The season is approaching faster than ever and two-a-days starts this Sunday at midnight for some teams. I, for one, will be in Brownfield with Coach Flores for the Cubs’ midnight madness as they kick off their 2021 season under the lights as well as Roosevelt, and some others. So, what will we be looking for and what questions will we be asking when the season starts. Here’s my top seven questions that may need some answers.
*1 WILL THIS BE THE YEAR WELLINGTON GETS BACK TO ARLINGTON?
The Skyrockets have a great team, again. Really this is nothing new under the sun as Wellington fields a great squad every year. The issue for them is can they get back to the title game for the first time since 2013 when they won it all. Coach Proffitt has another solid team and we all are predicting the Skyrockets to boom all the way to AT&T and take on Mart in the 2A DII title game and be competitive. It’s all in their corner.
*2 DO WE JUST WRITE EVERYONE OFF IN 3A DII AND JUST PENCIL IN CANADIAN AS OUR TEAM TO PLAY IN THE STATE SEMIFINAL AGAINST GUNTER?
Quick answer: No! I think Canadian should be the favorite as their pedigree and tradition is unmatched. But what about Childress? They are loaded and bring back Collin Bishop and a few other dangerous prices to their district as well as Spearman; who has the number one athlete in West Texas coming back in Brenen Thompson along with Brayden Klafka; who is getting hot on the recruiting trail and has picked up a couple of offers this summer. That three-headed monster in district 3-3A DII will have to knock each other out of the playoffs, and then knock off Gunter in the 3A DII State Semifinals to play Franklin at AT&T for the title!
*3 WHAT DO WE MAKE OF SHALLOWATER’S FOOTBALL TEAM IN 2021?
That‘s a great question in my opinion because of these factors: Shallowater lost a lot of players and have a new coach and Offensive Coordinator this fall. Can Coach Vincent and Coach Davis keep the horses running this fall, or will the roster turnover prove to be too difficult to complete the task. Where will the touchdowns come from? Losing Townsend was huge for Shallowater. He scored over 40 times last season and six in their first round playoff game. To win, you have to score a lot in 3A. So who is in position to do that for the Mustangs this season? They should still win their district, even with a lot of uncertainty early. How far they go in the playoffs is my real question of the day.
*4 DOES ANYONE IN 2A DI HAVE A SERIOUS SHOT TO MAKE IT TO AT&T?
I know people will call me crazy for this, but yes! I see people are sleeping on Post again and that‘s not the smart thing to do! The Antelopes were picked to finish 5th in their district in 2019 and they went to the State Championship game. I have personally seen Coach Pittman and Coach Riker do wonders with their talent; players will run through a brick wall for them, much less a football opponent! Now, let’s not count out New Deal and Coach Hill’s squad as they return 18 starters including Harley Patterson at the QB1. They have a great early matchup against Wellington at home that will let us know where the Lions stand in the pecking order of 2A early. But, even for whoever wins district, can they get by Cisco or Crawford? Also, I really think with a few ironing out of the kinks, Panhandle’s Panthers will be a very dangerous squad. Landyn Hack is a FCS-level quarterback and will do some damage the next two years for Coach Ashley and the Panthers!
*5 IS THIS THE YEAR THE MATADORS MAKE A RUN AT A TITLE IN 4A DII?
I had to ask this because let’s face it: Estacado is one of the most-talented teams on the field every season. This year is no different for this year’s team as Colby Sims, Jihad Lateef, Ronald Ross, Larry Williams and Elijah Hawkins lead a fierce team that should command some attention this fall. This is the first year in a while that the ‘Mats are not on the state-wide radar and I think this is a good thing for Coach Cluley as he will have their focus locked in and they should be playing with a chip on their shoulder. A mentally tough Estacado team is a scary one to deal with.
*6 WITH TASCOSA’S CHAMPIONSHIP DEFENSE, WILL THE REBELS GET ENOUGH OFFENSE TO MAKE A 5A DII TITLE RUN?
There is no denying that Tascosa’s defense is title-ready. Look at their line that goes eight-deep and led by one of the best defensive lineman in the Nation in Avion Carter, who holds 15 offers in the 2023 class. Tayden Barnes, Keevin Ledoux and more lead a loaded Rebel defense that will win a bunch of games by themselves this fall. Offensively, Major Everhart, who has 17 offers is going to be used all over the field and especially in the backfield at tailback or wildcat for Coach Ken Plunk. BT Daniel will be the Quarterback to start the season, but the Rebels always switch their starters around during the season. They come in ranked 11th in 5A DI and are favored to win 2-5A DI over Coronado, Amarillo and others. This could be a 2018-type season for Tascosa as they have the tools to get busy this season. If they stay healthy, it will be another long run for the Rebels!
*7 A LOT OF NEW COACHES, HOW WILL THEY DO THIS YEAR?
Coach Compton at Floydada. Coach Mann at Coronado. Coach Leong, Jr. at Levelland. Coach Sims at Palo Duro and Coach Winfrey at Canyon come to mind as new coaches that are taking over programs that have either had long runs in the playoffs like Coronado and Canyon, or teams that need a boost like Floydada and Levelland. Also, Shallowater has a new coach too and Littlefield; who is changing their offense for the first time in 50 years under Coach Jimmy Thomas. Good luck to all these coaches as I know a lot will be expected of you guys and your programs!
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Jasone Pearson 806.559.9996