Cover Photo via @JJHenry25 on Twitter
DFW Offseason - Week Five
We wrap up our coverage of 5A DI today with a look at district seven! Highland Park and Longview are together, and McKinney North could challenge those two as well. Let’s take a look at each team in 7-5A DI!
Highland Park Scots
Highland Park has more questions than they’ve had in a long time. The Scots return a ton of talent along the offensive line and quarterback Brayden Schager will finally get his shot after waiting his turn behind Chandler Morris. Jack Leyrer will lead the offensive line and linebacker Patrick Turner is back as well. Leyrer and Turner are both three-star recruits. Which players step up at the skill positions remains to be seen, but the Scots will need some help if they expect another deep playoff run.
Replacing Haynes King will be no easy task for the Lobos. Whoever wins the starting quarterback job at Longview will have massive shoes to fill. Longview does return two three-star recruits and UTSA commits. Kaden Meredith is back at running back and Kybo Jamerson will lead the linebacking corps. Longview went 11-1 a year ago before being upset in the playoffs by Jesuit. That makes the Lobos 27-1 over the last two seasons. Longview will have a worthy district challenger in Highland Park for the next two years.
McKinney North Bulldogs
The Bulldogs finished 2019 at 10-2 and lost to a good Lancaster team in the playoffs. McKinney North went 4-0 against Sherman, John Tyler, West Mesquite and Wylie East a year ago. McKinney North will face all of those teams in district play this year. The defense returns defensive end Dylan Frasier for his junior season. Wide receiver JJ Henry is back for his senior season and is a three-star recruit drawing interest from Baylor and SMU, among others. Expect McKinney North to make some noise in district play and in the playoffs.
Wylie East Raiders
Wylie East has struggled the last couple of years. The Raiders doubled their win total from 2018 in 2019. Unfortunately, Wylie East only won two games in 2019. That means the only way to go is up! East might struggle against the top teams in this district and was winless (0-4) against teams in this district a year ago. Running back Christian Johnson has excellent footwork and is back for his senior season. Josh Hollingsworth is also back at wide receiver for the Raiders.
West Mesquite Wranglers
West Mesquite took a step back in 2019, finishing just 2-8. The Wranglers had won four games the previous year and will look to get back to that level in 2020. Safety Kobe Walton is a three-star recruit and is back to lead the defense in his senior season.
Sherman finished 6-4 in 2019 and went 3-1 against teams in its new district with the only loss coming to McKinney North. The next step for the Bearcats is making the playoffs after barely missing out a year ago. Sherman has talent back at wide receiver and in the front seven on defense to help in its pursuit of a playoff spot.
An inexperienced John Tyler squad struggled a year ago, going just 3-8 after a 10-3 season the year before. The good news for the Lions is two of their three wins a year ago came against teams they will face in district this year. Armed with more experience, the Lions could snag a playoff spot in this district.
Team to Watch
The McKinney North Bulldogs are my team to watch in this district. All eyes will likely be on Highland Park and Longview, and rightfully so. But don’t be surprised if McKinney North challenges those schools and makes some noise in the playoffs. The Bulldogs are returning plenty of talent and are primed for a big season.
Player to Watch
My player to watch is Longview running back Kaden Meredith. Now that Haynes King is gone, the Lobos will be looking for a new game changer on offense. Meredith has all the tools to do just that and he figures to be a big part of the Lobos offensive game plan week in and week out this fall.