Predicted Order of Finish
Division 1 Teams in All Caps
2. SAGINAW BOSWELL
3. NORTH RICHLAND HILLS BIRDVILLE
6. Mineral Wells
8. White Settlement Brewer
Outlook: Aledo moving over from ultra-tough District 8-4A will find the surroundings much easier in 6-4A. This is the new stadium district of Tarrant County as Brewer and Mineral Wells are both opening new stadiums this year and Aledo and Saginaw have stadiums both less than 3 years old. Aledo is the prohibited favorite, but Boswell with a number of key players back could give Aledo a challenge. Four teams will fight it out for the final two playoff spots as Springtown, Birdville, Mineral Wells and Saginaw all have cases. Azle should be improved but they've still got a long way to go and Brewer has simply fallen off the face of the Earth.
Team by Team
Aledo Bearcats: 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 some point. The sub-varsity went a combined 36-3 in districts featuring Stephenville and Everman. 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 arm strength. Aaron Ates is a speedy running back, and it will be tough to keep first team all district Austin Stockon off the field. The offensive line will be solid as usual with two Division 1 prospects in the fold. 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. Overall, the Bearcats don't have the depth or size up front they usually have on defense and that's a concern.
Saginaw Boswell Pioneers: Boswell missed the playoffs in 2007 with a very young team but 2008 BHS has high hopes. There is good skill talent starting with RB Dante Lipscomb who could be one of the best RB's in the state in the Class of 2010, WR Cameron Mavroulis is experienced and has great hands and Michael Shuford is a big play threat. Terrell Jones is very versatile and can play both RB and WR. The defense is led by LB Emeka Ekwulugo and DB Kirk Harbetts. Expect Boswell to be right in the mix for second place and with some breaks could win the district.
North Richland Hills Birdville Hawks: Birdville must replace QB Tommy Dorman who is now at Texas A&M but the Hawks won't see much of a drop off with the surrounding skill talent being much improved. Look for another Dorman to step in and play QB and it remains to be seen if little brother will fill those shoes. OL/DL Chris Burnett is a two way star and is a Division 1 recruit. The overall lack of athleticism especially on defense will keep Birdville from being elite but they have the offensive firepower and the system to put up points on most.
Springtown Porcupines: Last year, after starting the season 0-5, the Springtown Porcupines rolled out 4 straight victories before losing their last two in a 4-7 season. Coach Turner seems to find a way to get more with less and this year POJO has some good talent back and they could be a pleasant surprise. There will be no Logan Turner this season, but Caden Cowan is a youngster with a lot of upside. Xavier Sanchez is a young running back and he will provide depth to Nick Joyner who is a more experienced running back. The WR's are solid with Clayton Cooper and Rhett Ballard. On the defensive side, there are no stars but a lot of returning players. RJ Wilson will lead the defensive line. The linebacker crew will be pretty good led by Tyler McDowell, Matt Pierce and Trace Pawelek. Look for Cooper to contribute on defense as well.
Saginaw RoughRiders: Saginaw had a chance at the playoffs last year, but despite all the senior leadership SHS finished 7-3 and missed the postseason. Saginaw features a leathal ground oriented attack which will be tough to prepare for as RB Dwayne Lawrence, Jake Sanchez and Kerry Gooden will rotate in and wear defenses down. Only two starters return on defense, but Saginaw will be athletic which might make up for a lack of size and experience.
Mineral Wells Rams: Several years back, Mineral Wells was able to make the playoffs, and they hope that the new district set-up could do the same. Although Aledo will be a tough team and Birdville has been battle tested, with four playoff spots, Coach Bourquin's Rams have to certainly have the attitude - Why not us? The sophomore group is strong and that should give MWHS some hope. By the middle of the season, this team could be very sophomore heavy. Tanner Tuggle, the senior, will step in at quarterback. He got some time in last year, and Mosses Menchaca is slated to be the team's running back. He also returns. The continuity of having the returning tailback and quarterback should help the youngsters a lot. Three sophomores will be asked to start immediately on the defensive side of the ball. Matt Grimes is a pretty good sized kid on the line - but he will have to mature into his role. Colton Boyd has great potential at the linebacker position. Eric Gonzales played with Matt Grimes on the line last year - and they look to make the leap to varsity together. Mineral Wells will look to be competitive this year and make a playoff push next year but if things break right keep an eye on the Rams!
Azle Hornets: After getting knocked around quite a bit last season, Azle looks to bounce back after an 0-10 season. 9 starters return for second year coach Eddie Paul. Ryan Haskell is the expected quarterback for the team. CJ Davila will put up good numbers at running back - with Phillip McDaniel lead blocking for him. Dee Gorrell and Jordan Beall will play receiver for Azle this season. Andrew Frickie is a returning defensive end from last season and one of the bright spots with Jon McGehee and Elton Skipper. There will be some weaknesses at linebacker with Alex Felix and Clint Padgett leading the way. Overall, Azle should be improved but they'll be battling it out with Brewer to stay out of the cellar once again.
White Settlement Brewer: Once a perennial playoff contender, the Bears have been reduced to expecting last place finishes. There simply isn't much depth at BHS and the talent isn't there right now despite the area growing. Junior QB Jake Glover will battle with senior Andrew Pichardo for reps at QB, Pichardo is more of a dual threat while Glover is the passer. DE Chris Jones leads the defense.
Players to Watch:
Christian Miller, OL Aledo
Dante Lipscomb, RB Saginaw Boswell
Emeka Ekwulugo, LB Saginaw Boswell
Chris Burnett, OL/DL NRH Birdville
Clayton Cooper, WR/DB Springtown
Dwayne Lawrence, RB Saginaw