Third in a daily series spotlighting key area high school football teams leading to opening night, Aug. 30.
Coach: John Abendschan
Last season: 7-5 (5-2 in District 5-4A), lost to Waco Midway 42-7 in area playoffs
Key players: QB Zach Files (6-2, 200); WR Jerrell Fisher (5-9, 160); RB Antoine Stevenson (5-7, 180); LB Tanner Stierwalt (5-10, 195); OL Nick Cluck (6-2, 230); OL Joseph Escobedo (5-9, 220); DB Dayne Sommer (6-1, 180); DL Dominic Hill (6-1, 230); DL Steven August (6-1, 225)
The big picture: The Pioneers return 17 starters to a team that upset Fort Worth Southwest 41-38 last season in the first round of the playoffs before falling to eventual Class 4A Division I state runner-up Waco Midway. QB Zach Files (2,261, yards, 23 TDs passing) and his favorite target WR Jerrell Fisher (53 catches, 809 yards, 7 TDs) will have a say in the District 6-4A race. The duo are two of eight returning starters on offense. RB Antoine Stevenson is expected to carry a heavier load this season after rushing for 433 yards and five TDs as a backup last season. LB Tanner Stierwalt leads a defense that returns nine starters including the 2011 District 5-4A Newcomer of the Year in sophomore DL Dominic Hill. If Boswell wants to contend for the district crown and make a deeper playoff run this season, then the defense is going to have to cash in on last season's experience.
Quotable: "We grew up a bunch the last few games of last year and in the playoffs. We got the off-season started off right and had a good spring so there's no doubt about it: that experience is something else. Coach John Abendschan
"Birdville and Saginaw -- we have to win the big games. Other teams in the district have really athletic guys, too. We can't overlook anybody." LB Tanner Stierwalt
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760
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