I just got home from a very productive trip to the Lone Star State. I met with some great coaches who’ve agreed to allow me to spend a week following their teams this fall. All together, I’ll be spending a week each during the regular season with eleven outstanding programs. Added to those above, I’ll be visiting with Round Rock Stony Point, Abilene, Aledo and Cedar Hill.
Stony Point is coming off a down year after advancing to the 5A quarterfinals the previous three years. They’re led by multiple coach of the year honoree Craig Chessher. Coach Chessher likes the attitude of this years squad and expects his Tigers to get back to their winning ways.
Abilene is one of the most storied programs in Texas, winning a record seven state championships stretching back to 1922. Despite this history the Eagles endured a forty year playoff drought before Coach Steve Warren took over. Since that time, the Eagles have been in the playoffs every year since 1999, including a 5A state championship in 2009.
Aledo, outside of Fort Worth has won three straight 4A state championships. Under coach Tim Buchanan, the Bearcats have a record of 85-19 since 2004. Despite losing 2011 player of the year Johnathan Gray, the Bearcat defense is returning six starters and they are expected to be in the mix again come playoff time.
Cedar Hill, outside of Dallas is ranked 18th in the 5A by Dave Campbell’s preseason poll. They are retuning 9 offensive starters from their 8-4 2011 squad and should be a factor in the playoffs. The Longhorns are led by Coach Joey McGuire, who has led his team to seven straight playoff appearances since 2005.
During this trip, I also got to meet with Texas High School Coaches Association President and head coach at Plano East High School, Johnny Ringo. Coach Ringo was nice enough to give me part of his Saturday and invited me back to watch his team, I look forward to taking him up on his offer during the playoffs.
I am very grateful to all the coaches who’ve agreed to allow me access to their meetings, practices, staffs and teams this fall. As a coach, the chance to have an inside look at all of these great programs will be an amazing experience. These are some of the most respected coaches and programs in the best high school football state in the country. It just doesn’t get any better than this.
There are many outstanding coaches and kids nationwide, but there is no place that concentrates quality coaching, educational policy that respects football, public support, love of the game and talented athletes like Texas. Its going to be a lot of fun to watch.