Countdown to kickoff: Fort Worth Southwest Raiders

Posted Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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Fort Worth Southwest

District 7-5A

Last season: 6-5 (4-3 in District 7-4A)

Key players: LB Semaj Thomas (6-2, 230), WR DeMarcus Wilson (6-0, 175), RB Alize Thomas (5-8, 175), LB Winston Hamilton (6-0, 195), OL Jordan Brookins (6-2, 315), LT Chayse Carlock (6-2, 245), QB Najee Adderly (5-9, 175), DT Chris Herrera (6-2, 275).

The big picture: In the past five years, Southwest has advanced to the area playoffs twice. The Raiders are always situated in a tough spot for the bi-district round, with past matchups against Everman, Aledo and Stephenville. Still, Southwest has an improved off-season program, and coach Lanny Trammell has worked with the school’s track coaches to add speed. Trammel said the offense will strive for a 50-50 balance between running and passing. The Raiders’ rushing attack made up about 43 percent of last season’s offense, which means Alize Thomas could see more carries as he works into the starter’s role as will DeMarcus Wilson, who shifts to the slot position. Quarterback Najee Adderly didn’t throw a varsity pass last season, but carried 19 times for 190 yards and two touchdowns. Southwest is stacked on defense, where TCU recruit Semaj Thomas anchors a veteran and athletic crew.

Quotable: “We don’t seem to play as well when we throw the ball a lot. I’m hoping our offense this year looks more Oregon style than say a Texas Tech or something. We have some speed this year and I really want to put our guys in position to utilize it.” — Coach Lanny Trammell

“I’m moving over to the slot this year so now I’m going to get the ball more. I’ve been working to put on some weight and working in the gym during the off-season. I know we’ll have a more balanced offense .... Our defense, though, is strong. Semaj is a guy that’s moved around a little bit, but linebacker fits his speed and size well.” — slot receiver DeMarcus Wilson

“I think we’re still strong on defense and prepared for what’s out there. We still have lot of people coming back and lot of underclassmen trying to get a spot. For me, when I made the change from defensive end to linebacker, it was easier on me because it got my eyes up and let me work better with my speed and my feet.” — linebacker and TCU recruit Semaj Thomas

Notable: Offensive lineman Jarius Foster injured a knee last fall and it’s still unclear if he’ll play this season. Foster, though, is an accomplished saxophone player and might elect to concentrate on music.

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