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Wednesday, August 24, 2011
District 11-5A football season preview

By Randy Jennings


DISTRICT 11-5A
THE BIG QUESTION: How will DeSoto replace record-setting quarterback Ryan Polite?

Curtis Riser
DeSoto offensive tackle Curtis Riser is one of the players to watch in District 11-5A.
In his four-year Eagles career, Polite was anything but to opposing defenses. He smashed all the school records by throwing for 10,688 yards and 94 touchdowns. In 2010, the Eagles went four rounds deep in the playoffs and averaged almost 47 point per game. Obviously, Polite’s graduation left big shoes to fill.

Senior Raheem Wilson won the fall competition over sophomore Dezmond White for the starting spot, but coach Claude Mathis said both will see action. Wilson led DeSoto to the state 7-on-7 football championship in July.

“We don’t expect Raheem to be Ryan Polite because Ryan had years of experience,’’ Mathis said.

An advantage for Wilson is the high level of talent that will surround him. Five seniors have already made college commitments, and opportunities await several more.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

OT Curtis Riser, LB Alex Lyons, CB Bryson Echols, DE Michael Richardson, DeSoto; RB J’Haston Faggans, LB Jordan Burton, WR Eric Hawkins, Longview; WR/DB Kavaski Ervin, RB Junior Session, Mesquite; CB/WR DeVante Harris, LB Richard Jones, QB Destri White, Mesquite Horn; QB King Davis, RB Horace Borders, LB Darik Walker, North Mesquite; RB LaQuintas Wallace, QB Joseph Seeber, LB Austin Campbell, Tyler Lee.

DID YOU KNOW?

District 11-5A teams had a 10-4 postseason record last year with three teams advancing to the Region II finals. Longview and Mesquite Horn met for a second time last season in the Division II Region II final, with Longview winning 28-24. ... Mesquite Horn’s DeVante Harris, an Oklahoma commit, is the son of former Texas A&M and NFL player Rod Harris. ... Tyler Lee linebacker Austin Campbell is the nephew of the Tyler Rose, Earl Campbell. … Longview followed up two Class 4A state title game appearances by making it to the state semifinals in its return to Class 5A last season. … Tyler Lee defensive coordinator Randy Huffstickler was promoted to interim head coach in June after the resignation of Mike Owens.

PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS
  1. DeSoto
  2. Longview
  3. Mesquite Horn
  4. North Mesquite