Written by Corbett Smith
Corbett Smith: 5 first-time HS football starters making the most of their chances in the Dallas area
When players move up into a starting job, coaches really never know what they are going to get until well after kickoff.
“Just because a kid is fast and big,” Mesquite Poteet coach Randy Jackson said, “doesn’t mean he’s a football player, you know?”
Here are five players, who because of graduation, injuries or changes in scheme have shined so far this season when given their chance:
Frisco Wakeland Jr. QB: Wakeland (3-0) is leading area 4A teams in points (60.3 per game) and yardage. Up from JV, Lamb (6-3, 185) is a big reason behind the success. With an experienced receiving corps — Turner Smiley, Jonathan Weisheit and Dan Harrington — Lamb is completing 72 percent of his passes for 1,046 yards and 11 touchdowns and no interceptions.
“The quarterback position is all about processing information, and he’s a highly intelligent kid who can do that,” Wakeland coach Marty Secord said.
Sachse Jr. QB: Myers leads Sachse (4-0) in passing, rushing and touchdowns — all without an interception. He accounted for nine touchdowns — six passing and three rushing — in a 69-49 win over Grapevine.
He had some varsity time last year in coach Mark Behrens’ spread offense, just not much at quarterback, playing at slot receiver as a sophomore.
Myers (6-1, 175) missed a good deal of spring practice playing for Sachse’s playoff baseball team.
“We knew he was one of those kids who can make plays,” Behrens said. “But we weren’t sure where his progress was going to be.”
Mesquite Poteet Soph. LB: Jefferson (6-2, 210) has been a workhorse in the new 3-4 defense for Poteet (3-0), with 32 tackles — nine for loss — three sacks and a forced fumble. Jackson moved Jefferson up to JV midway through his freshman season for a little seasoning before this season’s varsity call-up.
“I don’t ever want to bring a sophomore up and for him not to get playing time,” Jackson said. “It’s a little bit of a leap of faith. But he’s been big for us.”
Arlington Bowie Soph. QB: When starting quarterback Keaton Perry went down with a season-ending knee injury in a loss to Mesquite, James was pressed into the starting role. Moving over from receiver for his first varsity start under center, James passed for three touchdowns and rushed for two more in an upset of SportsDayHS No. 1 Skyline.
James (5-8, 150) is still a work in progress at quarterback, but leads Bowie (2-1) in rushing yards and is second in passing and receiving.
Adamson Sr. RB: In 2011, Bryant had 59 carries as one of three backs in a running-based spread offense. This season, Adamson (3-0) has switched to the Delaware Wing T with great results, leading 4A area teams in rushing. Bryant (5-10, 200) has been the key beneficiary, heading into Thursday’s game against Seagoville with 701 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on just 43 carries.
“A lot of kids that become seniors, they realize this is their last chance and they grab it,” Adamson coach Josh Ragsdale said. “And that’s what he’s done. He’s trying to get the most out of this offense.”
Follow Corbett Smith on Twitter at @corbettsmithDMN