Author: Daniel Youngblood

FEATURE: Injury gives Abilene High QB Abbe new perspective

When Eric Abbe beat out then-senior Kallin Sipe for Abilene High’s starting quarterback job last fall, it was with the expectation that he’d be holding onto that post for a while.

So when he was lost for the season less than two quarters into the Eagles’ opener against Amarillo Tascosa, you can imagine the disappointment he felt.

A torn ACL and meniscus in his left knee on AHS’ first drive of the second quarter rendered him a spectator the rest of his junior season. And in doing so, it forced him to pack the entirety of his varsity career into his senior year, which kicks off Aug. 30 against that same Tascosa squad.

While it would be easy to look back and ask, ‘What if?’ or ‘Why me?’ Abbe’s chosen to avoid that pitfall. And while he won’t try to convince you the injury was a good thing, he acknowledges there were lessons through that experience he might never have learned otherwise.

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ABILENE HIGH TEAM PREVIEW: Eagles look for return to prominence under Fullen

After missing the playoffs each of the past two seasons, Abilene High has adopted a straightforward motto in Mike Fullen’s first season as head coach.

Very simply, the Eagles want to get “Back to the Top.”

That may sound like a lofty goal for a team that’s posted a combined 8-12 record over the past two years. But the Eagles are just three years removed from an 11-win campaign. And with 28 lettermen back from last year’s squad, which started 5-1 before dropping its final four games, AHS has good reason to expect better.

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FEATURE: Cooper’s Diaz eager to hit field, lead after injury

After starting every game for Cooper as a sophomore in 2017, LaDainian Diaz had every reason to be excited entering his junior year.

But that excitement turned to disbelief and then grief when a torn ACL in his right knee ended his campaign in the opening week of the season.

Now fully healed from that setback, Diaz is set to return to his free safety position when the Cougars kick off the 2019 season Aug. 30 in Keller. And though that’s now just two weeks away, the wait hasn’t gotten any easier.

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COOPER TEAM PREVIEW: Experienced Coogs looking to take big step forward

While their 6-6 record was hardly a head-turner, the Cooper Cougars made significant strides last year in coach Aaron Roan’s first season as head coach.

The Coogs rebounded from a rocky 0-3 start to come within a game of sharing a district title and picked up a playoff win over a scrappy El Paso Eastwood squad before bowing out in the area round to North Richland Hills Birdville.

Now, with 28 lettermen back from that team, including eight offensive and seven defensive starters, the Coogs are determined to take the next step in their progression. And the call for improvement goes all the way to the top.

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FEATURE: Wylie’s McAden a multi-talented weapon

Jaxon McAden was truly a jack of all trades for the Wylie Bulldogs in 2018. Seeing action at safety, receiver, kicker and punter, his fingerprints could be found in all three phases of the game. 

But as little trouble as McAden had getting on the field in his first year as a varsity player, it was staying on it that proved problematic. A knee contusion cost him time early in the season, before an elbow injury brought his campaign a premature close.

And just like that, with a couple of ill-fated sequences, McAden’s multi-dimensional skill set was neutralized.

Now healthy, the senior enters his final high school season with big goals and lofty expectations. And nearing the top of both lists is an injury-free season that allows him to maximize his many talents.

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WYLIE TEAM PREVIEW: Bulldogs look to bounce back from winless season

The Wylie Bulldogs’ first season as a Class 5A program didn’t go at all as planned. Coach Hugh Sandifer’s squad struggled out of the gate and never found its footing in a tough 0-10 campaign.

But if you think Wylie’s first winless season since 1982 shook the confidence of this tradition-rich program or broke the Bulldogs’ will, think again.

WHS may have had its 24-year playoff streak snapped in painful fashion, but the ‘Dogs have no intention of letting that setback grow into a prolonged slump.

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FEATURE: Baylor-bound Brownwood star McCarty hoping for big senior season

With a scholarship offer secured and his college commitment behind him, Brownwood standout Adonis McCarty Jr. doesn’t need a big senior season to continue his football career past high school.

But good luck convincing the two-way star that he doesn’t have anything left to prove.

