Week 1 Scrimmage Outlooks

It’s that time of the year again. No, it’s not quite the start of the 2017 Texas high school football season, but it’s the next best thing in scrimmages. These are not official games, but it’s a very important time for coaches to gauge different positions and see where work is needed before the games really start to matter.


This week, I want to highlight some scrimmages around this area that I feel are noteworthy.


Cameron Yoe @ Lorena - Friday

This will be a good scrimmage for both teams as both are quality programs. In 2016, Lorena captured their second straight district championship and ended their run in the area round of the 4A division II playoffs. The Leopards are probably not going to be making a run at a state title in Arlington, but they are going to play fundamentally sound football under head coach Ray Biles. Lorena returns five starters on offense and seven starters on defense and is ranked 19th in the state according to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. The publication also has Lorena winning its third straight district championship over the likes of Salado, Robinson, Connally, Fairfield and Mexia. For the Yoemen, I am going to be looking at a few things in particular. The first is the running game, which should be more consistent this season. My second key point is the defensive line. I personally believe that defensive line play will determine how far this team can go in 2017. Can this group disrupt things up front and generate pressure when needed? We will get to see some of that and much more on Friday night.


Rockdale @ Giddings - Rockdale

Though I will be at Cameron’s scrimmage on Friday, this is one that I would love to attend. The buzz around Rockdale comes in the form of move-in Torry Locklin’s approval by the UIL to play football this season. Locklin is an incoming junior who already has an offer from New Mexico State University. Locklin is expected to compete for the starting quarterback spot, and I would be surprised if he was not locked into that position shortly. He will be going up against one of the state’s top 4A division II teams in Giddings. The Buffaloes were 11-3 in 2016, falling to eventual state champ West Orange-Stark in the quarterfinals, 48-5. With six returning on offense and four returning on defense, the fifth ranked Buffaloes may once again be the top competitor to WO-S in region III. The Tigers are going to have good talent at the skills positions, but we will have to see how the lines are shaping up in the early going.


Troy @ Rogers - Friday

It’s been a rough few years for Rogers. The Eagles are just 5-15 over the past few seasons, and now have their third head coach in the past three years. That is unheard of for a program that has a rich tradition of winning games. The new man at the helm is former Gunter offensive coordinator Charlie Roten. Roten helped lead Gunter (16-0) to the 3A division II state championship in 2016. For Troy, this season has to be all about getting back into the playoffs. Are the Trojans a legit threat to Cameron, Rockdale and Franklin?


Robinson @ Teague - Saturday

These are important times for the Teague Lions. After falling to the Yoemen the past three years in the postseason, changes are on the horizon for Coach Donnie Osborn and the offensive approach in Teague. These guys have had some excellent offensive lines, but have leaned too heavily on the running game while not generating enough through the air. This season, a new offensive coordinator is in town and former quarterback Antonio Heard will be joining his brother Tyrese at the receiver position. In general, I expect Teague to be more like Cameron with a balanced offensive approach, regardless of what they are basing out of. More snaps out of the gun would not be a surprise. We will know more after this one.