High School: Frisco Liberty

Frisco ISD looking for another sweep in 9-4A

January, 18, 2012
1/18/12
11:19
PM CT
Football may not be the only sport in which Frisco ISD sweeps District 9-4A.

Frisco's girls basketball teams currently occupy all four of the district's playoff spots, as Frisco Liberty, Frisco Wakeland, Frisco Centennial and Frisco Heritage are in line to make the playoffs in 9-4A.

In fact, those four teams look so strong that it may be moot that Frisco ISD's sweeps the district. The more intriguing question might be the order in which those teams finish.

Each of the four is a game ahead of the team behind it, with Liberty (16-10, 8-0) leading the way and Heritage (19-8, 5-3) sitting in fourth, two games ahead of Carrollton Newman Smith. Wakeland (17-10, 7-1) is second and Centennial (19-9, 6-2) is third.

Ironically, the order is the exact opposite in overall win percentage. Heritage leads in that category with a .703 win percentage and Liberty is fourth at .615, suggesting it could be a wild finish in the district.

But the pecking order within the district is pretty clear. None of the four non-playoff teams have yet to win against the four playoff teams, and of the four playoff teams, none of them have beaten a team currently ahead of them in the standings.

4A-I preview: Highland Park headlines Region 2

November, 8, 2011
11/08/11
10:30
PM CT
CLASS 4A DIVISION I REGION 2 PREVIEW

Overview: A new region champion is sure to emerge since 2010 winner Wylie failed to make the playoffs.

Tyler John Tyler, regional finalist a year ago, is capable of a deep run despite a misleading 7-3 record. All three losses came at the start of the season to Class 5A schools. The Lions were competitive in two of those losses, to highly ranked Longview (38-22) and Lufkin (34-31).

UIL PLAYOFFS
STAFF PICKS
Bi-district »   Area round »
Region semis »   Region finals »
State semis »   Finals »   Totals »

STATE BRACKETS
Class 5A: Div. I | Div. II
Class 4A: Div. I | Div. II

REGION BRACKETS
5A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
5A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2

The Lions once again start the playoffs against Texarkana Texas High. John Tyler took last year’s bi-district meeting against the Tigers 26-17.

Look for the most competitive first-round games to come from District 15-16 matchups: West Mesquite-Pflugerville Hendrickson and Waxahachie-Pflugerville Connally.

Of the four Dallas ISD qualifiers in the bracket, two are assured of reaching the second round. Although Dallas Woodrow Wilson (9-1) has a better record, Dallas Kimball (8-2) played in a tougher district and appears to have the best chance of reaching the third round.

Favorite: Highland Park. Returning to the more familiar Division I this season, the Scots are the only unbeaten team in the 16-team bracket. They survived a couple of close calls against Wylie and Rockwall-Heath on the way to a District 10-4A championship and are making a state-record 53rd playoff appearance.

The Scots suffered a blow when top returning receiver Dalton Stogner was lost for the season after tearing his ACL in the fourth game of the season, but quarterback Brady Burgin (2,684 passing yards, 22 touchdowns) and running back Preston Miller (1,129 rushing yards, 21 touchdowns) have picked up the slack with outstanding seasons.

Highland Park has scored at least 40 points in seven games. Five of its wins have come against playoff teams.

Watch out for: Waxahachie. Sandwiched between losing its opener to Class 5A power Flower Mound Marcus and falling to Mesquite Poteet in a Week 10 game with nothing at stake, Waxahachie went on an eight-game winning streak and shared the title in a salty District 15-4A.

The Indians saw their streak of 20 straight playoff appearances snapped a year ago but have roared back behind the quarterback play of Don King III (2,257 passing yards, 18 touchdowns) and the running of Robert Lowe Jr. (1,357 yards, 26 touchdowns).

Waxahachie’s signature win came over rival Corsicana 47-36 in the sixth game of the season. If the Indians can string playoff games together with similar effort, they should be playing in December.

