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High school teams prepare for gridiron

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As the 2011 football season gets set to kick off, Southern Denton County high schools should once again be among the state’s best.

Guyer comes into the year as the 10th ranked 5A team in the state in the Coach’s Poll according to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.

Coach John Walsh said in spite of some serious personnel losses, the team will not be rebuilding in 2011, but simply reloading, and expectations for the Wildcats are as high as ever.

“For the 2011 football season, there are several new faces in a lot of places, but it is simply their turn to build their own Guyer football legacy,” Walsh said. “I think we will surprise some people how well we come out of the gate this year.  Our goal every year is to be peaking in November and make a run at a state title.”

The Guyer football team stormed into the post-season in 2010, defeating Marcus, Cedar Hill, Abilene Cooper, Southlake Carroll and Longview, before coming up just short in the state championship game to Cibolo Steele.

Pre-season All-State selection Dominic Ramacher at linebacker, along with Dan Kottman (defensive tackle), Josh Harris (corner), Conner Crane (receiver), Jerrod Heard (QB), and Sebastion Williams (RB) should lead the way for the Wildcats this season.

Walsh, who has coached at Guyer since its football program’s inception five years ago, said he expects Carroll and Coppell to be the two other teams to beat in district this season.

Over at Marcus, the Marauders are looking to pick up where they left off last season, and coach Bryan Erwin is optimistic about his teams’ chances.

Marcus finished last year with an 8-3 overall record and 5-2 mark in district competition, and Erwin said it will take a couple of things to make another run at the post-season.

“We have to play great on defense,” Erwin said. “We have to continue to be a great running team, but also have offensive balance.”

Erwin is entering his fourth season as head coach for the Marauders, and will have three offensive starters and seven defensive starters returning.

Erwin said he expects big seasons from Harvey Giddens (RB), Deion Sanders Jr. (WR/DB), Michael O’Connell (TE), Kyle Matheson (TE), Cody Apfel (WR), Joe Sikes (LB), Alex Olson (LB), Jake Blount (DE), Josh Carraway (DE), Jeff Smiley (DB), LC Wright (DB) and Court Prescott (DB).

Across town at Flower Mound, the Jaguars also wrapped up last season with a 5-2 mark in district play, but also lost in the opening round of the playoffs like Marcus.

The Jags return a total of 11 starters (five on offense, six on defense), and look for quarterback Marshall Williams, offensive tackle Rhys Jeffrey, center Kaydon Kirby, linebacker Jake Jaffe, safety Klein Navin and running back Cole McKeel to lead the way this season.

Coach Cody Vanderford could not be reached for comment.

Over at Argyle, the Eagles have emerged as a class 3A powerhouse, going 13-1 in 2010 and advancing to the regional finals.

Argyle went 5-0 in district competition last season, and appears to be the odds on favorite to claim a district 9-3A title again this season.

Coach Todd Rodgers said he is feeling very good about the Eagles’ chances heading into the 2011 campaign.

“We have six offensive starters returning and seven starters returning defensively,” Rodgers said. “Expectations are high.”

Rodgers has been at the helm for the Eagles for eight seasons and led Argyle to a state championship appearance back in 2006.

Rodgers said he expects Austin Aune, Trey Keenan, Carston Bossow, Adam Khan, Clint Merka, T Griffin, and Sam Sizelove to lead the way for the Eagles this season and said he sees Sanger and Aubrey as Argyle’s biggest challenges in district this season.

Argyle’s private school is expecting big things this season as well, as Liberty Christian looks to prove that last year’s playoff appearance in the state’s largest TAPPS division was only a sign of things to come for the Warriors.

Liberty Christian took third place in district in 2010 and finished the year with a 9-3 record, and coach Greg Price said it is kind of hard to get a gauge on how his team will fare in the big district this season.

“I know we have a tough schedule with the majority of our games with schools with much larger enrollments,” Price said. “I think we have a chance of fighting for the district title, but could land as low as fourth or fifth place easily.”

Regardless of where the Warriors finish, Price, in his third year at head coach for the Warriors, said he believes Liberty will make the playoffs again and said he has a number of players who can get the job done for him.

“Josh Cousins had 1,800 yards passing last season, and we really hope his maturity and confidence will give us big play capabilities,” Price said. “Tim Douglas will be the leader of our football team.  He was a very effective fullback last year, but will be the leader of our defense this season. Brad Horton has been offered full scholarships to two Sunbelt schools as well as Air Force and Army and should be a huge force off the edge for our defense.

“Daniel Loch is a ball hawk on both sides of the ball and should give us the chance for big plays and turnovers. Kyle Metzger will more than likely make more plays offensively this year, and be a huge return guy on special teams.” 

Price said he expects Nolan Catholic and Prestonwood Christian to be Liberty’s toughest district opponents this season.

 

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