Coach: Trent Fuller
Last season: 6-6 (4-3 in District 3-5A), lost to Abilene 53-34 in area round.
Key players: RB Cameron Smith (5-9, 175); QB Shane Buechele (6-1, 181); QB Andy Guinn (5-11, 170); SS Marquise McClinton (5-7, 175); LB Blake McLendon (5-11, 190); OL Deonte McCrady (6-4, 280); DE Garrett Ball (6-0, 195)
The line is expected to be the strength of the Arlington Lamar offense. The Vikings return linemen from tight end to tight end with plenty of varsity experience. That will help veteran running back Cameron Smith, who rushed for 1,020 yards last season, averaging more than 8 yards per carry. He will be a part of a backfield that will utilize two, if not three, running backs, including senior Jamal Kemp and possibly sophomore Cory Wharton. Coach Trent Fuller said Lamar lacks a power back this year, so it is important to have several go-to speed backs. Fuller must replace a quarterback and has yet to make a decision between sophomore Shane Buechele and junior Andy Guinn. Fuller said he’s confident in both players, but he wants the player who is the right fit. Lamar’s defense was exposed some last season, but with six starters returning, Fuller said it should be improved. Lamar’s defensive leader should be end Garrett Ball, who is smart and physical.
Quotable: “I think, overall as a whole, defensively we’ll be stronger across the board. We started a lot of juniors last year and a couple of sophomores that played a little bit. The ones that we graduated, I think the kids stepping in should be stronger than we were across the board.” — Trent Fuller
Notable: Lamar made its longest playoff run under Fuller last year, reaching the area round. Fuller said he doesn’t believe last year’s team was any better than those bi-district finalists the previous two years, but it was a better draw in not having to face an Abilene school in the first round.
— Travis L. Brown
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