Can’t wait to see: West Mesquite-Pflugerville Hendrickson (7:30 Friday, Waco Midway). This is a bi-district rematch of an entertaining 48-39 West Mesquite victory a year ago when the Wranglers piled up over 600 yards of offense.

A rebuilding West Mesquite lost its first four games this fall but rallied to win five of its last six despite an injury that sidelined freshman starting quarterback Chason Virgil for the season. Shateek Nasir responded when pressed into duty, leading a 22-21 victory over Mesquite Poteet when the Wranglers overcame an 18-point deficit in the second half.

We hope to see: A rematch between Rockwall-Heath and Highland Park in the regional final. The first meeting for the District 10-4A title in Week 9 went to overtime with Highland Park squeezing out a 31-30 victory. The difference was a missed extra point when Rockwall-Heath had a chance to force a second overtime. It remains the only blemish on the record of either team.

The Hawks led 10-9 at the half. Highland Park took control of the third period to build a 24-10 lead only to see Rockwall-Heath mount a two-touchdown comeback in the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime.

Rockwall-Heath and Highland Park are in opposite ends of the regional bracket. Each would need to win three games to oppose each other in a state quarterfinal.

Talent pool (FBS recruits): Dallas Bryan Adams: LB Kris Williams (Texas Tech); Pflugerville Hendrickson: TE Reid Mitchell (Rice), RB Daje Johnson (TCU), DE Victor Irokansi (Oklahoma State); Sherman: DB Ryan Reid (Baylor); Texarkana Texas High: OL John Michael McGee (Oklahoma); Tyler John Tyler: DE Eric Davis (Oklahoma State).

It’s fitting that the last playoff spot in District 9-4A comes down to Frisco Liberty and Frisco Heritage.

No two schools better exemplify the turbulent nature of athletics in Frisco ISD. Last year Liberty roared to an undefeated regular season while Heritage went winless in its first year of varsity play.

The opening of Heritage split Liberty’s current senior class, leaving the Redhawks short-handed for 2011. The split left little to separate the two, who are tied for fourth place heading into Week 10.

Liberty (6-3, 3-3) beat Heritage (4-5, 3-3) 20-7 in September and thus owns the tiebreaker should the two remain tied after Friday.

There’s a pretty good chance that happens. Liberty closes the season against Frisco (7-2, 5-1) while Heritage draws an even tougher assignment: Frisco Centennial (9-0, 6-0), the No. 5 team in the ESPNDallas.com Class 4A area rankings.

Whichever team gets in will have a tough bi-district matchup given that 9-4A plays 10-4A in the first round. Possible opponents for Liberty include Highland Park and Rockwall-Heath. Heritage would face Wylie East or Highland Park.

Wakeland bests Liberty, sets sights on playoffs

October, 29, 2011
10/29/11
12:24
AM CT
FRISCO, Texas -- Frisco Wakeland coach Marty Secord was quick to congratulate his team following its 13-7 win over Frisco Liberty on Friday but immediately set his sights on the playoffs.

With Wakeland peaking at the perfect time, Secord told his players to be ready for practice at 7 a.m. Saturday.

Wakeland (6-3, 4-2) and Liberty (6-3, 3-3) came into Friday's game tied for third place in District 9-4A.

The game was slow to develop on offense. Wakeland scored first with Zach Paul’s 25-yard field goal in the second quarter.

Liberty answered with only minutes left in the half, a 24-yard touchdown pass fron Conner Navalta to to Izaiah Robinson. But Wakeland struck again before halftime, taking a 10-7 on Nick West’s 8-yard pass to Dan Harrington.

"That helped us. We went into the dressing room feeling good," Secord said.

A third-quarter Wakefield field goal completed the scoring.

"We just needed to get our passing game together and hold onto the ball," West said. "We turned it over a bit too much, so we just have to work on the small things."


Wakeland is 2-2 against Frisco teams this season after its win against the defending district champion.

