2008 Team Insider: Grand Prairie Gophers

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Every season, we see the evolution of the Grand Prairie Gophers under former college coach Gary Bartel. Bartel hasn't had much to work with - and the victories aren't coming - but the margin of victory is slowly decreasing and they are becoming a more competitive this team. I look for more of the thing as Grand Prairie returns 12 starters from last season's 2-8 squad. I don't think victories will show up this season either - but I look for a lot of one possession games late into the fourth quarter. They still don't have the numbers to succeed in the district they are in.

Joe Mason is the expected starter at quarterback. He provides good senior leadership. Trey Matthews and Jerry Noyola provide threats at wide receivers. A running back hasn't been established, but the offensive line is returning just about everyone. Jack Rodriguez and Jeff Carranza lead the offensive line.

The defense will be a little on the slow side - but Prestin Brown is a pretty good athlete and he will lead the defensive line. Alex Pinto is a solid player at linebacker. The secondary will be okay led by Eric Davis, Ray Uribe and Michael Mitchell. Depth in the defensive line and at the linebacker core will make Grand Prairie very thin defensively and frail - especially mid to late season.

Grand Prairie did not do itself any favors with the schedule. Creekview is probably the only winnable game on the docket and LD Bell will be competitive but probably not end up well for Grand Prairie. Lewisville and Arlington will be top 20 teams. Both have histories, but Grand Prairie as a bad team will not honor their side of that legacy. I look for a 1-9 type of season out of Grand Prairie. I think they'll put a scare into someone they shouldn't have any right being close with - but outside of that - I don't see this team consistently succeeding.

2008 Grand Prairie High School Dope Sheet Information

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