IN PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
ENROLLMENT: 1,994 (3)
2014 RECORD: 8-4 5A Div. I Area Finalist
THE COACH: Bill Howard
THE PLAYERS: Emilio Ames (Jr., QB), Eli Smith (Jr., RB), jordan whaley (Sr., WR), Sawyer Ulmer, (Sr., OL), Steven Sellers (Jr., OL), Ryan Beattie (Sr., DL), Lorenzo Keck (Sr., LB), Max Lopez (Sr., LB), Evan Bailey (Sr., DB), Brandon Cunningham (Sr., K)
THE WORD: Wylie earned a share of the district title for the second straight season and if the Pirates are going to stay near the top of the 10-5A standings, it will take some fresh faces to get the job done. The quarterback spot will be up for grabs with Emilio Ames taking a crack at securing the nod after the graduation of Carsen Cook. Eli Smith is expected to gain a majority of the carries. Jordan Whaley returns as one of the top receivers in the district. When it comes to the trenches, Sawyer Ulmer and Steven Sellers have experience to guide the new members working their way in at the varsity level. The Pirates have been had the best defense in the district the past couple of seasons and there are holes to fill. Ryan Beattie returns up front, where depth might be an issue, while Lorenzo Keck and Max Lopez are back at the second level. Evan Bailey looks to lead a revamped secondary. If the defense maintains its recent form and the new pieces on offense pick things up quickly, Wylie should be expected to challenge for the top spot again.
ENROLLMENT: 1,186 (8)
2014 RECORD: 6-5 5A Div. II Bi-District Playoffs
THE COACH: Ryan Cox
THE PLAYERS: Bowman Sells (Sr., QB), Nick Parker (Sr., RB), Aaron Fuller (Sr., WR), Steven Prudhomme (Jr., WR), Bailey Smith (Sr., OL), Morgan Dooley (Sr., DL), Kevin Davis (Sr., LB), Luke Parker (Jr., LB), Jake Mayfield (Sr., DB), Austin Henning (Sr., K)
THE WORD: Lovejoy earned a share of the district championship for the second straight season but it was an early playoff exit for the Leopards, who earned all of their victories in 10-5A action after a slow start to the year. Things came together at the right time and leading the way for the final time in 2015 will be standout signal-caller and Houston commit Bowman Sells, who threw for a shade over 3,000 yards and 35 touchdowns. Much of that went in the direction of Aaron Fuller (69 catches for 1,396 and 22 TDs) and there are few, if any, better combinations around. Nick Parker was part of a three-headed backfield monster and will look to get a majority of the carries this fall. There are some jobs open on the offensive line. Defense has always been a focus for the Leopards and this year is no exception after allowing 37 points per contest. Kevin Davis and Luke Parker are back at linebacker while Jake Mayfield can be found roaming in the secondary. If the unit doesn’t shore things up, there will be plenty more shootouts again this coming season.
MCKINNEY NORTH BULLDOGS
ENROLLMENT: 2,036.5 (2)
2014 RECORD: 11-3 5A Div. I State Quarter-Finalist
THE COACH: Mike Fecci
THE PLAYERS: Christian Files (Sr., QB), Micah Bualicex (Jr., RB), Miguel Hudson (Sr., WR), Jordan Barany (Sr., TE), Perry Radway (Jr., OL), Andrew Grisham (Sr., OL), Gabe Dutze (Sr., DL), Justin Madubuike (Sr., DL), Khalil Lewis (Jr., LB), Jamarius Hill (Jr., DB)
THE WORD: McKinney North made a deep playoff run on the strength of a dynamic backfield duo but if the Bulldogs are going to repeat that feat it will come from replacements at the positions. Quarterback Nick Hutchins and running Ronald Jones combined to produce 5,885 yards and 68 touchdowns before graduating and that puts Christian Files and Micah Bualicex, who had some good outings when Jones was sidelined for a stretch, in the spotlight to run the offense. North also lost its top two receiving threats and starting tight end but the offensive line, led by Gage Thomason, Perry Radway and Andrew Grisham, should be a strength as the skill players jell. Defensive lineman Justin Madubuike may be one of the top players in the state on that side of the ball and had 16.5 sacks as a junior. Gabe Dutze adds experience and depth up front. There are holes at linebacker and in the secondary yet McKinney North could find itself in contention for the district title for the third straight season.
DENISON YELLOW JACKETS
ENROLLMENT: 1,215.5 (7)
2014 RECORD: 4-6
THE COACH: Chad Rogers
THE PLAYERS: Hunter Watson (So., QB), Cody Crouse (Sr., RB), Steven Wagoner (Sr., WR), Drew Marr (Sr., WR), Bailey Reid (Jr., OL), Devin Mitchell (Sr., DL), Stacey Hunter (Sr., LB), Tre Lyday (Jr., DB), Jamond Wilson (Sr., DB), Brendan Luper (Sr., ATH)
THE WORD: A year after sharing the district title, Denison took a step back and was a game back of making the postseason. One of the questions is at quarterback. Gone is Devon Blanton, who set numerous school records in his senior year and sophomore Hunter Watson is slated to take over behind center after getting limited snaps there because he was a starting receiver. There are weapons to work with however – Steven Wagoner had a school record 64 catches for 975 yards and 12 touchdowns, Drew Marr was a very effective deep threat, averaging 18 yards on 33 catches, and running backs Cody Crouse and Tre’ Lyday earned district superlatives in 2014. The biggest focus will be on replacing four offensive line starters. Only Bailey Reid returns up front. Defensively the strength is in the secondary – Jamond Wilson and Brendon Luper have multiple years on the first unit and Denison can put a returner starter at each spot. Devin Mitchell was an all-district performer up front but will be flanked by newcomers while Stacey Hunter is the only returning starting linebacker.
