The Aledo Bearcats since moving up to Class 4A in 2002 have established themselves as a legitimate state powerhouse and a contender to win a state title year in and year out under HC Tim Buchanan. The Bearcats finished 12-2 in 2006 and advanced all the way to the Class 4A Division 1 state semi-finals before falling to Copperas Cove. The Bearcats have taken some hits due to graduation but still in the midst of explosive growth the Bearcats should be able to replace their losses and not loose a step in a tough District 8-4A race.
On offense things center around QB Cole Loftin, the four year letterman had a sensational junior season earning District 8-4A MVP honors. Loftin who does most of his damage on the ground rushing for 1175 yards and 13 touchdowns. Loftin is the key to the Bearcats offense and he makes things click, but don't forget about first team all-district running back Ryan McGuire who is dangerous in his own right. Sophomore FB Austin Stockton gives AHS a viable third option on the ground as well, but the big hole for Aledo looks to the offensive line. The Bearcats graduated 5 senior starters and their solid blocking TE, if Aledo's offensive line can mature and keep Loftin healthy the Bearcats will be able to score points again in 2007.
Much like on offense the Bearcats took some lumps on their defensive front due to graduation, but there's still plenty of talent in Eastern Parker County. The strength of the defense this season will be the Linebackers as Calvin Jones and Blaine Cheatham are both back after first team all-district performances in 2006. The Bearcats should have a solid secondary led by second team all-district performers Kenton Day and Jack Bryant, three year starter Nico Dollar also patrols the defensive backfield for the Bearcats.
Overall, if the Bearcats can answer their questions on both lines I expect them to be right in the mix for not only the district title but a regional title as well. I don't think Aledo has the playmakers necessary to compete with the potential Region 2 champion however. Loftin is big time but Copperas Cove proved last year if you have the athletes to slow Loftin down the Aledo offense can be kept in check.