Author: Evan Ren

BCP GAME OF THE WEEK: Explosive Brady visits Dublin (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 41-8, .837

OVERALL: 130-27, .828

On a Friday where any one of four or five games is arguably a candidate for our Big Country Preps Game of the Week, our final decision — Brady at Dublin — was based on sharing the love. 

Jim Ned and Mason is on the board, as is Wichita Falls Rider at Brownwood, Hawley at Albany, Christoval at Cross Plains and, of course, the annual war between Brock and Breckenridge. 

But with Jim Ned a likely candidate for Game of the Week when it faces Wall and Eastland later this year, and Brownwood receiving live coverage for Snyder two weeks ago and Wylie next week, the field narrowed a bit. 

Hawley got our Game of the Week last Friday, and Albany will likely see the GOW when it faces Hamlin, so we’re heading to Dublin where Brady will be a part of its first-ever BCP spotlight game.

It shouldn’t disappoint. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE: Snyder’s Jonathan Barrow still the Tigers’ top fan

SNYDER — Some people can make a difference in the lives of others by simply being themselves — serving as an inspiration without even trying. 

Count 37-year-old Jonathan Barrow of Snyder among them.

Barrow, who has been restricted to a wheel chair due to cerebral palsy since childhood, developed a love for the Snyder Tiger football team while attending SHS during the early 2000s. 

Over time, he has became a invaluable part of the program in ways that no coach can fully replace.

“Jonathan lives and breathes football,” his mother, Suzanne, said. “It started with (former coach Chad) Rogers including him on the coaches show every Friday morning and it has just blossomed since then.” 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE: From leather helmets to Jerry World, Munday WWII Vet Thompson has seen it all

World War II veteran Gene Thompson and his grandson, Trey enter the field during a veteran’s recognition ceremony prior to a 2017 Munday football game.

MUNDAY — It has become an October tradition in Munday for attendees at a Mogul football game to sing happy birthday to one of MHS’ top fans: Gene Thompson.

This year, however, the brief ceremony carries a special significance — one that Thompson has literally waited 100 years for.

Yes, Thompson, a 99-year-old veteran of World War II, will officially become a centenarian on Oct. 23. He will be honored two nights later at Munday’s home game against Quanah, where everyone in attendance will recognize the longest-tenured Mogul fan in the program’s history. 

To put Thompson’s connection to Munday athletics into perspective, it began when he played football as a Mogul in 1936. That’s three years before the retirement of baseball great Lou Gehrig, before Gone with the Wind was in the box office and before the horrific war in which he took part had seen its first shot fired.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BIG COUNTRY PREPS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Hawley’s bulldozer nabs award with huge effort vs. Hamlin

 In a week that saw at least four performances that under normal circumstances, would have won Player of the Week, it was a difficult call as to who would take the top spot. 

 We eventually chose Hawley’s bruising running back Colton Marshall, who helped the Bearcats to a 46-44 win over top-ranked Class 2A Division II Hamlin in our Big Country Preps Game of the week. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

District 5-2A Division II: Week 3 Report

Munday 39, Roscoe JV 0 — The Moguls are at present, playing against a string of JV teams, due to low numbers. 

They will again take the field with a varsity squad on Sept. 20 against Clarendon and will remain on a varsity schedule for the remainder of the football season. 

The Moguls are currently 1-0 vs. varsity clubs and 2-1 overall. 

Continue reading “District 5-2A Division II: Week 3 Report”

District 2-3A Division II: Week 3 Report

Schneider

Coahoma 55, Wink 22 — Zach Schneider threw for 178 yards and two scores and rushe for 65 and two more TDs to lead Coahoma in a blowout win. 

Sean Streigler caught two passes for 77 yards and two scores and Braxton Chandler hauled in three catches for 71 yards and another TD as the Bulldogs improved to 3-0. 

Collectively, Coahoma rushed for 166 yards and threw for 196.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

District 6-3A Division II: Week 3 Report

Dublin 31, De Leon 7 — Cy Wing passed for 149 yards and rushed for 80 while accounting for three scores to lift Dublin to 2-1).

De Leon’s offensive struggles continued Friday in a lopsided loss to the Class 3A Lions. De Leon, which is switching to the wing-T this year, was held to seven points for the second time this season and has scored just 31 points through its first three games.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

District 2-4A Division I: Week 3 Report

Baeza

Big Spring 21, Monahans 13 — Trailing 13-7 at the half, Big Spring earned its first victory of the year with a pair of second half touchdowns. 

