Predicted Order of Finish
Division 1 Teams in All Caps
1. MANSFIELD TIMBERVIEW
4. ARLINGTON SEGUIN
8. Mansfield Legacy
Outlook: It's hard to imagine 8-4A being any tougher than last year but in fact the district in 2008 could be even better. Despite losing Aledo, the district adds Mansfield Timberview who advanced to the third round of the 5A playoffs and Granbury another 5A refugee. Arlington Seguin despite having a down 2007 could be in the mix to compete with Crowley for the final playoff spot in this brutal district.
Team by Team
Mansfield Timberview Wolves: There is a lot of excitement in the Mansfield Timberview camp. They did not have much competition but they did go three rounds deep in 5A. They return 14 starters from last year's 9-4 season and they drop to 4A. Minnesota commit Eric Stephens leads the way in the backfield after rushing for nearly 2000 yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior and QB Donte Parker pilots the offense after splitting time as a junior. The receivers are good, but not great - led by Raymond Scott and Sharman Brown. The defensive line will be led by Omoniyi Olayiwola. The linebacking corps will be solid. Patrick Howton-Cathey is one of the best in the state and he will be joined by good players in James Montgomery and some younger players like Lionel Abraham. The secondary will be extremely fast and athletic led by Anthony and Aaron Stokes.
Everman Bulldogs: Everman might be better at the skill spots in 2008, but they've got major questions on the offensive line and at QB where Marcus McAdoo will take over. RB Ryan Smith who ran for nearly 1200 yards and 18 touchdowns while splitting carries in 2007 leads the way and WR Chris Franklin and Deantre Harlan lead an above average group of WR's. Defense is where the bread will be buttered for EHS as this group could be one of the best in school history. DE Keith Rushton and DB's Barry Browning and Corey Franklin are playmakers.
Stephenville Yellowjackets: One might think graduating Kody Spano and a couple other studs that Stephenville graduated heavy. In reality, although they do lose a lot of skill players, they return a lot of talent - especially on the offensive side of the ball. 11 starters return from the 10-2 squad last season. Brad Mills returns at running back - and they may be a little more ground based this year and pound out some big yards instead of going for the long bomb. Some new receivers will have to make an impact with Josh Graves and David Nolan. The offensive line will be solid as well, but the question remains will the new QB Brad Pincha live up to the long line of greatness that is being a Stephenville QB. The defense graduated heavy but they've got a great building block in DT T.R. Varnado.
Arlington Seguin Cougars: Arlington Seguin has a complete makeover this season on the coaching staff and there is some excitement in South Arlington. Todd Hensley returns at quarterback to lead the offense. Darian Hogg is the best weapon SHS has and a freshmen named Dwain Walker is expected to start - which is a compliment to his abilities. The offensive line will be good but not great led by Scott Hernandez. On defense LB Michael Martin and DB Joseph Francis are two of the better players at their positions in the area but the rest of the unit especially up front has questions.
Crowley Eagles: After breaking a 30 year playoff drought in 2001, the Crowley Eagles have gotten close to the postseason but they haven't gotten over the hump. Crowley only has three starters back on the offensive side of the ball. On offense Crowley will led by QB Andre Dean who is a two year letterman and who started 3 games as a junior. Dean is solid passer but he makes his living running and he's one of the more dangerous players in the district. Crowley also only has three starters back on defense, and in an offense heavy district that may not bode well. LB Chris Allen is a big time playmaker, while Max Teeter is a good compliment. Damion Potts leads the defensive line as he's Crowley's only returning all-district player.
Granbury Pirates: Excitement is high in Hood County with new HC Scotty Pugh changing things up and bringing some enthusiasm to Granbury. The Pirates have had a long playoff drought but with the drop back to 4A and four teams now eligible for the postseason that could end. Five starters return on both sides of the ball should make the transition either, but the lack of depth for a bigger 4A and athleticism in a very athletic district will hinder the progress this year for the Pirates.
Joshua Owls:Save for the 1996 season when the Owls advanced to the area playoffs there simply hasn't been much to cheer about in Johnson County. However times are changing as a new stadium is in the works and there is a feeling of hope. Junior QB Jesse Williamson could be the best QB to come through Joshua and now junior RB John Savage has two years of varsity experience under his belt. Seven starters are back on defense and that bodes well for improvement and a .500 record is not out of the question this year.
Mansfield Legacy Broncos: Legacy has been touted as a first year school who could do damage but they are still that a first year varsity school. DE/TE Terry Franklin is an Oklahoma commit and will be a guy to keep an eye on, but there's still a lot of youth. For everyone picking the Broncos to play well this year, they did play Meridian a Class 1A Varsity in Week 10 2007 and lost 41-0. Despite another year to grow, playing Timberview, Everman and Stephenville will be a huge step up.
Players to Watch:
Eric Stephens, RB Mansfield Timberview
Raymond Scott, WR Mansfield Timberview
Ryan Smith, RB Everman
Chris Franklin, WR/DB Everman
T.R. Varnado, DL Stephenville
Brad Mills, RB Stephenville
Joseph Francis, DB Arlington Seguin
Darian Hogg, WR Arlington Seguin
Aundre Dean, QB Crowley
Terry Franklin, TE/DE Mansfield Legacy