ANTI Posted January 22, 2021 Share Posted January 22, 2021 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 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now