A 1-yard run by Gabriel Baeza gave the Steers the lead in the third quarter. A pick-6 by Brandon Zarraga in the final period pushed the lead to eight. 

Orlando Sanchez was the top yardage producer for the Steers (1-2) with 115 yards on 28 carries.  

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

District 5-4A Division I: Week 3 Report

Brownwood 28, Graham 14 Drew Huff threw for 281 yards and two scores to keep Brownwood (3-0) unbeaten. 

The Lions rallied from a 14-7 halftime deficit with 21 unanswered points in the second half. 

AJ McCarty was Huff’s favorite target, hitting him five times for 152 yards and a score. Isyah Campos Hauled in three catches for an additional 118 yards another score.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

District 3-2A Dvision I: Week 3 Report

Stallings

Forsan 22, Stanton 19 Forsan overcame an early 13-7 deficit with 230 rushing yards as a team.

Major Stockton led Forsan (1-2) with 113 yards and a score on only eight carries. Sawyer Stallings threw for 105 and another score. 

FHS snapped a six-game losing streak dating back to Oct. 19 of last season with the win.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

District 4-3A Division II: Week 3 Report

Wedeman

Bangs 42, Winters 27 — Ethan Sanchez rushed for 146 yards on 19 carries and Brayton Wedeman had 100 yards on 10 touches to lead the Dragons (2-1), who are off to their best start in years. 

Winters (2-1) was led by Alex Salas, who rushed for 67 yards and two scores and threw for 47 yards and two more TDs.

The Dragons will host Anson (1-2) which is coming off an impressive win over Stamford, this Friday. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

District 3-3A Division I: Week 3 Report

Early 19, Tolar 18 — Brent Grooms threw for 205 yards for a score and rushed for 57 yards and two more scores to help the Longhorns improve to 2-1 on the year. 

Early trailed 18-13 heading into the fourth quarter before earning a road win with a late score. 

Timmy Smithson was a favorite target of Grooms, hauling in six catches for 144 yards and a touchdown.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP GAME OF THE WEEK: Hawley tops Hamlin 46-44 in Big Country thriller

HAWLEY — It took nearly three hours and close to 900 yards of combined total offense to settle the issue. 

But once the dust cleared at Hawley High School on Friday, the 10th-ranked 2A DI Bearcats had earned a 46-44 win over top-ranked 2A DII Hamlin in a classic Big Country Preps Game of the Week.

Colton Marshall rushed for 230 yards, three touchdowns and four two-point conversions  to lead Hawley (3-0), which forced four Hamlin turnovers to key the win. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP GAME OF THE WEEK: Hawley, Hamlin collide in matchup of 2A powerhouses (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

 

LAST WEEK: 46-6, .884

SEASON TOTAL: 89-19, .824

I don’t know what has me more jazzed — the interesting slate of Big Country games we’ve got on tap this week, or the fact that I hit 88 percent of my picks in Week 2 and am at 82 percent for the season. 

I don’t mind saying, it’s way too early in to be picking at a rate that high. Normally the 80-percent plateau is crossed in the second half of the season, after you get dialed in on who’s who. But why should I complain? It will give me a leg up on Youngblood. 

Our Big Country Preps Game of the Week — Hamlin (2-0) at Hawley (2-0) — was actually circled on the calendar well in advance of the season. 

Yes, last year’s matchup resulted in a 32-6 Hamlin win. 

But the venue switches to Hawley this time around and unless I’ve missed my guess, the Bearcats are more than motivated after being escorted to the woodshed by the Pipers a year ago. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE: Former Clyde, Sweetwater coach Craig Slaughter enjoying role as Wall DC

WALL — When Craig Slaughter’s name is brought up in Big Country football circles, it is often associated with a memorable run of success as the former Clyde football coach enjoyed when he led the Bulldogs to a 23-12 mark and one district title from 2006 to 2008.

His stint at CHS led to jobs at larger schools at Sweetwater (2009-11) and Llano (2012-17), after which many Big Country fans simply lost track of what had happened to the man. 

He is, for the record, currently the defensive coordinator at Wall under head coach Houston Guy, where he is heading up a Hawk defense that has shut down powerhouses from Mason (47-7) and Cisco (20-13) in the first two weeks. 