After receiving for a combined 1,549 yards and 14 touchdowns over the past two seasons, McCarty has already established himself as one of the Big Country’s best athletes and most accomplished players at his position. But it’s the things he hasn’t yet done — such as leading the Lions to a playoff victory — that are driving him this fall.

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BROWNWOOD TEAM PREVIEW: Burnett looking for growth in Year 2

BROWNWOOD — Sammy Burnett’s first year back in Brownwood was a mixed bag. The Lions finished 4-6 and closed the year with four lopsided losses, but the season ended in the Class 4A Division I playoffs and included a stretch of four consecutive wins that showed the potential the BHS program still has.

During that streak, the Lions routed an 8-4 Graham team 47-26, defeated Class 5A teams from Wichita Falls Rider (20-16) and Wylie (53-21) and opened District 7-4A play with a key 34-14 win over Gatesville that would earn them a spot in the postseason despite a rocky 0-3 finish to the regular season.

With that experience now in the rear view, Burnett’s goal for Year 2 is to see his team find the consistency it lacked in 2018. And though he returns just 16 of the 38 lettermen on last year’s squad, he’s confident the players on his roster can get that job done.

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FEATURE: Big Spring’s Harris, Nelson ready to run

With a sophomore starter at quarterback for the third consecutive season, Big Spring will be leaning on the run game this fall to take pressure off its young signal caller and keep the chains moving.

Fortunately for first-year head coach Cannon McWilliams and his Steers, they’ve got a pair of explosive backs to share that heavy load.

Built about as different as two players could be, seniors C.J. Harris and Zephaniah Nelson may look at first glance like an odd couple. But put them together, and they form one dynamic duo.

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BIG SPRING TEAM PREVIEW: Steers look to take step forward in McWilliams’ first season

BIG SPRING — Taking over the Big Spring football program after previously serving as the school’s defensive coordinator, coach Cannon McWilliams is excited about the Steers’ future.

His first order of business, though, is laying the foundation necessary to ensure that that forecast stays bright.

McWilliams believes he has the talent on his roster to improve on last season’s 3-9 mark, but his top priority in Year 1 is developing the type of program culture that will lead to long-term, sustainable success.

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FEATURE: Wood bringing energy, discipline to Snyder

SNYDER — At 28 years old, Wes Wood brings a youthful energy to the Snyder football program his new players find infectious.

The son of a former coach, he also brings a greater degree of discipline and attention to detail than they’re used to.

Those qualities, which might strike some as paradoxical, were the two most consistently mentioned by players when asked what makes Wood’s coaching style unique. And though this is the first head coaching job of his young career, and his mid-June hire gave him a late start at SHS, Wood has already earned the Tigers’ confidence with a positive first impression.

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SNYDER TEAM PREVIEW: Wood, Tigers look to build on last season’s momentum

SNYDER — The Snyder Tigers had a resurgent season in 2018, posting an 8-3 record that marked their first winning campaign since 2011.

Now, with a new coach and a roster that was hit hard by gradation, SHS will try to prove that success — and the momentum built as a result — has staying power. 

Hired to take over the program after Cory Mandrell left for Bowie in May, former Azle offensive coordinator Wes Wood has high hopes for the 2019 Tigers.  But with just 13 lettermen back from last year’s team, including five starters on each side of the ball, Wood and his players will need to get on the same page quickly to achieve those goals this fall.

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FEATURE: Sweetwater QB Holsey ready to take next step

There’s baptism by fire, and then there’s what Leo Holsey experienced in his first year as the Sweetwater quarterback.

Forced into action as a freshman and surrounded by youth, the young signal caller had about as difficult an introduction to the varsity game as possible.

Add to this that the Mustangs had won a combined 48 games the previous four seasons with standout QBs Kaegan Jeffrey and Chris Thompson. So every mistake he made while working through his inevitable growing pains was magnified.

Yet, through all that, Holsey made clear and significant progress from Week 1 to Week 11 last fall. And by the end of the season — a tough 1-9 campaign — he’d cemented his claim as Sweetwater’s quarterback of the future.

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SWEETWATER TEAM PREVIEW: Young Mustangs seeking playoff return in ’19

  Last year, a young Sweetwater squad took its lumps, struggling through a 1-9 campaign to snap a streak of four consecutive seasons with double-digit win totals.

