In 6-a, Duncanville will be hungry to avenge their hard luck loss to north shore in last year’s state championship. The Panthers will be led by dual threat, Ja Quinden Jackson and running back, Trysten Smith. Backed by an elite defense, look for a deep playoff run from Duncanville, the Allen Eagles will be working on potential this year due to the loss of playmakers Grant Tisdale and Theo Wease. However, with running back Celdon Manning returning, it will give the Eagles a strong ground game while the passing game develops. The district of doom, 7-6a should be very interesting as well. Desoto brings back former head Coach Claude Mathis and he has several play makers like wide receiver Lawrence Arnold to make a run. Speaking of athletes, Cedar Hill has a roster full of them. Led by do-it-all speedster, Quinn Bright, the Longhorns are trying to redeem themselves after an upset loss at home in the post season to Richardson Pearce.
Other 6-a squads to watch out for include Denton Guyer, Southlake Carroll, Rockwall and Hebron. The Wildcats of Guyer will be led by junior QB Eli Stowers and running back Kaedric Cobbs.
The Dragons have a pretty loaded team led by two-way star, R.J. Mickens. This will be year two for head coach, Riley Dodge, as he hopes the experience gained last year will help this year.
Looking for a possible sleeper? How about the Hebron Hawks? Sure, they’ve graduated stud, Trejan bridges, but Coach Brian Brazil thinks his defense could be one of the best in the area.
Rockwall is always an offensive juggernaut and that will continue in 2019. Jaxon Smith-Njigba caught 94 balls last year and hopes to get over 100 this year, but the senior has been more impressed with the yellow jacket defense.
In 5-a, division one could come down to 2 familiar foes…...Highland Park and Denton Ryan. For three consecutive years, the Scots have beaten Ryan in the post season on their way to a state championship. If the Raiders hope to end that streak it will be because of their defense and two way studs, Drew Sanders and Billy Bowman, Jr. However, Highland Park is loaded again with Arkansas bound, Chandler Morris back behind center and Prince Dorbah and his 20 sacks terrorizing quarterbacks. A team that could throw a wrench in the works is Frisco Lone Star as the Rangers bring in a new quarterback to toss it around to dynamic receiver, Marvin Mims. In 5-a, division two, Tim Buchanan returns as the Aledo head coach. After 5 years as athletic director, Buchanan decided he missed coaching too much and switched places with former head coach, Steve Wood.
The Bearcats will be looking for their 9th state title and are the favorites behind quarterback Jake Bishop, running back Jase Mcclellan and wide receiver Jojo Earle. Aledo’s biggest competition out of the area division 2 teams should come from Frisco Reedy who lost to the Bearcats in last year’s regional final.