Plano Senior escaped John Clark Stadium Friday with an ugly, much-needed win over Plano West. The Wildcat defense held West’s offense in check, and Plano took advantage of enough West errors to capitalize on offense en route to a 31-6 Wildcat victory.
Down to the penultimate week of the regular season and this week features a number of matchups rife with playoff and district title ramifications. This week's edition of The Pick-It Line is teeming with games waged under those same stakes, including a couple compelling matchups in District 6-6A. Allen and Plano East are two of the best in the area, but in a matchup pitting the district's top offense (East) against its top defense (Allen), all six members of the Star Local Media sports staff see the Eagles remaining undefeated.
Give the Panthers this much: They haven’t let their district loss to Denton Guyer linger. East enters Friday’s showdown sizzling on offense, averaging 62.7 points and 559.7 yards over its last three games. Allen’s defense will obviously pose a far more formidable challenge, but the same goes for the East offense, which is the most versatile and athletic unit the Eagles have seen thus far.
As a showdown with Allen approaches, the Plano East football team made sure to take care of business Friday against an injury-depleted Plano West squad. The East defense harassed and contained West junior quarterback Jake Sweeney, starting Friday for injured senior Tanner Gillean, and rolled to a 67-17 victory at John Clark Stadium.
The Eagles enter this matchup beaming with confidence after their 42-7 demolition of Denton Guyer last week and catch a McKinney squad trying to claw its way into the playoff conversation in 6-6A.
The Pirates definitely have momentum on their side, riding a two-game winning streak built on blowouts of Plano West and McKinney Boyd. In fact, since trailing Plano East at the half of its district opener, 29-0, Wylie has outscored its opponents, 115-45.
Wylie quarterback Emilio Ames put on an efficiency clinic Friday, while West fell victim to penalties and the injury bug. Ames threw touchdown passes to three different receivers, and Pirate linebacker Chris Shaw wrecked havoc on the West running game in a 42-18 win at Kimbrough Stadium.
A mere 14 seconds into Friday’s District 6-6A contest at Allen, the Plano West football team’s fate was sealed. Allen junior Taj Bickham carved through the Wolves for a 90-yard return touchdown on the game’s opening kickoff and set the wheels in motion for a 61-19 Eagles victory to improve to 5-0 on the season and 2-0 in district. The Wolves dropped 1-1 in 6-6A and 1-4 overall.
The Wolves got a much-needed 38-21 victory over a surging McKinney squad to kick off district play. After a winless non-district campaign, West needed to see some modicum of forward progress on offense and did so behind 475 yards and 38 points – the latter figure more than the Wolves’ combined non-district scoring output.
The Plano West squad that took the field Thursday against McKinney was, in every facet of a football team, a completely different unit than the one that lost its first three non-district games of 2016. The defense was suffocating. Special teams was mistake-free and directly contributed to a touchdown. And the offense was unstoppable.
West has wiped the proverbial slate clean from its 0-3 start in non-district, with head coach Scott Smith focusing only on McKinney and “the new season,” as he called it. Unfortunately for the Wolves, the same problems that plagued West in non-district are still there: an offense that’s failing to score points and, in turn, a defense that’s being overused.
Now the fun part begins. Over the past three weeks, District 6-6A football has plied its craft and given spectators an early gauge on just how this eight-team behemoth will play out in the coming weeks.
A 0-3 start by Plano West could be cause for concern as District 6-6A play begins this week, but head coach Scott Smith is taking a “day-by-day” approach as the Wolves prepare for the games that count toward postseason seeding. The bye week, then, can be a perfect time for re-evaluation.
For the third consecutive week, the Plano West offense struggled against a non-district opponent. Hebron, on the other hand, seems to be hitting its stride at the perfect time. After averaging only 16.5 points per game in the first two outings of the season, the Wolves were stymied by Hebron in Week 3, falling to the Hawks, 21-3, at John Clark Stadium on Friday.
Hebron rebounded from a season-opening defeat to Plano, where the Hawks lost by more than 30 points, to defeat Wylie in Week Two. Quarterback Clayton Tune threw for three touchdowns and no interceptions, and seems to have developed a rapport with top receiver Trejan Bridges (six catches, 125 yards, two touchdowns).
Sachse could have been content to let the final seconds tick off the clock late in the first half of Thursday's game against Plano West. After all, momentum was squarely in the Mustangs' corner after Jalen Mayden found a wide-open Nate Shelton for a 71-yard touchdown pass to give them a 20-10 lead with just 57 seconds left before halftime.
Junior quarterback Jalen Mayden (No. 17 overall, class of 2018) threw for 2,496 yards and 32 touchdowns last year, and that’s after sharing snaps at the beginning of the season. He’s rated as the sixth-best dual-threat quarterback in the country, according to 247sports.com. On the outside, big-time receivers Nate Shelton and D.J Carpenter are there, and the Mustang offense features two able-bodied running backs in Christian Cole and Kelon Wilson. Simply put, the Mustangs are an explosive offense with a “we’ll just outscore you” attitude.
The legendary speed of east Texas football was on full display Saturday in Tyler. Plano West might still be trying to catch its collective breath. John Tyler jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, forcing two Wolves turnovers and rolling to a 45-14 win at Earl Campbell Field at Rose Memorial Stadium.
For the players, coaches and fans who kept a brave face amid last year’s 4-6 season, in a lot of ways that skid began at The Woodshed, where Hebron got the better of a 35-28 overtime decision. Plano led that game at the half, 28-14, before the floodgates opened.
In less than seven days, the Plano West football team kicks off its 2016 season with a opening match in east Texas against John Tyler. It is there that the Wolves will begin to lay groundwork for a season they hope will end in a playoff appearance after finishing 3-7 in 2015.
Realignment may have dealt a different hand to 6-6A, but this district remains a land of giants when it comes to football. Continuing to sport the four largest high schools in Texas (Allen and Plano ISD), 6-6A also touts three programs that should be among the better ones in the area in Allen, Denton Guyer and Plano East.
In a district with strong offenses in Allen, Denton Guyer and Plano East, fielding a strong defense is necessary for success. For West head coach Scott Smith, he’ll lean on that side of the ball while his offense searches for consistency.
Fans anxious for a sneak peek at any of the three Plano ISD football teams are in luck. On Friday, schools in the Plano and Allen areas will tune up for the start of the regular season with a scrimmage.