This fall, coach Ben McGehee is hoping the lessons learned from that experience will help the Mustangs get back on track and back into the playoffs for the fifth time in six years.

That might seem like a tall order, given that SHS was outscored 451-179 last season and lost as many letterman from that team (15) as it brings back. But McGehee saw enough positive signs down the stretch in 2018 to believe a return to the postseason is a realistic goal one year later.

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FEATURE: Young Brock squad leaning on veteran leaders

BROCK — For most Class 3A programs, the loss of 19 lettermen and 17 of 22 starters to graduation would be crippling. Brock’s not like most 3A programs.

Sure, the Eagles have to fill those holes just like anyone else in that situation would. But the foundation of coach Chad Worrell’s program is so strong, and the expectations so high, that the idea of rebuilding season or using youth as an excuse is simply unacceptable.

Given the success BHS has enjoyed — the Eagles have averaged 12.5 wins per season since starting their varsity program in 2013 — it would be easy to chalk up the program’s consistency to geography or other factors unique to that community. But doing so would ignore two massive self-made advantages — a program-wide work ethic that promotes internal competition and a leadership cycle that keeps the ship perpetually pointed in the right direction.

In many ways, those things are interrelated. And it’s the presence of both that has this year’s team feeling good about its chances of upholding the program’s elite tradition.

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BROCK TEAM PREVIEW: Heavy roster turnover won’t alter Eagles’ expectations

With just 10 lettermen back from last year’s 13-2 state semifinalist squad, Brock will have some retooling to do in 2018. But don’t think for a minute that the Eagles’ expectations have changed.

Sure, some things will look different when Brock takes the Eagle Stadium field Aug. 30 against Brownwood. But despite returning just two offensive and three defensive starters from last year’s team, coach Chad Worrell and his players will enter the season with the same lofty goals they’ve always had.

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FEATURE: Wall defensive front seeks to restore elite standard

WALL — When talking about last year’s 9-3 record, all-state defensive end Joe Walker may have offered the best and most concise summation of the Wall Hawks’ collective viewpoint.

“It’s not a bad record, obviously. But it’s not a Wall record,” he said. 

Walker’s sentiment is a common one among Wall players, who are hoping to return the program to its established standard this fall after having a streak of eight consecutive seasons with 11 or more wins snapped in 2018. That it’s being delivered by a member of the Hawk defensive line — long a strength of vintage Wall teams — is likely a positive sign.

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WALL TEAM PREVIEW: Experienced Hawks squad poised to contend

WALL — For most programs, a 9-3 season would be considered a roaring success. For the Wall Hawks, that showing a year ago marked their lowest win total since going 7-4 in 2009.

Wall, which posted a combined 96-14 record from 2010 to 2017, was still a tough out last fall, reaching the third round of the playoffs for the eighth time in the past nine years. But youth and inexperience reared their heads at times, playing a key role in the Hawks’ 0-2 start and keeping them from hitting the 11-win plateau that had served as the low water mark during the eight seasons leading up to 2018.

With much of its talent back from last year’s squad, however, Wall’s setting its bar as high as ever for the 2019 campaign. And while he was proud of what his young team accomplished last year, Hawks coach Houston Guy is expecting a more vintage WHS team this time around.

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FEATURE: Clyde’s Baker growing into role as undisputed leader

With more than 160 tackles to his credit over the past two seasons, Bo Baker has been a leader for the Clyde Bulldogs since he was a sophomore.

This year, for the first time, he’ll be the leader.

Playing alongside do-it-all standout Payton Burton each of the past two seasons, Baker managed to keep a relatively low profile despite near-elite production in his first two varsity seasons. But with Burton graduating in the spring, and Baker’s role in the offensive backfield slated to grow to match his importance to the Bulldog defense, that’s unlikely to to be the case in his third.

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CLYDE TEAM PREVIEW: Experienced Bulldogs look to make leap in 2019

CLYDE — A case could be made that the Clyde Bulldogs were the best 3-7 team in the state relative to their competition level a year ago. But that’s little consolation to second-year coach Scott Campbell, who has much bigger goals in mind for his program.