"Our defense played great. The offensive line was working hard and we just executed," West said. "It’s good for us as a team. We worked all off-season just to get in the playoffs and we just have to get ready now."

Although he did not know what the playoffs have in store, Secord said he is eager to find out.

"Whoever it is, we want to try to represent ourselves well. If you can’t be excited just about being in the playoffs … that’s enough to focus you right there," Secord said.

Wakeland will play R.L. Turner Thursday in the regular-season finale.
FRISCO LIBERTY (6-2, 3-2 9-4A) at FRISCO WAKELAND (5-3, 3-2)
7 p.m. Friday at Pizza Hut Park


When we saw them last: Frisco Liberty rebounded from its stunning loss to Carrollton Creekview by pounding Carrollton R.L. Turner 42-0. Frisco Wakeland got back in the win column last week following a tough loss to Frisco Centennial. The Wolverines didn’t give Creekview any time to savor its win over Liberty by thumping the Mustangs, 45-19.

2010 result: Liberty captured the 9-4A title by virtue of a 38-3 win over Wakeland. Wakeland didn’t have to deal with Liberty’s Jay Ajayi, who left the game at halftime, but the Wolverines committed four turnovers and two turnovers on downs in the game.

What’s at stake: With the 9-4A playoff berths looking more and more settled, this game could decide seeding in Division I in the district. That may or may not be a big concern. It’s possible Highland Park will go Division I, meaning the loser of this game would have to play the Scots in bi-district. Either way, one of these teams will face Rockwall-Heath.

Key matchup: Liberty is winning with its defense. The Redhawks allow just 12.5 points per game and have absolutely stifled their opposition’s running game. Wakeland is winning with its offense. The Wolverines average 35 points per game behind a passing game led by quarterback Nick West (1,762 yards, 13 touchdowns).

Players to watch: With Zach Smith out with an injury, Liberty quarterback Conner Navalta has been thrust into the spotlight. In Liberty’s win over R.L. Turner, he threw for five touchdowns. Wakeland’s Turner Smiley has become a great two-way player. He leads the team in receiving with 559 yards and four touchdowns and he returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown last week against Creekview.

Prediction: Frisco Wakeland 35, Frisco Liberty 21.

New schools recycle old problems in Frisco

October, 18, 2011
10/18/11
6:00
PM CT
Frisco Centennial head coach Mark Howard thought his team had a bright future in the fall of 2006.

His junior high feeder teams were rolling to undefeated records behind a class of 2011 that looked like one that could define his nascent program.

“I was licking my chops,” Howard said.

But the growth in Frisco that spawned the need to open the school where he coached didn’t slow down. In fact, it picked up.

To combat overcrowding at Frisco High and Centennial, the district opened two more high schools – Liberty and Wakeland. Liberty pulled students from Centennial when it opened, including much of the class of 2011 that Howard coveted so much.

He could do nothing but watch as the players he helped groom fueled long playoff runs at Liberty in 2009 and 2010.

“We lost them,” Howard said. “When you open new schools and kids break off and go to other schools, it’s tough.”

And so it goes for the Frisco ISD schools. The city’s rapid growth has led to rapid expansion in the school district. Since 2003, Frisco has opened five new high schools. A sixth is on its way in a few years.

The expansion has had a profound impact on athletics at each school. When new schools open, they take kids from existing schools where entire classes of students are cut. The total number of students suddenly drops. This often weakens the athletic programs, particularly football teams because they need so many players to be successful.

No team better exemplifies the highs and lows that expansion can create better than Liberty. In just its second year of varsity play in 2009, Liberty went three rounds deep in the playoffs behind the students it took from Centennial.

But when Frisco Heritage opened last year, it took students from Liberty, which doesn’t have a full senior class this year. While the Redhawks (5-2, 2-2) have still managed to stay competitive this season, they are clearly not what they were, having lost to Centennial and Carrollton Creekview in consecutive weeks.

It may get worse before it gets better for Liberty because Frisco’s seventh high school will pull from Liberty when it opens in a couple years, dealing Liberty two blows in a short period of time.

