Written by Matt Wixon
Southlake Carroll spring football report: Dragons' top WRs must be replaced
Team: Southlake Carroll
How the 2011 season ended: It couldn't have been any better for the Dragons. They finished 16-0 and beat Fort Bend Hightower, 36-29, in the Class 5A Division I championship at Cowboys Stadium.
Key returning starters: Quarterback Kenny Hill was productive all season, but in the playoffs he became a huge star. Hill, who has committed to Texas A&M, scored a pair of touchdowns in the final 80 seconds of a come-from-behind win over Skyline in the state semifinals. He threw for more than 3,000 yards and rushed for nearly 1,400. Running back A.J. Ezzard also returns after rushing for 684 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore. His blocking is much improved, coach Hall Wasson said. The offensive line will be anchored by tackle Cam Manning, a 6-3, 275-pound senior. The defense should be strong in the secondary with senior safety Tanner Jacobson, an all-district selection last year, and cornerback Ray Crockett, who recovered the controversial "did it go 10 yards?" onside kick against Skyline.
Biggest question facing team: Carroll must replace its top four receivers, including Sabian Holmes (Texas A&M) and Peyton Williams (Colorado). Wasson said the competition has been very good at receiver in spring practice, and he's confident the Dragons will have a solid group at the position.
Notables: Kenny Hill has missed most of spring practice because he's part of the baseball team. "I don't need to know what Kenny Hill can do," Wasson said with a laugh. "It wouldn't be like, 'Oh, he's good.'" In Hill's absence, sophomore Ryan Agnew has got a chance to get experience. ... Wasson said Jacobson has had an exceptional spring practice, and he and Crockett could both play a lot on offense this season. Holmes was a star as a cornerback and receiver last year.
He said it: "We are ecstatic to have won the title, and we wouldn't trade it. But as we've told our football team, that's old news now. What's then was then, and now is now."
Spring football game: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dragon Stadium
Season opener: at Allen on Aug. 31
Full regular season schedule:
Aug. 31 at Allen at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 7 vs. Midland at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 14 vs. Temple at Cowboys Stadium at 8 p.m.
Sept. 28 at Keller Central at 7:30 p.m.*
Oct. 5 vs. Keller Timber Creek at 7:30 p.m.*
Oct. 12 vs. Richland at 7:30 p.m.*
Oct. 19 vs. Justin Northwest at 7:30 p.m.*
Oct. 25 at Keller at 7 p.m.*
Nov. 2 vs. Keller Fossil Ridge at 7:30 p.m.*
Nov. 9 at Haltom at 7:30 p.m.*