Following an 8-2 finish and playoff appearance in the 2013 season, the Byron Nelson football team is looking to pick up where it left off last season, but with a move up in classification, it could prove to be a difficult task for the Bobcats.
Coach Brian Polk said that things are shaping up well for this season and said that, based on what he has seen from his players so far this summer and during spring football, he has a lot to feel optimistic about heading into the fall.
“Our kids have had a great summer,” Polk said. “We have a lot of inexperience coming in, thus we will have to have great leadership out of our returners. Our success will depend on how quickly our kids grow up.”
The Bobcats’ only two district losses last season came at the hands of state champion Denton Guyer and fellow playoff team Wichita Falls Rider.
Key returners for Nelson this season include running back Courtney Miles, safety Josh Johnson, center Justin Self, offensive guard Duke Smith, defensive end Kyle Griffith and linebacker Joel Kabongo.
With the move up in classification, most teams face a more difficult challenge, and while this could be the case for Nelson, Polk is not that concerned about it.
“Realignment is what it is,” Polk said. “It does not matter where you land in DFW. There are great teams everywhere.”
Nelson will be in the same district as Northwest for the first time, along with the Keller schools, Denton Guyer and Denton Ryan this coming season.
In order to have a successful 2014 campaign, Polk said it will take a couple of things from his team.
“Depth will be a huge topic for us,” Polk said. “We have quite a few kids playing on both sides, which does not happen at the 6A level. I do like our team and think we can compete.
“If we play disciplined, we will give ourselves a chance to be in every ball game in the fourth quarter,” Polk said. “If we can do that, we will have some opportunities to surprise people.”