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Enrollments: Highland Park – 2,209 Longview – 2,186.5 West Mesquite – 2,165 McKinney North – 2,135 Tyler – 2,111 Wylie East – 2,077 Sherman – 1,951.5 Projected 2021 7-5A DI Rankings: 1. Highland Park ( Team Schedule ) 2. Longview ( Team Schedule ) 3. McKinney North ( Team Schedule ) 4. Wylie East ( Team Schedule ) 5. Tyler ( Team Schedule ) 6. Sherman ( Team Schedule ) 7. West Mesquite ( Team Schedule ) Projected 2021 7-5A DI District MVP’s Overall: JR QB Brennan Storer, Highland Park Offensive: JR WR Jalen Hale, Longview Defensive: SR LB George Wright, Highland Park Team Previews Highland Park Fighting Scots Head Coach: Randy Allen 261-36 22 seasons at Highland Park 2020 result: 11-1 (6-0), 5A D1 Quarterfinal Returners: O = 4, D = 2 Returning All District: 5 A huge senior class graduates for Highland Park. Once again, we have seen this story with Highand Park and how it unfolds over the years under long time, legendary HC Randy Allen who brought home his 28th district title in his 40 years as a HC. Those wins aren’t disappearing in 2021. The 2020 district MVP Brayden Schager is headed to Hawaii, but surely by now, one has learned to never question whether Highland Park will have a QB or not. 2023 QB Brennan Storer (5’11 180) will be the next great Highland Park QB, with a heavy emphasis on the word great. Storer already holds numerous FBS offers and was an Adidas All-American as a freshman. He’s one of the top signal callers in the nation for the 2023 class. There will be plenty of targets with second team all-district SR WR John Rutledge (6’0 170) back. JR WR’s Jackson Heis (6’3 180) and Grayson Schrank (5’9 160) were also heavily involved in the pass catching for Highland Park in 2020. A great offensive line has been depleted with the only returning starter being first team all-district SR RG Grant Gibson (6’4 280). But again, don’t let it fool you. There is plenty of great youth moving up for Highland Park, such as 2023 LT Robert Sweeney (6’6 250), who already has offers from ACC and Big 10 programs. The defense was hit hard by graduation. But so were a lot of the other teams in the district. The good news is 3 year varsity vet Jack Curtis returns. Curtis (6’4 220) is a dominant defensive end with several FBS offers. The other returning starter is OLB George Wright (6’0 205) who was first team all-district and will definitely have a realistic shot at the district defensive MVP. The other 9 positions on defense will need to be replaced but Highland Park will reload. Also, talk about a tough stadium to go into and win, Highlander Stadium makes a strong case for being the toughest place to play in Texas. Since Randy Allen took over the Scots in 1999, Highland Park is 112-2 at home. With Longview coming to town, Highland Park naturally gets the edge because of that. The Scots will be the Scots in 2021. Highland Park SR OLB George Wright Longview Lobos Head Coach: John King 188-40 (94-7) 17 seasons at Longview 2020 result: 9-3 (4-1), 5A D1 Regional Returners: O = 6, D = 2 Returning All District: 7 A late game fumble and costly penalties vs Highland Park ultimately led to the Lobos coming 5 points short of their 15th district title in 17 seasons under John King. Longview started peaking in the weeks following before running into a buzz saw called Denton Ryan in the regional round. Many big names graduate for Longview, especially defensively. But as usual, the Lobos have ammo left in the chamber. RB Kaden Meredith, the programs’ all-time leading scorer, graduates with nearly two dozen offers in hand to choose from. However, the Lobo offense looks to be explosive in 2021. Longview returns the most all district players in the district with 7, and 3 of them reside on the offensive line. Longview will probably be home of the best offensive line in the district with SR LT DeQualin Vaughn (6’3 250), SR C Connor Cox (6’1 250), SR RG Jatavian Bush (6’1 290) and JR RT Jax Norman (6’1 230) all returning. JR LG Blair Williams (6’2 310) was one of 10 sophomores that was on varsity for Longview in 2020; has FBS potential. King called his WR group in 2020 “the best that he has had since being at Longview” and most of those guys return. It all starts with JR WR Jalen Hale (6’3 180) who already has nearly 20 major FBS offers and is considered the top WR in Texas for the 2023 class, 7th in the nation. JR JT Wright (6’4 190) was also a sophomore WR on varsity in 2020 giving Longview a dynamic and rangy group of wideouts in 2021. QB Jordan Allen (6’1 180) started for Longview as a sophomore but the QB position is still one to keep an eye on in the spring. The JV's lone loss on the season was a close one to Highland Park but Longview has a special 2024 group that went undefeated as freshmen in 2020, outscoring their opponents 339-43. There is high level talent all over that group, starting with RB Taylor Tatum (5’11 190) who may be taking over the RB duties for Longview in 2021 as a sophomore. Tatum is projected to be one of the top RB’s in Texas for the 2024 class. Defensively only two starters return. Still, the front 7 should once again be solid with SR LB Devean Isaac (5’11 210) returning from an all-district performance. The other returning starter is JR S TaDarion Boone who earned district defensive newcomer of the year as a sophomore. Players like SR DL Jesse Fairchild (6’2 260) and SR DL DK Stanford (6’2.5 240) saw significant playing time. JR JJ Rougley (6’3 215) was a varsity TE as a sophomore but could make OLB/DE his home. Longview will be a youthful, but talented team. A district title, and then some is not out of the question for the Lobos in 2021. Longview JR WR Jalen Hale McKinney North Bulldogs Head Coach: Mike Fecci 69-61 (47-34) 12 seasons at McKinney North 2020 result: 3-7 (3-3), 5A D1 Bi-District Returners: O = 8, D = 4 Returning All District: 4 It has been an up and down era for McKinney North football under HC Mike Fecci; A true rollercoaster ride over the years. 