Tag: Early Longhorns

FEATURE: Early’s Smithson a small, but determined target

EARLY — At only 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds, Early receiver Timmy Smithson doesn’t cast an imposing shadow. In fact, some may say he barely casts a shadow at all. 

That is, until one looks at his résumé. 

Smithson, who earned all-state honors as a junior last season, accomplished this feat despite getting extra defensive attention while playing in one of the most difficult 3A districts in Texas. 

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EARLY TEAM PREVIEW: Longhorns making no excuses in brutal district

EARLY — If one were to cite the chief problem with the Early football program, it may very well be geography. 

After racing out to a 4-1 record during the non-district portion of their 2018 schedule, the Longhorns jumped headlong into what one computer power rating service ranked as the second toughest 3A district in all of Texas. 

They closed with an 0-5 finish, a 4-6 overall mark and spent Thanksgiving at home.  By season’s end that same computer service rated Early (despite its last-place finish) high enough to have reached postseason play in several other districts. 

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GAME STORY: Jim Ned escapes Early upset bid (box score, two videos & photo gallery included)

COLEMAN — Cruising along with a comfortable 37-25 lead after three quarters in Monday’s 3A bi-district game with Early, the Jim Ned Indians were poised to advance into the area round. 

There was just one problem: The Early Longhorns. 

Staging a furious rally through the final quarter, Early opened the period with a 10-0 run to cut the gap to 37-35 with 17 seconds to play, only to see Jim Ned escape the upset with a 39-35 win at Coleman High School.  

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Longhorns believe they can prove experts wrong

When the University Interscholastic League’s biennial realignment took place over the winter, much of the talk centered around which programs would benefit from the shifts and which ones would be hurt.

The media hashed out its opinions. So did the coaches. And at the end of the day, one team that was consistently mentioned among those who were given a tough road were the Early Longhorns.

Placed in the six-team District 3-3A Division I, the Longhorns were tossed in with five teams — Wall, Breckenridge, Eastland, Jim Ned and Clyde — that earned playoff spots a year ago. And as if that weren’t difficult enough, at least three of those teams expect to be significantly better in 2018.

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Early Longhorns banking on experience

With one of the area’s top returning quarterbacks and an experienced offensive line, the Early Longhorns are a virtual lock to field a better product than they did in 2017.

Whether or not they can improve on their 3-7 record, however, is the question for a program that hasn’t fielded a winning team in 10 years.

Shifted to the extremely difficult District 3-3A Division I during the UIL realignment, Early isn’t the only team on the block expecting to be better than a year ago. As a result, the fact that the Longhorns have improved might get blurred by a murderous league slate.

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BCP Podcast No. 8: Early’s Sandford talks Longhorn football, baseball scouting

Early’s Blake Sandford

Blake Sandford took a unique path to becoming Early’s head football coach that included time as an amateur scout for Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds, among other clubs.

This week, Sandford spent some time chatting with Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood about his time in baseball, the season outlook for his Early Longhorns and his philosophy as an athletic director on this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel discuss the wealth of quarterback talent and depth in the Big Country this season.

BCP Podcast No. 7: Evan, Dan talk football with Wichita Falls’ Zach Duncan

Zach Duncan

Like Big Country Preps co-founders Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood, Wichita Falls Time Record News area writer Zach Duncan has been covering high school sports in his market for a long time.

Entering his 15th football season with the Wichita Falls newspaper, Duncan has seen more great games than he can count and worked with some outstanding coaches and players. This week, he took some time to share some his favorite football stories and talk shop with Evan and Daniel.

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel discuss District 3-3A Division I and District 7-2A Division II — two all-area leagues that should be competitive from top to bottom.