There is a lot of buzz (no pun intended) in Rockwall this season. They have a live television game against Southlake Carroll, they get their chance at revenge against Allen and even have a scrimmage against Plano - all before their first game that matters against Garland - a team they beat last season. They have a lot of starters coming back, but without a solid threat in the running game, how solid will Rockwall be?
The offense will be solid - starting with the offensive line. Chance Willard is a top notch center, and will blow defensive linemen off the ball if Rockwall wants to utilize the QB draw - which they did in their spring game as their best running option. Josh Jagielo is a great complement on the offensive line. Michael Patterson is a top notch receiver, but Rockwall will need more to step up. Braden Smith, an SMU commit, is not only smart, but being a coach's son, he will be very well prepared for each game. The lack of a solid running back could hurt Rockwall if teams only rush 3 and put 8 back.
The defensive sophomore of the year was Aaron Arterburn. His brother, Trevor, isn't too bad at all either. Patterson will play some defense as well this season with Brett David, an all-district special teams player for Rockwall. The defense was the weak spot last season, as it gave up more than 40 points in two straight games and squandered a big lead against Plano East in the playoffs. That could be the Achilles heel for Rockwall again this season.
I think if Rockwall's defense can even be average, they jell into a great team. Their first round will be against either Plano, Plano East or Allen - so they will be significantly tested and very fast. Two of those three possibilities of teams they will see in the regular season. I do think they get by Garland and win another district championship, but this team will be judged this season on not just making the playoffs, but what they can do in the playoffs.
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