2019 was one of the ‘up’ years for McKinney North as they ripped off a 10-2 record, winning the district title. But 2020 was not as pleasant. The Bulldogs were only able to muster up 3 wins. Still, they did enough in district play to make post season for the 5th straight year. The Bulldogs will look to make it 6 straight in 2021 behind 8 returning starters offensively, the 2nd most in the district. McKinney North was one of four teams in the district that started a sophomore QB as Gavin Constantine (5’10 170) returns for his JR season to lead the Bulldog offense. The programs’ all-time leading WR JJ Henry is off to Ole Miss, but the other wideouts return. Korbin Hendrix (6’2 170) is a tall rangy WR that started on the outside for the Bulldogs as a sophomore in 2020. SR WR Luke Paley (6’2 190) returns to his slot position; a 3 year varsity starter for McKinney North. JR WR Kyler Moore (5’8 160) also saw significant time as a sophomore and looks to be Henry’s replacement on the outside. Another 3 year starter is SR TE/DE Dylan Frazier who starts on both sides of the ball. At 6’5 260, Frazier is rated one of the top defensive ends in Texas; holding numerous FBS offers. His older brother Brandon Frazier is a TE at Auburn. The OL will be anchored by SR RT Seteye Akpabio (6’3 290), another 3 year starter and FBS recruit. There’s a high amount of experience returning offensively, but defensively there’s a lot of question marks particularly in the front 7. As mentioned before, Dylan Frazier returns at DE but the Bulldogs will have to replace the other 3 positions along the defensive front 4. SR Jake McClain (6’0 200) returns to his mike LB position after a second team all-district performance in 2020. SR OLB Marques Alexander (5’11 180) was also second team all-district in 2020. The last returning starter is CB David Walker (5’10 160), who was another sophomore starter last season. McKinney North never really has great sub-varsity teams but they always seem to play slightly better when they make it to the varsity level. The Bulldogs actually had a great 9th grade group in 2020 that probably would have won the 9th grade district title in a district without Longview and Highland Park. You can expect several players from that group to make an impact for McKinney North in 2021, specifically on defense. McKinney North SR DE/TE Dylan Frazier Wylie East Raiders Head Coach: Vacant 2020 result: 1-7 (0-6), No Playoffs Returners: O = 6, D = 5 Returning All District: 1 The new year will bring a new coaching staff to the Wylie East football program. Back in mid-December, Mike Dormady stepped down as HC, but will remain an employee within the district. In his 3 seasons as head coach, Wylie East accumulated a 5-24 record. The program failed to win a single district game in his 3 years as head coach. A new era is about to begin for the Raiders but whoever lands this job will not be short of weapons. JR QB TJ Washington (5’11 185) will return to the East offense for the 3rd straight year. Washington, who earned district newcomer of the year as a freshman back in 2019, is a dynamic talent at the QB position who recently just received his first FBS offer. Bam Bam Johnson graduates at RB, but Washington won’t be short of targets. SR WRs Kolby Atkins and Joshua Hollingsworth (5’10 175) return for East. Hollingsworth is a 3 year varsity starter. Another player that saw significant playing time at WR is JR CJ Jackson (5’10 160), who has been on varsity since his freshman year, and is also very good on the track. The OL will have to replace 3 positions but SR LT Zane Brown and SR RG Marcus Harbert (6’1 250) are back. The Raider offense also returns TE Michael Oparah (6’0 220). Another solid player is 3 year varsity vet SR Tyler Jackson (6’1 200), who is hearing from FBS schools as an athlete. He has spent time at RB, TE and LB. The lone returning all-district player on the roster is JR DE Anthony James (6’6 240). James is considered the top defensive linemen in Texas for the 2023 cycle, with early offers from Georgia, LSU, Texas and others. He’s also the lone returning starter in the East front 7 but if Tyler Jackson becomes a full time LB, that’s a good nucleus to build around. The secondary will be experienced with all 4 starters back: SR S Caden Roeschen (5’11 180), SR S Maddox Fraley (5’10 160), JR CB Jakari Alexander (5’10 165) and SR CB Jason Olford. Wylie East may not have a ton of wins the past few years but as recently as 2015-2016, the program was accomplishing 9-10 win seasons. The