., RB)

THE WORD: Second-year North Lamar Coach Tim Billings got off to a good start in his first season at the helm of turning this Panther football program around. Although North Lamar failed to make the playoffs with a 2-3 district record, 6-4 overall was a far cry from 2-8. With 14 lettermen returning, Billings hopes to continue on that road to recovery in this competitive Northeast Texas district. He welcomes back 6 offensive starters and 5 on defense. Top players include a trio of defensive standouts: DB Trey Scudder, along with LBs Klayton Drake and Ashton Chaffin, and OL Ryder Bryant. Other prominent players figuring in this season’s gameplan will be QB Versache Buchanon, RB Javon Franklin and WR Julique Franklin. Sophomores such as WR Austin Allison, QB Matt Gibbons and RB Tyler Hill could figure into getting some playing time if things go their way in early workouts. A plus, according to Billings, will be overall experience, but the Panthers still need to get tougher in their bid to continue to improve.

QUINLAN FORD PANTHERS

ENROLLMENT: 747 (4)

2014 RECORD: 0-10

THE COACH: Todd Wallace

THE PLAYERS: Brandon Melton (Sr., LB), Roman Aguillon (Sr., RB), Dillon Norris (Jr., QB/ATH), Johnny Solis (Jr., RB), Robbie Acosta (Sr., DL), Sean Pobst (Sr., DB), Jansen Smith (Jr., OL), Justin Parker (Sr., DB), Nick Guynes (Sr., LB), Zach Claire (Sr., RB), Robert Cruthird (Jr., ATH), Blaine Burch (Jr., DB), Michael Malone (Sr., OL), Calvin Olsen (Sr., LB)

THE WORD: The Panthers have worked hard in the off-season to get the bitter taste of a disappointing 2014 season out of their mouths. “I believe our kids are determined to show we are a better program that last year’s record (0-10) indicates,” said Coach Wallace. Among the returnees, Wallace hopes will provide key contributions to the turnaround, are LB Brandon Melton, RB Roman Aguillon, QB/ATH Dillon Norris, RB Johnny Solis, DL Robbie Acosta, DB Sean Pobst, OL Jansen Smith, DB Justin Parker, and LB Nick Guynes. Also RB Zach Claire, ATH Robert Cruthird, DB Blaine Burch, OL Michael Malone, and LB Calvin Olsen. Melton anchored the defense with 47 tackles. Aguillon rushed for 1,006 yards and 10 touchdowns, and Norris rushed for 352 yards, and was 4-of-11 passing for 106 yards offensively, He was also credited with 53 tackles defensively in eight games. Solis rushed for 350 yards and 7 touchdowns, and made 43 tackles on defense. Acosta proved to be a ring-leader on the defensive unit with 35 tackles and 7 sacks, while Pobst, playing in the secondary, contributed 43 tackles. Wallace continued, “We have really good depth with quality skill at our back positions. We should be 3-deep with kids that can contribute. Dillon Norris, our projected QB, has a lot of good natural instincts, which should prove beneficial and allow us to do more as an offense. The kids know our scheme (Fly T) better, and this should allow us to make week-to-week and in-game adjustments easier.” An area of improvement, though, needs to be not giving up so many big plays. “Our secondary returns pretty much intact so we should be better in this regard,” Wallace added.

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