District play starts this weekend for 2-5A DI and I would say it is up for grabs, unless Abilene Cooper runs away with the district title. Coronado, Monterey, Amarillo and Palo Duro will contend, but who will be left standing to win the district, and who will finish in second place and have a home game in the postseason? Here is my outlook of 2-5A DI
1. MONTEREY PLAINSMEN
The Plainsmen are really talented enough to win this district outright. But, can they come together and do it? There is a huge test waiting for them on Friday Night in Abilene against the undefeated Cooper Cougars. This game will determine a lot already as I think if the Plainsmen win this game, they will get that added confidence to try and run through this tough district and win it. If they lose a close contest I think that will give them the motivation to compete for a two-seed and get a home playoff game. Now, if they lose pretty badly, it could be tough for Monterey as they will play Amarillo and Coronado in the next three weeks!
2. CORONADO MUSTANGS
The Mustangs have the best pro-style quarterback in Texas with Sawyer Robertson, but their defense needs to to make more game-changing plays in order to help out their offense as they have been the last two weeks. Erik Williams, who has verbally committed to North Texas for the 2020 class, is playing a lot of defense and will be counted on during this district stretch as a leader. Izaiah Kelly, Kaleb Manuel, Kevondrick Carr, and more will have to step up as this team had so much turnover from last year, we may not see the finished product until late in the season. They open with Lubbock High Friday and should win the game to get off to a 1-0 start in 2-5A DI play.
3. AMARILLO SANDIES
Amarillo is 2-2 but has a great core of players led by Will Maynard and Davin Lemmons that should be ready to make some noise in district play. They get a much-needed week off before they have a tough Thursday contest against Monterey in week two. Can Amarillo's young defense get stops in bunches? That will tell a lot on where the Sandies end up finishing in district play, even though I see them making the playoffs.
4. ABILENE COOPER COUGARS
The Cougars have always been good, and this year's edition could be great. Their first two district games are against Monterey at home and Coronado at Lowery Field. If the Cougars win those two games, they will roll to a district title. If not, they will still be in the playoffs, but may have to head out to El Paso for a first round game.
5. PALO DURO DONS
Palo Duro.. I'm very intrigued by this team. They can make the playoffs but they will have to beat Coronado, Monterey, Abilene Cooper or Amarillo to get in the dance. Dondray DeGrate has been playing great in their last two wins and will be needed even more in district play. An important game awaits the Dons as they face off against Caprock; a game they need to win in order for the Dons to improve their playoff chances this fall.
6. CAPROCK LONGHORNS
Caprock is 0-4 and really needs a victory to get their season going. Last year, the Loghorns lost their fourth game in late November so this is uncharted territory for the "ROCK". They were predicted to make the playoffs by Dave Campbell's and they still can but they will need a strong district turnout, including a win over Palo Duro Friday to get things going in the right direction.
7. LUBBOCK HIGH WESTERNERS
The Westerners got their first win of the season on Friday with a blowout of Lamesa, 61-13! Now comes the Coronado Mustangs on Friday in their first game of district 2-5A DI play. Can the Westerners contend and make a run at a playoff spot? This opening game will determine a lot of where they will be going this season in district play.