Recognize: Dallas/Ft. Worth

Updated: October 1, 2008, 9:42 PM ET

ESPN RISE takes a look at the teams to watch this month in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area:

Football -- Euless Trinity
Coming off a Class 5A, Division I state championship last season, the Trojans are set up for quite the encore this fall. Euless Trinity plays a brutally tough schedule in 2008, a slate that includes a matchup with reigning Louisiana Class 2A state champ John Curtis and nondistrict battles with state powers Allen and Cedar Hill. "We should find out early about our team," Trinity coach Steve Lineweaver says. "You can't take any weeks off, but we hope to keep things going in the right direction." That direction is shaping up to be a dynasty. The Trojans have won two of the past three 5A-I state titles and are favored to repeat this year. Not only that, Trinity opened the year as the No. 1 team in the ESPN RISE FAB 50 national rankings. But when you consider the firepower the Trojans bring back, it's easy to see why they are considered the nation's best. Senior quarterback Denarius McGhee and senior running back Dontrayevous Robinson (Nebraska commit) are a lethal backfield duo, combining for 31 TDs last year. Senior WR Tyree Tucker and senior TE Noa Galeai are threats through the air. Trinity's always strong offensive line is anchored by seniors Chuck Davenport and Ben Johnson. The Trojans are experienced, balanced and deep on defense, led by senior lineman Siosaia Tuipulotu, senior linebacker Earnest Norman (Kansas) and senior defensive backs Prinz Kande (Kansas) and Eryon Barnett (Texas).

Girls' Swimming -- Frisco Centennial

Highland Park has dominated the Class 4A girls' swimming ranks of late, but Centennial appears to be creeping up and establishing itself as a program to be reckoned with. The Titans won the Region 2-5A meet by 42 points last season and went on to finish eighth at the Class 4A state meet. Junior Alexis Ramirez and sophomore Hannah Ellis both won three golds at last year's regional meet. Sophomores Courtney Hanna and Kelsey Emmons and senior Sasha Johnson also return as major contributors for 2008-09.

Boys' Cross Country -- Poteet
The Pirates cruised to a third consecutive Region II-4A championship last fall by sticking together. Poteet's first runner and fifth runner crossed the finish line just 37 seconds apart, a major factor in allowing the team to easily outdistance its challengers. ESPN RISE All-Area picks Andy Ortiz and Jake Zinn were the team's first two finishers, with senior Taylor Jones and juniors Jorge Ziesk and Elias Murillo rounding out the top five. With that core group back this fall, the Pirates should challenge for a Class 4A state title.

Girls' Cross Country -- Southlake Carroll
It took an appeal to the UIL, but the Dragons were eventually named Class 5A state champions last fall. A scoring error caused by a malfunctioning timing chip led to the championship initially being awarded to Kingwood. But when the error was corrected, Southlake Carroll came out on top for a third consecutive year. The Dragons bring back five of their seven state competitors this fall, including ESPN RISE All-Area picks Tara Upshaw and Jessica Harper. Upshaw, a senior, was 11th at state last year, and Harper, a junior, was 19th.

Breakout teams

Senior Andrew Herrera and junior Tommy Rivas look to carry the Raiders into Class 4A state contention.

Led by senior Allegra Wells and junior Lauren Fox, the Mustangs are a deep and talented team.

First-year coach Jeff Dicus rebuilt Lake Travis and now has the Panthers headed in the right direction.

Sophomore Kerri Matulis returns after finishing in the top 10 at regionals and state last fall.