next guy up is certainly inheriting some nice foundation to get the program back on track. Wylie East JR DE Anthony James Tyler Lions Head Coach: Ricklan Holmes 71-38 (42-14) 9 seasons at John Tyler 2020 result: 2-7 (2-4), No Playoffs Returners: O = 9, D = 5 Returning All District: 3 The last two seasons have been a nightmare for Tyler High. A 3 win season in 2019 was followed by a 2 win season in 2020. Now the Lions are looking to avoid 3 straight seasons of 3 wins and below for the first time since the program went 6-24 under Kelvin Ratliff from 2002-2004. That was arguably the worst 3 year stretch in program history, and 17 years later, CUJO is looking to elude a similar 3 year run. The good news is there is plenty of experience and upcoming talent to help avoid it. The 9 starters that CUJO return on offense are the most in the district. The WR position is especially deep with 4 returning starters, 3 in which were all-district players as sophomores in 2020: JR Jadavion Lacy (6’1 175), JR Makavion Potts and JR Montrell Wade (6’2 180), who is one of the top WR’s in the state for the 2023 cycle. Potts also has D1 potential from his slot position. The OL brings back plenty of experience with JR LT Avery Coleman, SR LG Jordan Jackson (6'0 260) and SR RG Cornelius Hartsfield (5’10 230) all returning; Hartsfield being a 3 year starter for the Lions. No other team in the district rotated at the RB position the way Tyler High did last season. Look for 2024 RB Derrick McFall (5’11 175) to be more unleashed after seeing varsity carries as a freshman in 2020. 3 year varsity vet Eli Sanchez (5’9 165) returns at QB. Switching over to CUJOs 3-4 defense, both inside LBs return in SR LB Jacob Villela (5’11 180) and JR LB Tory Howland (6’2 205). SR OLB Eric Munoz (5’11 185) also returns, giving the Lions plenty of experience at the LB position. JR S Zavier Tatum (6’1 190) and sophomore CB Zachaun Williams (6’1 175) will lead the secondary. The biggest concern will be the defensive front where Ricklan Holmes will have to replace several players. Look for 2024 sophomore DE Jace Sanford (6’2 210) to make an impact for the Lions the next few years. The skill positions on this team are looking very good. Even the OL looks promising. IF the QB position comes along, CUJO could easily be a 3 seed in this district. If not it could be another long season. Retaining players will also be important this offseason as well. Tyler sophomore RB Derrick McFall Sherman Bearcats Head Coach: J.D. Martinez 24-28 (15-14) 5 seasons at Sherman 2020 result: 5-5 (4-1), 5A D1 Bi-District Returners: O = 3, D = 5 Returning All District: 0 After narrowly missing the playoffs in 2019, Sherman made the postseason as a 3 seed in 2020. A 5-5 season is not a lot to brag about in itself but Sherman’s 4-1 district record marked the programs’ best district outing since 2012. Talk about a program wide confidence booster going into the 2021 season. But there are major holes to fill with a good senior group graduating. To help fill holes Coach Martinez will look to a talented junior class that won district with a 7-2 record as freshmen in 2019. The bearcat JV did not have much success in 2020 but key sophomores being on the Bearcat varsity team had a lot to do with that. Graduation effected the Bearcat offense the most; losing 8 starters, including multiyear starter QB Tate Bethel. 2023 JR QB Phoenix Grant (6’1 180) backed up Bethel, and started at safety as a sophomore and figures to take over the QB spot. Good news for Grant is SR WR Elijah Chapman (6’4 180) returns. The only other returning starters on offense are SR LT Tavian Scruggs (6’3 250) and SR C Daniel Clark (5’10 255). On defense, there are a good amount of returners (5) but the Bearcats do lose several big names like LB Brandon Bonilla, who was the heart and soul of Sherman’s 3-3 defense the past few years. The good news is the entire defensive line returns in SR DE Anthony Gionfriddo, JR DT Chaz Brown (5’10.5 300) and SR DE Tito Chavez. Graduation was a huge blow to the LB positions but a name to know is 2023 JR OLB Logan Taylor (6’3 200) who saw significant playing time in 2020 as a sophomore. Phoenix Grant and Connor Clark (5’10 165) round out the returning starters on defense. Both started at safety positions in the secondary as sophomores, but as mentioned before, Grant will take over the QB position for the Bearcats so he may not be playing on both sides of the ball in 2021. SR CB Isaiah Jones (6’0 180) also saw significant playing time. Sherman’s JR class has talent and there are key pieces in the SR class. The Bearcats are a team that could finish anywhere from 3rd to 6th in this district. How well the other grades can complement that JR group will dictate that in 2021. Sherman JR safety Connor Clark West Mesquite Wranglers Head Coach: Frank Sandoval 1-9 (1-5) 1 season at West Mesquite 2020 result: 1-9 (1-5), No Playoffs Returners: O = 7, D = 2 Returning All District: 0 The 2020 season under first year HC Frank Sandoval was a rough one for the Wranglers. A big part of the 1-9 finish was bad defensive play. The West Mesquite defense gave up 35 PPG. To make matters even worse, the defense does not return much experience in 2021. The only two returning starters in the Wrangler 