High School: North Garland

Four 5A districts in area undergo little change

February, 2, 2012
2/02/12
2:32
PM CT
NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas -- The makeup changed very little or not at all in four of the area’s nine Class 5A districts at Thursday's UIL reclassification and realignment.

*The current District 4-5A (five Arlington schools, Fort Worth Paschal, North Crowley and Weatherford) remained intact but, because of district consolidation in West Texas, changed its number to 3-5A.

That’s an agreeable change, said Anthony Criss, football coach at Arlington Sam Houston and former Arlington ISD assistant athletic director.

“It’s great for Arlington because it means we stay in the area for first-round playoff games instead of going to West Texas,’’ Criss said. “We’d still go west once, but not until the second round.''

*The current District 5-5A retained seven of its eight members in the new District 7-5A: Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville, Grand Prairie, South Grand Prairie, Mansfield and Mansfield Timberview. The only change is Mansfield Legacy drops down to Class 4A and powerhouse DeSoto takes its place.

“A tough district just got tougher,’’ said Grand Prairie coach Gary Bartel.

*In District 9-5A, Dallas Samuell dropped to Class 4A and was replaced by Richardson Pearce, which is moving back up to 5A. The other seven members are unchanged: Dallas Jesuit, Dallas Skyline, Dallas Sunset, Dallas W.T. White, Richardson, Richardson Berkner and Lake Highlands.

“I wasn’t sure Jesuit would stay in,’’ said Skyline coach Reginald Samples. “In fact, we had agreed to play them in a nondistrict game if they weren’t in our district.’’

*The seven Garland ISD schools that made up 10-5A in the last realignment are now without McKinney Boyd as they go forward as District 11-5A with this lineup: Garland, Garland Lakeview, Garland Naaman Forest, North Garland, Rowlett, Sachse and South Garland.

District 10-5A football season preview

August, 23, 2011
8/23/11
12:01
AM CT

DISTRICT 10-5A
  • Garland (7-4, 5-2), lost in DI bi-district. Coach: Jeff Jordan.
  • Garland Lakeview Centennial (3-7, 0-6 in 10-5A). Coach: Don Willis.
  • Garland Naaman Forest (2-8, 1-6). Coach: Mark Elam.
  • McKinney Boyd (9-3, 6-1), lost in DI area. Coach: Don Drake.
  • North Garland (1-9, 1-6). Coach: David Farris.
  • Rowlett (9-3, 6-1), lost in DII area. Coach: Kiff Hardin.
  • Sachse (5-5, 3-4). Coach: Mark Behrens.
  • South Garland (8-4, 5-2), lost in DII area. Coach: Mark Cox.
THE BIG QUESTION: Can Garland rebound after a subpar 2010?

[+] EnlargeSeth Russell
Travis L. Brown/ESPN.comQB Seth Russell looks to lift Garland back among the elite in 2011.
Winning seven games and making the playoffs would constitute a successful season for many area football teams.

Not for Garland.

The tradition-rich Owls stumbled last season, at least by Garland standards, finishing fourth in District 10-5A before bowing out to Dallas Skyline in bi-district.

But with quarterback Seth Russell returning and a stacked defense, Garland could find itself back among the elite in 2011.

Russell, a Kansas commit, will look to build on his junior season, which statistically did not go well -- 779 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions.

Even with an experienced quarterback, Garland will look to recommit to the power running game behind a new stable of running backs.

The Owls could have one of the better defenses in the district, as the unit returns several college recruits, including Damien Neroes and London Dial.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

QB Seth Russell, LB Damien Neroes, WR Ja’Taveon Green, Garland; WR Jarvis Baxter, WR Sherrod Haynes, DB Deonte Morrison, Garland Lakeview Centennial; DE Lionel Phillips, LB Andrew Schobelock, WR Marcus Perkins, Garland Naaman Forrest; DE Jamal Palmer, WR Cameron Decell, RB Bryan Driskell, McKinney Boyd; WR Dai'Qwan Washington, DB Thomas Trimble, DE Derrick Phillips, North Garland; QB Grant Bothun, QB Colton Kalmus, WR Corey Chappell, Rowlett; QB Trent White, TE Jeff Guckenberg, OL Shane Weeks, Sachse; QB Trey Porter, DB Brice Brooks, OL Daniel Gutierrez, South Garland.