“I’ve really enjoyed the experience,” the 46-year-old Slaughter said of taking the job offer from his long-time friend, Guy. “When you’re leading a program, you get blamed for so much stuff that you really have nothing to do with, from who’s on the seventh-grade B team to the plays the seventh grade ran on a Thursday night. 

“So (assistant coaching) is a load off your shoulders from the pressure you feel and put on yourself.”

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BIG COUNTRY PREPS Q&A: Hamlin’s Lucas talks about expectations, pressure

HAMLIN — Faced with unusually high expectations, a challenging schedule and a couple of heartbreaking finishes in the last five years, the third-ranked Hamlin Pied Pipers and coach Russell Lucas find themselves in uncharted waters early in the 2019 season. 

They are now in the position of favorites, with powerful teams from Albany and Wellington, Wheeler, Santo and others pursuing them, rather than the other way around. 

How will they handle it? 

Lucas now visits with BigCountryPreps.com’s Evan Ren to talk about the current season and the unusual position in which the Pipers find themselves in a Big Country Preps Q&A. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BIG COUNTRY PREPS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Brady’s Bauer snags the top spot

Just how much the Brady football team will improve this season has yet to be determined. But one thing is certain: The Bulldogs are explosive. 

Headed by our Big Country Preps Player of the Week, senior quarterback Walker Bauer, Brady handed a solid Class 2A Division II team from Haskell a 59-24 loss on Friday. 

It was the biggest offensive output in coach Shay Easterwood’s tenure as BHS’ head coach.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

District 2-3A Division II: Week 2 Report

Schneider

Coahoma 40, McCamey 9 — In one of the most dominating performances we’ve seen from Coahoma in years, the Bulldogs simply ran all over McCamey, with 421 yards rushing and 457 yards in total offense. 

Zach Schneider rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown and threw for 56 yards and another score. But several other Bulldogs contributed to the blowout, beginning with Isaac Murrillo, who rushed for 119 yards and two scores on only seven touches. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

DISTRICT 5-2A Division II: Week 2 Report

Hamlin 44, Wheeler 15 — The Pied Pipers passed their second test of the season, and did so with flying colors, routing a strong and experienced Wheeler squad in a neutral site game at Childress.

Hamlin led 28-7 at halftime and increased its lead to 44-7 by the start of the fourth quarter, dominating a Mustangs team that some had picked to win District 5-2A Division II.

Having now outscored their first two opponents by a 71-22 margin, the Pied Pipers will face their stiffest test to date next week when they travel to Hawley for a nondistrict game.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

District 6-3A Division II: Week 2 Report

Wilson

Comanche 31, Breckenridge 28 Ricardo Sanchez booted a 31-yard field goal in overtime to lift Comanche to a difficult win over Breckenridge. 

Trailing by two scores in the second half, the Buckaroos knotted the game at 28 with a pair of Jonas Arellano touchdown runs of 1 and 5 yards — the latter of which came with 4:51 to play. 

Luke Wilson led Comanche with 130 yards rushing. Breckenridge’s Owen Woodward led all rushers with 193 yards on 19 carries. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

District 2-4A Division I: Week 2 Report

Baeza

Sweetwater 48, Big Spring 27 — After breaking a 21-all tie late in the second quarter to take a seven-point lead into halftime, the Mustangs outscored the Steers by two touchdowns over the final two periods to secure their first victory of the 2019 season.

Quarterback Leo Holsey led the effort, completing 12 of 15 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 110 more yards and two additional scores on the ground. Cedrick Brown also had a big day running the ball for Sweetwater, finishing with 115 yards and two TDs on 23 carries.

Orlando Sanchez led Big Spring with 220 yards rushing and three scores on only 17 carries. Gabriel Baeza was 3 of 5 for 56 yards. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

District 3-2A Division I: Week 2 Report

Hawley 36, Bangs 9 Hawley jumped out to a 28-0 first-half lead on the road and never looked back.

Colton Marshall rushed for 145 yards and two scores and Xavier Rodela threw for 120 yards and another touchdown to help the Bearcats improve to 2-0. 

Ethan Sanchez rushed for 107 yards to lead Bangs (1-1), which was limited to 136 yards in total offense. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

District 4-3A Division II: Week 2 Report

Ballinger 48, Reagan County 7 The Bearcats stymied Reagan County, limiting the Owls to just 35 yards in total offense to improve to 2-0. 

