High School Sports

Here are the top 10 storylines in DFW entering the 2018 high school football season

Will anyone dethrone Allen?

The Eagles are going for a sixth state title since 2008 and have planted their reign as the best in Texas high school football. What’s scary is they look better than last year’s team. They have one of the deadliest combos in the state in Ole Miss QB Grant Tisdale (3,170 total, 43 TDs) and 5-star Oklahoma WR Theo Wease (14 TDs). Tisdale should be in good hands with Oklahoma guard EJ Ndoma-Ogar blocking for him and the only he’s a great athlete is because he’s going up against Oklahoma State DT Jayden Jernigan in practice. Lake Travis nearly beat Allen last year and could meet up again. It returns a WR higher ranked than Wease in 5-star Ohio State commit Garrett Wilson (98 catches, 1,774 yards, 27 TDs). Duncanville is the next DFW team in the 6A D1 rankings, but the Panthers and Eagles wouldn’t meet until the semifinals. A match-up between Wease and 4-star safety Chris Thompson would be fun to watch.

Can Highland Park 3-peat?

It was the greatest Texas high school state title games in history and you can re-live with the coaches on Friday. But for 2018, the Scots must replace star QB John Stephen Jones. They feel like they did and are excited for Chandler Morris, son of Arkansas coach Chad Morris. HP must fill other spots too, but as long as legendary coach Randy Allen is on the sideline, they have a shot. The Scots will get tested this season starting with the season-opener vs. Rockwall and in district vs. Mansfield Legacy.

Will Riley Dodge bring home another state title Southlake Carroll?

You might be tired of this story already, but how can you not talk about the 2006 state-title-winning QB. Dodge returned to his alma mater in March and quickly took over a traditional football power, one he knows very well. The first-year coach isn’t entering a rebuilding process. Carroll might be better than last year’s state quarterfinal squad. RB TJ McDaniel (1,862 rushing, 23 TDs), who committed to SMU, is back as well as one of the top 2020s in the nation in CB RJ Mickens (99 tackles, 2 INTs, 9 TDs). The Dragons also boost a ton of talent at the LB, OL and QB position where Will Bowers (3,500 total, 38 TDs) will surprise some people.

Can Aledo get back on top?

The Bearcats stumbled in last year’s loss to College Station, but don’t count them out yet. Aledo is always in the mix every year. It returns 13 starters including top 2020 RB and OU commit Jase McClellan (1,600 yards and 28 TDs) and TCU DE Colt Ellison (13 sacks), who is one of the more disruptive ends in the state. If they win another state title in 2018, it’ll be their eighth overall, which would tie a UIL record. The Bearcats have won seven since 2009.

The Class of 2019 is loaded

Among the top 100 recruits according to 247Sports, 38 are from Dallas-Fort Worth including five in the top 10 and 15 in the top 25. Wease is No. 1 while three of the next four are from private schools: Bishop Dunne’s Brian Williams (A&M), Trinity Christian Cedar Hill’s Lewis Cine and Plano Prestonwood’s Austin Stogner (Oklahoma). Of the 19 DFW kids ranked in the top 50, 17 are committed to a Power Five school with the other two more than likely joining forces.

Which DFW 5A turned 6A team will have the most success?

Seven schools from the area made the jump to 6A in February and UIL realignment. Lake Ridge, Summit and Waxahachie all shifted to the toughest 5A district to the toughest 6A district along with Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Mansfield, Grand Prairie and SGP. Seven of the eight made the playoffs last year. Richland had the best seasons in 5A the past two years, but return to 6A. Prior to 2016, the Rebels didn’t win a playoff game since 1984, but can they do damage in the highest classification? Prosper was also a great 5A team, but now have to deal with Allen. Eaton is coming off its first playoff win, but now gets shifted with Carroll and Denton Guyer. Dallas Molina also moved up to the Duncanville district. Summit has the most starters returning with 14. Eaton has 13.

Can Todd Peterman turn Brewer into a contender?

The Bears have been right there the past three years, going to the playoffs each year, but have yet to get past the first round. Peterman, who won a state title at mighty DeSoto, arrived in the spring and the kids took notice at a different look then past seasons. They’re in nine-team district and after years after squeaking in, maybe this is Brewer’s break-out season and finally gets on the map. They have talent with 14 starters returning, seven on each side of the ball, including top QB Carson Ingram (1,634 passing, 15 TDs) and top WR Jahrad Taylor (659 receiving, 4 TDs).

We can expect great news for Fort Worth ISD

Dunbar, Western Hills and Benbrook all got grouped together at realignment, and all have a great shot at making the playoffs. Dunbar, which moved down to 4A, has made it just once in the past 15 years. Western Hills is looking to snap a seven-year drought and Benbrook can get in for the first time in its young history.

Leon’te Cooper
Dunbar quarterback Leon’te Cooper (6), here in a 2016 playoff game, caught a 38-yard touchdown pass Saturday against Sam Houston. Bob Booth Special to the Star-Telegram

We have a loaded slate of games in Week 1

You could probably look at any of the games played in Week 1 and think these are playoff games. It’s that good. Waxahachie at Ennis, Lancaster at Duncanville, Aledo at Guyer, Colleyville Heritage vs. North Forney, Lake Travis at Arlington Martin, Mesquite Horn at Allen, Rockwall at Highland Park...how can you possibly pick just one? We might have an early idea of who’s for real following these big-time clashes.

Can Diamond Hill-Jarvis win a game?

It’s going to be tough for the Eagles, who are on verge of breaking a national record, and not a good one. DHJ has lost 77 consecutive games, a record that dates back to Sept. 2010 when the Eagles beat Dallas Jefferson 31-7. The record is 82. Good news is that the Eagles did score more points last season than they have in recent history. DHJ scored 54 points which was up from 19 the previous season. It gets Dallas Conrad, North Dallas, North Side and Carter-Riverside to star the year.

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