3-4 defense are defensive linemen Trevion Mitchell (6’5 275) and JD Cotton (6’2 270), both whom are seniors. Mitchell is a 3 year starter and potential FBS recruit at defensive end, but the coaching staff will have to replace the other 9 positions on defense, more than likely relying on move ups from sub-varsity teams that were not very good. On the bright side, the offense is a lot more experienced. SR RB D’Erian Mitchell returns to the backfield. JR Javion Jackson (5’11 155), SR Devin Duncan (6’2 170) and SR Jesus Nino (5’10 160) all return to West Mesquite’s WR core. The left side of the OL + C will need to be replaced but SR RG Donovan Hawthorne and JR RT Nicholas Singleton (6’3 310) both return. Frank Sandoval was certainly a good hire for West Mesquite coming into the season. Mexia was decent with him at the helm, and he has championship pedigree from his time on the Cedar Hill defensive coaching staff. But, West Mesquite’s problems appear to run deeper than returning starters or talent. The program appears to be having trouble keeping players. Going into the 2020 season, the Wranglers lost FBS 2022 QB Kevin Jennings to South Oak Cliff. They also lost FBS safety Jakobe Walton to McKinney High and others. It wasn’t long ago that West Mesquite was winning at least 7 games in a season. But it will be shocking to see the Wranglers finish anywhere but last in this district in 2021. West Mesquite SR DE Trevion Mitchell
LONGVIEW LOBOS (5-2, 2-1) VS SHERMAN BEARCATS (3-3, 1-1) DATE: Friday, October 15th, 2021 TIME: 7:30 PM LOCATION: Lobo Stadium in Longview, Texas LONGVIEW BROADCAST: 106.5 FM JACK FM SHERMAN BROADCAST: MADROCK 102.5 FM LONGVIEW LIVE STREAM: Longview Gameday BEARCATS LEAD SERIES 1-0-0 The two schools have never played a non-district contest. The two schools have never played a district contest. The Bearcats have a 1-0 lead when the game is a playoff contest. The Bearcats have a 1-0 lead when the game is played at a neutral location. The two schools have never played at Longview. The two schools have never played at Sherman. Sherman won the last meeting against the Lobos. The two schools have never played at Lobo Stadium. The two schools have never played on October 15th. LAST FIVE GAMES IN SERIES 11.19.1976 - Sherman 10, Longview 3 - Texas Stadium FULL GAME LOG GAME PREVIEW & SERIES REVIEW Frustration. Disappointment. Heartbreak. All the words and more that can sum up Longview's 21-16 loss at Highland Park last Friday night. The Lobos headed to University Park for the first time since 1966, and walked out with a five point loss in the second straight meeting against the Scots that ended by five points admist a ton of Longview errors. Trailing 7-3 at half, the Lobos saw a forced fumble returned for a score to open the second and that was that. While Longview fought back and had the ball with under 20 seconds to go, it was for naught as Longview could get no closer than those five points. The loss all but confirms that Longview's chance at a district crown has gone by the waist side for a second straight season. If a loss doesn't happen for the Scots, the Lobos will fail to win distrcit for the second straight season for the first time in the John King era. The win for the Scots also pushed them to a 3-game series lead against the Lobos. They currently sit as the only team in Texas to hold more than a 2-game lead over the Lobos, and one of just two teams in the county. Shreveport Byrd's 8-game lead is the worst series deficit for the Lobos, currently. The Lobos will now return home to take on the Sherman Bearcats, the first meeting in nearly 45 years. Last season, Longview was set to travel to Sherman for the first time before the Bearcats cited COVID reasoning and canceled the contest. That has not set well with many Longview fans in the last year, as many Sherman players and coaches went to twitter on Thursday morning claiming they were free to play. Whatever the fact, the game did not occur and Longview as not able to visit historic Bearcat Stadium. So this season, the Lobos welcome Sherman to Longview for the first time in a series that has more canceled games in it than it does games played. In 1955, the Lobos and Bearcats came to an agreement to play each other in Sherman. However, realignment forced the game to be canceled as Sherman had too many district opponent to play. The one game the two programs did face off in came back in 1976, when the two met at Texas Stadium in the Bi-District round of the 4A playoffs. A blocked punt led directly to Sherman's lone touchdown of the game. Jim Tutt's 33-yard field goal in the first quarter helped Longview get back into the game, but a 10-3 halftime deficit would be too much for the Lobos to overcome. The Lobos were able to get down to the Sherman 13 yard line on one drive late in the game, but an interception by Sherman would seal the deal and send the No. 2 ranked Lobos to an early exit from the post season. Longview returns to Lobo Stadium looking to win their 200th game at their stadium. Opened in 1976, the Lobos have played 243 contests heading into tonight. Since that opening game, an 18-0 win over Dallas Carter, the Lobos have compiled a 199-38-6 record Lobo Stadium. Longview is currently holding a 5-game winning streak