The end of one chapter gives way to the start of another, and such is the case in the evolution of District 6-6A. After a two-year run that netted numerous state championships and playoff consistency, 6-6A will turn over a new leaf in 2016-17 – welcoming Denton Guyer, Wylie and McKinney to take the reins from the departing Lewisville ISD.
Ever the optimist, Plano West head football coach Scott Smith named several areas of his team that he was impressed with as the Wolves finished the first week of organized football practice.
One thing he can’t teach is youth, and the Wolves have plenty of it.
One of the more entertaining aspects of covering high school sports in the Metroplex are the interactions – both personal and as a spectator – with athletes. During my time as a reporter, I have had the opportunity to profile and follow the career paths of some noteworthy athletes in Plano ISD and surrounding areas, and it’s time to look at a handful of students who impressed this past season and could be in line for even bigger roles in 2016-17.
With football season drawing closer by the day, now's the time when people embrace one of the sport's tried-and-true traditions. Seeking out random projections from complete strangers on how your favorite team will fare this fall.
On Monday, the Texas High School Coaches Association released its regional preseason football polls in advance of the start of the regular season in five weeks.
Below is a rundown of the THSCA preseason polls that feature teams from Star Local Media markets. For a complete listing of the polls, go to theathleticsdepartment.com.
July 9 featured the conclusion of yet another sizzling, strenuous summer of 7-on-7 football, as teams from around Texas converged on College Station for the state tournament.
Only four parted on a winning note (bracket victors The Woodlands, Kaufman, Killeen Ellison and Grace Community) while others furthered the progression of their respective offseasons. Positional battles gained a bit more clarity for some teams, leadership roles were established within others and of course, no high school athlete should balk at an opportunity for competition.
West senior Cam Strauss’ diving catch in the end zone sent the Wolves to the championship bracket of last week’s Division I state 7-on-7 tournament.
The Wolves split the first two games of pool play against Pearland and North Crowley, setting up a crucial third game against San Angelo Central that West had to win by at least 16 points to advance. With the score 34-20 after senior quarterback Tanner Gillean led West on a touchdown drive, the Wolves had to go for two points to qualify for the championship round.
Plano West qualified for the state 7-on-7 tournament more than one month ago when it defeated rivals Plano East in the Frisco Liberty SQT semifinals. In the time leading up to state, repetition and improvement has been the name of the game for head coach Scott Smith's squad.
Plano West had just qualified for the state 7-on-7 tournament after defeating crosstown rival Plano East at Frisco Liberty, and senior linebacker Mohamed Sanogo wanted to celebrate. At the center of the team huddle, Sanogo smiled and yelled at Titus Wall, his teammate and fellow senior linebacker.
Plano West senior linebacker Mohamed Sanogo has committed to the University of Houston, according to his Twitter account. Sanogo was a top recruit at the inside linebacker position, and will lead a strong Wolves' defense in 2016.
Spring ball has concluded and the next time folks see the Allen or Plano ISD football teams in action won’t be until August.
Within the weeks that encompassed spring practices, the Star Local Media sports staff got a sneak peak at all four of the aforementioned programs during their respective spring games.
Plano West will host a 7-on-7 state qualifying tournament on Saturday, with teams from north and east Texas joining local schools in the competition.
The four-pool tournament will consist of 16 teams, with four teams to a pool. Each team will play the other pool opponents head-to-head, and the team with the best record in each pool will advance to the semifinals. The winners of both semifinal games automatically qualify for the state 7-on-7 tournament in July.
The state 7-on-7 circuit continues this weekend at Plano West, where the Wolves will host a Division I state qualifying tournament.
On Saturday, West will welcome 15 other football programs from around the Metroplex who will vie for two spots in the 7-on-7 state tournament.
The consistency of the Plano West football team’s offense is an area of emphasis for head coach Scott Smith in 2016. If that unit can perform, Smith said, he feels strongly about his team’s chance to make the playoffs.
“We go into every season wanting to win a district championship,” Smith said. “That’s something I always want for my seniors, to see their names on the hardware at the end of the year.”
The final game of Saturday’s 7-on-7 state qualifying tournament at Frisco Liberty featured two teams rather familiar with each other in Plano East and Plano West.
Dropped passes doomed East in the semifinal game, and West senior quarterback Tanner Gillean was sharp in the Wolves’ 33-30 victory over its crosstown rivals. As one of the top two teams, West automatically qualified for the state tournament.
An unexpected cold front blew through Plano last week, but a stiff breeze didn’t sway the focus of the Plano West football team during its final spring scrimmage.
West concluded its spring series at Clark Stadium on Wednesday, with the first- and second-string players seeing plenty of time on the field under the watchful eye of head coach Scott Smith, a man eager to return the program to the postseason in 2016.
Plano East junior linebacker Anthony Hines III was ranked among the top players in the country for the Class of 2017 in a list recently revised by ESPN. Hines checked in at No. 65 overall, tabbed as the No. 1 prospect in the class at his inside linebacker post and No. 12 among Texas players on the list.
The Plano West football team kicked off their 2016 spring football campaign with a Lift-A-Thon fundraising project and quarterback club meeting.
The Wolf Pack celebrated their 2015 season and seniors at a banquet held January 23rd at South Fork Ranch in Parker. Tracey Simmons and Denise Erich and their banquet committee did an incredible job on decorations and creating a great event that night! THANKS!
Coach Smith kicked off the festivities with a few videos of the Wolf Pack and some game footage for the season. Though not the outcome all wanted for the season, there was a big cheer when the game film with the big win over Plano Senior was shown. Each of the position coaches were introduced, and senior players were recognized and remembered for their contributions to the team.
Several awards were presented as well. Three players received scholarship money at the banquet. Those awards included The “Living for Zachary” Scholarship awarded to Matthew Dean, the PISD Tom Kimbrough Scholarship awarded to Kevin Rinkliff, and the Jordan Pugh Foundation Scholarship winner was R.J. Wells. Coach Smith also recognized a long-time supporter of the Wolfpack and talked about his service and dedication to the program. He then announced that the team created an award recognizing Tom Morris for his service to PW football called the Tom Morris “SPIRIT OF THE PACK” Award that will be given each year as recognition from the coaches for a player that demonstrated that spirit and drive to make Plano West football better! This year’s winners were Alec Dwyer and Callie Erich. Coach Smith also recognized all of the District and Academic All-Americans that Plano West had at the banquet, and discussed how these players committed to the 2015 motto “All In – 100%!” both on the field and in the classroom.
