The starting quarterback for the 2017 Southlake Carroll football team is …
The starting quarterback for the 2017 Colleyville Heritage football team is …
Finishing those sentences will take some time for both programs as they wind down their spring football camps. Carroll’s spring game is Thursday. Colleyville Heritage’s is set for May 24.
While both teams have the talent on the roster to make the playoffs, finding the trigger man is the task neither Carroll coach Hal Wasson nor Colleyville Heritage’s Joe Willis will have the answer for following each game. This decision should come in August during fall workouts. The spring games are pretty much a celebration of what was accomplished.
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It’s in their hands. We’re going to go with the hot hand and the one who is most consistent.
- Colleyville Heritage football coach Joe Willis, on the process of selecting his team’s next starting quarterback
“My view is that it will be up to them to make the decision,” Willis said. “It’s in their hands. We’re going to go with the hot hand and the one who is most consistent.”
Both programs are replacing experienced veterans. Mason Holmes guided the Dragons for the previous two seasons. Cam Roane was the steady leader for the Panthers for the same time frame.
Carroll’s situation is a little different than what it has experienced in previous seasons. There are four contenders for the starting position. Colleyville Heritage has three vying for the top spot.
“It comes down to who is the most composed and has that ‘it’ factor when it matters,” Wasson said. “Every day there is an evaluation process, from the throws to the reads to the
progressions to the ability to make plays.”
Here’s a look at the contenders for each program. Player classifications represent fall 2017.
Will Bowers, 5-11, 175 lbs., Jr.: Wasson has said that if the season began tomorrow with the Dragons playing Broken Arrow (Oklahoma), Bowers would be the starter. But there’s a long way to go. Because he was Holmes’ backup, Bowers has a deeper knowledge of the offense.
Blake Smith, 6-3, 200, So.: Smith is the biggest of the competitors, with great arm strength. Maturation and development are going to be a work in progress because of his youth. He is quickly learning what’s expected from Carroll quarterbacks. So far, he’s shown to have some savvy, being able to distribute the ball effectively.
Clayton Webb, 6-2, 175, Sr.: Webb was behind Bowers on the 2016 depth chart. Like Bowers, he has knowledge of the offense and is probably a little ahead of the younger quarterbacks. The key is being consistent.
Brandon Howell, 6-0, 175, So.: He could be the most athletic among all the candidates because of his ability to make plays with his feet — all of the contenders are better runners — but he also has a pretty solid arm.
Jagger LaRoe, 6-4, 200, Sr.: The transfer from Dallas Bishop Lynch, who led the Friars to a TAPPS state championship this past December, leads the way with his arm strength. Of course, his frame is always something that will lead to the potential of reaching another ceiling. He does have college interest.
Landry French, 6-0, 161, Sr.: He had a year in the system behind Roane and made a couple of starts when Roane was dealing with injuries in the 2016 season. French’s feet are a great asset as he can use them to avoid trouble and keep a play alive.
Caleb Murphy, 6-0, 200, Sr.: Even if he’s not the starter, Murphy is going to be a valued member of this offense. He will be the wildcat quarterback. He’s a physical player who also has a pretty good arm. Murphy is also in the mix to be the starting running back.