“When you lose half or more of a group of kids you’ve been coaching coming up through your feeder system, that’s hard to overcome quickly and have your numbers build back up,” said Frisco head coach Vance Gibson. “We’ve made it through that cycle.”

Frisco went through what Liberty is about to go through. Centennial pulled from Frisco when it opened in 2003. Just as numbers were beginning to come back up at Frisco, Wakeland opened in 2006, taking the better part of Frisco’s incoming junior and senior classes.

While this achieved the more important goal of opening a new high school with a full curriculum and easing overcrowding, it had a catastrophic impact on Frisco’s football team.

After making the playoffs in 2007, Frisco went 0-10 in 2008 and 2009.

“When Wakeland came in, our whole school’s numbers went down pretty dramatically,” Gibson said. “We were a really really small school compared to the people we were competing against.”

Frisco’s newest schools – Heritage and Lone Star – pulled from Liberty and Wakeland, respectively. This has allowed Frisco and Centennial to build its numbers back up while its competition in District 9-4A is either dealing with losing a class (Liberty and Wakeland) or is a brand new school (Heritage).

Not surprisingly, Frisco and Centennial have flourished as a result of not being picked on by expansion. The Titans (7-0, 4-0) are dominating opponents with their defense while no one has found a way to slow down Frisco’s (6-1, 4-0) running game yet.

The two teams meet for what may be the District 9-4A title at 7 p.m. Thursday at Pizza Hut Park.

“This our best team since we started the program,” said Howard, who’s been the coach at Centennial since it opened. “We’re treading in some water we’ve never crossed before.”
FRISCO, Texas -- Frisco Centennial showed all the reasons why it's undefeated and favored to win District 9-4A during the first half against Frisco Liberty on Friday.

Centennial's defense smothered Liberty in holding the Redhawks scoreless while dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jordan methodically moved the Titans offense on scoring drives.

Their utter domination in the first half was more than enough to propel the Titans to a 34-13 win at Pizza Hut Park.

"I've never beaten Liberty before in four years," Centennial defensive lineman Chase Appleby said. "It feels great. It feels better than making the playoffs, honestly."

But the second half showed that Centennial (6-0, 3-0 in 9-4A) might still have room to grow. The Titans offense didn't tally a first down after halftime, and two botched punt snaps led to turnovers on downs that set up Liberty in the red zone.

Those two plays allowed Liberty (5-1, 2-1) to gain momentum and score 10 quick points, giving the game a moderate amount of intrigue in the fourth quarter.

"Our game plan was to come out in the second half and to basically go for the jugular," Centennial head coach Mark Howard said. "You have to credit Liberty. They did what they had to do to make it game. It was almost like a tale of two halves."

But the Titans defense came through again. With Liberty trailing 31-10, Aaron Estes popped off a 31-yard run that gave the Redhawks a first-and-goal at the 2.

Centennial stuffed them. And when a personal foul penalty gave Liberty a fresh set of downs at the 4, the Titans stuffed them again to force a field goal. On Liberty's next drive, linebacker Ross Abraham came down with an interception to essentially seal the win for the Titans.

"We had those two bad snaps in the fourth quarter," Howard said. " We were good enough to overcome. Credit the defense."

An injury to quarterback Zach Smith early in the third quarter complicated things for Liberty. Backup Connor Navalta didn't have much luck against Centennial's defense, although the team's running game found life in the second half.

But it's not as if Liberty's offense was doing anything when Smith was behind center. Centennial mauled Liberty from the opening kickoff.

Liberty gained just 45 total yards in the first half, and those were offset by 45 penalty yards. Of Liberty's eight first-half possessions, six were three-and-outs, one was not a three-and-out only because of a facemask penalty and the other was an interception returned for a touchdown by Jordan Miller that gave Centennial a 17-0 lead in the second quarter.