The Quarterback Club then recognized Mickey and Holly Castora and Roger Campbell for the outstanding job that they did in guiding the club through this initial season with a new head coach. An announcement was then made that the 2016 Quarterback Club captains will be Josh & Darcey Carter. The seniors and coach huddled up for one more break, and the night was complete!
Congratulations to all the seniors, coaches, and award winners. Truly a fantastic event, and we look forward to spring practice and football starting in April.
The UIL held its biennial realignment Monday morning, announcing the state's new athletic districts. These will take effect for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years.
In the All District categories, Plano West has the following players recognized:
In the Academic Awards, Plano West really shined with the following selections:
In addition to these recognitions, Plano West had Mohamed Sanogo selected as an Honorable Mention to the Texas Associated Press Sports Editors All State Team.
Congratulations to all the members of the Wolf Pack that received these awards for their hard work both on and off the field.
Next week, several area football standouts will be in action at AT&T Stadium as part of the latest edition of the International Bowl.
The event will feature a series of matchups between U.S. national teams of varying age groups and teams assembled by Football Canada. The games kick off Sunday and run through Feb. 5.
There’s never a dull moment when it comes to Plano ISD athletics, and the 2015 football season was no different. In just one year’s time, Plano East went from getting its doors blown off by Plano Senior and Plano West to emerging as the top football program in the city in one of high school football’s top single-season turnaround stories in the Metroplex in 2015. The Wolves adapted to life under a new coach, while Plano endured an unexpected down year despite being projected as a near-shoo-in for the playoffs.
The Plano West football team finished 3-7 this year with a 2-6 record in District 6-6A action, missing the postseason in the process. After a win over Mesquite in its first game of the season, West would go on to lose three straight and two in a row to open district action.
Despite finishing the contest being outgained by more than 70 yards on offense, the Plano West football team (3-7 overall, 2-6 District 6-6A) found a way to overcome that matter, cruising to a 28-7 victory over Flower Mound Friday at Clark Stadium. West forced six Flower Mound punts, a failed fourth-down conversion and caused a fumble in its finale of the 2015 campaign.
Varsity Scoreboard Thursday’s Results Allen defeats Plano West, 69-10 Plano East defeats Hebron, 21-14 Flower Mound Marcus defeats Plano Senior, 34-31
llen senior Seth Green and junior Mitchell Jonke both realize the tenuous nature of what it means to be the Eagles’ starting quarterback this season. That at the first sign of distress, be it an early turnover or a few stagnant drives, a switch from one to the other can and will be made.
Varsity Scoreboard Friday’s Results: Plano East defeats Lewisville, 27-13 Allen defeats Flower Mound, 42-0 Hebron defeats Plano West, 31-13
It’s easy to get swept up in the magnitude of sports.
Between practice, games, pep rallies, video sessions, lifting and just talking about whatever game high school students and athletes are invested in, forgetting sports’ cultural impact and focusing too much on success can often rear its ugly head.
In a game that was delayed about 40 minutes, the Hebron football team managed to brave the inclement weather on the ground, accumulating 246 rushing yards that led to a 31-13 victory over Plano West on Friday at Clark Stadium.
“I was real pleased with the way we played despite the messy weather,” said Brian Brazil, Hebron head coach. “It obviously limited us on what we can do offensively as the same goes for them. Both teams took care of the ball and at the same time, we stayed strong and understood that running the ball was going to be a key component heading into tonight’s game.”
With 2-5 inches of rain expected throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area between Thursday and Saturday, the inclement weather is expectedly impacting the week's high school football slate.
Several high schools are taking precautions by moving up the kickoff time of their respective games to try and avoid the brunt of the rainfall, while games that were originally scheduled for Thursday have been postponed to Friday and even Saturday.
UCLA freshman and former Plano West standout Soso Jamabo came on in relief of teammate Paul Perkins last against the University of California - Berkley, rushing for 79 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown and fumble.
Perkins, who left the game after an apparent knee injury, did not return, and Jamabo helped the Bruins close out the Golden Bears in a 40-24 victory Thursday night at the Rose Bowl.
Varsity Scoreboard: Friday’s Results - Flower Mound Marcus defeats Plano East, 41-20 Lewisville defeats Plano West, 21-16 McKinney Boyd defeats Plano Senior, 21-7
With just three weeks remaining in the high school football regular season, this is the part of the year when the playoff pictures start to crystallize within each district.
That’s only partially the case when gauging the super-sized status of District 6-6A, where a few teams have begun to separate themselves from the pack – in ways both good and bad – but plenty of the nine-team district still remains jumbled in the bulbous middle ground.
Lewisville junior running back Kwame Mickels entered Friday night’s matchup with Plano West with just 45 yards rushing on the season (12 carries).
Mickels finished with 163 yards on 14 carries in the Farmers’ 21-16 Homecoming win over the Wolves, scoring twice in the second half to spark his squad to victory.
Varsity Scoreboard Friday’s Results: Allen defeats Hebron, 45-13 Flower Mound Marcus defeats Plano West, 23-21 Plano East defeats Plano Senior, 32-15
With over half of the District 6-6A football gauntlet in the books, there’s still plenty to be decided.
Sure, Allen is yet again atop the 6-6A standings and within reach of extending its district title streak to a decade straight, but that’s not to discount the bounce-back years turned in so far by Flower Mound Marcus and Plano East.
It's never too early to look to the playoffs....ok, that's a lie. Most teams are just five games in - which means, in a majority of 6A and 5A districts, five meaningful games yet to play (4A and smaller haven't even started playing district games yet, so there's that). Anyone can pick favorites out of those districts, but it's not really based on the games that HAVE been played.
Varsity Scoreboard Friday’s Results: Plano West defeats Plano Senior, 14-7 Allen defeats Lewisville, 52-7 McKinney Boyd defeats Plano East, 34-23
It wasn’t always pretty, but Plano West held on for a 14-7 win over city rival Plano Senior Friday night at Clark Stadium.