at home. WEEK SEVEN RESULTS FOR 7-5A DIVISION I: Longview 16 Highland Park 21 McKinney North 28 Wylie East 21 Tyler 31 West Mesquite 18 Sherman - OFF WEEK EIGHT 7-5A DIVISION I SCHEDULE: Highland Park at McKinney North Sherman at Longview Tyler at Wylie East West Mesquite - OFF DISTRICT 7-5A DIVISION I STANDINGS 1st. Highland Park (5-1, 2-0) 2nd. Tyler (4-2, 2-0) 3rd. Longview (5-2, 2-1) 4th. McKinney North (3-4, 2-1) 5th. Sherman (3-3, 1-1) 6th. Wylie East (2-4, 0-3) 7th. West Mesquite (2-5, 0-3) DISTRICT 8-5A DIVISION I OVERVIEW Last game - Cleveland fell to New Caney 63-12, Conroe Caney Creek fell to New Caney Porter 31-17, Lufkin fell to College Station 56-7, Waller fell to Magnolia 42-6, Magnolia West is off. This week - College Station hosts Cleveland, Magnolia hosts Magnolia West, New Caney hosts Conroe Caney Creek, New Caney Porter hosts Waller, Lufkin is off. LONGVIEW LOBOS Record: 5-1 (2-0) District: 7-5A Division I Coach: John King (193-42 in 18 seasons) (Playoffs: 43-16) First Year of Football: 1909 All-Time Record: 752-353-52 (Playoffs: 72-43-1) Playoff Appearances: 46 Last Playoff Appearance: 2020, Class 5A Division I Regional Round State Championships (2): 1937 (1A), 2018 (6A D2) State Championship Appearances (5): 1937 (1A), 1997 (5A D1), 2008 (4A D1), 2009 (4A D1), 2018 (6A D2) SCHEDULE: 08.28 - v. Denton Ryan (in Frisco) - Loss 40-7 09.03 - vs Marshall - Win 14-0 09.10 - at Tyler Legacy - Win 46-20 09.17 - vs Bryant, AR - Win 24-21 09.23 - at West Mesquite - Win 56-28 10.01 - vs Wylie East - Win 56-0 10.08 - at Highland Park - Loss 21-16 10.15 - vs Sherman 10.28 - at McKinney North 11.05 - vs Tyler SHERMAN BEARCATS Record: 3-3 (1-1) District: 7-5A Division I Coach: Cory Cain (3-3 in 1 season) (Playoffs: 0-0) First Year of Football: 1901 All-Time Record: 643-456-47 (Playoffs: 24-32-3) Playoff Appearances: 35 Last Playoff Appearance: 2020, 5A Division I Bi-District Round State Championships (0): None State Championship Appearances (0): None SCHEDULE: 08.27 - vs Denison - Loss 37-13 09.03 - at Mount Pleasant - Win 36-35 09.10 - at Saginaw - Win 52-10 09.17 - vs McKinney - Loss 56-0 09.24 - at Wylie East - Win 38-17 10.01 - vs Highland Park - Loss 35-17 10.15 - at Longview 10.22 - vs McKinney North 10.29 - at Tyler 11.05 - vs West Mesquite ON THIS DATE IN LOBO HISTORY: October 15th In 1920, Atlanta hosted Longview and dominated in a 45-6 victory. In 1926, Longview’s Williams and Ross led the way to a 25-0 win over Troup at Fair Park. In 1937, Dick Miller scored twice and freshmen Don Fambrough tallied in the 4th as Longview defeated Kilgore, 46-0, at Lobo Stadium, holding the Bulldogs to 65 total yards. In 1943, Jimmy Blakeley scored three times to open the game while John Dunaway tallied twice as the Lobos rushed for 365 yards in a 45-0 win over Texas High at Grim Park. In 1948, O’Neal Brightwell rushed in from 5 yards out while Joe Skelton rushed in from 12 in a 13-0 Henderson victory over Longview at Lion Stadium. In 1954, Tony Rothrock rushed for three touchdowns while Bobby Randel added another in a 27-6 win over Mount Pleasant at Lobo Stadium. In 1971, Chuck Boyd rushed for two scores while four other Lobos tallied once in a 41-7 victory over Palestine at Lobo Stadium. Longview rushed for 307 yards, while holding the Wildcats to 107 total yards. In 1976, David Morris and two Tim Martin touchdowns overturned a John Tyler 12-0 halftime lead into a 22-12 Longview victory as the Lobos knocked off the Lions at Rose Stadium. In 1982, after Lufkin led 6-0 after one quarter, Kenneth Hendrix got the show going for the Lobos..leading to 26 unanswered points in a 26-6 Longview victory at Lobo Stadium over the Pack. Lufkin managed just 120 yards on the night. In 1993, trailing 10-7 late in the 3rd quarter, L’Vendric Fine rushed in from 7 yards out before Chris Butcher and Monte Rollins tallied fourth quarter scores in a 27-10 victory over Nacogdoches at Lobo Stadium. In 1999, DeMarques Jones hauled in two touchdowns while Shawn Todd kicked a 25-yard field goal as Lufkin defeated Longview, 17-7, at Abe Martin Stadium. Walter Sharp hauled in the only Lobo touchdown of the night from 7 yards out. In 2004, Andy Tanner’s 6-yard touchdown reception gave Rockwall the lead with 5:37 to go in the game before Vondrell McGee finished off a 10-play drive from 5 yards out with 2:12 to go to give Longview a 14-10 victory over the Yellowjackets at Wilkerson-Sanders Memorial Stadium. In 2010, J’Haston Faggans rushed for two scores and Longview held Mesquite Horn on a 4th and short late in the 4th quarter to preserve the lead as the Lobos knocked off the Jags, 13-8, in the first of two meetings between the schools that season. In 2020, Jalen Hale tallied twice while Kaden Meredith rushed for five scores and 243 yards in a 51-28 victory over Beaumont West Brook at Abe Martin Stadium. The two teams combined for 946 yards of total offense.
