Written by Matt Wixon
Spring football report: How will Skyline manage playing time for Texas commit, LB/RB Peter Jinkens?
How the 2010 season ended: Skyline advanced to the 5A Division area round, but the Raiders were wiped out by DeSoto, 38-0. Skyline, which finished the season 9-3, had knocked DeSoto out of the playoffs a year earlier.
Key returning starters: Skyline returns seven starters on offense, led by star receiver Thomas Johnson, a 6-0, 175-pound senior who is HS Gametime’s No. 2 area recruit in the Class of 2012 (No. 1 is Denton Ryan defensive end Mario Edwards). Johnson, who has orally committed to Texas, will be catching passes from returning QB DeVante Kincade, who threw for 1,627 yards and 17 touchdowns last year as a sophomore. The defense, as always, will be fierce. Peter Jinkens, another Texas commit who is No. 6 in HS Gametime’s area recruiting rankings, leads a strong linebacker group that includes Dominic Spencer and Nigel Robertson. Senior Shelton Sessions will be a playmaker in the secondary.
Biggest questions facing team: Skyline’s top returning running back is Jinkens, but he’s so valuable on defense that coach Reginald Samples wants to limit his time on offense. Senior David Greene and sophomore Errick Dixon are among the backs getting long looks during spring practice. The Skyline backs will benefit from running behind an offensive line that includes standout guard Marlon Brown (6-2, 330). Samples hopes an improved running game will open the field for Johnson and another potential star at receiver, Travondre Rabon.
“Our numbers were down in our running game last year,” Samples said. “If we can run the ball, that will really help those guys out.”
Notable: Skyline will begin the season with two games against teams from outside Texas. Skyline opens with a home game against Memphis (Tenn.) Ridgeway on Aug. 27 and then plays Cocoa (Fla.) on Sept. 5. The matchup with Cocoa is one of four games scheduled for the Kirk Herbstreit Varsity Football Series on Labor Day at Cowboys Stadium.
He said it: “We’re very excited. We feel like we’ve got a pretty good team. If we can get some things settled in the spring, it will put us in a good position.”
Spring game: May 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Forester Stadium
Season opener: 8-27 vs. Memphis (Tenn.) Ridgeway