Last week, I received an email about Stony Point’s spring football game, and it reminded me that the 2013 season will kick off soon. How soon? We have 112 days until the Taco Shack Bowl.
So it’s time for my annual pre-preseason poll.
1. CEDAR PARK: The state champs have eight returners who started on a defense that allowed 11.6 points per game. And quarterback Nate Grimm, who played in the Class 4A Division II title game on a broken leg, is one of eight starters back on offense. Cedar Park is still a clear-cut championship contender.
2. WESTLAKE: The Chaparrals finished 2012 on a roll, reaching the Class 5A Division II semifinals. Westlake needs to find a kicker and replacements for two all-district defensive linemen, but Darren Allman still has a loaded roster.
3. HENDRICKSON: The Hawks surprised everybody with their run to a district title in their Class 5A debut, but Hendrickson won’t be overlooked this season. The Hawks boast an Oklahoma-bound running back (Samaje Perine), an up-and-coming wide receiver (Latrell Martin) and two solid defensive backs (Chance Waz and Trai Mosley).
4. THORNDALE: If you are looking for a small school to check out, Thorndale returns its quarterback, top rusher and top receiver. A regional finalist in 2012, Thorndale may also have an X-factor in Lorenzo Llana, who earned first-team honors as an offensive lineman and linebacker.
5. ELGIN: Depth will be an issue, but the sky may still be the limit. Quarterback Te’Rel Simmons is arguably the area’s most dynamic player, and two of the team’s 16 returning starters — utility player Da’Trean Simmons and defensive back Anthony Nash — were All-Central Texas honorees in 2012.
No. 6-10: Lake Travis, Leander, Round Rock, Westwood, Georgetown.
Under the radar: Each week, we introduce you to a player who is making big plays despite not having a big name. This week, we take a look at Thorndale’s Price Miller and Colton Austin.
At this weekend’s Class A Division I state track and field meet, Miller, a senior, and Austin, a sophomore, will run on Thorndale’s 400-meter relay team, which placed second at the regional meet with a time of 44.30 seconds.
Miller also is the cleanup hitter and Austin is a starting outfielder on Thorndale’s baseball team, which plays Weimar in an area playoff series this weekend. At 4 p.m. on Saturday, four hours after Thorndale’s relay race, the two teams will meet at Cedar Creek High for the second game of their best-of-three series.
Where are they now?: Every week, we spotlight the collegiate accomplishments of a few of our area alums. If you know of somebody who should be featured, email email@example.com.
- Oregon junior Parker Stinson (Cedar Park, 2010) ran to a 17th-place finish in the 5,000-meter event at Stanford’s Cardinal Invitational on April 28. Stinson has run at the NCAA Championships in each of the past two seasons.
- Incarnate Word sophomore Ebony Moore (Round Rock, 2011) ran on a 400-meter relay team that won gold at the Lone Star Conference championships in Canyon. Incarnate Word classmate Eduardo Alexander (Bowie, 2011) finished sixth in the men’s pole vault competition.