2017 Region Outlooks: 2A DII Region I — Familiar faces should return for late-round playoff battle
AS WE LOOK AHEAD TO THE 2017 TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SEASON, DCTF'S BRADY KEANE TAKES A LOOK AT HOW EACH REGION SHOULD SHAKE OUT WHEN FALL ROLLS AROUND.
The 2017 Texas high school football season will be here before you know it, and in a year without UIL realignment, we have a grasp on who should challenge for region — and state — titles across the state. We’ll take a closer look at the frontrunners in each region throughout the spring doldrums.
Class 6A: Region I / Region II / Region III / Region IV
Class 5A: Region I / Region II / Region III / Region IV
Class 4A DI: Region I / Region II / Region III / Region IV
Class 4A DII: Region I / Region II / Region III / Region IV
Class 3A DI: Region I / Region II / Region III / Region IV
Class 3A DII: Region I / Region II / Region III / Region IV
Class 2A DI: Region I / Region II / Region III / Region IV
Today’s spotlight: Class 2A DII Region I
Wellington was the surprise finisher out of Region I last year and its run through the playoffs was a dominant one. The Skyrockets will be looking to replicate that playoff magic heading into 2017. District 4 was the toughest from top to bottom in the group last year with Roscoe, Seagraves and Hamlin all advancing to the regional semifinals. Memphis returns with a strong group after finishing atop District 2.
Wellington won its first four playoff games by a combined score of 181-19 before falling to Iraan in the state semifinals. Despite losing a few key pieces, the Skyrockets have enough talent back to expect another successful season in 2017.
QB Luke Williams (2,730 total yards, 27 touchdowns) gives opposing defenses fits with his speed and the receiving corps is going to be good too. WR Arturo Tellez (823 total yards, 9 TDs) and WR Cooper Richardson (400 yards, 3 TDs) return, and the duo combined for 10 INTs in the secondary, as well. DT Drake Welch (91 tackles, 11 sacks) and LB Weston Wright (105 tackles) anchor the run support on defense. Memphis will be a tough challenge again in district play, but Wellington hopes to use its late momentum to spark another big year.
After winning District 2, Memphis was bounced early in the playoffs in a heartbreaking 21-20 second-round loss to Seagraves. The team’s only other loss came to Abernathy in the regular season and the Cyclones will be looking to avenge their early exit from the playoffs.
The defense returns a little bit more experience than the offense with seven starters back, and DL/OL Broaddrick Logan (73 tackles, 18 sacks, 14 TFL) is about as dominant as they come on the defensive line. LB DaRay Odhams (62 tackles, 12 TFL, 8 sacks), LB Matthew Haase (110 tackles, 10 TFL) and LB Andrew Alexander (110 tackles, 10 TFL) round out the tough defensive group, and Alexander will also take over as the primary running back this season. The lone question mark is at the quarterback position, but if the Cyclones fill that spot they have a chance for a bounce-back run in the playoffs.
The Plowboys finished second in District 4 and advanced to the regional semifinals before falling to a district rival in Seagraves. While Hamlin was the dominant team in the district last year, Roscoe returns significantly more experience heading into 2017 with eight starters back on both sides of the ball.
The offense is stacked and there will be playmakers all over the field again this season. RB Francisco Garcia (1,726 yards, 30 TDs) is a workhorse and got more than 300 carries last season while WR Jose Ortega (977 yards, 14 TDs) is back, as well. WR Junior Martinez had an injury-shortened year and will be looking to bounce back while also battling for time at quarterback with QB Jayden Gonzales (642 yards, 3 TDs). LB Tait Fullwood (98 tackles, 8 TFL), Ortega (76 tackles, 11 TFL, 5 INTs), DE Parker Payne (64 tackles, 6 sacks) and DL Paul Pantoja (74 tackles, 11 sacks) will lead the way on defense. With Hamlin and Seagraves looking to replace a lot of key pieces, Roscoe could be in for a big year with its established and well-seasoned team.
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Brady Keane is a Contributing Writer for Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. Follow him on Twitter: @BradyKeane.