After building a 42-7 halftime lead, Ballinger (2-0) simply coasted to the finish line with 363 total yards, including 142 yards rushing and three scores from Darin Hall. 

Edgar Nunez added 115 yards passing and 42 yards rushing while accounting for four TDs. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

District 3-3A Division I: Week 2 Report

Fielding

Eastland 49, West 7 Behren Morton threw for 281 yards and four scores and Brandon Fielding rushed for 81 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries as Eastland improved to 2-0.

The Mavericks raced out to a 35-0 lead by the second quarter before coasting the rest of the way. 

By night’s end Eastland (2-0) had accumulated 432 yards in total offense. West (1-1) was limited to 150. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP GAME OF THE WEEK: Wall survives trip to Cisco with 20-13 win

CISCO — Coming into Friday’s Big Country Preps Game of the Week as a two-score underdog to Wall, the Cisco Loboes had a specific set of musts they had to meet in order to knock off the visiting Hawks. Contain Wall’s option game, win the turnover battle and take advantage of key opportunities when they had them. 

The Loboes achieved two out of the three in a 20-13 loss, falling just short when a would-be fourth-down touchdown pass from Gibson Hearne to Dax Brunson just grazed the the tight end’s finger tips in the end zone with 3:42 to play. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP GAME OF THE WEEK: Cisco, Wall square off in a clash of area powers (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 43-13, .767

SEASON TOTAL: 43-13, .767

The beauty of Week 1 of the football season is that it throws all sorts of new questions into your face. The beauty of Weeks 2 and 3 is that most of those questions get answered. 

Our Big Country Preps Game of the Week — Wall at Cisco — should serve as a moment of clarity. 

Just how good is this Wall team that routed perennial power Mason 47-7 at the Puncher Dome last week? Entering as a nine-point favorite, the Hawks shattered the computer projections leading some to believe this could be a vintage Hawks football team. 

At this point, however, we don’t know exactly where Mason stands. 

We do, however, have a pretty fair idea about Cisco, which handed a rapidly improving (albeit young) Class 4A Sweetwater team a 49-27 loss in the Mustang Bowl. This is your standard, tough Cisco football team with an excellent running game and physical defense. 

So we’ll find out precisely where Wall is on Friday. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

Big Country Preps Player of the Week: Haskell’s Burson captures our first weekly award for 2019-20

We like diversity at Big Country Preps and often use it as a tiebreaker when determining our Player of the Week award. 

We begin the 2019-20 school year with a prime example of this in Haskell senior Logan Burson, who did a bit of everything in the Indians’ season-opening 32-24 win over Quanah.

It all begins with four receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown and two carries for nine yards and another score. But that’s just scratching the surface. 

Burson also added a two-point conversion run, a 76-yard kickoff return to the Quanah 5 to set up a touchdown, a 90-yard fumble return off a PAT that he returned for a defensive two-point conversion and an interception he returned 50 yards. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

District 5-2A Division II: Week 1 Report

Munday 52, Olney 0 —In perhaps the biggest surprise of the opening week, the Munday Moguls dominated Olney from start to finish. 

Munday scored at least twice in each of the first three quarters and carried a 45-0 lead into the fourth. 

Oddly enough, Coach Patrick Corcoran’s Moguls will now play three straight JV teams, due to low numbers.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

District 6-3A Division II: Week 1 Report

Dublin 45, Hico 6 — The Hico Tigers were outmatched in their season opener, falling behind Dublin 31-0 in the first half of a lopsided loss.

The Tigers’ only score came in the third quarter, but the Lions took a 38-6 lead into the final quarter.

Dublin was led in the victory by quarterback Cy Wing, who passed for 150 yards and a touchdown and ran for 90 yards and two more scores. Running back Hagen Huffman added 70 yards and one score rushing on seven carries, while Colten Couch (3-90, 1 TD) was the leading receiver.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

District 2-3A Division II: Week 1 Report

Coahoma 38, Forsan 0 — Zach Schneider rushed for 119 yards, threw for 121 yards and accounted for three scores to lead CHS to a win over its archrival. 

Bryson Kirby also had a big day for the Bulldogs (1-0) rushing for 146 yards and a score on just 21 carries. 

The Bulldogs will travel to McCamey on Sept. 6. Forsan will take on Post at home on the same evening. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

District 5-4A Division I: Week 1 Report

Brownwood 10, Brock 0 The Lions avenged last year’s 41-10 drubbing at the hands of Brock with a victory on the Eagles’ home field. 