Enrollments: Highland Park – 2,209 Longview – 2,186.5 West Mesquite – 2,165 McKinney North – 2,135 John Tyler – 2,111 Wylie East – 2,077 Sherman – 1,951.5 Projected 2020 7-5AD1 Rankings: 1. Longview 2. Highland Park 3. Sherman 4. McKinney North 5. West Mesquite 6. John Tyler 7. Wylie East Projected 7-5AD1 District MVP’s Overall: SR RB Kaden Meredith, Longview Offensive: SR QB Brayden Schager, Highland Park Defensive: SR LB Laqualon Hale, Longview Team Previews Longview Lobos Head Coach: John King 179-37 (90-6) 16 seasons at Longview 2019 result: 11-1 (6-0), 6A DII Area Returners: O = 5, D = 5 Returning All State: 1 Returning All District: 7 Post Haynes King era has officially begun in Longview as the Lobos will have a signal caller in 2020 not named Haynes King for the first time since Week 5 of 2017. And although the greatest three year run in program history came to an unexpected early end in 2019, plenty of optimism remains in Longview for the foreseeable future as John King approaches his 17th season at the helm for the Lobos. Solid pieces return for the Longview on both sides of the ball as the Lobos make the move from 6A to 5AD1. It starts in the backfield with SR RB Kaden Meredith (5’9.5 180) who is eyeing Longview rushing records after an all-state performance in 2019. SR FB Markevion Haynes (5’9.5 205) started in Longview’s backfield but battled injuries in 2019. He’s now 100% and ready to go. Meredith and Haynes are going into their third year in Longview’s backfield. Longview rotated a ton at WR in 2019, and the two best return in Sophomore WR Jalen Hale (6’3 175) and SR WR CJ Hopkins (6’0 170). Hale was the first freshman to play varsity football at Longview in nearly 3 decades and is a future major recruit. TE will be solid as usual with SR Austin Pencheon (6’0 200) elevating from TE2 to TE1. SR LG Tavion Sterling (6’1 290) will anchor Longview’s offensive line. Longview’s defensive front seven should once again be a strong point on the entire team as SR DL Joe Jones (6’3 275) is back to anchor the DL. The level behind the DL will once again have plenty of speed and pop with SR LB Laqualon Hale (5’10 205) and SR down safety/strong safety Kybrien Jackson-Jamerson (6’2.5 210) returning for their third varsity season in Longview’s front seven. SR’s Shannon Jackson II (5’8 165) and Tyree Hale (5’9 160) will return to their safety positions in the secondary and SR Antonio Onofre (6’1 190) returns at K. Reinforcements are also on the way from combined 17-3 subvarsity, such as promising sophomore QB Landyn Grant (6’2 180). Some big names may graduate but as usual, Longview will be Longview. SR Longview RB Kaden Meredith is the lone returning all state player in the district. Meredith is a FBS recruit who is eyeing Longview rushing records in 2020. Highland Park Fighting Scots Head Coach: Randy Allen 250-35 21 seasons at Highland Park 2019 result: 11-2 (7-0), 5A D1 Regional Returners: O = 4, D = 4 Returning All State: 0 Returning All District: 9 A huge senior class graduates for Highland Park, a group that helped bring Highland Park two state titles the past three seasons. However, we have seen this story and how it unfolds numerous times over the years with Highland Park under long time, legendary HC Randy Allen. Those wins aren’t disappearing in 2020. First off, in case you were wondering, Highland Park does have another signal caller that will play D1 college football. SR Brayden Schager (6’2 195) is one of the best kept secrets in DFW. 2022 QB Hayden Ferguson (6’3 220) is also on college recruiter radars. So Highland Park is in good hands at the QB position as usual. Good news as they’ll need the skill at the QB position since the skill positions on offense will be inexperienced. What won’t be inexperienced is the offensive line. Highland Park may have the best OL in all of 5A in 2020. Four of five return up front for the Scots in SR LT Jack Leyrer (6’6 275), SR LG Sam Morse (6’1 250), SR C Will Gibson (6’4 280) and SR RT Henry Hagenbuch (6’2 260). There’s a ton of experience among those four seniors up front. On defense, Highland Park has to replace the entire defensive front, but JR DE Jack Curtis (6’4 220) saw significant playing time as a sophomore and is a future major FBS recruit. Behind him at LB is SR Patrick Turner (6’2 220) who also has high recruiting stock going into spring. The Highland Park secondary, much like the OL, brings back a lot of experience. SR DB Sam Session (5’10 165), SR S Walker Cobb (6’1 185) and SR CB Ford Frazar (5’11 160) all return in the secondary. Cobb and Frazar were 1st team all-district players in 2019.Also, talk about a tough stadium to go into and win, Highlander Stadium makes a strong case for being the toughest place to play in Texas. Since Randy Allen took over the Scots in 1999, Highland Park is a whopping 107-2 at home. Most recently Highland Park had the longest active home winning streak at 33 games before Frisco Lone Star snapped it Week 3 of 2019. Highland Park may be losing a ton, and on the surface it appears that way. But when you dive deeper, Highland Park is clearly on the way to another big season. Don’t be fooled; the Scots will be no pushovers in 2020. Prince Dorbah may be graduating from this Highland Park defense, but 2022 Jack Curtis appears to be next man up and already getting FBS attention. Also a stud on the baseball field as well. Sherman Bearcats Head Coach: J.D. Martinez 19-23 (11-13) 4 seasons at Sherman 2019 result: 6-4 (3-3), No Playoffs Returners: O = 5, D = 5 Returning All State: 0 Returning All District: 5 A key week seven loss in Texarkana to Texas High ultimately