First year coach Greg Price made sure there was no drop off last season for the Liberty Christian football team, as the Warriors won their district championship and made a long run into the playoffs.
While Coram Deo did not have the type of season for which it would have hoped record wise in 2009, the Lions gained some valuable experience and have most of their team back this year.
Both programs should vie for a playoff spot on the gridiron in 2010, as well.
School: Argyle Liberty Christian Warriors
District: TAPPS 1-5A
Last Season: The Warriors won their 4A district and advanced four rounds into the post-season before losing to Prestonwood Christian.
Players to Watch: Jared Lawson, Brett Metzler, Hayden O’Bryan, Joe Angel, Tanner McDonald
Toughest District Opponents: Fort Worth Nolan, Trinity Christian-Addison
Outlook: Price said he has been impressed with what he has seen from his team so far this off-season, and said, while he is sure that the new district will present some challenges, he feels certain his team will be ready.
“It looks like we are going to have a good number of kids out,” Price said. “Our kids have been working really hard this summer. We had a great turnout for summer conditioning. We still have a lot of work to do, and we have some questions, but I think we are looking pretty good.”
Price will have two returning starters on defense and five starters returning on offense, and to have a good showing in district this season, Price said it comes down to the fundamentals.
“It starts with good defense,” Price said. “Our defensive players have to accept their roles and do their jobs.
“I think offensively, we have enough play makers that if we put up a strong defensive effort, good things will happen.”
Analysis: Liberty Christian has played and beaten 5A teams over the last several seasons, and there is no reason to think they will not be among the stronger programs in the 1-5A division this year.
Look for the Warriors to rival for a district championship, even with the likes of Nolan and TCA.
School: Flower Mound Coram Deo Lions
District: TAPPS 2-3A
Last Season: The youthful Lions team struggled in 2009, going winless in district 2-3A competition and earning just one victory all season.
Players to Watch: Brock Longcrier, Christian Schefler, Josh Elliott, Parker Smith and Caleb Brake
Toughest District Opponents: Frisco Legacy
Outlook: Coach Joffree Fincher said his team gained valuable experience last year, and with so many players returning, he believes fans will see a much different Coram Deo squad in 2010.
“Quite honestly, I think we have our most athletic team in a number of years,” Fincher said. “We are extremely young, still, but even with a younger team, I am still feeling very positive.”
Fincher is returning nine starters each on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball this year, and oddly enough said it was something he saw from his team last season that makes him optimistic about this coming year.
“Last year, we learned how to fight,” Fincher said. “That was great, because we haven’t ever fought before. For us, it is going to come down to execution this season. We’ve got a better coaching staff than we have had in years, and we’ve put in a lot of time this summer learning our offense and defense. “We’re going to come in on day one with our offense pretty much installed. If we go out and execute properly, there is nothing that should hold us back.”
Analysis: A lot of times, things get bad before they get good. Last season was bad for Coram Deo, so look for them to be in the playoff hunt come late October this year.
The Lions took their lumps in 2009, but should be much improved this coming season.