The Wolves (2-3, 1-2 in district) and Wildcats (3-3, 1-3) combined for five turnovers, 13 punts and 15 penalties, but the former left the field with the only stat that matters – a win – thanks to senior running back Tyler Campbell’s game-winning 8-yard run with 11:30 remaining in the fourth.
Varsity Scoreboard Friday’s Results
Allen defeats Flower Mound Marcus, 38-28
Plano Senior defeats Flower Mound, 36-31
McKinney Boyd defeats Plano West, 41-31
McKinney Boyd entered Friday night’s road matchup with Plano West staring down the barrel of a potential 0-3 start in District 6-6A action.
When senior quarterback Grant Restmeyer went down with an injury and the Broncos trailing, 24-20, at with 7:54 left in the third quarter, thoughts of leaving Clark Stadium with another loss might have crept up in the minds of the team’s faithful.
Not Boyd head coach Don Drake, who had a feeling his starter would return.
Varsity Scoreboard. Friday’s Results Allen defeats Plano Senior, 65-0 Plano East defeats Plano West, 36-8.
Plano West threatened to steal momentum away from Plano East with a touchdown as time expired before the half in Friday night’s District 6-6A rivalry matchup at Kimbrough Stadium.
The Panthers’ third-quarter performance ended any and all hopes of the Wolves winning a fifth straight game in the city showdown.
East scored a touchdown, held the ball for 9:21 in the frame and coasted the rest of the way en route to a 36-8 win.
Fifteen chapters of the Plano East and Plano West football rivalry have come and gone.
The 16th will commence at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Kimbrough Stadium, where the Wolves, despite trailing in the overall head-to-head matchup in the series (9-6) will look to make it five straight wins over the Panthers.
East (3-0, 1-0 in District 6-6A) has other plans after jumping out to an undefeated start to its season, while West (1-1, 0-0) will make its district debut in a game that has produced a number of close, exciting finishes over the years.
As is the case with several high school sports, district play is here all too soon for 6-6A. Last Friday marked the first of eight weeks of district action, with teams logging a mere two games to work with beforehand.
In what’s been a running theme for all too long, all comers are gunning to wrest the top spot in 6-6A from Allen, which is on a run of nine straight district championships dating back to 2006. There are several compelling challengers though, including an improved Marcus squad that came within a hairline of topping the Eagles last season, plus the steady duo of McKinney Boyd and Plano Senior, and a high-octane attack that’s on the rise at Plano East.
Sachse's reputation is built on its abundance of offensive play makers and their quick-strike capabilities.
For much of Friday's game against Plano West, though, the Mustangs relied on a more methodical approach, putting together a number of productive, time-consuming drives.
But when they needed it most, Sachse's big-play ability made the difference.
lano West’s defense forced three turnovers and held Mesquite to under 250 yards of total offense in their first win of the season last week.
A much bigger test is coming.
Sachse visits the Wolves at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Clark Stadium, and with the Mustangs comes some of the most talented skill position players in the state. Top to bottom at the receiver position, it’s easy to make the argument that the squad has the top set of wideouts in District 11-6A, if not a wider region of the state.
Plano West unveiled a fresh look on Friday with a number of new starters and a new head coach in Scott Smith.
But it was the same old story when it came to facing Mesquite.
Varsity Schedule Friday Allen vs. Denton Guyer, 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Stadium Lake Highlands at Plano East, 7:30 p.m. at Kimbrough Stadium Tyler John Tyler at Plano Senior, 7:30 p.m. at Clark Stadium Plano West at Mesquite, 7:30 p.m. at Hanby Stadium
Plano West enters the 2015 football season with high hopes after a 9-3 campaign a year ago.
With big-time changes from the 2014 squad apparent, though, following up with a similar mark will take a buy-in at every level.
With almost two weeks of fall football practices in the books, teams continue the build to the end of the month when the regular season officially begins.
Beforehand, teams will get a chance to gauge any early progress and settle any remaining positional battles in scrimmages against other teams from around the Metroplex.
The BLUE NATION got a rousing kickoff to their football season last night, with the unveiling of their new slogan for the 2015 campaign: “All In – 100%!” New Head Coach and Athletic Director Scott Smith addressed over 200 players, parents, and supporters at a Plano West Quarterback Club kickoff meeting held at the Plano West. He stressed the importance of parents, fans, and the Booster Club being involved in the program, and urged all present to join the Plano West Quarterback Club as soon as possible.
He introduced many new assistant coaches, and talked about his vision for the Plano West program going forward. Coach Smith stressed that ALL players will be expected to adhere to four key attributes: “Pride; Poise; Class; and Discipline.” In addition, he outlined the addition of weekly study halls and mentoring groups that were being added to the PW program. He said “The first duty of these young men is to be students, and then athletes, and we will do all we can to accomplish this.”
Coach Smith also expects ALL Plano West fans at the elementary school, middle school, and high school levels to be sure and wear their Royal and Black, and come out every week to support the team and program. “COME EARLY; BE LOUD; STAY LATE!” is the new mantra for the team.
The Wolves will have both JV and Varsity scrimmages with the Highland Park Scots at Highlander Stadium on August 21st starting at 6:00 PM after they complete their fall camp. They kick off their season on August 28th against the Mesquite Skeeters at Hanby Stadium at 7:30 PM.Go WOLFPACK!
The first year of athletics is in the books for District 6-6A, with everything from state championships to classic games and standout individual and team performances strewn throughout.
The nine schools that comprise the state’s super-sized district staged months of high-level competition from sport to sport, with players, coaches and fans reaping the rewards every Tuesday and Friday night.
Projections are one of my favorite past times as a sports writer.
Last summer, I had the opportunity to look at five athletes I felt were underrated on the local high school circuit heading into their upcoming season (look for a similar edition of that concept later this summer).
The final phase of the 2015 7-on-7 season went off without a hitch Friday and Saturday with the playing of the Division I State 7-on-7 Tournament.
Held at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station, 64 teams vied for a state championship over the course of two days in the summer heat. In the end, that accolade belonged to Austin Westlake, which went 8-0 en route to defeating Manvel in double overtime, 42-34, to capture the Division I title.
I’m going to be running through the district races that are sure to pique my interest in 2015. Here are my first two installments (Part One and Part Two).
My qualifications on what makes a good district race are as follows:
The final phase of the 2015 7-on-7 season went off without a hitch Friday and Saturday with the playing of the Division I State 7-on-7 Tournament.
