Class 2A Amarillo-area district projections
Wellington coach Greg Proffitt gives Mason Folk (2) during a game last season. [Mackenzie Teal/ Press Pa Class 2A
1. Panhandle: The Panthers are loaded on the offense side of the football with big play weapons at the skill position. It will be up to the defense if the Panthers can make a big push toward December football.
2. West Texas High: New head coach Zach Ramos inherits a Comanches team that made back-to-back runs to the state quarterfinals, as well as talented QB Avian Cruz.
3. Farwell: Defensive coordinator Darren Kelley steps in as the Steers head football coach as Farwell make the jump to Class 2A Division I.
4. Olton: Four-year starting quarterback Jack Allcorn is a special talent that will do his best to lead the Mustangs to the postseason.
5. Sanford-Fritch: The Eagles are a young team with only five returning starters, however, that won’t stop them from fighting for a playoff spot.
6. Boys Ranch: It’s been a three-year struggle for Boys Ranch, but new head coach and former Caprock defensive coordinator Aaron Wampler hopes he can build a new culture with the Roughriders program.
Panhandle at West Texas High, 7 p.m. October 16.
Like the past few years, expect this to a clash for the district championship in mid-October. Last season the Comanches loaded up over 800 yards of offense in a 77-52 shoutout win against the Panthers.
1. Bovina: The Mustangs are stacked with a 10 offensive and nine defensive starters returning in 2020.
2. Smyer: An experienced senior class led by quarterback Ethan Ramirez will make an impact on the South Plains this fall.
3. Sudan: Though they lost quite a bit of starters off last year’s unbeaten regular season team, don’t be surprised to see the Hornets make a buzz.
4. New Home: Twelve returning starters are back for a Leopards team that made the 11-man playoffs last season.
5. Ropesville: The Eagles will have to adjust to making the jump from Six-man.
Smyer at Bovina, 7 p.m. October 23
If the season plays out like it should a late October meeting in Bovina could decide the district championship.
1. Stratford: There maybe some new faces on the field for coach Matt Lovorn but don’t expect any type of drop off from the Elks. Tradition goes a long way.
2. Vega: Coach Jason Porton loses on of the best players to come through the program in the sensational Carson Kirkland. The leadership now falls on junior speedster Riley Tiemman to finish what the Longhorns started last season.
3. Gruver: No Terry Felderhoff, no Jalin Conyers, no Hunter Haynes. The Greyhounds have an entirely new look from first-year head coach Lee Brandon, the former defensive coordinator at Wellington, to basically a new roster. Brandon’s a proven winner knows so give him time Gruver fans.
4. Sunray: First-year coach Wes Boatman enters to take over for Matthew Strickland who is strictly serving as athletic director. It’s been a rough few years as far as wins go in Bobcat land, but things are starting to look up.
5. Booker: Depth will be the biggest factor for coach Jonathon Lambright. There’s definitely some speed and talent on the roster but staying healthy will be a big concern.
Vega at Stratford, 7 p.m. October 30.
Not a better setting on the High Plains than a chilly October night at E.L. Sam Bass Stadium in Stratford. It hasn’t been a friendly place to many opponents so Vega will need to buckle up the chin straps tight if they want a shot at a district crown.
1. Wellington: Second-year coach Greg Proffitt doesn’t have a Division I offensive lineman or tight end on the roster this season, however, he still has a roster full of talent that knows how to win games and grind it out in the fourth quarter. That doesn’t change.
2. Clarendon: Many are picking the Broncos as the sleeper pick of the district with such a talented young stable of running backs that include sophomores JMaury Davis and Sylvester Ballard.
3. Wheeler: The Mustangs will need to protect and open holes for one of the areas top players in running back Hesston Marshall. Carrying most of the load, the more Marshall contributes the more opportunity it creates for the other skill positions to wreak havoc.
4. Shamrock: Charismatic coach Jarrett Vickers has quarterback Shea Jernigan, versatile Sean Wright and enogh talent to make some real noise. The Irish’s schedule sets up well for this team to be oozing with confidence heading into district play.
5. Memphis: The Cyclones are made up of hard-nose players that take the form of alum and head coach David Jurado. Expect a battle every time they touch the field.
Wellington at Clarendon, 7 p.m. October 23.
The Broncos are many folks favorite, but until you beat the best it’s hard to pick against the mighty Skyrockets. This could also be a possible rematch further down the road in the postseason.