A 73-yard scoring run by Reece Rogers with 8:21 left in the second quarter was the big blow in a game dominated by defense. 

The Lions (1-0) made it a two-score game with 4:04 left to play when Blaize Espinoza booted a 27-yard field goal. 

Continue reading “District 5-4A Division I: Week 1 Report”

District 2-4A Division I: Week 1 Report

Midland Greenwood 42, Big Spring 6 Greenwood piled up 247 yards rushing while holding Big Spring to 150 yards in total offense to win the season opener for both schools. 

Trey Cross rushed for 170 yards on 14 carries and Weston Wilber threw for 144 yards and two scores to lead the Rangers, who led 21-6 at the break.

Orlando Sanchez was the top gainer for Big Spring, rushing for 59 yards on 17 carries.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

District 3-2A Division I: Week 1 Report

Stamford 30, Merkel 8 Stamford held Merkel to just 166 yards in total offense en route to a road win in its season opener. 

With the score knotted at 8 at the break, Stamford used a 22-0 run through the second half to put the Badgers away. 

Trace Price threw for 141 yards and one score while Shavaris Cooper, D’Marcus Barber and Trace Price all added rushing TDs to lead the Bulldogs. 

Continue reading “District 3-2A Division I: Week 1 Report”

District 4-3A Division II: Week 1 Report

Bangs 44, Early 7 — Ethan Sanchez rushed for 136 yards and three scores to lead Bangs (1-0) to a big win in its season opener. 

Leading 14-7 after the first quarter, the Dragons blew the game open with 30 straight points through the second and third periods. 

Early (0-1) was limited to 215 yards in total offense. Receiver Timmy Smithson was the top producer for EHS, catching four passes for 66 yards and one score. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

District 3-3A Division I: Week 1 Report

Wall 47 , Mason 7 — Mason’s 40-game home winning streak was ended in a resounding way by the Hawks, who dominated from start to finish in a Thursday night game televised by Fox Sports Southwest. 

Wall (1-0) pounded out 353 yards rushing and Mason Fuchs threw two first-half TD passes in what was a largely unexpected rout. 

The Hawks limited Mason to just 111 yards in total offense, including 84 yards rushing on 40 carries.  

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP GAME OF THE WEEK: Hamlin defense leads Pipers to 27-7 win at Anson

ANSON — A shootout may have been anticipated, but a trench war was what the spectators received Friday when the visiting Hamlin Pied Pipers opened the season with a 27-7 win over Anson at Tiger Stadium. 

Jackson Sepeda rushed for 90 yards and two scores and Braydin Warner rushed for 93 and another score to lead Hamlin (1-0), which never trailed in 2019’s first Big Country Preps Game of the Week. 

Anson, which was led by Drew Hagler’s 223 yards in total offense and one rushing TD, dropped to 0-1.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP GAME OF THE WEEK: Anson hosts highly touted Hamlin (w/ Evan Ren’s area picks for Week 1)

 

LAST WEEK: 0-0, .000

SEASON TOTAL: 0-0, .000

Fourteen seasons of Big Country football — that’s what 2019 represents for me.

Since 2006, I’ve been cruising the back roads (putting 275,000 miles on my truck) in search of the area’s best high school football games. 

And I must say, it’s been an absolute blast.

We now jump headlong into the new season, beginning with our first Big Country Preps Game of the Week for 2019 — Hamlin at Anson. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

DISTRICT PREDICTIONS: Evan and Dan make their picks

Without further ado it is time for us to make our Big Country predictions, district-by-district.

This is the culmination of several weeks of research and two solid months of summertime labor, so we’re more than ready to post it. 

So dive in and study our take on the upcoming season, along with the more than 80 preseason stories we posted earlier today.  Enjoy!  We’ll see you on the road. 
You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

EVAN REN: Games worth traveling to in 2019

Got the truck started yet?

Ready to jump on one of those farm-to-market roads to watch high school football into the late hours on a Friday night?

You’re not alone.

And, as tradition would have it, I tip my cap to those of you who will be hitting the trails each week in search of pigskin. My salute: a preseason menu of sorts.

Each week for the next 11 weeks, Big Country Preps will be searching for its Game of the Week, and we’re already looking ahead. We now present our preliminary list of Big Country Games worth traveling for, but keep in mind: the following list is subject to change as surprises and disappointments emerge.