Played from Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station, 64 teams vied for a state championship over the course of two days in the summer heat.
High school football is not a perfect economy.
On the college and professional levels, players are brought in to fill specific roles. You need a run-plugging defensive tackle? Go recruit a handful, or sign a few on the free agent market.
High school coaches, however, aren’t so lucky. Often, they’re just trying to put the best 11 players on the field – regardless of position. Sure, they’ll need some big kids in the interior, but everything else is fluid. For example, a team blessed in talented defensive backs, but light elsewhere, can turn its biggest safeties into linebackers. It might not be ideal, given that those players might not have the size to take on blocks from offensive linemen, but it’s the best the coaches have to work with.
The 64 teams that have qualified for the Division I State 7-on-7 Tournament now know what awaits upon arrival in College Station in a couple weeks.
The pools for the latest installment of the Divison I state tournament were announced on Monday, with the 64 qualifiers divided into 16 pools. According to the Texas 7-on-7 Association, teams were split into four geographic regions and drawn at random.
If you start making a list of all-time great coaches in the state of Texas, you won’t get too many names in before Tom Kimbrough comes up in the discussion.
What’s remarkable is the relative brevity of his head coaching career. Unlike other all-time greats like Gordon Wood or G.A. Moore (who both coached for 44 seasons), Kimbrough had only 16 years as a head coach, all at Plano: 1976 to 1991. During that span, there were few programs that matched the Wildcats’ success.
The Plano West 7-on-7 football team is starting to find its groove.
In back-to-back weekends, the Wolves have competed at the Nike The Opening 7-on-7 team challenge and the Arlington Bowie state qualifying tournament, the latter more of a state tournament tune-up with West already qualified.
The number of opportunities to qualify for next month's Texas State 7-on-7 Tournament are dwindling, and 16 schools hope to join those festivities with a productive showing this weekend in Arlington.
Of course, only two are assured that opportunity, as local teams will convene at Arlington Bowie on Saturday to participate in a state qualifying tournament.
Plano West was disappointed in its opening 7-on-7 state qualifier performance of the year, a 1-2 showing at the Frisco Liberty SQT.
The Wolves righted the ship in a big way on Saturday at their own SQT, going 3-0 in pool play action before downing Mesquite Poteet, 46-33, in the tournament semifinals to earn an automatic berth in the state tournament.
For the second consecutive year, the Plano West 7-on-7 state qualifying tournament belonged to Plano ISD.
Particularly the SQT host Wolves and fellow rival Plano Senior, as both punched their tickets to the Division I State 7-on-7 Tournament on Saturday.
Plano West will host a 7-on-7 state qualifying tournament this weekend, scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
In what's been an annual stop in the 7-on-7 SQT tour, the Wolves will welcome 15 schools from around the Metroplex vying for two more spots in the Division I State 7-on-7 Tournament.
Plano West was one of 16 teams at the Frisco Liberty 7-on-7 state qualifying tournament over the weekend, but the Wolves didn’t manage to make it out of pool play in their first action of the summer.
It’s all part of the process for the squad, though, which ended things on a high note with a 40-point victory over Grapevine in their final appearance of the event.
Even before former head coach Mike Hughes announced his retirement and former offensive coordinator Kelly Mercer headed east, the Plano West football team was going to enter the 2015 season with a new outlook.
The Wolves will be tasked with replacing their starting quarterback, a number of defensive standouts and one of the consensus top-five running back prospects in the nation, but first-year head coach Scott Smith is pleased with his team’s progress now that spring practice is in the books.
With spring football winding down, several programs are already transitioning their respective offseason regiments toward 7-on-7 competition throughout the summer.
For a handful of area football teams, that'll mean descending on Frisco Liberty on Saturday morning for the first batch of Division I State Qualifying Tournaments.
New Plano West head football coach Scott Smith has seen his share of snaps under the lights at Clark Stadium. A former assistant at Plano Senior, Smith is plenty familiar with the tradition and memories that the facility stands on.
Spring practice and scrimmages have given Smith the opportunity to experience the game at the stadium in a brand new light, and admitted Friday after the Wolves’ final spring scrimmage of the year being back at Clark has been emotional in the infancy of his new tenure.
The head football coaching vacancy of the state's second-largest high school has been filled.
Longtime Lake Highlands head coach Scott Smith has been named the new head coach at Plano West. Plano ISD athletic director Gerald Brence confirmed Smith's hiring on Tuesday.
Plano West alum Jordan Pugh didn’t officially announce the 2014 recipient of his Pushing Upward. Going Higher. Award until the Wolves’ annual football banquet in January.
However, the NFL veteran had a good idea well in advance which West student-athlete embodied the criteria he looks for each year when deciding the beneficiary of his annual award and scholarship. That would be senior Dalvin Billingslea, who received a $2,000 scholarship and plaque that commended the Wolves’ running back for his work both on and off the field.
As Wednesday morning’s National Signing Day ceremony began at Plano West, many felt senior running back Soso Jamabo was down to the wire between Texas and UCLA.
Jamabo left no doubt to his decision during the ESPNU broadcast of the ceremony, pulling out two hats – one powder blue and one white – that both had the UCLA moniker embroidered across the front of them.
In today’s college football recruiting universe, it’s not uncommon for athletes to advertise themselves and their thought process when it comes to selecting a collegiate program to attend.
Not so with Plano West senior running back Soso Jamabo, who has taken a more reserved approach to his recruitment, even in the final two weeks before the deadline of National Signing Day arrives.
The Plano West football team’s postseason run didn’t begin the way it envisioned, surrendering an 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage in a bi-district contest against Keller at AT&T Stadium.
But that’s about all that went wrong early in a 66-41 rout of the Indians.
The brunt of District 6-6A wasn’t enough to shackle Plano ISD from the playoff picture, as Plano Senior and Plano West will represent the city when postseason action kicks off tonight.
Making their third consecutive playoff appearance, the Wolves take the field at AT&T Stadium at 6 p.m. tonight when they meet Keller. Two days later, Plano will serve as the first leg of a quadruple-header at AT&T Stadium when it squares off with District 5-6A champion Denton Guyer at 11 a.m. Saturday. Plano looks to nab its first playoff win since 2009.
