High School: Wylie East

Frisco takes away Wylie East's dark-horse label

November, 15, 2011
11/15/11
4:53
PM CT
Wylie East entered the playoffs looking like a dark-horse team with the potential to make a surprise run.

So did Frisco.

In their bi-district matchup, the two teams fought to a standstill that Frisco ended by successfully converting a two-point conversion attempt in the final two minutes to escape with a 25-24 win.

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

Frisco faces Dallas Lincoln in the 4A Division II area round at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mesquite Memorial Stadium.

The win highlights a resurgent season for Frisco (9-2). After years of struggling with Frisco ISD’s expansion, the Raccoons have put together their best season since 2006, when they lost in the area round to Whitehouse.

A switch to the Wing-T offense has proved beneficial. Frisco has one of the most productive offenses in the area thanks to its running game, which rushes for more than 300 yards per game. Running back Carlos Harris is among the area’s rushing leaders with more than 1,500 yards this season.

But ironically, it was Frisco’s passing game that sealed the win. On the two-point conversion attempt, quarterback Eric Allen hit Harris in the end zone for the game-winning conversion.

And Frisco’s running game never got going against Wylie East. It tallied 113 yards on 41 carries, hardly the explosive results Frisco is used to. Frisco capitalized on three Wylie East interceptions to make up for its lack of offensive production.

If Frisco gets its running game back on track, it could make a run in Region II. After Lincoln (6-5), Frisco would face the winner between Kilgore and Lancaster. After that, it could be Sulphur Springs, Corsicana or Frisco Centennial, which beat Frisco, 29-22, in the regular season.
FRISCO (8-2) vs. WYLIE EAST (8-2)
1 p.m. Saturday at Plano’s Clark Stadium


What: Class 4A Division II Region 2 bi-district game

When we saw them last: Frisco, which finished second in District 9-4A, edged Frisco Liberty, 23-20, at Pizza Hut Park on a fourth-quarter field goal by Kyle Fischer. Wylie East fell to District 10-4A second-place finisher Rockwall-Heath, 27-7, and finished third in the district.

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

Last in the playoffs: Wylie East is making its first playoff appearance in the school's second year of having a varsity program. Frisco’s last playoff game was a 2007 bi-district loss to Highland Park, 49-28.

What’s at stake: The winner of this game will face the winner of the bi-district matchup between Dallas Lincoln (5-5) and Seagoville (7-3).

Key matchup: Both teams' running games. Both offenses are powered by quality feature backs: Carlos Harris for Frisco and Jabari Anderson for Wylie East. Whichever defense can control the running game will have a clear edge in the game.

Players to watch: Anderson has scored an astronomical 26 touchdowns on the season and will most likely break the 2,000-yard mark in the bi-district matchup. Harris has 19 touchdowns of his own with over 1,000 more yards than the team’s next leading rusher, quarterback Eric Allen (410 yards).

Prediction: Wylie East 45, Frisco 27

4A-II preview: Region 2 deep in quality teams

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

Overview: This region might be one of the most intriguing for area teams. There are quality teams in Frisco Centennial, Corsicana, Wylie East, Frisco and Lancaster in this region, but their ability to make a deep run into the playoffs is somewhat in question.

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

To their advantage, they won’t have to face the likes of Aledo or Stephenville until the state semifinals, but there a plenty of other roadblocks to overcome just to get that far.

Favorite: Frisco Centennial. The Titans (10-0) come into the playoffs highly touted as one of the top programs in the state this season. The atmosphere that surrounds local Frisco matchups gives Centennial an advantage in preparation for playoff football. Also, look out for Corsicana, which made it through one of the toughest districts in North Texas, District 15-4A, with just one loss. The Tigers could easily ride one of the area’s top running backs, Cameron Washington, deep into the playoffs.

Watch out for: Wylie East. The Raiders (8-2) came onto the scene as one of the biggest surprises of the season in their second year of varsity competition. East gave district champion and ESPN Dallas 4A No. 1 Highland Park a run for its money earlier on the year and has rolled on solid momentum throughout the season. It could take a few teams by surprise in the playoffs and make a historic run.

Can’t wait to see: Wylie East-Frisco (1 p.m. Saturday, Plano's Clark Stadium). Wylie East begins with a tough test against Frisco (8-2), which had resurgence the year. The winner of this matchup should have easy going through the next couple of rounds.

