Written by Matt Wixon
Wixon: Sachse has smelled playoffs, now it wants a taste
SACHSE — After losing to Garland last season, the Sachse players climbed on the bus for their last ride of the year.
“It was a really sad bus trip,” said quarterback Trent White.
Sachse could’ve made the playoffs with a win over Garland in the regular-season finale. Instead, it came up one win short of the playoffs for the second straight year.
The bus trip was a sad one, but maybe a productive one. That’s when White made a promise to running back Billy Cole that their senior season would include Sachse’s first trip to the playoffs.
Making good on that promise begins Thursday, when Sachse (3-0) opens District 10-5A play against North Garland (0-3).
“First district ballgame,” Sachse coach Mark Behrens said. “You’ve got to throw the records out the window.”
But considering Sachse hasn’t opened the season 3-0 since 2005, it won’t be forgetting those wins. The biggest win came in the opener, when Sachse beat Wylie, 30-16, on the road.
“Wylie’s a playoff team year in and year out and to come out and kind of make a statement really felt good,” White said. “It felt like we earned a little respect.”
Sachse turned some heads by winning and also by the way it won. Sachse was a run-heavy team last season, but White threw for 243 yards and three touchdowns against Wylie. Through three games, White’s 831 passing yards are only one yard short of the team total for all of last season.
Running back David Wesley, the District 10-5A Offensive MVP, carried the load last year as a senior. But the new offensive coordinator, Doug Stephens from Katy Taylor, wants to pass the ball more.
And the personnel fits nicely. Tight end Jeff Guckenberg has caught 11 passes for 277 yards and four touchdowns and receiver Chris Robb has nine catches for 267 yards and four scores. They’re each averaging more than 25 yards per catch for a team that completed only six passes per game a year ago. Cole, who averages 6 yards per carry, is also a good receiver.
“We were what we were last year. We ran the ball well and didn’t throw the ball real well,” Behrens said. “It’s a different philosophy.”
But the goal is the same, and so are a lot of the players, at least in a general sense. Sachse usually doesn’t have a lot of blue-chip recruits or dominant athletes, and for Behrens and his staff, it’s difficult to know which players they’ll get from middle schools. Sachse is part of the Garland school district, which has open enrollment.
“We don’t have a lot of clear-cut Division I kids,” Behrens said, “but we’ve got a lot of very good high school players.”
White fits that mold. At about 5-8 and 150 pounds, he can stand on his tiptoes and still be under the recruiting radar. But with 10 touchdown passes in three games, he’s playing big.
And White hopes and plans — and, oh yes, promises — to play beyond the regular season. It certainly looks possible at Sachse, which became a varsity program in 2004. The players might not turn the heads of college recruiters, but they could help Sachse turn the corner on a happy bus ride to the playoffs.
“We’re fundamentally sound,” White said. “That’s what it takes in high school football. It’s not always about speed. When every kid gets his job done, that’s when we’re successful.”