Cover Photo via Greg Hammer (@creolehammer17) on Twitter
Allen has a worthy district challenger in the form of the Denton Guyer Wildcats. This is a talented district from top to bottom and making the playoffs won’t be easy. Guyer has the talent to take the district championship, but it all depends on the health of quarterback Eli Stowers. Let’s take a look at how the district might shake out.
Allen failed to make it to the state semifinals for the first time since 2011 after a 60-59 loss to Rockwall in the 2nd round last season. Raylen Sharpe is gone but the Eagles had two quarterbacks transfer into the program to compete for the job. General Booty transferred to Allen after playing in California last season and former Sachse quarterback Parker Wells will compete with Booty for the starting job. Whoever fills the quarterback role will have plenty of talent to throw to at wide receiver. Twins Bryson and Blaine Green are both committed to Oklahoma State and will wreak havoc on opposing defenses. Jordan Johnson is back at running back and there is plenty of talent along the offensive line as well. Allen will have to compete with a strong Denton Guyer squad for the district championship. I wouldn’t be surprised if Guyer won this district, but I wouldn’t bet against the Allen Eagles.
Denton Guyer Wildcats
Denton Guyer’s run to the state championship game ended with a shutout loss after quarterback Eli Stowers suffered a knee injury in the first quarter. If Stowers’ knee is healthy, the Guyer offense could be one of the most potent in the state this season. Stowers and cornerback Duece Harmon are both Texas A&M commits and will be looked to as leaders of this team. Linebacker Jordan Eubanks is a Florida State commit and will be expected to make an impact as well. The defensive line features division 1 talent as well in the form of Baylor commit Cooper Lanz. Knox Boyd and Gabe Blaire are back to lead the offensive line and KJ Liggins will be one of Stowers’ top targets at receiver. There are questions at running back and Kaedric Cobbs’ leadership will certainly be missed. The Wildcats also lost John Walsh (their only coach in program history) but replaced him with one of the most respected coaches in the metroplex. Rodney Webb comes over from Rockwall after leading the Yellow Jackets to the 6A state semifinals a year ago. Guyer has more than enough talent to win this district and make another run to the state title game.
Prosper had a successful 2019 season. The Eagles finished 11-3 and went on a deep playoff run that ended against Rockwall. The good news for Prosper is that it returns plenty of talent. It all starts at quarterback with senior Jackson Berry. Top receiving target Tyler Bailey doubles as a running back on occasion and is back for his junior season as is tight end and San Diego State commit Cameron Harpole. Prosper returns one of the more potent attacks on offense. The Eagles also boast an impressive linebacking corps, led by Rice commit Aiden Siano and Tulsa commit Mason Jolley. The Eagles playoff run last season included a win over The Woodlands and a trip to the fourth round of the playoffs. Prosper should make another playoff run with so much talent returning on both sides of the ball.
Denton Braswell Bengals
Denton Braswell broke through and made the playoffs in 2019. The Bengals made it to the 2nd round and lost to a Red Oak team they beat in the season opener. Now Braswell makes the jump to 6A play and is thrown into a district with Denton Guyer and Allen. Wide receiver Cam Smith is an Oklahoma State commit and will need to have a big year if Braswell expects to be competitive at the next level. Braswell returns two more receivers who played a big role last year in Jacob Hernandez and Jkalon Carter. Plenty of talent returns along the offensive line, led by top recruit Erick Cade. The Bengals are losing their quarterback from last season and senior Tristan McClary figures to take over. If that is the case, McClary is in good hands with the weapons around him. The team was elated to learn coach Cody Moore would be staying at Braswell. There’s something to be said for a strong relationship between coaches and players. I like Carter as a receiver to keep an eye on and if McClary can step in and have a productive season, watch out. I’ll be keeping my eye on Braswell in its inaugural season in 6A.
McKinney made the playoffs and even won a playoff game a year ago en route to a 7-5 record. The Lions beat McKinney Boyd 10-7 on the final day of the regular season to sneak into the playoffs. That win over Boyd was the only win for McKinney last season against teams in the new district five. McKinney is returning an experienced backfield, including quarterback Sampson Nazarko and running back R.J. Carver. Wide receiver will be a big question for the Lions early on. The defense will be led by three-star defensive end Jonathan Jones and Washington State commit Adrian Shepard at safety. I have the Lions on the outside looking in but Prosper and Denton Braswell need to take this team seriously. McKinney could sneak into the playoffs once again in 2020, though it won’t be easy.
Little Elm Lobos
A 3-7 finish in 2019 means Little Elm has some ground to make up in 2020 if it wants to make the playoffs. The bright spot is quarterback John Mateer, who will be starting his third season for the Lobos. Jason Jackson and Josh Joseph are two dynamic playmakers for Mateer to get the ball to. Jax Brown is back to lead the defense and the linebacking corps is pretty solid as well. Like Braswell, Little Elm is stepping up to 6A and this is a tough district. I expect the Lobos to experience some growing pains in 2020.
McKinney Boyd Broncos
McKinney Boyd finished just 3-7 in 2019 and has some rebuilding to do in 2020. The Broncos lose a lot of production on offense with the exception of the quarterback position. Carter Whitefield returns for his junior season and his second year at the helm of the offense for the Boyd Broncos. McKinney Boyd will need more than a handful of players to step up if Boyd expects to make the playoffs in 2020.
Team to Watch
My team to watch in district five is the Prosper Eagles. I think it could be a big year for Prosper. The Eagles have one of my favorite quarterback- receiver duos in Jackson Berry and Tyler Bailey. When those two get hot, it gets hard for opposing defenses to slow them down. With talent also returning on the defensive side of the ball, Prosper could have another deep playoff run in 2020.
Players to Watch
My players to watch are Allen wide receivers Bryson and Blaine Green. I am a twin and I just graduated from Oklahoma State University. Bryson and Blaine are twins and are headed to OSU to play college ball. Did I have another option? That’s not to mention that these two are two of the most talented players in the district, and Allen will need them both to have big seasons if the Eagles want to keep their district championship streak alive. I believe they’ll both put up big numbers this season and Allen will fend off Denton Guyer for the district crown.