Hope to see: Frisco Centennial vs. Corsicana. This matchup of two very athletic teams wouldn’t happen until the third round, but both seem more than fit to make it that far. This game could easily be the “championship” of this region a round early.

Talent pool (FBS recruits): Sulpher Springs: RB Kendrick Daniels (Arkansas State); Kilgore: RB Ladarius Anthony (TCU); Hutto: QB Ryan Higgins (Louisiana Tech); Lancaster: CB La’Darius Newbold (Tech).

[+] EnlargeAmaris Fields
Travis L. Brown/ESPN Dallas.comAmaris Fields is Rockwall-Heath's top receiving threat.
Rockwall-Heath coach Mickey Moss said playmaking wide receiver Amaris Fields is "100 percent" after being carted off the field in an ambulance during the Hawks' 27-17 win Friday over Wylie East.

Fields took a hit during the game and remained on the ground for around ten minutes while trainers attended to him. Medical officials believed at the time he had suffered a fracture to his upper arm and called the ambulance as a precaution.

Moss said Fields will play Friday night in Rockwall-Heath's 4A Division I bi-district game against Frisco Wakeland at Richardson's Wildcat-Ram Stadium.

Fields leads the team with over 800 receiving yards and is tied for the team lead with 10 touchdowns.

What we got right: Most of the teams and orders of both polls remained similar to close out the regular season other than the few teams which lost their finales. Dallas Skyline and Highland Park will remain on top of both polls to close out the regular season. None if will matter after six weeks from now, when the state champions will be crowned at Cowboys Stadium.

What we got wrong: Allen couldn't maintain the consistency that Euless Trinity has shown to close out the season and fell a spot to the Trojans. Southlake Carroll jumped back over Flower Mound Marcus, finishing an undefeated season with a quality win over Denton Guyer. Waxahachie took a tumble in 4A with a final game loss to Mesquite Poteet, and DeSoto slipped in 5A after losing the district title to Longview.

Say hello to: 5A -- Garland; 4A -- Fort Worth Southwest

Say goodbye to: 5A -- Cedar Hill; 4A -- Wylie East

Rankings: Allen, Highland Park remain on top

October, 23, 2011
10/23/11
4:44
PM CT

What we got right: Allen and Flower Mound Marcus are the real deal. Allen remains at No. 1 in the 5A poll, despite a narrow win over a previously undefeated Flower Mound Marcus. Cedar Hill moves up a spot after a win over a tough Mansfield team, which stays in the poll at No. 10 after the loss. Highland Park remains at the top of the 4A poll, despite Denton Ryan narrowly winning the people's choice 42 percent to 38 percent in last week's Sports Nation poll.

What we got wrong: Wylie East's amazing run has flown under the radar all season, but now the Raiders make their first appearance in the 4A poll. Arlington Martin has had a interesting ride through District 4-5A but made it back into the 5A poll at No. 8 this week.

Say hello to: 5A -- Arlington Martin; 4A -- Wylie East

Say goodbye to: 5A -- Garland; 4A -- Dallas South Oak Cliff

Watch out for: 5A -- Mansfield Timberview, Plano East; 4A -- Trophy Club Byron Nelson, Little Elm

Wylie, Wylie East battle for playoff seeding

October, 13, 2011
10/13/11
1:57
AM CT
WYLIE (2-4, 1-2 10-4A) AT WYLIE EAST (5-1, 2-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday at Wylie Stadium


When we saw them last: Wylie almost took down District 10-4A favorite Highland Park but lost 24-21. Wylie East continued its great run through district play by just about doubling up on Richardson Pearce, 40-21.

2010 result: Wylie ran away with the new city rivalry game last year, 57-7. Former Wylie quarterback Nico Ramirez peppered the ball all around the field to move the ball and pounded his way into the end zone for four rushing touchdowns.

What’s at stake: Playoff position. Wylie has had a surprisingly poor season so far and sits out of the playoffs three games into district play. Wylie East has had a surprising run for such a young program and sits comfortably in a playoff slot. A Wylie East win would further solidify its push for the playoffs and a Wylie win would leave hope alive that the Pirates could make the postseason.

