Coach Travis Pride has replicated his Southlake success in Wichita Falls. Despite his unspoken (and only assumed by me) desire to get back to coaching a 5A team in the metroplex, Travis Pride has done a great job with Wichita Falls the past few years - especially in a tough district. Old High has returned to respectability. This year they return 10 starters from an 8-4 team. But the pressing question will be - can they get past Everman?
Ben Henderson returns at quarterback. Eddie Aboussie takes over at running back. Henderson is a dual threat so I can see Wichita Falls running a bit more this year especially to take advantage of some good size at offensive lineman with Bryan Keith and Taylor Robison. This could actually be a weakness of the team - as they are big but are not very fast. Conner Bishop could be a breakout wide receiver for Wichita Falls this season.
The defensive line should be salty for the Coyotes this season. John Eakin and Matt Ellis give good size and good pass rush ability on the defensive line. The linebacking corps will be led by Eduardo Nunez and Alex Cook. If there is a weakness on the team, it is in the secondary. I am not sure how well the secondary will be able to stay with athletic teams - which is most of the types of teams they will be facing. The front 7 will have to provide leadership to make up for the defensive secondary.
I think that Wichita Falls is a pretty safe bet for third place in their district; however, if the secondary can not provide stability and the rest of the defense takes a step back, I could easily see Guyer or The Colony beating them. Guyer has physical receivers that could take advantage of the mismatch; however, The Colony may be a little more of a favorable match-up for Wichita Falls as their strength is the run. Either way, I look for a third place finish for Wichita Falls this season - but the key will be - will they replicate the playoffs into a long playoff run? To that end, I don't see another season past the second round.
Helmet courtesy of txhshelmetproject.com