Sharing a district with Wall, Jim Ned, Eastland, Breckenridge and Early, Clyde’s path to the playoffs will be as treacherous as ever in 2019. But Campbell has good reason to believe his Bulldogs are due a big leap this fall. The experience gained through last year’s frustration will likely play a large role in that.

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FEATURE: Competition drives Brady’s Galindo twins to be their best

BRADY — You don’t have to ask Brady twins Benjamin and Caleb Galindo who’s the better athlete to get an opinion on the matter.

Just ask them about their relationship and they’ll volunteer that information independently.

But tread lightly if you’re a fan of middle ground and compromise. You won’t find any here. The stakes of this long-raging debate are simply too high.

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BRADY TEAM PREVIEW: Bulldogs eyeing playoff return in 2019

BRADY — It’s rare that a 2-8 season represents progress, but that was the case for Brady in 2018. Coming off a winless campaign the year prior, the Bulldogs found themselves in position to make the playoffs in their final game of the season last year.

With the bulk of its talent back from that team, including eight offensive and nine defensive starters among 16 returning lettermen, Brady is hoping to take the next step this fall. And for third-year coach Shay Easterwood, a BHS grad himself, that means returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

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FEATURE: Merkel linemen excited about new physical offensive scheme

The Merkel offensive linemen didn’t have any say in the direction their offense would go under new coach Brian Ramsey. But talking to that bunch, you’d have thought they hand picked the scheme themselves.

The Badgers will be switching from the spread option attack they utilized under former coach John Cornelius to a physical slot-T/wing-T hybrid this fall.

And members of a Merkel line unit that averages upwards of 275 pounds per man are having a field day with the change.

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MERKEL TEAM PREVIEW: New-look Badgers look to keep playoff streak going

MERKEL — The 2019 Merkel football team will have a distinctly different look than the Badgers squads fans got to cheer into the playoffs in 2017 and 2018.

Gone are John Cornelius (now the coach at Sudan) and do-it-all athlete Jonah White (now a running back at Baylor). And taking over the MHS program is a coach in Brian Ramsey who will be shaking things up this fall.

With White off to college and no athletic equals to take his place, the Badgers will be trading their explosive spread option offense for a slot-T/wing-T base and a new “three yards and a cloud of dust” mentality. But if all goes well, Merkel will be closing this season the same place it has each of the past three: in the postseason.

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Feature: Coleman’s Greaves, Rosales hungry after injury-shortened 2018

Coleman senior Blake Greaves and junior Corbin Rosales didn’t need any help getting fired up for this football season. Both had been counting down to two-a-days since having their 2018 campaigns cut short by injury in the Bluecats’ Week 3 win over Goldthwaite.

Greaves, a receiver and linebacker, was lost to a broken collarbone that required surgery and six screws to repair. For Rosales, a quarterback and defensive back, it was an avulsion fracture in his hip that sent him to a sidelines.

After spending so much time away from the game, the two can hardly wait for Coleman’s opener against Jim Ned to arrive. And they’ll take the Hufford Field turf when it does with a new appreciation for the opportunity to gear up and play.

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COLEMAN TEAM PREVIEW: Bluecats have playoff return on the mind

COLEMAN — After battling through an injury-plagued 2-8 campaign a year ago, the Coleman Bluecats are hoping for a playoff return in 2019.

And with 18 letterman back from last year’s team and improved depth across the board, coach John Elder believes this group is capable of making that happen.

Combining five returning starters on both sides of the ball with reinforcements from a 3-7 junior varsity squad, the Bluecats will still have some limitations that could make competing with the upper echelon of their district difficult. But Elder sees a pathway to the postseason, and he wants his players focused on finding it.

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FEATURE: It’s all about team for Coahoma star Dobbs

COAHOMA — As a two-way starter and team leader for Coahoma, Keegan Dobbs could talk about himself for quite a while if he wanted to.

The top blocker for a Bulldog offense that rushed for nearly 260 yards per game last year, Dobbs also racked up 70 tackles and 13 sacks from his defensive end position, making him one of the most productive small-school linemen in the Big Country.

But the 6-foot-1, 191-pound senior isn’t particularly interested in reliving past achievements or setting personal benchmarks to shoot for this season. He’s too busy trying to lead Coahoma to new heights to worry about individual goals, accomplishments or accolades.

