Taking stocks of the districts we cover - buy or sell?

Posted Monday, Sep. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Sometimes, when the picks are out online or looked at in the newspaper, football coaches have a way to motivate their teams with something like, “You see, even the local newspaper guy thinks you can’t do it. This is your opportunity to show people …”

You understand where I’m coming from. So when the picks came out last week that Justin Northwest would lose at Midlothian, Keller Timber Creek would lose to Carrollton Creekview and Colleyville Heritage would lose at Flower Mound, don’t think Bill Patterson, Kevin Golden and Mike Fuller managed to relay that kernel of information to their teams.

Of course, those teams won those games. Now, none of those coaches will ever admit that they do that. But I heard enough late Friday from those near the Texas Motor Speedway that the Midlothian pick had their attention.

It’s all in good fun. Thanks to Keller coming up big at Hurst L.D. Bell and Carroll handling Temple, we came out 6-3. For the year, we are 18-6 as we hit the bye.

So this week provides the opportunity to size up District’s 4-5A, 6-5A and 5-4A and whether I’m buying or selling their stock. District play begins Sept. 27.

District 4-5A – BUYING: The aggregate record of the eight teams is 15-9. No one is winless. Justin Northwest and Keller are each 3-0. Carroll is 2-1 but the loss is to No. 1 Allen. Keller Fossil Ridge and Haltom are also 2-1.

What I like about this district is that there seems to be more depth in it. In 2012, you had one sub.-500 team make the playoffs in Keller Timber Creek. Justin Northwest is better with its first 3-0 start ever as a Class 5A program.

Northwest has the skill players to complement quarterback Jesse Drummer. Now, Bill Patterson likes his defensive line, but the question is whether it will stand up for these seven games. Keller has a solid running back in Dalton Mills and quarterback in Hunter McEachern. For me, the win at Hurst L.D. Bell told me that this team can compete.

I don’t know what to make of Haltom’s 2-1 record. The Buffalos have won over downtrodden Weatherford and Burleson but lost to a decent Irving MacArthur team. Keller Fossil Ridge is a team that I’ve liked from the start. The wins over Grapevine and Dallas Jesuit may cause shoulders to shrug but they went to Hebron and competed really well.

Carroll remains the prohibitive favorite to run through the district undefeated. For those who want to say something about that, you have seven chances to make your case.

So who is the second-best team? My choice is Justin Northwest, but we’re all going to find out in the first two weeks when Northwest plays at Keller on Sept. 27 and plays host to Keller Fossil Ridge on Oct. 4.

For Keller Central, the Chargers better get their offense going. Keller Timber Creek may sneak its way into this. I don’t think Richland will be a playoff contender.

District 6-5A - SELLING: I don’t think we’re going to have a change in the playoff participants from last year in Euless Trinity, Colleyville Heritage, Hurst L.D. Bell and Irving MacArthur. The aggregate record of the district is 5-13. There are three winless teams, including Trinity. Admittedly, the Trojans have played a difficult non-district schedule between Jenks, Okla., and DeSoto before facing Bentonville, Ark., Friday. That said, as good as Trinity has been over the years, surrendering 61 points to DeSoto is something that you don’t expect to happen, no matter how good DeSoto is.

Still, Carrollton R.L. Turner is never a factor. Grapevine had to fight through its own issues. And with the Irving schools, you just don’t know what you’re going to get. I think Colleyville Heritage will get better, but this team won’t be as good as 2012. That’s OK. That was a really special group.

As the season goes forward, Bell is probably going to show how much it misses all-everything offensive star Ryan Newsome, who transferred to Aledo.

The arrow for this district has to find a way to point up.

District 5-4A – BUYING: This is a no-brainer. The aggregate record of the district is 18-6 with three 3-0 teams. Seven teams have a winning record. Only Wichita Falls is 1-2. But 2-1 Denton Guyer is playing at a higher level now than it did during the playoffs. The Wildcats have easily handled two 5A teams in Colleyville Heritage and Flower Mound Marcus.

Wichita Falls Rider is 2-1 and should be poised for another deep run. I think Byron Nelson’s 3-0 start is more impressive than last year’s. Azle should still be a player. And I don’t have any reason to believe Lake Dallas won’t be in the mix.

There really are no breathers in this district. This is seven weeks of torture.

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