The Plano West offensive line came into the season as an area of the program the coaching staff was paying close attention to.
After losing perennial starters and alums Zach White, Cody Arledge and Chase Woods to graduation – and college programs – the Wolves had to regroup with the next-man-up philosophy.
Despite playing its backups for much of the game, Plano West held Flower Mound scoreless for nearly three quarters in a 44-9 victory Friday at Neal Wilson Stadium.
Wolves’ senior quarterback Robert Colmery scored the game’s first three touchdowns on runs of 6, 3 and 35 yards, and Flower Mound didn’t get on the board until junior Richard Kelly hit a 41-yard field goal at 2:18 of the third quarter, with the outcome already decided.
With one week to go in the high school football regular season, there's a startling lack of suspense entering the final week of District 6-6A and 10-5A play.
The four playoff teams from the two districts have been decided, although there are instances where the outcomes of Friday's games could alter seeding.
Much like last season’s encounter between the two, the Allen and Plano West football teams began Friday night trading decisive touchdown drives on their respective first possessions.
Allen senior Kyler Murray found senior Jalen Guyton for a 56-yard touchdown and 90 seconds later, West senior Soso Jamabo returned the favor with a 49-touchdown run.
Plano West senior kicker Parker Davidson had a banner week for the Wolves against Hebron on Oct. 24 in a 50-7 win.
In addition to a perfect 6-of-6 point-after-touchdown conversions and six touchbacks on kickoffs, Davidson hit two field goals against the Hawks, including a school record 53-yarder in the third quarter.
For weeks, the Allen and Plano West football teams have been on a crash course to a Halloween showdown that will likely decide the District 6-6A champion.
And here we are. The undefeated Eagles – winners of 35 consecutive games and holders of the state’s top ranking – against the one-loss Wolves, perhaps the most compelling challenge to Allen’s district throne in years.
It took Plano West just 16 seconds to take a 7-0 lead over Hebron Friday night at Hawk Stadium, courtesy senior running back Soso Jamabo.
The Allen-Plano West football showdown could have a major hand in crowning the District 6-6A champion.
Fox Sports Southwest took notice and will be sending its “DQ Big Game of the Week” crew to Clark Stadium in Plano next Friday for the contest.
ESPN has updated the latest edition of its top 300 national football player rankings for the Class of 2015, and a slew of local names are represented.
Surprise, surprise – Allen and Plano West are the top of the District 6-6A football standings.
The Eagles and Wolves continue their march towards next week’s potential de facto 6-6A championship bout with the top two records in the district. Excluding that Oct. 31 showdown, the Eagles’ (5-0 in 6-6A) and Wolves’ (4-1) remaining two district games are against teams that are a combined 1-10 in 6-6A play. Allen has already technically clinched a playoff spot and from a big-picture standpoint, barring something unforeseen, I’m going to go out on a limb and pencil in West as well.
Lewisville (3-4, 2-3 in District 6-6A) entered Friday’s matchup against Plano West (6-1, 4-1) ranking among the better run defenses in the Class 6A Metroplex.
However, good defense doesn’t seem to matter much in slowing the Wolves as of late.
Much was made during the offseason about the competitiveness of District 6-6A entering the 2014-15 season, and as the 6-6A schedule approaches its midpoint, that’s certainly been the case.
Even the district’s current top seed, Allen, hasn’t carved out its unbeaten mark without a dash of adversity, while programs like Hebron and Flower Mound each have three-point losses on their district docket.
Halfway through the second quarter, it looked as if a Marcus run defense that surrendered just 125 yards total over the last two games was up to the task of slowing Plano West senior Soso Jamabo.
Two-and-a-half quarters later, Jamabo was over 300 yards on the ground with four touchdowns.
The snap-hold-kick operation is, in theory, an easy one.
When ready, a long snapper puts both hands on the ball, awaiting the signal from the holder just 7 yards back. The kicker nods his head, the ball is snapped to the holder and put down on the turf, with a slight spin, to make sure the laces are facing the goal post.
It’s maybe the most overused line by coaches and media personalities alike when leading into a rivalry game.
Throw out the record books.
Given what the first five weeks of the season have produced, there wasn’t much normalcy to the latest installment of the Plano Senior-Plano West football rivalry on Friday.
Thirty-three total penalties for 252 yards.
Heading into their game versus one another, the Plano East and Plano West football teams couldn’t help but notice the similarities that persist.
A lot of that has to do with coaching, as Panthers head coach Joey McCullough brought an offensive philosophy from his time with the Wolves as his new basis for success at East.
Mark your calendars, Plano- and Allen-area football fans, because for all intents and purposes, the District 6-6A Championship will be decided on Halloween night.
Not only will that evening feature a matchup between the two lone programs who are yet to lose a 6-6A game thus far, but a game that short of DeSoto vs. Cedar Hill or Southlake Carroll vs. Euless Trinity, might be the most compelling one left on the Metroplex’s regular-season football docket.
Slowly but surely, Plano West has chipped away at the lead Plano East once built in the all-time football series between the two.
West (1-0 in District 6-6A) built a 35-0 lead at halftime and cruised to a 42-7 win over East (1-1) behind 185 yards and three touchdowns from senior running back Soso Jamabo Friday night at Clark Stadium.
There’s generally no love lost between rivals.
While that age-old adage works well in the context of most high school football games in Texas, it might not be true after Plano East and Plano West complete their 15th all-time battle Friday night at Clark Stadium.
Plano West drew the first bye of the 2014 District 6-6A football schedule and stayed home Friday night while the other eight programs tried to draw first blood.
“If I had my preference I’d rather have it during the middle of the season,” said Mike Hughes, West head coach, “but it’s the luck of the draw, and we’re going to make the most of it.”
Ninety-six minutes of game time is all the nine teams in District 6-6A have been granted in preparation for Friday night, when district play officially gets underway.
As has been the case for nearly a decade, all crosshairs are squared on two-time reigning state champion Allen, who will be vying for its ninth consecutive district title.
Plano West boys basketball alum Avery Johnson Jr.’s commitment to Texas A&M University opened the door for future Wolves to join the program on the hardcourt.
Senior D.J. Hogg was the latest to sign up to play in Reed Arena in his post-high school state, doing so after an official visit to the campus over the weekend.
Plano West senior Soso Jamabo posted one of the state's all-time best rushing performances in the Wolves' 63-49 win over Sachse on Friday.