resulted in Sherman missing out on playoff action in 2019. But there are some bright spots for Bearcat faithful to look forward to in 2020 that could result in a return to the post season. The brightest spot would have to be the Bearcat passing attack where four of five all district players return. It starts with SR QB Tate Bethel (6’0 175) who put up 1,935 passing yards and 23 total TD’s. That was 2nd most passing yardage in district 7-5A behind McKinney North’s Dillon Markiewicz. All of his top targets who were also all district players return in SR WR Sean Husband (5’9 170), SR WR/CB Benji Omayebu (5’9 175) and SR TE/WR Jacoby Hunt (6’3 203). SR RT Matt Parks (6’0 235) is the lone returner up front for the Bearcats. Five starters also return on defense for Sherman. Omayebu and SR Jeff Banks (5’10 165) return to their starting CB spots. SR SS Mathias Coleman (5’11 185) was all district in 2019 and was one of the best defensive players in 7-5A. SR MLB Brandon Bonilla (5’10 215) returns in the middle of the Bearcats’ 3-3 defense. SR DE Donja Orr-Knight (5’10 195) is the lone returner on the defensive line. Sherman will have to address four holes on the OL as well as holes in the defensive front, but everything around those two areas have solid foundation. The Bearcat JV did have a 0-10 year in 2019 but the 9th grade team went 7-2, winning the district title. There were also several key 2022 guys on varsity like WR Elijah Coleman (6’3 170) who caught 3 TD’s as a sophomore and has a lot of potential. Bearcat Stadium is one of the toughest places to play in all of 5A and Sherman is only a year removed from post season play. A playoff appearance for the Bearcats certainly isn’t out of the question in 2020. Special teams, WR, DB....SR ATH Benji Omayebu does it all for Sherman. Maybe one of the best utility players in all of 5AD1. McKinney North Bulldogs Head Coach: Mike Fecci 66-54 (44-31) 11 seasons at McKinney North 2019 result: 10-2 (6-0), 5A D1 Area Returners: O = 4, D = 6 Returning All State: 0 Returning All District: 8 It has been an up and down era for McKinney North football under HC Mike Fecci. A true rollercoaster ride over the years. 2019 was one of the ‘up’ years for McKinney North as they ripped off a 10-2 record, winning district 7-5A and advancing to 5A D1 area round ultimately losing to a good Lancaster team. Big names from a program record breaking offense like RB Manny Fincher, TE Brandon Frazier and QB Dillon Markiewicz, who was 7-5A’s most valuable player, all graduate. All three will be playing D1 football on Saturdays now. Tough players to replace but quality remains on this team. For one thing, McKinney North returns one of the best WR’s in all of 5A. SR WR JJ Henry (6’0 180) was 7-5A co-offensive player of the year as a junior after hauling in 76 receptions for over 1400 yards and 18 total TDs. Henry is breaking every McKinney North receiving record in the book. McKinney North appears to be solid up front with three all-district players back in SR LT Brandon Nelson (6’4 300), SR RT Seth Holmes (6’2 285) and JR RG Seteye Akpabio (6’3 315). Akpabio is one of the best class of 2022 guards in the state. Trench play will be a strength on the Bulldog defense as well as all four defensive linemen return. JR DE Dylan Frazier (6’5 250) was 7-5A’s defensive newcomer of the year and is emerging as one of the top defensive linemen in Texas for class of 2022. If the name sounds familiar, his brother was TE Brandon Frazier who was one of the most highly recruited 2020 TE’s in the nation. SR Ethyn Dennis (6’3 200) returns at the other DE position, a first team all-district selection due to his long frame, athleticism and ability to get into backfields. SR’s Yarmon Evans (5’11 260) and Keyon Davis (6’0 270) return to their positions in the interior defensive line. The other two defensive returners are located in the secondary: JR S Luke Paley (6’2 180), who could also be in the mix at WR, and SR CB Michael Norris (5’11 165). There wasn’t a lot of success for McKinney North’s subvarsity teams as they went a combined 7-12 but Mike Fecci, 7-5A coach of the year, and his Bulldogs will be looking to build off 2019’s success. JJ Henry is as dangerous as they come at the WR position. Henry is breaking McKinney North receiving records on top of breaking defenders ankles. West Mesquite Wranglers Head Coach: Frank Sandoval 0-0 (0-0) 1st season at West Mesquite 2019 result: 2-8 (2-4), No Playoffs Returners: O = 5, D = 9 Returning All State: 0 Returning All District: 4 West Mesquite is cracking in a new head football coach in 2020 after Jeff Neill was reassigned after seven seasons at the helm. MISD ultimately chose Coach Frank Sandoval, and what a great hire that was. Sandoval comes from 4A Mexia where he led them to several playoff appearances the past few years. Before that, he was a defensive assistant under former Cedar Hill HC Joey McGuire. So not only is he bringing a winning attitude to a culture that desperately needs it, he brings championship pedigree. And for Sandoval, he couldn’t have arrived at a better time. West Mesquite returns 14 starters, amongst the highest in the district. 