Key matchup: Both teams’ offenses. Wylie has rolled through the season with a successful balanced attack and will be able to put points up on the board. Wylie will have to try and keep up in a game that they hope will become a shootout.

Players to watch: Wylie East has a quarterback and running back who have passed and rushed for over 1,000 yards in Garrett McCain and Jabari Anderson. Running back Victor Jones is Wylie’s top scoring threat with seven touchdowns on the season.

Prediction: Wylie East 21, Wylie 17.

Volleyball: Corsicana looks toward playoffs

October, 12, 2011
10/12/11
8:12
PM CT
The Corsicana volleyball team has done something it hasn't been able to accomplish since the 1979-80 season. The program has reached 20 wins and is looking to continue to ride that success in District 15-4A and into the playoffs.

Although Corsicana lacks overall height, players are working together to make the team successful.

“We have great team chemistry and we adapt well to any given situation as a team," head coach Amber Feist said. "We are unselfish when it comes to making a successful play.”

One such player is Katie Cook. Cook is an all-around threat who puts up numbers in every aspect of the game, but she also leads with her determination and focus.

Another kep player is Annie Starling. Feist calls Starling an intelligent player who is able to read the opposing team’s defense.

Other players to keep an eye on include Maddie Andrews, Erika McKissack, Tamera White and Cecilia Lopez.

Despite reaching the 20-win plateau, Feist believes her team still hasn't reached its full potential. Corsicana should prove to be a postseason threat if it can maintain its confidence.

“My team just needs to keep playing their game and consistently work toward their goals," Feist said. "I'm proud of them and look forward to playing in the postseason.”

Wylie East focused on building its program



Wylie East probably won't finish at the top of its tough district, but the Raiders shouldn't be counted out in the future as the team gains experience and the program continues to grow.

It is Wylie East’s first year with seniors and only its second year as a varsity team, so the Raiders are clearly still building.

Carey Strong, who signed a letter of intent with Oklahoma Baptist in September, and Casey Shewmake are two outside hitters to keep an eye on this season.

Coach Chelsea Beal believes two of her team’s greatest strengths are passing and aggressive serving. But there are still areas to improve upon.

In addition to aggressive defense and accurate serve-receive passing, Beal says reading the opposing team more effectively is an area that needs improvement. She wants her team to increase its awareness of the other side of the net.

What we got right: Corsicana is the real deal. Its 29-13 win over Mesquite Poteet solidified its position as the No. 3 team in the 4A poll. In 5A, Allen continued to roll and DeSoto had a bye week, keeping them on top of the rankings.

What we got wrong: Losses by Arlington Martin and Coppell allowed room for Flower Mound Marcus and Colleyville Heritage and Denton Guyer to move up in the 5A poll. Euless Trinity has had two close calls in an overtime win over Colleyville Heritage last week and halftime upset alert vs. rival L.D. Bell, allowing Dallas Skyline to jump into the No. 3 spot. In 4A, Highland Park's less-than-dominant win over Wylie East allowed Denton Ryan to jump back into the No. 1 spot.

Say hello to: 5A -- Hebron, Mansfield; 4A -- Mansfield Summit

Say goodbye to: 5A -- Arlington Martin, Coppell; 4A -- Dallas Kimball

Watch out for: 5A -- Duncanville, Keller Central; 4A -- Fort Worth Arlington Heights.

Tell us: Use the comments section to let us know what we have wrong.
DALLAS -- Wylie East showed it has a bright future in its game at Highland Park on Friday night.

Although Highland Park won, 58-30, it was a strong showing for the young Raiders, who continued fighting and pressuring the Scots to the very end.

Both teams came into the game undefeated. In only its second season, Wylie East (4-1, 1-1 District 10-4A) made top-ranked Highland Park (5-0, 2-0) fight for the win.

“They were a tough football team. I was really impressed with them." Highland Park coach Randy Allen said. "I knew they were averaging 42 points a game, but they were physical. We didn’t give up as many big plays in the second half, especially the passing game, because those two big receivers outside are threats.”

The teams stayed neck and neck throughout the first half. Wylie East took the early lead on Jabari Anderson’s touchdown run, his first of two in the game.

The first of Highland Park running back Preston Miller’s three touchdowns came in the second quarter on a 55-yard run. Scots wide receiver William Morris had three touchdowns, with two coming in the first half.