WYLIE EAST RAIDERS
ENROLLMENT: 1,762 (5)
2014 RECORD: 6-5 5A Div. II Bi-District Playoffs
THE COACH: Joe Lepsis
THE PLAYERS: Braden Shewmake (Sr., QB), Aubrey White (Sr., RB), Eno Benjamin (Jr., RB), Jared Wyatt (Sr., WR), Coy Tutt (Sr., OL), Sean Addicks (Sr., OL), Jared Bell (Sr., DL), Malik Dean (Sr., LB), Kyler Parades (Sr., LB), Corey Gentle (Jr., DB)
THE WORD: A year after just missing out on the playoffs, Wylie East earned a tie for third place to get into the postseason in 2014. Duplicating that feat will fall on an offense that averaged 40 points and brings back much of that production. Braden Shewmake is at quarterback for the second straight year and has the running tandem of Eno Benjamin and Aubrey White at his disposal. Benjamin had 1,724 yards and 25 touchdowns on 269 carries as the lead back. Jared Wyatt, the team’s leading receiver, finished with 68 grabs for 1,043 yards and 14 TDs. There is also senior leadership on the line with Coy Tutt and Sean Addicks. Defensively the Raiders showed improvement last fall but lost a couple key starters to graduation. Jared Bell will be the focus along the defensive line while Malik Dean and Kyler Parades have experience at linebacker. In the secondary Corey Gentile is coming off a good sophomore effort. Wylie East was solidly in the top half of the district and should remain there if the new additions take to their roles well.
ENROLLMENT: 2,076 (1)
2014 RECORD: 2-8
THE COACH: Jeff Smith
THE PLAYERS: Torrain Walker (Sr., RB), Rickey Fantroy (Sr., WR), Mark Quillan (Sr., WR), Caleb Stricklin (Sr., OL), Cameron Calhoun (Sr., DL), Issac Nunez (Sr., LB), Joseph Robinson (Sr., DB), Johnathan Hobart (Jr., DB), A.J. Jaecke (Jr., DB), Tyree Johnson (Sr., ATH)
THE WORD: McKinney had high hopes when it moved down in the last realignment but the Lions still found themselves near the bottom of the district standings. A win or two would have led to a big jump because of the close nature of 10-5A and the hope to make move in 2015 might be more than just some small steps. Part of the struggles came from Tyree Johnson’s ACL injury that forced him to miss the season. He could either be a dual-threat at quarterback or help whoever wins the job behind center. Walker Torrian shared tailback duties as a junior while Rickey Fantroy proved to be a deep threat at times in the passing game. Caleb Stricklin was an all-district performer up front and the Lions will need to fill the gaps left by graduation around him. The strength of the lines falls on the defensive side in the form of Cameron Calhoun. Linebacker, where Issac Nunez is back, is a tad thin. Joseph Robinson is a playmaker in the secondary but the Lions return just three starters on that side of the ball.
ENROLLMENT: 1,784 (4)
2014 RECORD: 1-9
THE COACH: Bill Patterson The Players: David Bedgood (Jr., QB), Braylin Kirby (Sr., WR), Brayshon Savage (Jr., WR), Josh Schnitker (Jr., OL), Jake Decker (Sr., OL), Lake Wilson (Sr., DL), Kevin Wright (Sr., DL), Hunter Hull (Jr., LB), Chadd Perry (Sr., DB), Maliq’ Owens (Sr., DB)
THE WORD: Sherman took a step back from the playoff chase under the direction of a new coaching staff and the Bearcats will look to rise back up the standings after several underclassmen gained varsity experience. The youth movement started at quarterback and David Bedgood is returning with familiar targets in Braylin Kirby and Brayshon Savage. Running back is a position to watch as the offense’s main weapon, Tyson Jones, graduated. The offensive line has a couple of starters returning, led by Josh Schnitker and Jake Decker. Consistency will be the key on that side of the ball as Sherman had trouble sustaining drives and averaged just 8.4 points per contest. Lake Wilson and Kevin Wright are back in the trenches on the defensive side of the ball while Chadd Perry and Maliq’ Owens are secondary starters. There are voids at the second level, where Hunter Hull is the lone Bearcat back. The gap among the bottom half isn’t that wide and some slight improvements could put Sherman in the spot just outside the playoffs.
ENROLLMENT: 1,629 (6)
2014 RECORD: 3-7
THE COACH: Chris Ross
THE PLAYERS: Easton Murrell (Jr., QB), Robert Mahone (Sr., RB), Cedric Haskins (Sr., WR), Bailey Mack (Sr., WR), Connor LeClair (Sr., OL), Corey Chouffet (Sr., OL), Justin Alvarez (Sr., DL), Jerome Bias (Sr., LB), Ray Goff (Sr., DB), Jay Bias (Sr., DB)
THE WORD: Prosper will welcome the addition of a new coach and look to find a way to get into the playoffs since moving up in classification a few years ago. The Eagles went through a couple of quarterbacks last fall and as the lone returner Easton Murrell should get the first crack under new coach Chris Ross who comes to the DFW area after serving as AD in Leander ISD. While Prosper lost its top receiving threat to graduation, both Cedric Haskins and Bailey Mack have starting experience. The backfield will also have a familiar face as Robert Mahone, who split carries as a junior, prepares to shoulder more of the workload. Corey Chouffet is the anchor of the line and Connor LeClair is also back on the unit. Finding the right pieces on the defensive line is the first objective for that side of the ball. Jerome Bias is one of those with a home at linebacker. The secondary has several options, including an experienced Jay Bias. The switch at the top of the program will most likely be the biggest key for the Eagles to make a move into the upper division but it might be a year away depending on the level of the changes.
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