5 of them come on offense, led by JR QB Kevin Jennings (6’0 165) who is a dual threat DFW sleeper and the leader of a talented 2022 class for the Wranglers. The WR depth will be insane, as Jennings completed passes to seven different WR’s in 2019, all of which return. This includes SR WR/S Jakobe Walton (5’11 175) who is one of the best utility players in DFW. The OL will be anchored by SR LT Lenny Medrano (6’2 280), will have to replace four starters up front. Coach Sandoval is a defensive guy, and his Wrangler defense returns a whopping 9 starters. The entire DL returns, led by JR Trevion Mitchell (6’4 235) who could be emerging as a D1 prospect this off-season. All three linebackers return in SR OLB Diego Nino (5’9 200), SR LB Jose Torres (5’9 185) and SR OLB Augustine Pokowa (5’9 180). In the secondary, Jakobe Walton will return to his free safety position. SR SS Brodrick Benton (5’10 180) and SR CB Clivarion Walker (5’10 170) round up the returners in the secondary. Think about this, about 20 players return for West Mesquite who either started or received significant playing time. 7 of them were from the 2022 class. That’s an insane amount of experience returning. The Wranglers always had the horses but a lot for West Mesquite depended on who Mesquite ISD would hire as their next head coach. They hit a homerun with Coach Sandoval. Jakobe Walton is another strong utility player in this district. He's a focal point on both sides of the ball for West Mesquite and has already reported several D1 offers. John Tyler Lions Head Coach: Ricklan Holmes 69-31 (40-10) 8 seasons at John Tyler 2019 result: 3-8 (3-3), 5A D1 Bi-District Returners: O = 6, D = 5 Returning All State: 0 Returning All District: 4 The worst season in Coach Ricklan Holmes tenure as John Tyler’s HC came in 2019. The Lions turned in a 3-8 season and although JT squeezed into the postseason, it was arguably the worst season for the program since 2007. CUJO will have to rely on experience and pieces from a talented but young 2023 group to push them in the right direction in 2020. Experience in particular, where JT returns 11 starters. Most of which resides on the offensive side of the ball. JT has a pair of runners returning who received significant playing time in SR Kameron Medlock (5’8 160) and JR Jakyron Lacy (6’0 195). JT may have to lean on the running game so look for those two to share carries for JT in 2020. Up front is where JT may be at peak strength. The Lions return nearly the entire OL with JR LG Cornelius Hartsfield, C LeTavion Erwin, JR RG Kadarius Tave and SR RT Ashton Williams returning. JR WR Robert Draper returns outwide. On defense, JT returns two on the defensive line in SR DL Preston Johnson and SR DL LaTravion Hawkins who turned in a 1st team all-district performance in 2020. The CUJO secondary is looking promising. SR CB Keelan Erwin had an all-district performance in 2020. Both safety positions return in SR S Travion Ates and rising sophomore S/WR Xavier Tatum. The largest area of concern on the entire team would have to be at the LB level where JT will replace all four starters. They will look to a subvarsity that went combined 11-9 for replacements. JT is a program of rich tradition and high expectations and the ceiling of John Tyler’s season in 2020 will depend a lot on the QB situation which appears to be in the air going into the spring. Kitan Crawford may be graduating but 2023 Montrell Wade has been accumulating offers since he first stepped on JT's campus. Whether WR or CB look for Wade to be utilized on both sides of the ball for CUJO. Wylie East Raiders Head Coach: Mike Dormady 3-17 (0-12) 2 seasons at Wylie East 2019 result: 2-8 (0-6), No Playoffs Returners: O = 8, D = 5 Returning All State: 0 Returning All District: 1 The past two seasons have been fairly rough for the Wylie East football program. And not just on the varsity level. The Raider 9th grade went 2-6 while the JV went 3-6-1 in 2019. That’s a tough pill to swallow. On a positive note, the program returns the highest number of offensive starters in the district. SR QB Cade Adamson (5’11 170) returns to lead the Raider offense. Almost all of his targets return in JR Josh Hollingsworth (5’10 170) and a pair of 2023 wideouts in CJ Jackson and TJ Washington (5’10 170). Washington is the lone returner on the team that landed on the all-district list. At RB, SR Bam Johnson (5’8 180) also returns and could have a breakout year behind an offensive front that returns SR LG Orlando Melchor, SR RG Frank Moslener and SR RT Javan Lopez (5’11 255). There are more holes to fill on defense but experience returns in the interior defensive line in SR’s Reggie Brooks (6’3 295) and William Schulmeistrat (6’3 260). GilbertVilla returns at LB after seeing a ton of time as a sophomore. SS Caden Roeschen (5’8 165) also saw a ton of time as a sophomore while SR Cade Dorethy returns at his CB spot. Wylie East has yet to win a district game under HC Mike Dormady. It’ll be very tough to end the drought in 2020, but Wylie East is a program that isn’t too far off from 9 and 10 win seasons. A new year awaits and anything is possible. It's not often that you see freshmen land on the all district team, but that's what 2023 WR/QB TJ Washington accomplished in 2019. He'll be a very important player for East in 2020 and projects to be a FBS recruit for the 2023 cycle.