Written by Matt Wixon
Highland Park spring football report: Scots need to replace a lot on offense
Team: Highland Park
How the 2011 season ended: Highland Park won its first 12 games of the season and advanced to the Class 4A Division I Region II semifinal. The Scots' season ended with a 42-39 loss to Tyler John Tyler.
Key returning starters: As usual, the Scots will have a large group of seniors moving into starting roles this season. But HP will have an anchor on the offensive line in William Barns, a 6-3, 260-pound senior who was all-district last season. Highland Park has a leader in the secondary in senior Hayden Greer, and a leader at linebacker in senior Guy Tom Kellogg, a starter as a sophomore who suffered a broken leg in last year's opener. Senior Bryce Green and junior Tanner Houghton add to the strength at linebacker. Senior Charles Hubbard is the leading returning receiver with 37 catches for 402 yards and a touchdown last season.
Biggest questions facing team: Highland Park always has a high-scoring offense, but it will be breaking in a lot of new weapons this season with the loss of its quarterback, top two running backs and two most productive receivers. The starting QB is expected to be Jet Tuma, a 6-2,190-pound senior who led the junior varsity in 2011. Tuma is more of a running threat than last year's starter, Brady Burgin, who threw for more than 3,000 yards.
Notable: WR Anthony Vallera (17 catches for 272 yards) will play a much larger role with the departure of so many good receivers. Hank Howard, the leading RB for the junior varsity last season, will carry the rushing load.
He said it: "None of our QBs took a snap on varsity last year. The biggest thing is giving our quarterback enough experience in the spring so that he'll be comfortable in the fall." - Coach Randy Allen
Spring football game info: 7 p.m. Tuesday at Highlander Stadium
Season opener: vs. Aledo at SMU on 8/31
Full regular season schedule:
Aug. 31: vs. Aledo (at SMU's Ford Stadium) at 7:30
Sept. 7: vs. Lubbock Monterey at 7:30
Sept. 14: at Sherman at 7:30
Sept. 28: vs. Forney at 7:30
Oct. 5: at North Forney at 7:30
Oct. 11: at Mesquite Poteet at 7:00
Oct. 19: vs. West Mesquite at 7:30
Oct. 26: at Carrollton Creekview at 7:30
Nov. 2: vs. Carrollton Newman Smith at 7:30
Nov. 9: vs. Terrell at 7:30