Lakeylon Rice scored on a 2-yard run on Centennial's next possession to give the Titans a 24-0 halftime lead.

"Our defense is tough," Appleby said. "We're not the biggest, but we're the fastest and the strongest."

Week 6 chat wrap: Friday night updates, chatter

October, 7, 2011
10/07/11
6:45
PM CT
District races are picking up steam as we enter Week 6. We have writers at several key games tonight providing updates and answering your questions.

Travis Brown is at the Dallas Skyline-Dallas Jesuit duel for 9-5A dominance.

Jeff Andrews is covering the battle for Frisco ISD bragging rights -- and the upper hand in 9-4A -- between unbeatens Frisco Liberty and Frisco Centennial.

Randy Jennings is on the scene for the key 5-5A game between Duncanville and Mansfield.

ESPN Recruiting guru Damon Sayles has the lowdown on the Longview-Mesquite matchup as the District 11-5A race finally revs up.

The Week 6 schedule is here, and our game previews are here.

What to watch for: Big Frisco showdown, more

October, 6, 2011
10/06/11
4:00
PM CT

Travis L. Brown interviews Frisco Centennial coach Mark Howard and previews the Frisco Liberty-Centennial, Dallas Jesuit-Dallas Skyline and Denton Guyer-Keller Central games.

Centennial, Liberty meet in pivitol 9-4A tilt

October, 5, 2011
10/05/11
5:37
PM CT
FRISCO LIBERTY (5-0, 2-0 9-4A) at No. 6 FRISCO CENTENNIAL (5-0, 2-0)
7 p.m. Friday at Pizza Hut Park


When we saw them last: Touchdowns runs by Stan Shepherd and Zach Smith in the third quarter helped Frisco Liberty squeeze past a much-improved Frisco Heritage team, 20-7. Liberty’s defense, which hasn’t given up more than 17 points this season, held Heritage to 11 rushing yards in the victory. Frisco Centennial registered another dominating win, this time a 51-7 victory over Carrollton Creekview. Centennial’s average margin of victory this is season is 34.4.

2010 result: Liberty had the game won by halftime thanks to an absurd performance from running back Jay Ajayi, who rushed for 292 yards and five touchdowns on 18 carries. With Liberty’s dogs called off in the second half, Centennial added a couple touchdowns to make it look respectable but still lost 41-27.

What’s at stake: A chance at winning the District 9-4A title. The winner still has to get by Frisco, but either Liberty or Centennial will come out of this game as the frontrunner for the 9-4A crown. Neither team has faced a strong opponent yet, so the game also serves as a measuring stick for how they might stack up against playoff teams from other districts.

Key matchup: With both teams playing outstanding defense this season, the onus is on both offenses to find a way to produce points. Liberty came into the year with just one returning starter on offense. While Centennial hasn’t had any trouble putting up points so far this year, its offense is set up by its phenomenal defense.

Players to watch: Centennial quarterback Lamar Jordan can make plays with his arms and his legs. He has 1,058 passing yards, 16 total touchdowns and two interceptions on the year. Liberty’s Aaron Estes received the unenviable task of replacing Jay Ajayi. He has 296 yards and a score so far this year.

Prediction: Frisco Centennial 24, Frisco Liberty 10.
The Carrollton schools are having a tough time competing against their Frisco ISD counterparts in District 9-4A this season.

Newman Smith (0-5, 0-2), Creekview (0-5, 0-2) and R.L. Turner (1-4, 0-2) have yet to win a game against a Frisco team this season, leaving the five Frisco teams in the top five spots in the standings.

A similar situation developed last year, but Newman Smith rebounded from a slow start to make the playoffs, preventing a sweep of the four 9-4A playoff spots for Frisco ISD.

It may be tougher for Trojans to rebound this year. Aside from their own issues, they face a tougher group of Frisco teams.

While Frisco Liberty (5-0, 2-0) and Frisco Wakeland (3-2, 1-1) may have taken a step back, Frisco (4-1, 2-0), Frisco Centennial (5-0, 2-0) and
Frisco Heritage (2-3, 1-1) have gotten better.

