How will they finish?
The 2012 Dave Campbell Texas Football Magazine was released last month and the predictions are anything but favorable to four area Brush Country squads. Many consider the magazine the “Bible of Texas Football” as it enters its’ 52nd year of publication.
The cover this year features one of the newest Big 12 members, the TCU Horn Frogs. Entrance into the Big 12 has built up plenty of hype in Ft. Worth, which they hope will overshadow some of the off-season negativity, that was created thanks to a number of arrests. Aside from TCU, Kevin Sumlin-Texas ATM, Dennis Franchione-Texas State and Larry Coker-UTSA received small mentions on the front page.
Although the cover changes from year to year on this magazine, the content has always been great. This year, over 1,300 plus high schools are previewed not to mention Texas colleges and universities along with the Big-12, the SEC and a few other conferences. This magazine truly is the “Southwest leading football source”. If you don’t believe that we buy into what this magazine has to say, come look at the Express Sports office where we have every single magazine since 1974. Surely Maggie Rodriguez and Bill Wilkerson has the 1960-1973 editions tucked away somewhere around the office.
This year, Campbell was not kind to the Pleasanton Eagles or the Poteet Aggies in their re-vamped district 28-3A. Then again, respect is usually lacking from peers or writers until success comes around and is a constant. This is something Pleasanton Head Coach Tab Dumont and Poteet Head Coach Hank Willis understand and are geared towards turning around their respective programs.
Class 28-3A: This year’s 28-3A football district will keep four of their core members and will add a familiar South Texas face. Not many are complaining about losing Gonzales, Cuero and Yoakum as the two hour drives will be something no one will lose sleep about. Instead, a 20-minute drive to Somerset will not only be better for the fans, but might add that extra fire and competitiveness to the game which will be something the Eagles and Aggies can build momentum off of.
As most know, 28-3A will include the LaVernia Bears (909 enrollment), Somerset Bulldogs (973), Sam Houston Hurricanes (825.5), Pleasanton Eagles (936.5) and the Poteet Aggies (500). The order in which the teams were listed happens to be the order in which Campbell is predicting them to finish in the 2012 district race.
LaVernia Bears- The LaVernia Bears will be back under Coach Bo Robinson, who has been at the helm of the Bears Den since Coach Wayne Johnson came to Jourdanton. Last season, the Bears went 7-6 and were Division I Regional Finalists. The Bears finished 4-2 in 28-3A, but will only return four offensive starters and three defensive starters this season.
Even though the number of starters who return may be few, they include a number of key players like LB Jake Wiatrek who led the defense last season. They also return QB Vince Gill who passed for more than 1,000 yards.
With LV JV finished 7-3 last season and it will be interesting to see if some of the younger players can fill the holes and be ready for Friday night lights, 2012.
Somerset Bulldogs- Coach Sonny Detmer is back to lead the Somerset Bulldogs once again, as they are coming off a 6-5 Division I Bi-District playoff appearance last season. The Bulldogs are the new kids on an old block this season, as they return to the likes of this old district in which they use to compete. Last season, the Dogs finished 5-1 in the old 27-3A district falling to state ranked Devine. This year, Somerset returns five starters on both sides of the ball. The Bulldogs are hoping this will keep them in the playoff hunt.
According to Coach Detmer, aside from the five starters on both sides of the ball, players from an undefeated freshmen and jv squad will complement the varsity well.
Included in the starters who come back are: DL Mark Cerda who has started since his freshman year, along with LB Tyler Sollohub who recorded 113 tackles last season. They will also look at CB Eden Rodriguez, RB Donnie Perez along with a number of others to lead the way.
The QB race will be between QB Zach Wiseman who started for the Bulldogs last season along with the newest Detmer to try and take over the reigns, Koy Detmer Jr. If bloodline has anything to do with God given talent, the Bulldogs could be in good shape in the future. The Bulldogs will have the second most returning starters, which has hopes high in Bulldog nation.