Highland Park narrowly led at halftime, 21-17. It all changed in the second half when the Scots defense was finally able to stop the Wylie East offense that was so effective in the first half.

A couple of turnovers after the half gave Highland Park its opportunities.

“We changed our mindset in the second half that we were going to shut them down and put them away. That’s what we did,” Miller said.

Morris and Miller continued to score and got help on Jackson Hauser’s 28-yard run and Hunter Halpin’s 15-yard touchdown reception from Brady Burgin.

Rankings: Highland Park takes No. 1 from Ryan

September, 25, 2011
9/25/11
8:15
PM CT

What we got right: The top of the 5A poll. There were no changes in the first four spots -- with Allen, DeSoto, Euless Trinity and Dallas Skyline maintaining their strongholds.

What we got wrong: We may have underestimated Highland Park. The Scots, who started the year at No. 3 in the 4A rankings, climbed past Denton Ryan into the No. 1 spot for the first time this season based mostly on its quality offensive play. We overrated Birdville, which had climbed to No. 5 in 4A but fell out of the rankings after losing to second-year program Trophy Club Byron Nelson.

Say hello to: 5A -- Denton Guyer; 4A -- Waxahachie

Say goodbye to: 5A -- Plano; 4A -- Birdville

Watch out for: 5A -- Hebron, Mansfield; 4A -- Wylie East, Trophy Club Byron Nelson

Tell us: Use the comments section to let us know what we have wrong.

Second-year Wylie East growing up quickly

September, 21, 2011
9/21/11
12:06
AM CT
It’s yet to be seen how Wylie East stacks up against its District 10-4A opponents this year, but the Raiders have clearly proven themselves the class of the area’s second-year programs.

Wylie East (3-0) went undefeated in nondistrict play against a schedule composed entirely of schools also playing their second year of varsity football -- North Forney (3-1), Frisco Heritage (1-2) and Trophy Club Byron Nelson (2-1).

Only Heritage, another second-year program seemingly on the path to quick ascension, challenged Wylie East. A late fourth-quarter touchdown gave the Raiders a 36-29 win.

Wylie East’s offense has been the catalyst. The Raiders average more than 500 yards per game, and those yards are split pretty evenly between the run and the pass.

But running back Jabari Anderson has been the offensive MVP so far. He’s rushed for 536 yards and nine touchdowns and averages more than 10 yards per carry.

He’s shown the ability to move the pile in addition to popping off big plays, scoring on touchdown runs of 61, 71 and 78 yards this season.

Wylie East hosts McKinney North on Friday to open 10-4A play.

District 10-4A football season preview

August, 23, 2011
8/23/11
12:01
AM CT
DISTRICT 10-4A
  • Highland Park (12-1, 7-0), lost in DII regional semifinal. Coach: Randy Allen.
  • McKinney (4-6, 3-4). Coach: Jeff Smith.
  • McKinney North (5-5, 3-4). Coach: Mike Fecci.
  • Richardson J.J. Pearce (4-7, 3-4), lost in DII bi-district. Coach: Randy Robertson.
  • Rockwall (6-5, 5-2), lost in DI bi-district. Coach: Scott Smith.
  • Rockwall-Heath (5-5, 2-5). Coach: Mickey Moss.
  • Wylie (11-4, 5-2), lost in DI state semifinal. Coach: Bill Howard.
  • Wylie East (2-8, 0-7). Coach: Joe Lepsis.
THE BIG QUESTION: Will defense or offense win a championship?

The battle for the District 10-4A championship will be a two-man show again in 2011, starring the same two acts.

Highland Park enters the year as one of the top returning offenses in the area, boasting the triplets of QB Brady Burgin, WR Dalton Stogner and RB Preston Miller. The Scots run the spread with precision, clearing the way for Miller to run through defenses out of the traditional spread halfback position or receiving snaps out of the wildcat formation.

Challenging Highland Park again for the district top spot is Wylie, which returns at least one starter in every position group on defense.

