Nathan Bural

Reporter Sports Staff

It’s no surprise that Kennedale was the top dog in the district from 2006-08, but the Glen Rose Tigers finally proved their dominance by beating them and going four rounds deep in the 2007 football playoffs.

Just as Dunn took over the football program in 2008, the Tigers had finally gotten over the Kennedale hump and the UIL replaced it with the China Spring hump.

Oh, and in case you missed it, China Spring was just one year removed from an appearance in the state championship.

Thanks for that one, UIL.

In year one, Dunn’s Tigers couldn’t hang with the Cougars in a shootout on the road. Glen Rose made the playoffs as the No. 2 seed with no share of the district title.

In year two, Dunn got a shot at them at home.

However, Dunn didn’t have the same offense as year one. He didn’t have any returning linebackers on defense. China Spring has a top quarterback in all of 3A. This should be a blowout, right?

On the contrary. The Tigers took a lead deep into the fourth quarter and were even closer to the upset than before, and despite the loss, claimed a tie with China Spring for the 7-3A championship.

In the next line of the trend, Glen Rose should beat China Spring in 2010 and claim an outright district championship.

So like in 2008, just when the Tigers are about to make the leap to an “elite,” the UIL might throw a kink in the plans.

The very much rumored district for Glen Rose next season consists of familiar names like Mineral Wells, Springtown, Alvarado and Hillsboro. And unless there are serious cases of misfortune and/or overconfidence, should be easy wins on the schedule.

The 2010 kink lies just 30 minutes down US-67 South.

The rumor has Stephenville dropping to 3A and in the same district as Glen Rose.

Can Dunn catch a break? What is it going to take for Glen Rose to be 3A elite? How about a win against a team who, essentially, played for the 4A state title in 2009 and is returning several key players at the utmost important positions?

Stephenville was a bad call away from topping eventual 4A state champion Aledo at Cowboys’ Stadium in the area round of the playoffs, and also won the outright district title after going undefeated in 8-4A week a 44-17 thumping of Everman.

The Jackets are bringing back most of their starters on both sides of the ball, including junior-to-be quarterback Connor Washington who tossed for 1,899 yards and 16 touchdowns in the 2009 regular season and senior-to-be James Myles, a.k.a. District 8-4A MVP, who racked up over 2,300 hundred yards and 32 touchdowns on the ground.

Well, why should Glen Rose even take the field against the Yellow Jackets in 2010? On paper, Stephenville should be able to send the JV into the game by halftime.

But paper football doesn’t sell tickets.

“Hard hitting, slobber knocking, blood, sweat and tears left on the field football” does.

I’ve been watching Glen Rose football closely for two years now and if I know Dunn, he’s going to have his troops ready for battle.

And just in case, the David vs. Goliath matchup on the field isn’t enough drama for one season why don’t we take a peak at a couple other story lines.

1. Dunn spent 20 years coaching in Stephenville.

He was with the Yellow Jackets when the only attention their games got was from the parents of the kids on the field.

He was with them when Art Briles became a household name, and through all four state championships.

Just to throw out a couple of names: Mike Holmgren, Bill Parcells and Mike Ditka. For those younger readers who don’t know who any of these names are, study up on great NFL coaches.

Holmgren coached the Green Bay Packers for seven years and claimed an NFC Championship along with a Super Bowl title, Parcells coached the New York Giants for eight years and won two Super Bowls and Ditka coached ‘Da Bears’ for 11 seasons and won the 1985 Super Bowl.

Each one of them claimed victories over their old teams in their first appearance against them after switching teams.

Holmgren, with the Seattle Seahawks, beat the Pack 27-7 in game No. 1, Parcells had to wait four years before playing the G-Men but beat them, nonetheless, 23-22 while Ditka led the bottom-dwelling New Orleans Saints past the Bears 20-17 in his first crack at them.

Dunn may not be Ditka or Parcells, but there is something to be said about pulling out all the stops to knock off a former team.

2. Current Stephenville coach Joseph Gillespie played for Dunn at Stephenville.

Sure, Gillespie has won just about every coaching award in his first two years as a head coach and sure, he has got his team to the regional finals in his first year at the helm.

But Dunn has the experience.

Eventually, the taught usually gets the best of the teacher, but typically not year one.

It took Eric Mangini the second try to beat Bill Belichick, Romeo Crennel never got the better of Belichick in his four years with the Cleveland Browns.

Reminder: this district is a rumor and only a rumor.

However, should this rumor come to fruition, don’t get all twitchy about the idea of having to play the Yellow Jackets.

Dunn has been around the block, he’s been a part of his fair share of upsets and miracle victories and this is just another opportunity for the Glen Rose Tigers to finally show they belong at the top of the ‘top teams in 3A’ discussion.