Sam Houston Hurricanes One of the most talented teams in the area last season will have what appears to be a slight rebuilding year according to many. Of course, rebuilding for Sam Houston could be more like “re-loading” as they always sport plenty of quickness and speed on their younger squads.
The Hurricanes who are coached by Gary Green, finished 8-3 last season and 4-2 in 28-3A. They dropped their Bi-District contest to guess who? Yes, you guessed right, the Devine Warhorses. According to Green, it will depend on how many of the younger players step up in reference to how much success they, can have this season.
Not much was released to the media on the Canes returnees except for DE Joseph Butler who was an all-district pick last season as a junior and will be one of their leaders back this year.
Pleasanton Eagles- 2-8, what are you going to do about it? If you have not heard this slogan by now, then welcome to a Pleasanton Eagle Football program, which is hungry and determined. Coach Tab Dumont is back again to lead the Eagles for his 14th stint at the helm of Big Green. According to Dumont, the attitude during the off-season has been great and the athletes have been hard at work this summer. Will this help get this program back on the winning track?
Experience is not built over night, but luckily for the Eagles, experience will not be a problem like it will for some squads. The Eagles will return nine offensive starters and six defensive starters to this years’ squad. One of the most familiar faces back, is senior QB Luke Walters, who passed for 198-358-2,767 yards and 19 touchdowns last season which led the entire San Antonio area last season. Walters who enters his final year with the squad, has started since the middle of his freshman season and has continued to get looks from colleges across the state.
Plenty of familiar faces will complement Luke Walters. Players like WR Jacob Jandt (46-784-5TDs) along with Mike Sorola (50-798-7TDs) will be key to success. WR Jake Mickaels will also be back after fighting off injury last season and should also make an impact.
When you add other keys to the puzzle like DE-Thomas Trevino, RB Jacob Arevalo, ATH-Grant Jackson, LB Elijah Engelmann, WR Zade Llamas, LB Jacob Garcia and a host of other individuals, the recipe for success could be on the horizon.
Coach Dumont is excited about the potential of this squad and is ready for the Eagles to step up their game a notch in 2012. If pride, hard work and dedication along with returning talent reach their potential, don’t look for this years Eagle squad to finish as advertised by this Texas Football Bible. 2-8 in 2012---I think not!
Poteet Aggies- Last but not least, the Poteet Aggies have a new swagger about their program, as Coach Hank Willis has arrived to take over the reigns in Aggie land. The only issue that Willis will have to deal with on the downside is returning three offensive and two defensive starters. The upside to this is although this season could be a rebuilding year, the future of the program will be players who are molded through his program and not on past programs or methods.
The Aggies are coming off a disappointing 0-10 season in which they competed in plenty of games, but never could finish what was started. Injuries didn’t do the Aggies any favors, as they were plagued almost the entire season with a handful of injuries every Friday night.
This year, the Aggies will look for QB Sean Rodriguez along with WRs Ricky Guerra and Eric Perez to lead the way. They will also look at RBs Derrick Santos and Kris Guzman to carry the offensive weight on their shoulders through the trenches behind the blocking of players like returning OL Adrian Contreras.
Other Aggies who will have a key role this season include: LB Rudy Rodriguez, QB Cam Uribe, DB Ronnie Sanchez, DB Isaiah Oliva, LB Kyle Chilek and OL Brandon Herrera.
Although their senior class will be strong in numbers, they might be a tad shy on experience. One thing that has been evident thus far is there is a new attitude and a new sense of pride in the Aggie Field House, weight room and practice field thus far. Coach Willis is excited about the challenge and he is assuring that the Aggies will leave it all on the field 2012 Friday night battles.
There you have it, 28-3A will be anything but a cakewalk this season. This years’ district should have a lot more on the line with five teams who all reside within 45 miles of one another. It will be an energized season with a battle that should come down to the final game.
Next week we will take a look at the Jourdanton Indians and District 15-2A which will feature plenty of new faces for the Indians when it comes to district play.
Charlotte’s new district will follow in the coming weeks.