This Week in TXHSFB (April 20): Surprising coaching moves and updated spring game schedules


Former Grandview head coach Casey Walraven (left) is the new man at Cleburne, ending a tumultuous few weeks for the school. (Cleburne ISD photo)

The offseason grind is slowly but surely coming to an end statewide, so let’s just recap some key dates and info to look for as we move towards the end April.

Starting at the end of April, spring football will ramp up for 6A and 5A programs who elect to participate in after school practices. Then we’ll have the 2017 THSCA Convention, which will be in Houston (details below) and then on Monday, Aug. 7, fall practice will begin for 4A schools and below and 6A/5A programs that did not participate in spring football. We have a list of spring football games for schools statewide down below if you’d like to get an early look at teams for 2017!

On April 29, we’ll have our first 7-on-7 State Qualifying Tournament, which will culminate in the 2017 7-on-7 State Tournament June 29 – July 1 in College Station. Don’t forget that if your school is interested in participating in a State Qualifier, go to for all your SQT needs! Several tournaments, most notably at the Division II level, have openings!

We had a flurry of coaching movement towards the end of the week last week, most notably in the DFW area where several openings were filled. The most high profile opening was at Cleburne, where after a very public divorce between the administration and former HC Jeff Merket, CISD tabbed former Grandview HC Casey Walraven to be their next HC. With all the negative press surrounding what happened in Cleburne, their administration has to be commended for landing such a quality hire in Walraven. At nearby Grandview, Walraven posted an impressive 43-15 record and had really established the Zebras as a power program in 3A Division I. Now the big question is who lands the Grandview job? It’s a very attractive gig from a football standpoint. It’s a good location within easy driving distance to Fort Worth and they have a strong talent pool, but the pay isn’t all that great. Smart money says someone with ties to the program either with Walraven or former HC Aubrey Sims gets this job.

Meanwhile in the DFW area, Dallas Adams pegged former Irving MacArthur DC Sean Lorance to be their next HFC. Lorance does have prior experience as a HFC having spent time at Mineola. The long saga at Arlington Seguin also ended on Thursday as AISD tabbed Arlington High defensive assistant Joe Gordon to be their next HFC.

Alba-Golden stayed in house for their hire as they promoted former Emory Rains HC Derek Smith to the position of HFC/AD. Smith has spent the last two years at Alba as an assistant.

There was some movement in the Alamo City this week as San Antonio Harlandale didn’t have to look far for their next HFC, bringing in San Antonio Edison HC Albert Torres to take over. Torres spent ten years at his alma mater and in 2016 led the Bears to a 7-3 record. On Friday, Hondo named Navasota assistant coach Brett Ratliff as their next HFC/AD. Ratliff was previously HFC/AD at New Diana High until the end of the 2015 season.

There were a couple of moves out west, one was a bit of a surprise as Ballinger HFC/AD David Jones stunned many by announcing his resignation. Jones, who had just been extended by the Ballinger ISD school board in February, departs Ballinger after just two years. Looking WAY out to the west, Van Horn HC Brian Gibson resigned his post and will join the staff at district rival Wink. Wichita Falls, as expected, stayed in house by promoting OC Grant Freeman to HFC.

Alice made a move on filling their HFC on Tuesday morning as they brought in San Angelo Grape Creek HC Kyle Atwood to take over. Atwood spent five years at Grape Creek and took the Eagles to the playoffs twice. He brought stability to a program that had been one of the worst in West Texas. GCHS had four head coaches in the past four years before Atwood arrived on the scene. He’ll look to do the same at Alice, which has been in tumult on and off the field the past three years. He’s got familiarity with the area having been an assistant there in 2007 and 2008 under Brent Davis, who is now at San Angelo Central.

Finally, down in the Rio Grande Valley, we had another somewhat surprising move as Santa Rosa HC Gus Cavazos announced his retirement after just one year at SRHS. Cavazos has been a HC for twelve years and has thirty years of experience total coaching.

There was some transfer movement of some high profile players in the past week, as well. We’ll start in DFW where DeSoto LB Ashton Brooks has moved from DeSoto to Sachse. Brooks, who holds a pair of FBS offers, scored a key defensive touchdown in the Eagles’ win over Klein Collins in the state semifinals.

Staying in the DFW area, highly touted 2020 QB Ken Seals is transferring from Azle to Weatherford. Seals is a possible FBS prospect after seeing time at the varsity level as a freshman and could really be an impact player for Weatherford if he is eligible to play. Everman also got a key move-in as Dallas Jefferson WR/DB Josh Bright enrolled at the school at the beginning of the semester. If he is ruled eligible he’ll really give Everman a big and physical target in the passing game. Finally, up in the panhandle, Jaelin Ford’s journey comes full circle. As a sophomore, Ford was a Class 6A all-state pick as a RB for Amarillo High, totaling over 2,000 rushing yards. He transferred to nearby Canyon for his junior year, where he was eligible and played well for the Eagles, but he has now re-enrolled at Amarillo High for his senior season.

It’s officially clinic season in the state of Texas and if you have coaching clinic information that we are missing below by all means send it our way! You can e-mail it to me at or reach out to me on twitter @Matt_Stepp817.

