Aledo reminds me of the 4A version of the Hebron Hawks. This team has become a system, and the system has become a machine. The proverbial reload/rebuild comments don't do what Aledo has accomplished justice. With six straight years of at least four rounds deep, Aledo is primed to break out of their 4th round jinx at somepoint. The subvarsity went a combined 36-3 in districts featuring Stephenville and Everman. The key for Aledo will be to keep up the intensity with a district that is less than brutal. 14 starters return from last year's deep run.
Replacing the QB will be tough, but Tanner McDonald is a prototypical QB. He doesn't have the speed that Cole Loftin did, but he will have the big armstrength. Aaron Ates is a speedy running back, and it will be tough to keep first team all district Austin Stockon off the field. The kid loves to play football and deliver contact. He is more of a linebacker mold. The offensive line will continue to be Allen High School like with 5 potential D1 players. Jarrod May and Christian Miller lead in the size department meanwhile Jordon Smith and Daniel Meyer received all district nods last season.
The defense has always been a strong strength for Aledo but this year might be a little bit of a weakness. The size and speed are pretty good led by Adam Kuntz on the defensive line. At the linebacker position, Dillon Hawkins is the type of kid you love to have on your team - he just loves to play football. Kyle Bottom will provide senior leadership. The secondary will have some good returning players in Jesse Wright and Chase Rutherford. Both have good speed and good height. The new district is a sling it around district but they will not have the physical receivers in the district they have been used to having.
One problem with Aledo being out of the tough district is that they will get a second round match with one team from that district. Coach Buchanan's machine should be good enough depending on the seedings to have another good run. Boswell and Birdville will provide the only somewhat competitive games in district, but I'd be surprised if anyone stays within three touchdowns of Aledo - unless the second or third team falters. The machine should have yet another good season - but this is now a team that wants a state championship, not just a regional championship.