Football fans in the Glen Rose area are hoping Texas Football has it right.
The 50th edition of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine hit news stands everywhere on Monday, carrying with it predictions that Walnut Springs will repeat as champions of District 15-six man and that Glen Rose will again advance to the Class 3A playoffs as District 7 runners-up.
Both feats, if accomplished, would match last year’s district finishes for the two schools, as Walnut Springs claimed a league title and Glen Rose placed second behind China Spring.
“That’s no surprise,” said Glen Rose head coach Tommy Dunn concerning the 7-3A picks. “(China Spring) deserve(s) to be there based on their recent success both last year and the year before. I think we deserve to be where we’re at, too. We just have to keep working hard and fight to knock them off.”
Glen Rose went 8-3 in 2008 and was eliminated in the bi-district round of the 3A-Division II playoffs by Llano. The Tigers return six offensive and seven defensive starters from the first team under head coach Tommy Dunn, but must replace North Texas-bound quarterback Derek Thompson.
Texas Football cites a long list of Tigers to watch this fall, including WR Ty Taylor (6-0, 175), T D.J. Figueroa (6-2, 260), S Shelby Junge (6-0, 165), S Immanuel Morales - an all state pick in 2008 - (6-2, 175), QB Colt Plaster (6-0, 165) and “top juniors” Chase Evatt (5-7, 160) at running back and Jorge Espino (5-8, 175) at wide receiver.
“Other prospects” listed in TFM include DT Ivan Funez, C Reagan Rotan, DT Seth Mann, C Dylan Rodriguez, DE Hunter Ratliff, WR Kevin Brooks, DE Jimmy Darch, LB Graham Noell, LB Collin Lane, RB Santos De La Garza, G Jeremy Dooley, G Casey Cheek and LB Jesus Chavez.
Dunn wasn’t surprised to see so many names among the magazine’s list of key players.
“That’s a sign that we’re a lot more deep than we have been in the past couple years,” Dunn said. “We’ve been working hard and having success and that’s resulted in having more and more kids come out to play. Now we have to keep fighting to get where we want to go.”
The magazine’s notes on the 2009 Tigers say that hopes for a repeat trip to the playoffs rest with their defense, and also notes that Plaster is the new quarterback for the Tiger offense.
“I think they feel like our offense will drop off because we lost a Division I quarterback they don’t think we can replace. That’s not necessarily the case,” said Dunn. “(Colt) may not have the strong arm Derek has, but he can be just as effective in different ways. He’s unproven at that position, but he could be very dangerous in terms of speed and quickness. I also think we will be better defensively.”
As Glen Rose mixes experience with a new signal caller, Walnut Springs looks to build on the best season in school history.
The Hornets, who were 9-4 state semifinalists in Six-Man Division II a year ago and are ranked No. 7 in the magazine’s preseason poll, return four starters on both sides of the ball, giving head coach Trent Trotter plenty of experience to build around.
“Players to watch” for Walnut Springs include QB Eddie Whitt (4-9, 170), RB Johnathan Stack (5-6, 150), C/N Matthew Prescher (6-2, 230), QB Mario Ballesteros (5-10, 143), LB Kody Stack (5-9, 155) and E Andrew Herring (6-0, 181).
“Other prospects” listed are DE Trevor Turner, C Chase Berry, DE Ryan Engelhardt and E Trey Buscha.