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District 6-5A Preview & Predictions
August 29, 2012By Tim Polzer of VYPE MAGAZINE - Fort Worth
Team Enroll./Playoff Div.
1. Euless Trinity 3,212 D-I
2. Coll. Heritage 2,291 D-II
3. Hurst L.D. Bell 2,803 D-II
4. Irv. MacArthur 3,194 D-I
5. Grapevine 3,247
6. Irv. Nimitz 3,687
7. Irving 2,991
8. Carr. RL Turner 2,132
CARR. R.L. TURNER LIONS
Coach: Tyrone Larkins
Returning Starters: 7 Off/7 Def
Storylines: The Lions will need breakthrough performances from their 14 returning starters to weather a stormy move up to 5A. WR/DB Ralph Alvarez is a two-way star. QB Daniel Cuellar and RB Jahaziel Patterson will be tested by a stiff 6-5A lineup.
COLL. HERITAGE PANTHERS
VYPE Power Ranking: No. 8
Coach: Mike Fuller
2011: 9-2 bi-district playoff
Returning Starters: 4 Off/4 Def
Game Changers: QB Cody Thomas, Sr
Returning All-District Players: WR Connor Davis, Sr; DB Colten Gober, Sr; LB Christian Gonzalez, Sr; DL Donovan Kleckner, Sr; LB Austin Pettyjohn, Sr; QB Thomas
Storylines: Heritage is looking for a big year after going 9-1 and pushing district heavyweight Trinity into overtime. Almost all of the Panthers’ six returning starters including All-VYPE QB and Oklahoma commit Thomas, earned all-district honors last year in an impressive year that ended in a first-round playoff loss to Cinderella Mansfield Timberview. LB Gonzalez is an all-state candidate.
EULESS TRINITY TROJANS
VYPE Power Ranking: No. 3
Coach: Steve Lineweaver
2011: 12-1 DI regional semifinals
Returning Starters: 3 Off/3 Def
Game Changers: DL Hafoka Olie, Jr; TE Jason Reese, Sr; TE Will Taylor, Jr; DL Sam Tevi, Sr;
Returning All-District Players: DL Cody Mayfield, Sr; DL Olie, DB John Sitani, Sr; TE Taylor, DL Gaius Vaenuku, Sr;
Storylines: Many may be calling for an end to Trinity’s district title string after being knocked out of the playoffs by Arlington Martin, but don’t count the Trojans out just yet. Trinity’s defense will again be among the state’s most physical with five returning all-district starters. Coach Lineweaver’s staff will once again ride the run with a deep lineup including QB Matt Hawkins (Sr) and RB Remel Newton (Sr).
Coach: Dave Jenigan
2011: 6-5 DII bi-district playoff
Returning Startes: 6 Off/1 Def
Returning All-District Players: K Nick Grau, Sr
Storylines: The Mustangs will ride a talented offense and special teams while an inexperienced defense finds its footing. QB Harbin is an accomplished three-year starter His main target will be WR Bryson Cook (Sr). RB Riley Albus could approach 1,000 yards. DE Blake Nava (Sr) is the lone returning defensive starter.
HURST L.D. BELL BLUE RAIDERS
Coach: Mark Smith
2011: 6-5 DI bi-district playoff
Returning Starters: 4 Off/7 Def
Game Changers: DL Vili Levini, Sr; OL Jesse Robinson, Sr; DB/LB Kamari Syrie, Sr; DL Moalika Uasike, Jr;
Returning All-District Players: DB Dylan Egloff, Sr; RB Nathaniel Gillard, Sr; DL Levini, OL Robinson, LB Elliot Souter, Jr; OL Blake Steelman, Sr; DB/LB Syrie, Kafo Tuha, Sr, DL Uasike
Storylines: The Blue Raiders are loaded on defense with seen returning starters and all-district depth including district sophomore of the year Uasike and Iowa State commit Syrie. Bell’s offense will be tested to replace dual-threat QB Kyle Romano. Gillard was an all-district pick despite limited play in ’11. WR Aaron Dixon (Sr) could evolve into Bell’s offensive catalyst.
Coach: Aaron De La Torre
Returning Starters: 5 Off/5 Def
Game Changers: OL Rami Hammad, Sr
Returning All-District Players: OL Jaxon Salinas, Sr
Storylines: The Tigers hope to improve on last year’s one win under new coach De La Torre. Irving’s strength will lie in a huge offensive line anchored by Oklahoma State commit Hammad, Salinas and Rodney Timmons (Sr). Keep an eye on junior WRs Michael Coley and Kevin Booze.
IRVING MACARTHUR CARDINALS
Coach: Brian Basil
Returning Starters: 6 Off/6 Def
Game Changers: DB Taion Sells, Sr
Returning All-District Players: RB Jourdan McNeill, Sr; WR Darius Moore, Sr; OL Germaine Pierson, Sr; DB Sells
Storylines: The Cardinals are determined to return to the playoffs after a disappointing ’11 showing. Sells is a playmaker in the secondary and will contribute on offense. QB Justin Chavez (Sr.) has speed to be a dual threat.
IRVING NIMITZ VIKINGS
Coach: Steven Hohenberger
Returning Starters: 7 Off/6 Def
Returning All-District Players: WR Mitchell Freedman, Jr
Storylines: Greg Carter (Sr) is a four-year varsity player and should find more room to roam at LB. OL Morgan Miles is a three-year starter. ATH McKinley Mamon was averaging an INT per game until sidelined by injury. Nimitz is hoping he’ll be a playmaker on offense, too.