DID YOU KNOW?

Mark Cox takes over as head coach of South Garland after the retirement of Keith Wright. … Sachse has yet to make the playoffs in its seven years of existence. … Boyd RB Bryan Driskell is the younger brother of former Boyd standout James Driskell.

PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS
  1. Garland
  2. Rowlett
  3. South Garland
  4. McKinney Boyd

Defense has Denton Ryan eyeing state title

September, 13, 2010
9/13/10
10:01
PM CT
For head coach Joey Florence, the play of Denton Ryan’s defense has conjured images of the team’s state title runs in the early 2000s.

That’s how good it’s been. No. 2 Ryan (3-0) is giving up just 152 yards per game, 44 on the ground. And it hasn’t been against bad competition either. All three of Ryan’s opponents (Sulphur Springs, Carrollton Newman Smith and North Garland) were playoff teams in 2009.

“Defensively, we’re special I think,” Florence said. “It ranks up there with those great teams we have. They still have a lot to prove, but they have the potential to rate up there.”

Ryan already had a strong front seven returning with Division I prospects in DE Ty Hook and LBs Jordan Richmond and Alex De La Torre, but the team got a boost from Prosper transfer Mario Edwards.

The son of former Dallas Cowboy Mario Edwards, the defensive end has lived in the opposing backfield through three games.

Just a junior, Edwards already holds a scholarship offer from Texas A&M, and Texas is showing interest. He stands to be one of the top prospects in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the 2012 recruiting class.

“He’s pretty impressive,” Florence said of Edwards.

Ryan plays at Mesquite (0-3) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

District 10-5A football season preview

August, 23, 2010
8/23/10
10:34
PM CT
DISTRICT 10-5A
  • Garland (9-2, 6-0 in 10-5A) lost in DI area. Coach: Jeff Jordan
  • Garland Lakeview Centennial (3-7, 0-6 in 10-5A). Coach: Don Willis
  • Garland Naaman Forest (5-5, 2-4 in 10-5A). Coach: Mark Elam
  • McKinney Boyd (4-6, 1-5 in 8-5A). Coach: Don Drake
  • North Garland (6-5, 4-2 in 10-5A) lost in DII bi-district. Coach: David Farris
  • Rowlett (4-7, 3-3 in 10-5A) lost in DI bi-district. Coach: Kiff Hardin
  • Sachse (4-5, 2-4 in 10-5A). Coach: Mark Behrens
  • South Garland (8-4, 4-2 in 10-5A) lost in DII regional semifinals. Coach: Keith Wright

THE BIG QUESTION: Can QB Jonovan Griffin get McKinney Boyd into the playoffs?

[+] EnlargeGriffin
Travis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.comMcKinney Boyd quarterback Jonovan Griffin threw for 2,420 yards and rushed for another 1,200 in 2009.
Griffin electrified fans with his arm and his legs in 2009, accounting for 3,620 yards and 26 touchdowns.

But it wasn't enough to get Boyd in the playoffs for the first time as a 5A team.

Griffin's favorite target, James Driskell, returns after a 1,000-yard receiving season, as do WRs Anthony Moss and Josh Scroggins, giving the star QB plenty of weapons.

The UIL kindly moved Boyd out of a brutal District 8-5A and into 10-5A in realignment, which should make the road to the postseason easier on the Broncos.

Still, Boyd has to compete with Garland ISD schools such as Garland and South Garland that regularly produce playoff teams.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Garland RB Jordan Spencer will see more action than in 2009 as the Owls break in a new QB. ... Rowlett DT Zach Wood and Sachse OL Kris Weeks are both committed to SMU. ... South Garland RB John Lacour returns after rushing for 1,183 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2009.

DID YOU KNOW?

Garland won District 10-5A in 2009, but South Garland went deeper in the playoffs, advancing a round further than the Owls. ... Sachse is still looking for its first playoff berth in six years of existence. ... Garland Lakeview Centennial remained in 5A after realignment by 15 students with an enrollment of 2,089.

PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS
  1. Garland
  2. South Garland
  3. Rowlett
  4. McKinney Boyd

District 9-5A football season preview

August, 22, 2010
8/22/10
11:31
PM CT
DISTRICT 9-5A
  • Richardson Berkner (6-5, 4-3 in 9-5A) lost in bi-district. Coach: Jim Ledford
  • Dallas Jesuit (4-6, 2-4 in 8-5A). Coach: Bob Wunderlick
  • Dallas Lake Highlands (9-3, 6-1 in 9-5A) lost in DII area. Coach: Scott Smith
  • Richardson (6-5, 4-3 in 9-5A) lost in DII bi-district. Coach: Brent Whitson
  • Dallas Samuel (6-4, 4-2 in 12-4A) lost in DI bi-district. Coach: Steve Pierce
  • Dallas Skyline (12-1, 7-0 in 9-5A) lost in DI regional semifinals. Coach: Reginald Samples
  • Dallas Sunset (0-10, 0-7 in 9-5A). Coach: Dennis McAdams
  • Dallas W. T. White (4-6, 2-4 in 9-5A). Coach: Eric Ezar
[+] EnlargeSkyline
Travis L. Brown for ESPN.comDallas Skyline reloads after going unbeaten in district play last season and reaching the regional semifinals.
THE BIG QUESTION: Will offensive question marks prevent Lake Highlands from keeping up with Skyline?

Nothing slows down preseason preparations like a quarterback controversy, and Lake Highlands is faced with one to the highest degree.

After losing Rickey Zorn, coach Scott Smith is faced with choosing between Trent Jones and Michael Ketchmark, both sophomores. Smith said both of his potential starters took varsity snaps last season, so experience is not as much of a concern.

However, to throw a wrench in things, both quarterbacks were ineffective in their scrimmage Friday against South Garland, unable to start any momentum on offense. Jones was able to move the chains a few times with his feet, scrambling out of the pocket and running the option.

The hole at quarterback will provide a better opportunity for returning running back Desmond Roland to shine.

On the other hand, Skyline’s new quarterback, sophomore Devante Kincade, was sharp in Friday night's scrimmage against North Garland, laying the ball in the arms of his speedy receivers on vertical routes three times, one for a touchdown. North Garland head coach James Farris said he believed Kincade was ready to make big plays this season.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Skyline linebacker Anthony Wallace is ESPNDallas.com’s No. 4 prospect in the area and No. 150 on ESPNU’s Top 150 prospects. … Lake Highlands running back Desmond Roland is not only a threat on the ground, but through the air, tallying 1,240 yards receiving last season. … Berkner quarterback Aric Stock threw for 1151 yards and rushed for 752 yards last season. … Berkner wide receiver Spencer Edmonds had 17 receptions for 410 yards in 2009.

DID YOU KNOW?

Skyline is traveling to Florida next week to take on Glades Central High School. The Raiders will turn around and play another Florida school, St. Thomas Aquinas, at Cowboys Stadium the next week. St. Thomas Aquinas is ranked No. 23 on the ESPN Rise FAB 50.

PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS
  1. Dallas Skyline
  2. Dallas Jesuit
  3. Dallas Lake Highlands
  4. Richardson Berkner
Dallas Skyline and North Garland carried on a decade-long tradition of preseason preparation, scrimmaging Friday night at North Garland.

A strong Skyline team exploited North Garland's secondary with vertical speed. Skyline was preparing to travel to Florida next week to face Glades Central High and then take on St. Thomas Aquinas of Florida, ranked No. 23 on the ESPN Rise FAB 50, at Cowboys Stadium.

"One of the reasons we scrimmage [Skyline] is because I know what they have and it gives us a good measuring stick to know where we are," North Garland coach James Farris said.

Farris said despite having a new quarterback, Skyline is ready to do big things this season.

"They will have the opportunity," Farris said. "They have very similar teams from last year to this year. They had a better quarterback last year and they have a new quarterback this year. He's going to have to come along, but he looks like he's ready to make some plays."

Farris also said he enjoys the annual Skyline scrimmage because the intensity level of play is raised by both teams.

"Coach [Reginald] Samples does a great job with his kids over there and we always have a scrimmage like this," Farris said. "I think anyone would tell you we're pretty physical and we play with Skyline every year. Their guys are real physical too and our kids aren't really scared to mix that up. It makes for a fun scrimmage."

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