Last year for Skyline could be considered a breakout and a disappointment. Skyline had one of their longest playoff runs in recent memory making it to the regional finals and only having one loss in the regular season to a regional finalist in Arlington Bowie - but the disappointing part was the way they were easily and thoroughly manhandled by Plano in the regional finals. It will be a motivating factor for sure as 10 starters return from last year's team. Coach Samples has this team executing at a high level - I have seen their team previews before loaded down with skill players and top notch kids in the past, but you know under Coach Samples that he will get the most of them.
Offensively there will be a quarterback battle as Junior Javis Hall is more of a prototypical quarterback, but Chris Frazier is an athlete that needs to be on the field. Although the slight edge is to Hall right now - Frazier will find a way on the field at running back or wide receiver. James White is a speedy and exciting running back that can make big plays. He shined in 7 on 7 this season. Also a standout in 7 on 7 this season was Mike Davis. The tall speedy receiver found himself behind the secondary quite a bit in 7 on 7 and will likely do the same in pads. The offensive line will not be as strong as in the past and could be a weakness. 5 juniors will be starting for the offensive line led by Triston Turknuett and DeMarcus Shaw.
The defense will be a all-star team of athletes - which is Skyline's standard as of late. The defensive line will be big and strong. Cedric Stevenson and Arthur Washington lead the defensive line. The linebackers will be solid - and junior heavy with Corey Nelson and Dominique Patterson. The secondary will have the fastest athletes on the team. Not many teams will get behind Skyline on the secondary. Steve Williams can play anywhere he wants in college and Dontrell Williams could be the next Division I secondary stud for Skyline. He is very fast but doesn't quite have the raw intangibles that Williams has. Either way, the defense will be extremely speedy and will play as a solid unit.
Skyline has a bit tougher of a district this year, and I think that will help them in the long run. The district is not murderer's row, but playing suburban teams in district will really help Skyline get ready for the non-district schedule. I think Skyline can make a run as Region II isn't very strong. I see at least a third round run for Skyline if not a regional finals return. The non-district schedule for Skyline will also be fun to watch as they will have some great games against some good teams. Skyline will probably slip up at least once - so I look for a 9-1 regular season and probably a an 11-2 type of season. Next season could be the monster season for Skyline where they will be legitimate state championship contenders.