And as we all know … surprises and disappointments always emerge.

So, without further delay, here is our list of Big Country games worth traveling for in 2019.

I’ll see you on the road.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE: Stephenville’s Smith goes from handyman to leader

STEPHENVILLE — For many Stephenville football players, waiting your turn to be a key contributor is a rite of passage. 

A high level of talent and depth nearly dictate it. 

But for some, like senior offensive lineman Caleb Smith, that waiting period can be shortened a bit if one finds a way to become as useful as possible. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

STEPHENVILLE TEAM PREVIEW: Yellowjackets hoping to avoid the medical tent

STEPHENVILLE — Rebuild or reload? 

When it comes to perennial power Stephenville, the latter is generally true. But in a season that features a coaching change and 30 lettermen to replace while playing in one of Texas’ toughest 4A districts, the Yellow Jackets may need time to regroup. 

Not to say Stephenville won’t be good. The ‘Jackets have two capable quarterbacks in Kade Renfro (100-186, 1,808, 16 TDs) and Cole Stanley (38-96, 720 yards, five TDs). They have an All-Big Country Preps caliber linebacker in Quinton Walker (100 tackles, 6.5 sacks) with a solid defensive line in front of him. 

They do, however, have considerable talent to replace as first-year coach Sterling Doty takes over the program. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE: Jim Ned’s Kimmel, Hayes among area’s best linebackers

TUSCOLA — There is perhaps no position in football that is more associated with aggression and toughness than that of linebacker. 

And with Jim Ned Indians working hard to shed their reputation as a basketball school in recent years, perhaps nothing illustrates their success in that endeavor more than their linebacking corps. 

Jim Ned, which enters the the 2019 season with legitimate district title hopes, has some of the best linebacking in the Big Country at any level. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

JIM NED TEAM PREVIEW: Indians ready for dangerous district

TUCSOLA — With the exception of the days when Colt McCoy stood in the pocket at Jim Ned, the Indians have seldom been seen as a Region I threat in football. 

Until now. 

For those who haven’t noticed, the Indians are in the midst of a culture change. It started under former coach Jerod Womack and progressed even further last year under current mentor Matt Fanning.  Facing a monstrous schedule, the Indians posted a second straight 9-3 record last year, earning  a playoff spot in what has been rated as the second most difficult 3A district in Texas. 

Coming off their best two-year run in 15 years, the Indians enter the 2019 campaign with excellent numbers and a chance at both a district title and deep playoff run. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE: Eastland’s got a secret — quality receiving and rushing

                Alex Gonzales

EASTLAND — Behind every great quarterback is a quality group of skill personnel that enables him to achieve his full potential. 

In Eastland, where much of the preseason writing is focused on standout quarterback Behren Morton, a secret has been inadvertently created by the media. 

The Mavericks are loaded at the skill spots.

“Actually, we need to back up a year,” Eastland coach James Morton said. “The reason Behren has gotten the attention he has gotten is because of those skill guys and they’re all back for another year. 

“A quarterback is only as good as his skill guys. … I think Behren would be the first guy to tell you that.” 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

EASTLAND TEAM PREVIEW: Mavericks counting on both lines to develop

EASTLAND — Most preseason conversations regarding the 2019 Eastland Mavericks will center around highly touted quarterback Behren Morton. 

That’s understandable, given that the 6-2 junior is already receiving more Division I collegiate interest than most players could ever dream of. 

The son of Eastland coach James Morton earned that attention with 2,664 yards passing last year as a sophomore, hitting 203 of 315 passes with 18 TDs to only two picks.

The quarterback spot, however, won’t be what determines how far the Mavericks get in 2019. That, in the view of its coach, will be the performance of guys in the trenches. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE: Smallish McKay has learned to channel his aggression

BRECKENRIDGE — At 5-9 and 195 pounds, Breckenridge senior offensive lineman Zane McKay is easy to underestimate.

And that’s just the way he likes it. 

McKay, who may be among the smallest offensive tackles in the Big Country, has found compensation within the reaches of his own heart. In the process, he has come to exemplify the sort of grit the Breckenridge team has counted on under coach Casey Hubble in recent years. 

“It’s something that we’ve tried to hang our hat on since we’ve been here,” Hubble said of McKay’s tough style of play. “Breckenridge has tough kids. We always try to play the game extremely physical and Zane encompasses that.” 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us