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COAHOMA TEAM PREVIEW: Senior-laden Bulldogs poised for big step forward

COAHOMA — One of the great things about having a junior-laden football team is that it’s a year away from being a senior-led group, and all experience gained is transferable from one season to the next.

It’s this reality that has second-year Coahoma coach Chris Joslin so excited about his Bulldogs’ chances entering the 2019 season.

With 24 lettermen back from last year’s team, including eight offensive and seven defensive starters, Joslin will have the most experienced roster in District 2-3A Division II this fall. And he feels that will make a world of difference for a squad that showed flashes of brilliance during last season’s 4-7 campaign.

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FEATURE: San Saba stars O’Keefe, Salinas enjoying pressure of expectations

SAN SABA — As multi-year starters for San Saba and catalysts for the Armadillos’ gridiron turnaround, quarterback Sean O’Keefe and running back Eli Salinas are feeling some extra pressure these days.

But don’t worry. Ask them, and both will tell you that’s a good thing.

Each has been around long enough to remember when a three-win season in 2017 represented progress. So the pair will gladly take the added expectations and heightened scrutiny that have come with last year’s 14-1 campaign.

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SAN SABA TEAM PREVIEW: Loaded Armadillos poised for another deep run

SAN SABA — Coming off one of its best seasons in program history, San Saba will hit the field with a new coach in 2019. But with 16 lettermen back from last year’s 14-1 squad, including nine offensive and seven defensive starters, expectations remain sky high for the Armadillos.

Hired to replace his former boss Jerod Fikac, who left in February to take the Georgetown East View job, former defensive coordinator Andreas Aguirre will take over a program that he helped jump start. And after seeing San Saba improve from three wins in 2017 to 14 a year ago, he’s determined to keep that train on the tracks and the positive momentum going.

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FEATURE: Gonzalez a small, but powerful weapon for De Leon

DE LEON — Standing 5-foot-6 and generously listed at 150 pounds, senior running back Jorge Gonzalez is one of the smaller players on the De Leon roster. But in terms of both past production and potential impact, no Bearcat player stands taller.

Gonzalez, who plays much bigger than his diminutive frame might suggest, is coming off a junior season in which he rushed for 931 yards and seven touchdowns while adding 86 tackles and an interception on defense. And entering his final high school campaign, he’s likely to play an even bigger role for first-year head coach Andrew Dickson.

The added usage will leave a lot of weight on Gonzalez’s shoulders, but two-way standout wouldn’t have it any other way.

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DE LEON TEAM PREVIEW: Dickson, Bearcats look to keep ball rolling

DE LEON — With four-year starting quarterback Kevin Yeager graduating, and his father — former head coach David Yeager — resigning his position to follow his son’s collegiate career at the University of Incarnate Word, it would be easy to assume that the De Leon Bearcats are due a significant dip in performance.

After all, Kevin Yeager had one of the most productive careers in Texas high school football history, and the Bearcats won a combined 32 games in his last three seasons behind center.

But those expecting to see De Leon fall off the map this fall are likely to be proven wrong. While the Bearcats will look different — an outcome guaranteed by a switch from the spread to the Wing-T — new head coach Andrew Dickson is confident he has the talent and experience at his disposal to keep the ball rolling at De Leon.

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FEATURE: Experienced O-line ready to lead way for young Hico squad

With just eight lettermen back from last year’s 3-7 team, Hico won’t have experience in many spots in 2019.

Fortunately for the Tigers, the one exception to that rule is a pretty important position group.

Of Hico’s five returning starters on offense, three can be found on the line, where seniors Karson Zant and Jacob Harvin and junior Brendon McKinney are all entering their third year as varsity players. And if you ask coach Randy Thornton, that’s a pretty solid foundation to build upon.

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HICO TEAM PREVIEW: Tigers look to bounce back from injury-plagued 2018

HICO — Last year, injuries deprived Hico of what might have been a playoff season without them. A depleted Tigers squad struggled through a 3-7 campaign, missing the postseason by a single win.

