The Amarillo High Sandies return 15 starters off last year’s District 2-5A Division I championship team including standout linebacker Brock Ewing (35). [John Moore/ Press Pass Sports]
Editors note: This is the final installment of a three-part look at Amarillo ISD schools that were going to participate in spring football.
Before the world shutdown from the coronavirus pandemic Class 6A and 5A schools would have had one last round of high school football with spring workouts throughout the month of May.
Instead, nobody got a glimpse of the next wave of new starters and impactful newcomers.
So let’s take a look at questions surrounding the Amarillo High Sandies for the upcoming 2020 season.
Amarillo High’s 2020 bio
Head coach: Chad Dunnam, Third season at Amarillo, 16-7; Nine years overall, 47-29
2019 Record: 9-3 overall; lost to Colleyville Heritage 31-17 in the Class 5A Division I area round.
Noteworthy: The Sandies won the District 2-5A Division I championship last season, and won their first playoff game since the 2015 season.
NOT MANY QUESTIONS AT THE SKILL POSITION
Unlike Tascosa or Palo Duro, Amarillo High doesn’t have a lot of questions at the quarterback position. Will Maynard had a break out junior campaign, earning District 2-5A Division I MVP honors by throwing for 2,344 yards and rushing for 500 plus.
On the outside, one of the area’s best wide receivers in three-year starter Davin Lemmons. Lemons is a playmaker that is crisp in his route running, his speed and great hands.
The lone question for the Sandies at the skill definitely comes at running back. AHS loses durable 1,000-yard back Blake Bedwell. This means lightning quick Teavan Hood will carry most of the load but who will compliment Hood? Look for juniors Levi Sladen and Jake Maynard, along with sophomore fullback Cohen Berry to help pick up the slack.
Kaden Carr (79) is expected to have a big role on the offensive line after playing in 11 games as a freshman last fall. [John Moore/ Press Pass Sports]
STRONG UP FRONT
The offensive line should be in great shape despite the loss of Jeff Jackson and Andrew Tittle. Though the didn’t get the spring to gel as a group, veteran Jace Young takes over at center, with senior Ashton Daniel returning at right tackle along with very talented Eric Gray (6-foot-4, 275 pounds) back.
Sophomore Kaden Carr will be one to keep an eye on. As a true freshman, Carr — the younger brother of University of Hawaii commit, Tyler Carr, played in 11 games — showed improvement throughout his year. At the moment he’s also shown growth, standing at 6-foot-5, 255 pounds at 15-years old.
HOW WILL THE DEFENSE LOOK?
The defense was a strong suit but Amarillo High in 2019, but they did lose key pieces in the form of Luke Ramsey, Cole Boxwell and David Pepper.
On the defensive line, the Sandies weren’t able to find the depth they were looking for without spring ball. Foster Bentley and Braylon Milligan are two returners that will help. At linebacker, and safety, AHS is stacked. First-team All-District selection Brock Ewing and his 123 tackles are back. Head coach Chad Dunnam has big expectations for Ewing as a team leader. At safety, the duo of Jake Maynard and Trey Thomas are both returning. Both Maynard and Thomas are hard-hitting safeties that are also able to cover receivers like cornerbacks. Speaking of corners, that maybe the weakest area for the Sandies. Cayden Johnson and Evan Newkirk have graduated, and without spring it was hard for the coaching staff to fill the voids on the field. Expect to see Thomas play some corner if called on.
Amarillo High 2020 football schedule
Aug. 28: at Midland Lee
Sept. 4: at Midland High
Sept. 11: vs. Randall
Sept. 18: at Frenship
Sept. 25: vs. Caprock*
Oct 2: at Lubbock Monterey*
Oct. 9: vs. Tascosa*
Oct. 16: at Lubbock Coronado*
Oct. 22: vs. Palo Duro*
Oct. 29: at Lubbock High*
Note: All kickoffs at 7 p.m