The offseason has begun for the Colleyville Heritage, Grapevine and Southlake Carroll football programs. The Courier-Journal examines impactful players who will be looked at to make major strides. Classifications will be for the 2017 season. Last week, we focused on Colleyville Heritage and Grapevine. This week, we look at Carroll.
Carroll Dragons (10-2; Class 6A Division II Region I area finalist)
Will Bowers (QB, 6-0, 180, Jr.): By no means has Carroll made its decision for the starting quarterback for this coming fall. The offseason and spring football seasons will used to find the answers. But if you are going to look at one of the top contenders for that role, it would be Bowers. When games were out of hand last fall, Bowers received most of the snaps. He appeared in eight games and threw for 166 yards and three touchdowns. He also was pretty solid running the football, averaging nearly five yards per carry. Bowers won the backup role behind Mason Holmes. Whether those snaps were in mop-up duty or to spell Holmes because Holmes had to leave for whatever reason, Bowers has seen the speed of the varsity game. That’s probably the advantage he has over other competitors. Now, the time will be for him to continue to work with offensive coordinator Mark Humble to get a sense of what is expected.
R.J. Mickens (DB, 5-10, 165, So.): The Carroll coaching staff trusted the youngster so much that it felt comfortable enough to put him in the secondary in 2016 as freshman and watch him flourish. While there is a lot of football to be played, Mickens could emerge as another one of Southlake’s strong secondary players, following the likes of Obi Eboh and Robert Barnes. Mickens was second on the team in interceptions with three. He led all Carroll defenders with 13 pass break-ups. Now, the plan is to get a little stronger, get a little faster and get a little wiser. Those will be crucial toward his development. Every secondary needs its lynchpin to bring calm to that unit. Mickens has the potential to do that.
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Colleyville Heritage adds to QB competition
With graduation of Cam Roane, the competition to become Colleyville Heritage’s starting quarterback for 2017 is going to be storyline to watch.
Recently, it became more interesting when Jagger LaRoe transferred in from Dallas Bishop Lynch for his senior year. LaRoe (6-3, 200) led Bishop Lynch to a TAPPS championship as it defeated Dallas Bishop Dunne in the title game, 21-17.
In an offense that predominantly ran the football, LaRoe completed 59 percent of his passes for 1,485 yards and threw nine touchdowns against six interceptions. LaRoe didn’t have a game where he threw for 200 yards.
Colleyville Heritage head coach Joe Willis said he hasn’t a lot of time to spend or see enough of LaRoe to know how things will appear in spring football. Of course, backup Landry French threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns when Roane missed time in the middle of the season with minor injuries.