After going 2-3 through the nondistrict portion of its schedule, Hico saw one-score losses to quality teams from De Leon (21-14) and Crawford (14-10) serve as perfect and painful punctuation marks to the poetic injustice.

With just eight lettermen back from that team, including five offensive and four defensive starters, the Tigers will face depth issues once again in 2019. But coach Randy Thornton feels HHS can get back to the playoffs if this year’s group can avoid the injury bug that hit last year’s so hard.

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FEATURE: Gabehart a selfless leader for young Forsan Buffaloes

Forsan receiver/linebacker Jonathon Gabehart takes his role as a two-way standout very seriously. He takes his role as the Buffaloes’ leader even more so.

One of few seniors on a roster dominated by sophomores, Gabehart views the guidance he provides and example he sets for his younger teammates as his biggest responsibility as a player.

So it should come as little surprise that his goals for his final high school season are just a little different than the average senior’s.

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FORSAN TEAM PREVIEW: Exciting young Buffs seek to compete in 2019

FORSAN — Last season, Forsan finished 1-9 with one of the area’s youngest teams. A year later, the Buffaloes will still field a youthful roster, but coach Jason Phillips feels the experience gained during that 2018 campaign will pay off in the way of wins this fall.

Returning 15 of the 22 players that played varsity ball last year, Forsan will bring back seven starters on both offense and defense. And while that still leaves a few vacancies to fill with first-year starters, the Buffs will be doing so with young varsity reserves and call-ups from a 7-3 junior varsity team.

 With more established talent at the top of his roster and some promising newcomers joining the mix behind them, Phillips has his sights set on a playoff return. And though he acknowledges that his program’s still building, he wants his team focused on that same goal as well.

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FEATURE: Cross Plains’ Hernandez a game-changer from ‘Slash’ role

CROSS PLAINS — Cross Plains senior Caleb Hernandez is too young to remember Kordell Stewart and the all-purpose skills that earned him his nickname in the late 1990s. But coach Daniel Purvis’ do-it-all standout was the “Slash” of the Big Country a year ago.

Getting time at quarterback, running back and receiver, Hernandez’s versatility made him a truly unique weapon for the 2018 Buffaloes. And his prowess in the defensive backfield only added to his value as coach Daniel Purvis’ Swiss Army Knife.

Now entering his final high school season as one of just seven returning lettermen for Cross Plains, Hernandez could have even more placed on his shoulders this fall. But like the true utility man he is, he welcomes whatever comes his way.

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CROSS PLAINS TEAM PREVIEW: Young Buffs will have to grow up quickly

The Cross Plains Buffaloes enter the season with more questions to answer than just about any team in the Big Country, but ninth-year coach Daniel Purvis is more excited than anxious to see how his team responds.

The Buffs return just seven lettermen from last year’s 7-4 team after graduating all five of their offensive line starters and their tight end. Yet Purvis still has hopes that his team will extend its current postseason streak to a fifth consecutive season in 2019.

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FEATURE: Munday QB Thornton ready to shoulder heavy load for youthful Moguls

Last year, in his first season as an 11-man football player, Cameron Thornton provided a much-needed rushing threat to Munday’s flexbone offense. 

This season, with the Moguls set to transition back to their familiar spread look, Thornton’s ready to show he has what it takes to be a more complete quarterback.

Thornton rushed for 921 yards and five touchdowns for an 0-10 MHS squad in 2018, but he never got much chance to showcase his arm in the Moguls’ run-based scheme. That will change this fall in what could be one of the more pass-heavy offenses coach Patrick Corcoran has ever had, and the former Rotan Yellowhammer spreadback couldn’t be more eager for the opportunity.

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MUNDAY TEAM PREVIEW: Depth-challenged Moguls seek improvement

Competing at the Class 2A level with a 1A enrollment, Munday coach Patrick Corcoran knows better than most the role numbers play in a high school program’s success.

When the Moguls have had the bodies to compete, they’ve done so at an extraordinarily high level — posting a 120-51 record since 2005 with state titles in 2007 and 2012 and a state runner-up finish in 2011.

Unfortunately, there’s a flip side to that, as Munday experienced during a tough 0-10 campaign in 2018. And with just 13 lettermen back from that squad, including four starters on both sides of the ball, the Moguls could be in for another rebuilding year.

