Snapshots of area football teams as fall practice gets underway

Posted Monday, Aug. 04, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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If you’re a football fan, August summons the excitement. Just think that three weeks from Thursday (Aug. 28), the 2014 season will be underway.

With all of the summer coaching moves, recruiting and 7-on-7 action, June and July moved rapidly. So here we are with fall camp ready to begin on Monday for all nine of our coverage teams.

Credit Colleyville Heritage coach Darren Allman and Grapevine coach Randy Jackson for finding a way to shoehorn spring practice despite arriving so late. Had they not done that, each would have started this past Monday.

For now, we have four days of working out in helmets and shorts before teams can put the pads on Friday. Each has a major fall camp issue to address.

Let’s address them in alphabetical order:

Carroll: The Dragons have a great leader in quarterback Ryan Agnew. There’s also quality play at running back, in the secondary and in the defensive front. But this team is going to have to find how good this wide receiver corps can be. Parker Fentriss is the only known commodity. There are some interesting names, but nothing in terms of experience.

Colleyville Heritage: The quarterback competition between Clayton Oliver and Trevor Anderson takes precedent above anything else. Allman called the race even when spring football concluded, so we may not know who the starter is until the Aug. 29 season opener against Abilene. But even that game may not provide the final answer.

Grapevine: Who is playing running back for coach Randy Jackson? The spring really produced no runaway leader. The fall camp has to come up with a player who can take on the bulk of the responsibilities and help quarterback Sam Barry.

Justin Northwest: Really, new coach Bill Poe has to continue to maintain the continuity that Bill Patterson left behind. The defense is only returning one starter. On paper, that would seem daunting, but there were plenty of letter winners who were on the field enough in 2013 to have an idea.

Keller: Carl Stralow begins his third season and needs to hope that his quarterback situation will be resolved since Hunter McEarchen graduated. He also needs to find a go-to running back with Dalton Mills also gone. The Indians have the notable fact that they have the best Division I prospect in the area in LSU commit, senior offensive lineman Tristan Teuhema.

Keller Central: Bart Helsley has made it his mission to win, whether or not it looks pretty. That has worked with consecutive playoff appearances in 2012 and 2013. He has a steady leader in quarterback Jake McClurg. But the problem the Chargers have always had is producing playmakers. Is there one on this team?

Keller Fossil Ridge: There is not a shortage of talent with the Panthers, who may have found their stride under Tony Baccarini. This could be the most talented team that’s ever come through Fossil Ridge. Now, who is going to play quarterback is another matter. Senior Gabe Monk would seem to be the guy. If he can be a good distributor, look out.

Keller Timber Creek: For the Falcons, the 2012 run to the playoffs was a shining moment. There are some pieces with the 2014 team in quarterback Anthony Millsap and running back Recie Saunders. But this program just needs to find some quality offensive and defensive linemen. If some of those develop, then maybe this becomes the surprise team.

Northwest Byron Nelson: Depth up front is the primary issue this program faces heading into the spring. And it didn’t help coach Brian Polk when he lost a senior offensive lineman to an ACL injury. But watch the development of wide receiver Brandon Bowen. The transfer from Carrollton Newman Smith could be a difference-maker quarterback Preston Haire needs.

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