On Wednesday, Ford recognized the five-star running back for his efforts on the gridiron by honoring Jamabo as the Week Two recipient of the 2014 Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week in Class 6A.
For those who haven’t heard, Plano West senior Soso Jamabo orchestrated maybe the greatest single-game rushing performance in Plano ISD football history on Friday against Sachse.
Amid plenty of debate among media members on the exact tally of Jamabo’s final yardage total, the Wolves’ coaching staff penned their five-star rusher at 27 carries for 469 yards and six touchdowns, plus two catches for 17 yards.
There was an assortment of star power on the field for Friday's clash between Plano West and Sachse and those players lived up their billing in a game that featured more than 1,300 yards of total offense.
But this night belonged to one player--Plano West running back Soso Jamabo.
One week after being cut by the Seattle Seahawks, Plano West alum Jackson Jeffcoat has resurfaced as a member of the Washington Redskins.
The NFC East club signed Jeffcoat to the team's practice squad on Tuesday. The move will mark Jeffcoat's latest attempt at gaining a foothold in the NFL, which hasn't been easy in the early going.
Senior running back Soso Jamabo paced Plano West to an easy 44-7 victory over Mesquite on Friday night at Clark Stadium in Plano.
The five-star recruit ran for 120 yards and four touchdowns on 14 carries, gaining all but six of his yards in the first half. He took a screen pass 54 yards for another score and is already halfway to his touchdown total from a year ago.
This 6,600-pound gorilla figures to garner plenty of attention over these next two years.
Not only does District 6-6A house a total of 14 football state championships, it features nine schools with enrollments of more than 3,000 students. The largest of the schools doubles as the one best suited to tack on title No. 15 for 6-6A, as Allen sets its sights on a rare chance to win three consecutive championships in the state’s highest classification.
A ninth consecutive district title wouldn’t be a bad addendum for Allen either. There projects to be no shortage of competition keen of knocking the Eagles from their perch, including presumptive contenders Plano Senior, McKinney Boyd and Hebron.
West was looking to take a step forward in 2013 after making the deepest postseason run in school history a year prior, but instead posted a 6-5 campaign that culminated with a bi-district loss to Jesuit.
Even with one of the state’s top rushing duos in alum Auston Anderson and senior Soso Jamabo, the Wolves didn’t have enough offense to account for their shortcomings on defense and lack of consistent quarterback play.
Senior Robert Colmery and junior Logan Williams split the job last season, but out of the spring and through the summer in 7-on-7 action, West looked to Colmery to grasp the role once and for all.
This is the last of an 11-part installment previewing District 6-6A.
Plano West’s football team showed flashes of being a district contender last season.
With two weeks of practice and a scrimmage in the books, this year’s team has turned its focus into accomplishing that goal this time around. A quick glance at the roster, with a strong number of returners and up-and-coming talent, begs pause to the notion that the Wolves can get there.
But District 6-6A will be no walk in the park. West, like the other eight teams in the grouping, knows consistency and discipline will be key in breaking the talent tie on the field.
All three Plano ISD schools will hit the gridiron for their first action of the 2014 season Friday night.
Plano Senior will head to E.H. Hanby Stadium at 7 p.m. for a scrimmage with Mesquite.
Plano East will host Arlington Bowie at 8:30 p.m. at Kimbrough Stadium, while Plano West will inhabit Clark Stadium for a matchup with Highland Park.
This is the 10th of an 11-part installment previewing District 6-6A.
Coming off the deepest postseason run in program history this time last year, the Plano West football team entered its season hyped as one of the best teams in Class 5A. Several preseason polls ranked the squad behind only defending state champion Allen in district.
Courtesy of an underwhelming season that culminated in a bi-district loss to Jesuit, coupled with a move to District 6-6A, that’s no longer an issue for this year’s set of Wolves.
In the coming months, the annual slate of Under Armour All-America games will be held in football and baseball, and the Metroplex figures to be represented in both.
On Aug. 16, 36 of the country's top baseball prospects will take to the diamond at Wrigley Field for the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game. Already on tap to participate is Plano Senior senior Mitchell Hansen, whose offseason has already included an appearance in the 2014 Tournament of Stars in June and an upcoming tryout for the U18 national team on Aug. 23-29.
A 39-21 loss in Plano West’s Division I State 7-on-7 Tournament opener versus Hutto had the gusto to cast a dark cloud over the Wolves’ fifth straight appearance at the event.
But back-to-back victories in Pool K action turned things around quickly for West, which recorded wins over Cypress Woods and Byron Nelson in succession to reach the championship bracket.
This is the third of an 11-part installment previewing District 6-6A.
This is the second of an 11-part installment previewing District 6-6A.
The Allen and Plano West athletics program were among the most consistent in Class 5A and the final UIL Lone Star Cup standings reflect just that.
Both cracked the top 10 for the annual UIL honor, with the Eagles finishing third overall (74 points) and the Wolves tallying sixth (63).
The Lone Star Cup is annually awarded to one school in each UIL classification through a point system based on team performance in district and postseason success.
In February, one of the biggest storylines to emerge from the UIL’s biennial realignment was the creation of District 6-6A featuring Plano ISD, Lewisville ISD, Allen and McKinney Boyd.
It didn’t take long for floodgates of hyperbole to open surrounding the new district.
That’s not to say folks are wrong. During the 2013-14 school year alone, five team UIL Class 5A State Championships were captured by schools that will occupy 6-6A next season and at least one 6-6A program has won a state title each of the past 10 years.
Plano West will host its annual 7-on-7 state qualifying tournament on Saturday.
The event is one of five SQTs that are taking place across the state over the weekend, the others being in Belton, Southlake, College Station and Lufkin.
A number of local teams will vie for a spot at the state tournament in College Station by virtue of a top-two finish. Frisco Heritage, which qualified at the Frisco Liberty SQT, already locked up a spot in College Station.
The Plano West football team advanced to the semifinals of the Frisco Liberty 7-on-7 state qualifying tournament over the weekend, falling short against Frisco Heritage with a spot in this year’s state tournament in College Station on the line.
The Wolves jumped out to a quick lead against the Coyotes, but fell victim to three straight unsuccessful drives before halftime that tipped the scales in Heritage’s favor. West kept things close in the second half, but lost, 36-25.
