Monday, August 15, 2011
District 4-4A football season preview
By Jeff Andrews
Denton (4-7, 2-4), lost in DI bi-district. Coach: Randy Patzkowski.
Denton Ryan (15-1, 6-0), lost in DI state-title game. Coach: Joey Florence.
Lake Dallas (5-6, 4-2), lost in DII bi-district. Coach: Michael Young.
Little Elm (5-5, 2-4). Coach: Donald Stowers.
The Colony (4-6, 1-5). Coach: Rudy Rangel.
Wichita Falls (2-8, 1-5). Coach: Jayson Lavender.
Wichita Falls Rider (9-5, 5-1), lost in DI region finals. Coach: Jim Garfield.
THE BIG QUESTION: Can the offense produce enough for Denton Ryan to win state?
Joey Florence is installing a new offense at Denton Ryan, which already has a dominant defense in place.
Denton Ryan’s defense is an embarrassment of riches.
The unit’s five returning starters are all Division I players, including a guy named Mario Edwards, who happens to be ESPN’s No. 1 recruit in the nation.
But what held Ryan back in 2010 is again a question mark in 2011 - offense. A hiring freeze in Denton ISD prevented Ryan from hiring a new offensive coordinator until last week, but during spring practices, head coach Joey Florence installed an offense that more closely resembles the one Ryan used in the early 2000s.
Unproven Kevin Carpenter takes over under center for the Raiders, and the new scheme will suit his running ability, which was on display in mop-up duty of Ryan’s playoff win over Wichita Falls Rider.
The good news is Carpenter will have plenty around him. WRs Trey Cook and Sam Johnson and RB Jerrick Harvey are capable weapons, and the offensive line has two Division I players in Tevin McCray and Jordan Williams.
With the primary pieces returning from a team that was a game shy of an undefeated season, Ryan might be a quarterback away from its third state title.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB Dentton Hudspeth, WR Manny Mendoza, WR Leon Atkinson, Denton; DE Mario Edwards, LB Alex De La Torre, LB Jordan Richmond, DE Dominique Banks, Denton Ryan; QB Dayln Williams, RB Dontonio Jordan, WR Ferrando Joseph, Lake Dallas; QB Devante Pullum, OL Jerome Daniels, RB Matt Marrs, Little Elm; WR Gerald Thomas, QB Garrett Simpson, LB Geoffrey Chan, The Colony; QB Dylan Sheffield, WR Diondre Singleton, WR Chance Garey, Wichita Falls; QB J.T. Barrett, WR Josh Aaron, RB Tyler Alaniz, Wichita Falls Rider.
DID YOU KNOW?
Denton made the playoffs last season for the first time since 2002. ... Little Elm will return to running the Wishbone offense after a year in the spread. ... All seven of the district’s coaches return for 2011.