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BCP Podcast No. 57: Evan, Daniel chat with longtime sportswriter Mike Lee

Mike Lee has been covering sports in the Big Country and Concho Valley areas on a full- or part-time basis for the better part of four decades. During that time, he has seen many memorable games, covered a number of notable teams and athletes, and picked up some funny stories in his travels.

This week, Mike took a few minutes to chat with Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood about some his experiences and the sports journalism business for the Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel share some of their stories from the road after completing the annual Big Country football photo tour and discuss some of their takeaways from the early-season practices they’ve seen throughout the area.

Continue to check back at BigCountryPreps.com each Wednesday night at 7 p.m. when Evan and Dan discuss the current happenings in Big Country High School sports — often with an interesting sports figure from around the area.

You can also peruse our BCP Podcast archive, which features dozens of our previous shows with prominent coaches and Big Country media fixtures. 

Inquiries regarding these podcasts may be directed to Evan Ren at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com. 

If you have a suggested topic of conversation or a recommended guest, don’t hesitate to contact us! 

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BCP Podcast No. 56: Josh Stanaland talks Jayton football with Evan, Daniel

Jayton’s Josh Stanaland has fielded a consistently competitive team during his near-decade long stint as the Jaybirds head football coach. Entering this season with the top ranked team in Class 1A Division II, this may be his best squad yet.

Earlier this week, Stanaland spent a few minutes chatting with Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood about this team, his program and the state of the six-man game for this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel discuss some of the schematic shifts and trends they’ve seen in the 11-man game in recent years.

Continue to check back at BigCountryPreps.com each Wednesday night at 7 p.m. when Evan and Dan discuss the current happenings in Big Country High School sports — often with an interesting sports figure from around the area.

You can also peruse our BCP Podcast archive, which features dozens of our previous shows with prominent coaches and Big Country media fixtures. 

Inquiries regarding these podcasts may be directed to Evan Ren at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com. 

If you have a suggested topic of conversation or a recommended guest, don’t hesitate to contact us! 

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BCP COUNTDOWN TO TWO-A-DAYS: Abilene High Eagles

Football is fast approaching, and we at BigCountryPreps.com are committed to bringing you the information you need to prepare for your favorite team’s season.

We’ll be releasing our Big Country Preps Preseason Football Preview, the most comprehensive look at the upcoming Big Country football season anywhere, on Friday, Aug. 16. But you won’t have to wait until then to sate your gridiron appetite.

Running through the first day of fall football practice on Aug. 5, we’ll be spotlighting each 11-man team in the area and posing some of the key questions they’ll face in 2019 as part of our “Countdown to Two-a-Days” series.

After featuring Cooper earlier this afternoon, we wrap up our series in District 3-6A with the Abilene High Eagles. We hope you enjoyed our countdown.

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BCP COUNTDOWN TO TWO-A-DAYS: Cooper Cougars

Football is fast approaching, and we at BigCountryPreps.com are committed to bringing you the information you need to prepare for your favorite team’s season.

We’ll be releasing our Big Country Preps Preseason Football Preview, the most comprehensive look at the upcoming Big Country football season anywhere, on Friday, Aug. 16. But you won’t have to wait until then to sate your gridiron appetite.

Running through the first day of fall football practice on Aug. 5, we’ll be spotlighting each 11-man team in the area and posing some of the key questions they’ll face in 2019 as part of our “Countdown to Two-a-Days” series.

After featuring Wylie on Sunday, we move to District 2-5A Division I with the Cooper Cougars. We will wrap up our series with a look at the Abilene High Eagles later today.

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BCP COUNTDOWN TO TWO-A-DAYS: Wylie Bulldogs

Football is fast approaching, and we at BigCountryPreps.com are committed to bringing you the information you need to prepare for your favorite team’s season.

We’ll be releasing our Big Country Preps Preseason Football Preview, the most comprehensive look at the upcoming Big Country football season anywhere, on Friday, Aug. 16. But you won’t have to wait until then to sate your gridiron appetite.

Running through the first day of fall football practice on Aug. 5, we’ll be spotlighting each 11-man team in the area and posing some of the key questions they’ll face in 2019 as part of our “Countdown to Two-a-Days” series.