However, Wylie’s question marks on offense -- especially at quarterback --make it the dark horse to beat out Highland Park. But it’s a situation Wylie is well accustomed to. The Pirates were a dark horse throughout the playoffs last season after finishing second in District 10-4A and rode their way all the way to the Division I state semifinals.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

WR Dalton Stogner, QB Brady Burgin, RB Preston Miller, OT Tanner Stone, Highland Park; WR Quentin Casner, QB Robert Somborn, McKinney; QB Hunter Walling, RB Devin Smith, WR Sam Lucania, McKinney North; ATH Corey Coleman, DB Cameron O’Reilly, Pearce; QB Wesley Davis, DL Robert Hurd, LB Jared Farrow, Rockwall; WR Amaris Fields, RB Jovan Hernandez, DE Jay Arnold, LB Raaquan Davis, Rockwall-Heath; OL Kyle Fuller, DB Terrell Burt, DL Noble Nwachukwu, LB Sean Watts, Wylie; ATH Jabari Anderson, WR Marcell Ateman, Wylie East.

DID YOU KNOW?

Rockwall-Heath RB Jovan Hernandez was one of the top hitters in the area last season for the Rockwall-Heath baseball team, helping the Hawks reach the 4A regional finals. … Wylie East is entering its second year of varsity football and is still looking for its first district win.

PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS
  1. Highland Park
  2. Wylie
  3. Rockwall-Heath
  4. McKinney North

HP runs past Wylie East, clinches 10-4A title

February, 15, 2011
2/15/11
11:59
PM CT
DALLAS -- Highland Park's boys were ready to run from start Tuesday.

The Scots' game-long run began with the opening tip, which was followed by a single pass and a layup with just seconds gone from the clock.

The Scots never slowed down on their home court, beating Wylie East, 84-67, and securing the District 10-4A championship in the process.

David Allen
Travis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.com David Allen scored 22 points to lead Highland Park past Wylie East.
"We wanted to get off to a quick start, obviously," Scots coach David Piehler said. "They're the type of team that if you let them hang around like we did, they'll stay in the game. It really wasn't over until the last few minutes. Getting off to a quick start was really key for us tonight."

While Highland Park never let Wylie East get within striking distance, the Raiders never said die, remaining around 10 points down until the final minutes of the game. Wylie East found success shooting from distance and was led by freshman Kevon Mack, who finished with 15 points.

"Wylie East is a great team," Piehler said. "They've got a bunch of young guys and I'm not looking forward to playing them next year."

The Scots were sparked by wing David Allen, the game's leading scorer with 22 points. Allen was a welcome sight at the top of the scoring list for Piehler after the high-scoring wing had missed six games earlier in the season with an injury.

Highland Park finished with a 12-2 district record, the same as McKinney. But the Scots swept the Lions in the season series to earn the tie-breaker for the top seed from 10-4A.

As "We are the Champions" blared in the Scots' locker room, Piehler remained astounded at his squad's achievments.

"I don't know how we did it," Piehler said. "I've been here five years now and Highland Park has a way of just stepping up. These guys believe in themselves and they believe in the tradition. Our whole district this year was very tough from top to bottom. I don't know how we did it."

Highland Park will face Carrollton Creekview, fourth place in District 9-4A, in the bi-district round of the 4A state playoffs next week.

Two-man QB rotation working for Highland Park

September, 27, 2010
9/27/10
8:22
PM CT
Jake HowethTravis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.comJake Howeth is the dual threat in Highland Park's two-man quarterback rotation.


Rotating two quarterbacks usually indicates that neither player is playing well enough to start full time.

In the case of Highland Park’s Jake Howeth and Brady Burgin, it’s the opposite – both are playing well. No. 3 Highland Park (4-0, 1-0 in District 10-4A) is undefeated thanks in part to its quarterback rotation.

Howeth, a senior, is a dual-threat QB who also starts at safety. He’s thrown for 585 yards and seven touchdowns, in addition to 327 rushing yards. He runs out of the Wildcat, in short-yardage situations and as a running back when Burgin is at quarterback.

Burgin, a junior, is more of a pure passer. He has 412 passing yards and five touchdowns and is completing well over 70 percent of his passes.

Outside of Howeth’s time at running back and in the Wildcat, the two rotate time equally. In Highland Park’s 37-30 win over Rockwall, Howeth started the first and third quarters while Burgin started the second and fourth.

“As a coach you do what works,” said Highland Park head coach Randy Allen. “As long as it’s working, we’ll go with it.”

Highland Park plays at first-year Wylie East (2-2, 0-1 in 10-4A) on Friday.

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