Dragons still look like team to beat after spring

Posted Monday, Jun. 03, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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The strength of Carroll’s football program has never been defined by the great players who have come through it – including Dane Johnson, Nathan Chandler, Chase Daniel and Kenny Hill – but through the balance of those who maintain the tradition.

So as Carroll officially transitioned from the Hill era to begin watching Ryan Agnew at quarterback this spring, there really doesn’t seem to be any reason why the Dragons shouldn’t contend for a 2013 Class 5A state championship. Carroll finished spring football on May 22.

They return five offensive and six defensive starters from the 12-2 Division I Region I finalist team. And while coach Hal Wasson won’t come out and say it, this could be one of the better defensive units to come through.

“I sleep really well about our defensive front seven,” Wasson said.

The two big questions surrounding this squad are building an offensive line around senior-to-be Evan Brown (who has verbally committed to SMU) and finding two safeties. The coaching staff used the spring to get closer to those answers but didn’t finalize them.

Two of the likely candidates to play tackle, Jack Praskovec and Drew Jakala, missed the spring because of minor injuries. So Wasson couldn’t see them work with Brown. Both were expected to be released to football activities this week.

“The offensive line is still a work in progress,” Wasson said. “I think Evan is the best offensive lineman in the state of Texas. We don’t have the massive size that we used to have, but they work extremely hard. That’s like finding good-fitting shoes. I know they’re going to work. But how good they will be won’t be known until we know.”

As for the safeties, those positions probably won’t be settled until August so they can work with likely starting corners Adaryan Jones and Brett Lepicier.

Agnew’s spring

Considering that the junior-to-be took 239 snaps in 2012, there really shouldn’t be much of a learning curve, except that the more repetitions he has with backs and receivers, the better off he is going to be.

Wasson called the spring very solid but still a work in progress.

“The best news is that he’s going to be a junior and will continue to improve,” Wasson said. “He’s not where he needs to be. One thing you don’t want to do is compare yourself with Kenny. The folks outside the walls can do that. But Ryan knows he can be as good as he can be.”

There’s plenty of skill to work with, including backs A.J. Ezzard and Luke Kissick. The receiver corps is stacked, featuring Ryan Weigel, Luke Timian and Keaton Duhon. That trio combined for 107 receptions.

“We’re real excited about having them all back,” Wasson said.

By the way, Agnew’s backup is Garrett Hale, who did sneak in a few reps while still going through the baseball playoffs.

Why Wasson sleeps well

Defensive ends King Newson and A.J. Tolbert and nose tackle Nash Dickey, a three-year starter to be, and linebackers J.B. Copeland, Steven Bergmark, Tim Barnhart and Joel McClellan enjoyed solid springs and in the meantime got a little stronger in the offseason. They are all playmakers.

“We just have so many options we can roll out there,” Wasson said.

Notable

Place-kicker Drew Brown is a Division I recruit … Punter Sam Downey also had a strong spring, Wasson said.

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