June 13-15: Angelo Football Clinic, San Angelo

July 23-26: 2017 THSCA Coaches Convention & Coaching School, Houston

Convention & Coaching School | Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA)

Here are the dates for Spring Football Games from across the state, we’ll be adding to the list as info is received, if you don’t see your school’s spring game listed please send it to us! You can e-mail it to me at or reach out to me on twitter @Matt_Stepp817

Allen: May 18, 6pm at Eagle Stadium

Arlington: May 25, 6pm at Arlington HS

Arlington Bowie: May 25, 6:30pm at Bowie HS

Arlington Lamar: May 25, 7pm at Cravens Field

Arlington Martin: May 25, 7pm at Martin HS

Austin Anderson: May 20, 9am at House Park

Austin Vandegrift: May 25, 7:30pm at Monroe Stadium

Austin Westlake: May 18, 5:30pm at Chaparral Stadium

Bastrop: May 20, 7pm at Memorial Stadium

Burleson Centennial: May 25, 6pm at Centennial HS

Cedar Hill: May 19, 7pm at Longhorn Stadium

Cedar Park: May 26, 6pm at Cedar Park HS

Cedar Park Vista Ridge: May 26, 7pm at Vista Ridge HS

Cibolo Steele: May 25, 6pm at Steele HS

Dallas Jesuit: May 19, 6pm at Haggar Stadium

Dallas Skyline: May 26, 6pm at Forrester Stadium

Denton Braswell: May 18 7:15pm at Braswell HS

DeSoto: May 24, 6pm at Eagle Stadium

Duncanville: May 25, 6pm at Panther Stadium

El Paso Americas: May 26, 7pm at Americas HS

El Paso Del Valle: May 26, 6pm at Conquest Stadium

El Paso Eastwood: June 2, 7pm at Trooper Stadium

El Paso Parkland: May 27, 10am at Sun Bowl

Ennis: May 23, 5:00pm at Lion Memorial Stadium

Fort Bend Travis: May 16, 6pm at Travis HS

Fort Worth Paschal: May 26, 7pm at Paschal HS

Fort Worth South Hills: May 24, 6pm at South Hills HS

Flower Mound: May 18, 6pm at Wilson Stadium

Frisco Lone Star: May 25, 6pm at Lone Star HS

Granbury: May 19, 6pm at Pirate Stadium

Haltom: May 18, 6pm at Birdville Stadium

Haslet Eaton: May 20, 6pm at Eaton HS

Houston Westbury: May 12, 4:40pm at Westbury HS

Hurst Bell: May 19, 6pm at Pennington Field

Georgetown: May 19, 6pm at GISD Athletic Complex

Jacksonville: May 22, 5:30pm at Tomato Bowl

Joshua: May 19, 7pm at Owl Stadium

Justin Northwest: May 18, 6pm at Northwest ISD Stadium

Katy: May 16, 6pm at Katy HS

Katy Cinco Ranch: May 22, 6:30pm at Cinco Ranch HS

Keller: May 23, 6pm at Keller ISD Stadium

Keller Central: May 18, 7pm at Central HS

Keller Fossil Ridge: May 18, 7pm at Fossil Ridge HS

Keller Timber Creek: May 18, 7pm at Timber Creek HS

Klein Oak: May 19, 7pm at Klein Oak HS

Lake Dallas: May 16, 6:30pm at Lake Dallas HS

Lake Travis: May 19, 6pm at Cavalier Stadium

Lancaster: May 24, 6:30pm at Humphrey Stadium

La Porte: May 19, 6pm at Bulldog Stadium

Laredo United: May 16, 6pm at Krueger Field

Lewisville Hebron: May 24, 7pm at Hawk Stadium

Longview: May 16, 6pm at Lobo Stadium

Lufkin: May 15, 6pm at Martin Stadium

Manor: May 19, 7pm at Mustang Stadium

Mansfield: May 24, 6pm at Mansfield HS

Mansfield Lake Ridge: May 22, 6pm at Lake Ridge HS

Mansfield Legacy: May 25, 6pm at Legacy HS

Mansfield Timberview: May 24, 6pm at Timberview HS

Marble Falls: May 22, 6pm at Mustang Stadium

Mesquite Horn: May 23, 7pm at Hanby Stadium

Mission Veterans Memorial: May 23, 6pm at Veterans Memorial HS

Nacogdoches: May 18, 6:30pm at Dragon Stadium

Odessa Permian: May 18, 6pm at Ratliff Stadium

Pflugerville Connally: May 19, 6pm at Connally HS

Plano East: May 19, 6pm at Kimbrough Stadium

Richardson: May 18, 6pm at Eagle-Mustang Stadium

Rockwall: May 23, 6pm at Wilkerson-Sanders Stadium

Round Rock: May 11, 6pm at Dragon Stadium

Round Rock Westwood: May 16, 6pm at Westwood HS

Sachse: May 23, 5:30pm at Williams Stadium

Saginaw: May 12, 7pm at Roughrider Stadium

Saginaw Boswell: May 25, 6pm at Pioneer Stadium

Saginaw Chisholm Trail: May 24, 6pm at Ranger Stadium

San Angelo Central: May 19, 6:30pm at San Angelo Stadium

Southlake Carroll: May 18, 7pm at Dragon Stadium

Sulphur Springs: May 19, 6pm at Prim Stadium

Trophy Club Nelson: May 18, 5:30pm at Byron Nelson HS

Tyler John Tyler: May 25, 6pm at John Tyler HS

Tyler Lee: May 25, 6pm at Lee HS

Wichita Falls Rider: May 18, 6pm at Memorial Stadium

Wolfforth Frenship: May 18, 6:30pm at Peoples Bank Stadium


Matt Stepp is the Texas High School Football Inside for Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. Find him on Twitter: @Matt_Stepp817.

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