Hurst L.D. Bell
Coach: Mark Smith, 3rd year
Last season: 7-4 (4-3 in district), lost to Denton Ryan in bi-district round, 31-28
Key players: QB Colson Romano (6-1, 190); DL Mohelika Uasike (6-1, 285); LB Elliot Souter (5-10, 185); RB Daniel Dorsett (6-0, 205), Fua Sapoi (5-10, 190); OL Clint Smith (6-4, 280), JT Moran (6-5, 280); DL David Dorsett (6-3, 270)
The big picture: The Blue Raiders had a running start in 2012, reeling off six consecutive victories before bumping up against Euless Trinity and eventually finishing fourth in District 6-5A. Close losses to Colleyville Heritage (35-30) in the regular-season finale and a playoff heartbreaker dampened an otherwise strong season. Mark Smith has taken Bell to the playoffs in his first two years and expects the trend to continue, even in a talent-laden district. Back to lead Bell is senior QB Colson Romano, who threw for more than 2,100 yards and 26 TDs last season. Romano will have to find chemistry with his new receiving corps, but he’ll have support with returning RBs Daniel Dorsett and Fua Sapoi. Bell has two solid returnees on the offensive line in Clint Smith and JT Moran. Defensively, Mohelika Uasike, a district first-teamer as a junior and sophomore of the year the previous year, is back to anchor the front. Leading tackler Elliot Souter returns at linebacker (130 tackles last season), and Smith said Bell’s secondary has developed well. Bell is no stranger to the playoffs, but records show the team’s last playoff win came in 1989. Smith said his team underestimated the emotional toll of the loss to Trinity last season, contributing to a blowout loss to Irving MacArthur the following week. The experience gained combined with the Raiders’ leadership could prove the difference in Bell grabbing that elusive postseason win.
Quotable: “It always makes a coach feel good when your quarterback has experience taking snaps and playing in big games. Colson has improved his leadership over the summer and we expect more from him.” — Coach Mark Smith
“All four receivers are new this year but are all working hard. Our O-line is looking good and they are the first in the weight room and the last ones out. But the key is leadership as we lost some big players last year.” — QB Colson Romano
Notable: If the name Romano at QB for Bell sounds familiar, it’s because Kyle Romano quarterbacked the Blue Raiders just two years ago and is now playing at Eastern Kentucky. — Randy Sachs
We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.
Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?