After featuring Big Spring on Saturday, we move to District 3-5A Division II with the Wylie Bulldogs. On Monday, we will wrap up our series with a look at the Cooper Cougars and Abilene High Eagles on Monday.

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BCP COUNTDOWN TO TWO-A-DAYS: Big Spring Steers

Football is fast approaching, and we at BigCountryPreps.com are committed to bringing you the information you need to prepare for your favorite team’s season.

We’ll be releasing our Big Country Preps Preseason Football Preview, the most comprehensive look at the upcoming Big Country football season anywhere, on Friday, Aug. 16. But you won’t have to wait until then to sate your gridiron appetite.

Running through the first day of fall football practice on Aug. 5, we’ll be spotlighting each 11-man team in the area and posing some of the key questions they’ll face in 2019 as part of our “Countdown to Two-a-Days” series.

After featuring Brownwood and Stephenville on Friday, we move to District 2-4A Division I with the Big Spring Steers. On Sunday, we will take a look at the Wylie Bulldogs, followed by the Cooper Cougars and Abilene High Eagles on Monday.

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BCP COUNTDOWN TO TWO-A-DAYS: Stephenville Yellow Jackets

Football is fast approaching, and we at BigCountryPreps.com are committed to bringing you the information you need to prepare for your favorite team’s season.

We’ll be releasing our Big Country Preps Preseason Football Preview, the most comprehensive look at the upcoming Big Country football season anywhere, on Friday, Aug. 16. But you won’t have to wait until then to sate your gridiron appetite.

Running through the first day of fall football practice on Aug. 5, we’ll be spotlighting each 11-man team in the area and posing some of the key questions they’ll face in 2019 as part of our “Countdown to Two-a-Days” series.

After featuring Snyder on Thursday, we move to District 5-4A Division I with the Brownwood Lions and the Stephenville Yellow Jackets. On Saturday, we will take a look at the Big Spring Steers, followed by the Wylie Bulldogs on Sunday.

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BCP COUNTDOWN TO TWO-A-DAYS: Brownwood Lions

Football is fast approaching, and we at BigCountryPreps.com are committed to bringing you the information you need to prepare for your favorite team’s season.

We’ll be releasing our Big Country Preps Preseason Football Preview, the most comprehensive look at the upcoming Big Country football season anywhere, on Friday, Aug. 16. But you won’t have to wait until then to sate your gridiron appetite.

Running through the first day of fall football practice on Aug. 5, we’ll be spotlighting each 11-man team in the area and posing some of the key questions they’ll face in 2019 as part of our “Countdown to Two-a-Days” series.

After featuring Snyder on Thursday, we move to District 5-4A Division I with the Brownwood Lions and the Stephenville Yellow Jackets. On Saturday, we will take a look at the Big Spring Steers, followed by the Wylie Bulldogs on Sunday.

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BCP COUNTDOWN TO TWO-A-DAYS: Snyder Tigers

Football is fast approaching, and we at BigCountryPreps.com are committed to bringing you the information you need to prepare for your favorite team’s season.

We’ll be releasing our Big Country Preps Preseason Football Preview, the most comprehensive look at the upcoming Big Country football season anywhere, on Friday, Aug. 16. But you won’t have to wait until then to sate your gridiron appetite.

Running through the first day of fall football practice on Aug. 5, we’ll be spotlighting each 11-man team in the area and posing some of the key questions they’ll face in 2019 as part of our “Countdown to Two-a-Days” series.

After featuring Sweetwater on Wednesday, we stay in District 1-4A Division II with the Sweetwater Mustangs. On Friday, we will take a look at the Brownwood Lions and Stephenville Yellow Jackets, followed by the Big Spring Steers on Saturday.

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BCP Podcast No. 55: Evan, Daniel chat with new Big Spring coach Cannon McWilliams

After serving as Big Spring’s defensive coordinator last season, Cannon McWilliams will be taking over the Steer football program as the head coach this fall.

Earlier this week, McWilliams joined Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood to talk about his vision for the program, the challenges he faces and his excitement surrounding the upcoming season for the Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel discuss the area’s other seven coaching changes and the situations each of the area’s eight new coaches inherit.