Countdown to kickoff: Aledo Bearcats

Posted Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Aledo

District 7-4A

Coach: Tim Buchanan

Last season: 10-2 (7-0 in district), lost to Denton Guyer in area round

Key players: QB Luke Bishop (5-10, 170); RB Jess Anders (5-8, 165); RB Daythan Davis (6-2, 218); DB Jonny Carter (5-10, 170); QB/WR Ryan Newsome (5-9, 175); LB Jordan Mittie (6-2, 210); DL Cory Stitle (6-2, 265); DE Zach Hyles (5-11, 210); LB Tyson Mauser (5-9, 170); WR Taco Anderson (5-10, 160); DB Brock Parker (5-10, 170); LB Wade Rayburn (5-10, 175)

The big picture: It’s not a shock that the Bearcats are loaded again with offensive weapons. Quarterbacks Luke Bishop and Ryan Newsome likely will split time at the position this year. Bishop completed 23 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns in mop-up duty last season. Newsome transferred from Hurst L.D. Bell in the spring and promptly qualified for the 100-meter dash at the 4A state track meet. Running back Jess Anders, who had 1,085 yards and 15 touchdowns also returns. While that bodes well for making an 18th consecutive trip to the playoffs, getting past a potential second-round game with Denton Guyer won’t be easy. Guyer dropped the Bearcats en route to a 4A Division I state title. Linebacker Jordan Mittie returns after a season in which he recorded 120 tackles, eight of them for loss, and three sacks. Defensive end Zach Hyles also returns as a first-team All-District selection a year ago. All-district offensive lineman Cory Stitle makes the jump to the defensive line.

Quotable: “When we go into any game, we have the mindset that we want our starters to play a certain number of snaps, and we’re not letting up until we get those in. Sure, I’m concerned when we play that well that our starters are not going to play four quarters, so you have to work harder throughout the season on conditioning. I think that’s one of the things we struggled with last year in the playoff game was being able to finish and play four quarters.” — Coach Tim Buchanan

“Against Guyer, they probably threw five to 10 times the whole game and ran the rest of the time. We needed to make changes to get better, and one thing we did was add some size up front against the run. We didn’t play well against the read-option last year, and we’ve added some different schemes to give us some flexibility and a few more things we can do.” — LB Jordan Mittie

Notable: In 1998, Cameron Hill and Joel Laminack split time at quarterback for Class 3A Aledo. Laminack, a pocket-style quarterback, took roughly two-thirds of the snaps throughout the year, and the Bearcats went on to win a state title.

— Kevin Casas

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