1A Dl Happy Cowboys vs 1A Dl Sterling City Eagles
Both the Cowboys and Eagles earned successful 2015 seasons (Happy-state quarterfinalist, Sterling City- regional semifinalist) and are expected to fall right back into rhythm this year. Second-team all-state LB Karson Bryan returns to lead the Cowboys this season and all-state RB Tavenn Raynor to do the same of the Eagles. Deciding on a road trip for the first week of the season, the two teams meet up Friday in Jayton and are set to kickoff at 6 pm.
3A Dll Childress Bobcats vs 2A Dll Wellington Skyrockets
The Childress Bobcats made an appearance in the 2015 playoffs (bi-district finalist), and they saved a lot of that talent for this year too. The Bobcats return eight starters on each side of the ball, including RB Bo Lott to carry the offense again. They face no easy challenge this week though as they prepare to visit the Wellington Skyrockets who bring back a lot of their talent from last year as well. As a 6’11” 325 pound OL/DL, Trevor Roberson is expected to draw quite a bit of attention in his sophomore season. Along with their protection up front, the Skyrockets also return FB Jose Tellez. The two teams open up their season Friday night in Wellington at 7 pm.
3A Dll Cisco Loboes vs 3A Dl Breckenridge Buckaroos
Cisco has walked away with the win the past two seasons, but it’s always a packed stadium when the Loboes and Buckaroos match up. Both teams continually make deep runs in the playoffs, and this year will likely be no different. Cisco returns some experience offensively in QB Kase Gayle and defensively in LB Dillon Brunson, while LB Max Palacios and FB/LB Brady Tennison lead the way for Breckenridge. The Loboes host the Buckaroos as they begin the season Friday at 7:30.
3A Dl Shallowater Mustangs vs 3A Dll Idalou Wildcats
2015 3A Dll state semifinalist Idalou Wildcats aren’t expected to skip a beat despite the loss of 25 seniors, and the Shallowater Mustangs (2015 Dl regional finalist) find themselves in about the same situation. Even while losing a lot of experience, both teams still bring a lot of talent to the table this year. Along with these adjustments, Shallowater also brings in new head coach Chad Terry this season. Still stacked with speed from returners RB/DB Brody Hendrick and RB Braxton Jurardo, the Mustangs are expected to stick with their same style of play though. The Wildcats will rely heavily on experience from C/DT Eden Cervantez and OL/LB Luke Rodriguez. The two teams face off in Shallowater Friday night at 7:30 pm.
5A Lubbock Cooper vs 5A Amarillo High
After winning a district championship in 2015 the Lubbock Cooper Pirates return a lot of their talent, including QB Jarrett Doege directing the offense and S Ty Thomas. While the Pirates bring back a big group offensively, the Amarillo Sandies finds themselves lacking experience on this side of the ball only returning one starter. DE Ellis Newkirk and LBs Max Maxfield and Garrett Payne are expected to make some noise defensively for the Sandies as well as FS Max Marusak. The Pirates travel to Amarillo Friday to kick off the season at 7:30 pm.