According to West quarterbacks coach Kelly Mercer, though, it was a successful first appearance in a 7-on-7 SQT for the Wolves.
Plano West’s quest for a third consecutive playoff appearance will officially begin in the fall.
Friday at Clark Stadium, though, the Wolves completed a necessary step toward that goal – their fourth and final scrimmage of the spring.
According to head coach Mike Hughes, West got the necessary amount of time together both on and off the field to feel confident heading into the summer months leading into the Wolves joining District 6-6A next season.
Plano West alum Jackson Jeffcoat, like the rest of the University of Texas prospects this year, went undrafted over the weekend in the 2014 NFL Draft.
It didn't take him long to find a home.
Shortly after the conclusion of the seventh and final round on Saturday, Jeffcoat tweeted that he signed with the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent.
Plano West alum Jackson Jeffcoat had to beg and plead for his parents to let him play football in the sixth grade.
Sixteen years and a truckload of on- and off-field accolades later, the University of Texas senior will likely take the next – and most profound – step of his football career by week’s end, as the 2014 NFL Draft runs Thursday-Saturday.
On Wednesday, Joey McCullough was introduced as the next head coach of Plano East football.
Although that day marked the Panthers’ first glimpse of their new leader, the seeds for McCullough’s ascension to his first-ever head coaching gig were planted well before any of his players at East were even born.
A longtime staple in the Plano ISD football scene, Joey McCullough has been named the new head coach at Plano East.
An East alum who has logged 22 years on the coaching circuit, all but one of which have come within PISD. McCullough served as an assistant coach with the Panthers from 1994-2002 before taking the same job across town at Plano West. In those 12 years, he served as the Wolves’ offensive line coach and running game coordinator, which annually boasts one of the top rushing attacks in the Metroplex.
What: Plano West Quarterback Club Kick Off Meeting
When: Monday, April 14, 2014 at 6:00 pm
Where: Plano West SAC (indoor practice facility)
Hello Wolfpack! Please make sure you attend the Kick Off Meeting for the Plano West Quarterback Club. It is mandatory attendance for all parents of Plano West Varsity and Junior Varsity players in 2014 and a great opportunity to find out what is going on for all the future Wolves and their parents! If you are in the Blue Nation, you’re invited!
The Kick Off Meeting is being held in conjunction with the Spring Lift-a-Thon. All our players have been working hard in the offseason to get bigger and stronger and this is their chance to show us what they’ve got!
Here’s the schedule:
5:30 – Pizza available for players ($1.00 per player. Pizza for players only)
6:00 – 6:30 – Parents browse information stations, join the club and purchase items
6:30 – 7:00 – Quarterback Club Kick Off meeting
7:00 – Lift-A-Thon
We need to see you there!
ONE TEAM! ONE DREAM! BLUE NATION!
Rob and Sharon Clark
2014 PWQBC Captains
Just the talent alone is enough to want to sit down and take in a District 10-5A basketball game on a Tuesday or Friday night.
But part of what makes high school basketball such a unique experience is the atmosphere – specifically the section in the stands allotted to the student body. Every game, hundreds of students pour into the stands to show their devotion and support for their respective teams.
Plano West senior running back Auston Anderson had a standout career for the Wolves, one that coincided with the school’s deepest playoff appearance to date when he was a junior.
Over the past three seasons, Anderson has complied over 2,800 rushing yards and scored 30 touchdowns on the gridiron.
He officially committed to Northwestern and head coach Pat Fitzgerald’s football team on Wednesday, the fulfillment of a year-long pledge to the Wildcats and the Big Ten.View full story at Plano Star Courier
Among Plano ISD schools, Plano West will go down as having the largest number of students represented on National Signing Day.
Sixteen Wolves and Lady Wolves took their first official step toward collegiate athletics Wednesday by signing a National Letter of Intent.
Six different sports were represented among the students, but soccer (seven) and football (six) took up most of the list.View full story at Plano Star Courier
While watching Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson hold up the Lombardi Trophy in celebration of winning Super Bowl XLVIII, one steady thought resonated through my mind.
And it has nothing to do with the fact that Wilson, just a second-year pro, has already climbed to the top of the NFL mountain.
“That guy is a member of the Texas Rangers,” I said to myself.View full story at Allen American
The UIL held its biennial realignment Monday morning, announcing the state’s new athletic districts. These will take effect for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.
District 6-6A will feature nine teams, including Allen, Flower Mound, Hebron, Lewisville, Marcus, McKinney Boyd, Plano East, Plano Senior and Plano West.View full story at Allen American
The UIL held its biennial realignment Monday morning, announcing the state's new athletic districts. These will take effect for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.View full story at Celina Record
From August through December, the high school football teams within Collin County waged no shortage of high-quality action on the gridiron.
For the last decade, Star Local Media has paid tribute to that action through the All-Collin County Football Team. Another year of football produced another slew of standout players within the county. Below, those student-athletes are commended for their achievements on the football field with the 11th annual All-Collin County Football Team.View full story at Allen American
Plano West senior offensive lineman Zach White verbally committed to Lamar University earlier this month, but reminded us all why verbals mean nothing.
White said Tuesday night that he has decommitted from the Cardinals and has instead pledged his services to the Naval Academy after high school.View full story at Plano Star Courier
Wolfpack members that were honored include the following:
To be nominated for Academic All-State, a student must be:
Congratulations to our senior Wolfpack All-Academic team members! GO WOLFPACK!
Plano West has been home to one of the area’s most dominant rushing attacks over the past two seasons.
Much of the credit lies with two running backs (senior Austin Anderson and junior Soso Jamabo) and a graduated quarterback (Travis Korry) but any coach will tell you the key to successfully running the football is found at the line of scrimmage.
Enter senior offensive lineman Zach White, who verbally committed to Lamar University last week after three years as a stalwart along the Wolves’ offensive line.
National Signing Day is less than a month away for the Class of 2014, but Plano West senior offensive tackle Zach White took some excitement away from his big reveal by verbally committing to Lamar University on Wednesday.
White has been a staple on the Wolves' offensive line for the past two seasons; West featured two 1,000-yard rushers (senior Austin Anderson and junior Soso Jamabo) in each of those campaigns.
For his accomplishments on the field, White was also named first team all-district 10-5A in 2012 and 2013.