Class 1A Amarillo-area district projections
The White Deer Bucks are many fans favorite to be a contender out of Region I this season. [Bobbie Brown/ Texas 1A Fan]
1. White Deer: The Bucks have a great opportunity to make a deep run after living under the shadow of the McLean Tigers the last three years. Look for running back Hunter Warminski to assert himself as one of the best players in Six-man this season.
2. Happy: It was a building season for the Cowboys in 2019 but they still managed to make the playoffs with a 7-4 record. A pair of returners, Arik Coile and Stetson Jameson combine to form a dangerous 1-2 punch in this offense for a team that is poised to make another playoff push.
3. McLean: After back-to-back state championship appearances, there’s now a Ben Crockett size hole missing on this team, and they have to start filling void if they want to get anywhere close to December football. Two-way standout Jacob Watson is a seasoned vet they will lean on to get this team on the right track.
4. Valley: Second-year head coach John Stanaland didn’t have luck on his side in year number one. The Patriots caught the injury bug after a very good start, but expect this young team to compete in 2020.
5. Claude: How about being placed into one of the toughest districts in the state for your first full year in Six-man? The odds are stacked against the Mustangs, but there are no pushovers in this district.
McLean at Happy, 7:30 p.m. October 30.
This is a pair of teams who have had their share of the regional crown in the past, but now these two will duke it out for the second playoff spot in this loaded district.
1. Nazareth: This is a Nazareth team that underperformed in 2019 after an injury riddled season. Running back Luke Betzen is back and ready to break loose on an offense that can put up some points, but can the defense keep up?
2. Springlake-Earth: Some thought this could’ve happened many years ago, but the Wolverines finally made the drop to Six-man. With a lot of speed and a good defensive mentality, the Wolverines will make some noise in their first year in their new classification.
3. Petersburg: The Buffaloes have a great backfield with Kaden Parraz and quarterback Neftali Avila. Petersburg will need some younger players to step up, but they are not far from being a competitive team in this district.
4. Kress: The Kangaroos could see some growing pains as they move up from the Division II. Luckily, the team is bringing back five returners on both sides of the ball, so experience is a plus.
5. Lorenzo: The Hornets are welcoming in new head coach, Deion Mitchell in the 2020 season. With a shallow pool of players, Mitchell will look to the leadership his quarterback, Aaron Martinez to set the tone for the future.
Nazareth at Springlake-Earth, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30.
This is a bout between two teams looking to make a statement with this district championship. The Swifts have been behind in the past few seasons, and a championship could turn the tides for their program. For the Wolverines, a district championship could set a city on fire for Six-man football.
1. Follett: The 2019 season was a fall from grace for the Panthers, who faced the injury big throughout the season, but they are primed for a solid 2020 campaign. With a stable of running backs and a solid defense, this team looks ready to take back the spotlight.
2. Miami: The Warriors made headlines in the offseason when they named Clint Linman as their new head football coach. Linman was 41-4 in three seasons at McLean, and led the Tigers to the 2018 Class 1A Division I state title. Now Linman hopes to begin the rebuild for a Miami team that has won nine games in three years.
3. Lefors: The Pirates finished with a .500 record last season finishing second behind Groom in their district. With a good group of seniors, and ol’ ball coach Joe Riley, this team could cause some problems.
4. Hedley: This is a team with a lot of experience, that can only hope to help bandage years of struggling on the field. Don’t be surprised if they creep up the standings as the season progresses.
5. Darrouzett: The Longhorns jump back onto the football scene after giving up varsity football in 2011. This is a program that will look to build in the coming years.
Miami at Lefors, 7 p.m. Oct. 23.
These two team met up early last season in a regular season game with the Pirates handling the Warriors 55-31. This year, the two teams will be playing for a playoff spot. Expect a hard fought game in this district matchup.
1. Groom: The Tigers bring back a crop of veterans including one of the best players in Class 1A, Gunnar Lamb (QB-DB). This high-powered offense will be scary for any opponents defense.
2. Silverton: The Owls have a new coach at the helm this season in Clyde Parham, but he should find some comfort in a good returning core including running back Peter Deleon.
3. Wildorado: After an outlaw season last year, the Mustangs are ready to take on the task of a district schedule. This is a team that returns all of its players from last year. Do not be surprised if coach Ty James and company make a push for a playoff spot.
4. Hart: The Longhorns will look to improve on a lowly 2-8 record in the 2019 season. They will rely on the experience of returning seniors Ramon Martinez (WR) and Leo Rodriguez (RB).
Silverton at Wildorado, 7:30 p.m. October 23.
This will be Wildorado’s first district matchup in program history and it could be one of the most important games of the season. In a district that looks like a fight for second place, both teams will be fighting their hardest.