Even if you’re new to the great state of Texas, it won’t take long to realize the importance of football in the Lone Star State. With the Dallas Cowboys just an hour’s drive from Frisco and plenty of NCAA Division I pigskin play within a quick commute, it’s easy to forget that there is some solid football being played right in our own backyards.
That’s right, it’s late August and you know what that means—the finest in prep football begin to shine under the glow of the Friday Night Lights. High School Football is just as close as the next heatwave. And with six high schools in Frisco—five competing in 4A and another in 3A—there is no shortage of gridiron goodness to start off your weekend right.
Here’s a quick preview of Frisco ISD’s finest as they gear up for the 2013 UIL season.
Frisco High Raccoons
2012: (9-4, 6-1), DI Regional Semifinalists
Head Coach: Vance Gibson
First Game: Friday, Aug. 23 @ Dallas White High School
Player(s) to watch: WB Austin Shaw, TB Dayton Bush
In a spread-heavy sport, head coach Vance Gibson proved that you can still win while running a wing-T offense. With 8 starters returning—many of whom play both ways—the Raccoons will have all the components for continued success both offensively and defensively.
Centennial High Titans (District 9-4A)
Head Coach: Mark Howard
First Game: Friday, Aug. 30 vs. Denison
2012 Record: (12-2, 6-1)—DI Regional Finalists
Player(s) to watch: LB Andrew Pierce, S Ian Neithercut
After losing five seniors to Division I College programs, coach Howard still has a solid enough core to compete for the 9-4A championship. District foes are going to have a hard time putting up points against the Titans. Pierce recorded 107 tackles a year ago and Neithercut uses his 4.5 speed to keep the secondary in check.
The offense is no slouch either with players such as TE Stoney Hawkins combining size (6’3” 235) with speed (4.6) and SR Kelly Cordova with plenty of the latter (4.5).
Head Coach: Che Hendrix
First Game: Friday, Aug. 30 @ Lovejoy
2012 Record: (1-9, 0-7)
Player(s) to watch: QB Twayne Blackwell, LB Walter Miller
The only good thing about going winless in district is that there is no where to go but up. The Coyotes have a very athletic team on both sides of the ball. The offense is led by speedy QB Twayne Blackwell (4.5) with deceptively fast LB Walter Miller (4.6) holding down the defense.
Head Coach: Galen Zimmerman
First Game: Friday, Aug. 23 @ Lake Dallas
2012 Record: (3-7, 1-6)
Player(s) to watch: WR Chris McPhaul, OLD Michael Kamra
In 2010, the RedHawks were Area Champs. Since then, the team has felt the pang of growing pains. However, with a strong core highlighted by the lightning-quick McPhaul (4.4) and a defense anchored by Kamra (4.5), 2013 could be the year Liberty returns to their winning ways.
Head Coach: Marty Secord
Next Game: Friday, Sep. 6 @ Richardson
2012 Record: (7-3, 4-3)
Player(s) to watch: DE Noah Westerfield, RB Tyler Carver, QB Jackson Lamb
After a playoff snub a year ago, Head Coach Secord’s Wolverines are more motivated than ever for the postseason push. With 12 starters returning from 2012, the Wolverines have plenty in the tank to make a run for it.
Their passing game is solid as Lamb threw for 2,535 yards with 23 touchdowns in 2012, and Carver is an elite runner (4.6 ) in a linebacker’s body (6’2” 230). Starting DE Noah Westerfield can snuff out even the strongest of ground games, and will be a key contributor as the Wolverines look to end their playoff drought.
Lone Star Rangers
Head Coach: Jeff Rayburn
First Game: Friday, Aug. 30 vs. Castleberry
2012 Record: (7-4, 2-2)—Bi-District Finalists
Player(s) to watch: RB Ramon Zai Harris, DB Chris Miller
Coach Rayburn returns 13 starters from last year’s 7-4A Bi-District finalist team. Although on the fringe of qualifying for 4A competition, the Lone Star Rangers’ drop down to 3A does not make their schedule much easier. Perennial playoff teams Argyle and Celina—both Regional Semifinalists in ’12—plus a salty Aubrey team make 10-3A one of the tougher districts in North Texas.