Countdown to kickoff: Azle

Posted Tuesday, Aug. 06, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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District 5-4A

Coach: Devon Dorris

Last season: 7-4 (4-3 in District 5-4A), lost to Birdville in bi-district round

Key players: WR Tyler Albers (5-9, 183); WR Matt Delprincipe (6-2, 175); RB Dalton Cole (5-11, 190); OL Landon Todd (6-3, 260) OL Logan Todd (6-3, 265); NG Garrett Tidwell (6-0, 255); LB Johnny Crow (6-2, 223); DB Jesse Salisbury (5-11, 170)

The big picture: Azle returned to the playoffs last season after a seven-year drought. … The Hornets will be in their fourth year under coach Devon Dorris, who will have five returning starters on offense and four on defense. … The offensive will be hard-pressed to match last season’s production. Azle averaged 30 points per game, but players such as running back Dalton Cole and 260-pound twin offensive linemen Logan and Landon Todd should be a plus. … Juniors Trevor Boiles (6-2, 175) or Jamie King (6-3, 200) should be solid replacement at QB throwing to receivers in Tyler Albers and Matt Delprincipe. … With the loss of 29 players to graduation, the Hornets will have to plug in some young players, but Dorris feels confident the talent is there. Last year’s junior varsity went 10-0. … The defense, anchored by nose guard Garrett Tidwell and supported by LB Johnny Crow and DB Jesse Salisbury, should again be physical.

Quotable: “Basically, we have to find our identity. We need to highlight our strengths and minimize our weaknesses. First, we need to find out what our strengths are. The defense has been in the system for four years and I think they’ve developed and know what to do.” — Coach Devon Dorris

“We have a nucleus of good leadership. Our defense will be hard to handle this year. We like to hit people. We can make it back to the playoffs. The offensive line is solid and we’ll be really young, but if they take control, the D will be shutdown.” — LB Johnny Crow

Notable: A loss to Lake Dallas in last year’s regular-season finale forced Azle to play Birdville in the first round of the playoffs and might have spoiled a deeper run.

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