Newman Smith hasn’t played the latter three, but it already lost to Liberty (18-17) and Wakeland (38-24) despite getting quarterback Shawn Holmes back from injury.

This weekend’s games will be telling for the district. Newman Smith takes on resurgent Frisco, and Centennial hosts Liberty in a game that will go a long way toward crowning a 9-4A champion.

And if there’s any consolation for Carrollton ISD fans, they're guaranteed at least one win this week with R.L. Turner hosting Creekview.

Frisco Heritage showing progress in second year

September, 27, 2011
9/27/11
7:03
PM CT
Frisco Heritage may become the next Frisco ISD team to make a quick rise to prominence.

The school has its first full senior class via Frisco Liberty, and the team reached an important milestone last week by tallying its first district win in its brief history.

The Coyotes (2-2, 1-0 in 9-4A) took a 25-17 win from Carrollton Creekview after jumping to an early 17-0 lead.

The win could be a sign of things to come in a wide-open District 9-4A. Last year’s district powers -- Liberty and Carrollton Newman Smith -- both have question marks.

Newman Smith (0-4, 0-1) has yet to win a game, and Liberty (4-0, 1-0) doesn’t have a full senior class, ironically because it was divided by the opening of Heritage.

That could lead to a changing of the guard in the district, and as Liberty showed two years ago, anything is possible. In only its second year of existence, Liberty snuck into the playoffs in 2009 because of a tiebreaker and proceeded to go three rounds deep in the playoffs.

Heritage’s offense has shown marked improvement, becoming one of the better units in the area in Class 4A.

Quarterback Cole-Bailey Cantwell has thrown for 949 yards and 10 touchdowns, and the running game is led by Jacob Harrison (414 yards, four touchdowns) and Oscar Gomez (293 yards and two touchdowns).

Frisco Liberty, Newman Smith begin 9-4A play

September, 22, 2011
9/22/11
12:39
AM CT
FRISCO LIBERTY (3-0) at CARROLLTON NEWMAN SMITH (0-3)
7:30 p.m. Friday at Standridge Stadium


When we saw them last: Nondistrict went very differently for these two teams. Frisco Liberty went undefeated against light competition in Denison, Greenville and Royse City, while Newman Smith got blanked playing one of the tougher 4A nondistrict schedules in the area against Keller Central, Denton Ryan and Keller Fossil Ridge.

2010 result: Liberty trailed in the fourth quarter but scored two touchdowns in the frame to take a 28-19 win en route to the District 9-4A title. Liberty running back Jay Ajayi ran for 266 yards and three touchdowns.

What’s at stake: Both teams are looking to get off to a good start in District 9-4A play, and a good start will be more important than ever with Frisco Centennial and Frisco poised to make a run at a 9-4A title.

Key matchup: Newman Smith’s offense vs. Liberty’s defense. Injuries have taken a toll on Newman Smith’s offense, which struggled through a difficult nondistrict schedule. It may not get any better against Liberty, whose strength is its defense.

Players to watch: Liberty quarterback Zach Smith is the lone returning starter for the Red Hawks offense. He has 360 yards and five touchdowns on the year. Newman Smith running back Jerome Akintunde leads the team in rushing with 246 yards and two touchdowns.

Prediction: Frisco Liberty 24, Newman Smith 21.

Rankings: Bye weeks mean changes are limited

September, 18, 2011
9/18/11
9:16
PM CT

What we got right: Pretty much the entire Class 5A top 10. Only three ranked teams played, and none of them lost, so nobody dropped out this week. The only movement in 5A was Colleyville Heritage and Plano swapping the Nos. 9 and 10 spots.

What we got wrong: Lancaster is on a roller-coaster ride through the beginning of the season, losing to Corsicana and dropping back out of the 4A poll after climbing to No. 8. The vacancy allows DISD schools to take the bottom two positions in the 4A poll, Dallas Kimball and Dallas South Oak Cliff.

