Dallas Thomas Jefferson (0-10, 0-6 in 12-4A). Coach: David Haynes
Dallas Woodrow Wilson (6-5, 5-1 in 12-4A) lost in DI bi-district. Coach: Bobby Estes
THE BIG QUESTION:Will Woodrow's strong defense have what it takes to beat district favorite Lincoln?
Outside linebacker Chad Polk (left) leads Dallas Woodrow Wilson's defense.
At Woodrow Wilson's practice Tuesday, a quarterback walked up to a line of wide receivers during positional drills and asked them what they were working on.
"Being aggressive athletes," one of them said very resolutely.
Woodrow has a tradition of developing athletes, dating back to Davey O'Brien, Tim Brown and more recently Sergio Kindle. Now the Wildcats must rely on a corps of aggressive, athletic linebackers to carry a young team into the playoffs.
The leader of the group is outside linebacker Chad Polk, who had 67 tackles last season, 16 for loss, and snatched two interceptions. Coach Bobby Estes said Polk was a very special player and will need to lead a defense that will have to carry a young and inexperienced offense through the season.
Lincoln is the defending champion and favorite to win the district in 2010, but Polk believes that Woodrow's more experienced middle linebacker, Ceasar Silva, will give the Wildcats a better shot at beating the Tigers this year.
"Last season, Lincoln ran straight up the middle with a fast running back and I think [Silva has] grown up and matured more," Polk said. "He can read plays better."
Estes said he's not worried about any other teams in the district, just about the performance of his own.
"We've got to worry about us," Estes said. "If Woodrow is the best they can be, then we're going to be OK."
Lincoln has made the playoffs in 14 of the last 15 seasons, including the last 11 years in a row. ... Spruce is the only squad that wasn't in the district last year. The team is returning to action following a two-year hiatus, the result of varsity athletics being cancelled because of failure to reach academic standards.