Say hello to: 5A -- None; 4A -- Dallas South Oak Cliff

Say goodbye to: 5A -- None; 4A -- Lancaster

Watch out for: 5A -- Denton Guyer, Hebron and Mansfield; 4A -- Fort Worth Arlington Heights, Lake Dallas and Frisco Liberty

District 9-4A football season preview

August, 22, 2011
8/22/11
12:01
AM CT
DISTRICT 9-4A

  • Carrollton Creekview (2-8, 2-5). Coach: Jay Cline.
  • Carrollton Newman Smith (7-6, 4-3) lost in DI regional semifinals. Coach: Paul Ressa.
  • Carrollton R.L. Turner (1-9, 1-6). Coach: Tyrone Larkins.
  • Frisco (4-6, 3-4). Coach: Vance Gibson.
  • Frisco Centennial (6-5, 5-2) lost in DII bi-district. Coach: Mark Howard
  • Frisco Heritage (0-10, 0-7). Coach: Che Hendrix.
  • Frisco Liberty (12-1, 7-0) lost in DII regional semifinals. Coach: Galen Zimmerman.
  • Frisco Wakeland (8-3, 6-1) lost in DI bi-district. Coach: Marty Secord.
THE BIG QUESTION: How will Frisco ISD's expansion affect its football programs?

Nothing wreaks havoc on a high school football program like a school district opening a new school. It can destroy a championship team just as easily and quickly as it can produce it.

[+] EnlargeTripp Abbott
Travis L. Brown for ESPN.comTripp Abbott has helped Carrollton Newman Smith undergo a football renaissance the last two seasons.
Given Frisco ISD's aggressive expansion in recent years, it's hard to project how things will shake out in 9-4A, an eight-school district with five Frisco teams.

Coming off two stellar seasons, Frisco Liberty would be the obvious favorite in 9-4A, but its current senior class was split in half by the opening of Frisco Heritage. Liberty has just one offensive starter returning.

While having a class split has an affect that's easy to predict, but other changes that come with opening schools are more subtle. Zoning lines are redrawn. Players get rerouted to other programs. Growing areas of town may or may not produce football talent.

Who's in line to benefit from Frisco's expansion? Are Frisco Wakeland and Frisco Centennial capable of taking the next step and supplanting Liberty as Frisco's top program? Is Heritage a young program waiting to explode?

One team that's bound to benefit is Carrollton Newman Smith, which can maintain its stability while the Frisco programs deal with change.

PLAYERS TO WATCH


QB Miquan Robinson, LB Chris Weatherd, WR Stephen Buckner, Carrollton Creekview; DB Shawn Holmes, DE Karl Thomas, WR Tripp Abbott, Carrollton Newman Smith; QB Garon Goodspeed, RB J.P. Patterson, LB Fernando Barrera, Carrollton R.L. Turner; QB Eric Allen, RB Carlos Harris, WR Jordan Anderson, Frisco; LB Nick Bush, DB Austin Schotts, QB Lamar Jordan, Frisco Centennial; DE Elie Nabushosi, RB Brandon Guilford, QB Cole-Bailey Cantwell, Frisco Heritage; QB Zach Smith, DB Izaiah Robinson, RB Alonte Ryan, Frisco Liberty; QB Nick West, WR Brad Sicula, RB Devaughn Childress, Frisco Wakeland.

DID YOU KNOW?


Frisco Heritage hopes to tally its first win in school history after going 0-10 in its inaugural season. Heritage already has a new head coach in Che Hendrix, but he has all 22 starters back to work with. ... Newman Smith reached the third round of the playoffs for the second straight year, no small feat for a program that hadn't made the playoffs since 1983 prior to the two-year run. ... Carrollton R.L. Turner has won two games in the last four seasons.

PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS

  1. Carrollton Newman Smith
  2. Frisco Wakeland
  3. Frisco Centennial
  4. Frisco Liberty

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