Argyle, Guyer stand pat in AP state poll

Argyle's Nick Ralston scores a two-point conversion against Celina at Eagle Stadium back on Sept. 12 in Argyle. The Eagles remained steady at No. 2 in the Class 4A state poll. (Matt Garnett/For the Record-Chronicle)

As the majority of the state began district play on Friday, two area teams remained steady in the Associated Press high school football poll, which released Monday.

Guyer (3-1, 1-0 District 5-6A) remained at No. 9 in the Class 6A poll after a narrow escape against a Keller team that wasn’t expected to provide much of a test. Argyle (5-0) remained at No. 2 in Class 4A heading into its bye week and received two first-place votes behind No. 1 Navasota.

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Weekend Recap: District slate kicks off

 

Guyer picked up a win in its 5-6A opener, but head coach John Walsh wasn't pleased with his team's second-half performance. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)

After a slow weekend with a lot of teams on bye, the area was back in full swing on Friday night as we got underway with Class 6A and 5A district schedules — where the games actually count.

Ben Baby peaced out on Sunday to head south on I-35. It was a good run for Ben, our trusty Ryan beat writer. Now, he’ll be replaced by Steve Gamel, who starts on Monday and will be a part of this weekly thing with me next week. But this week, it’s all Boedeker, all the time. I apologize in advance.

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BREAKING: Local players impacted by NCTC bus crash UPDATE: All local girls safe

There was a tragic accident on Interstate 35 in Oklahoma late Friday night involving the North Central Texas College softball team, which was returning home to Gainesville after playing in Oklahoma.

Various media reports are reporting three people were killed in the accident, caused when a semi crossed the median into the southbound lanes and struck the team’s bus, according to a story from NBCDFW. KFOR.com in Oklahoma is reporting three are dead and at least 15 are injured from the wreck.

There are several local players listed on the Lady Lions’ roster, and we’re working to confirm their well-being.

I got up with Guyer softball coach Keith Medford, who confirmed former Guyer player Molly Dolezel was given a ride back by her mother and was not on the bus. The same goes for Denton native Gracie Blagg, who was home-schooled and didn’t play for a high school team.

Ryan head coach Aimee Foutch said she spoke with Ryan-ex Megan Durante’s father, who said all he knew was Durante had suffered a gash to the head and he was on his way to get her, so it seems she avoided serious injury, fortunately. She said she would give an update when she got one.

Other local players who we haven’t yet accounted for include Emily Gibbons, who is listed as being a Denton native on NCTC’s roster and was home-schooled like Blagg. (UPDATE: As of 12:40 a.m. Saturday, I got an email from Gibbons’ mother saying she was also not on the bus and is OK). The only player now who we haven’t confirmed safety for is former Sanger player Savannah Matheus.

According to Matheus’ Twitter, it looks like she was on the bus, as this was posted approximately 10 minutes before the accident happened around 9 p.m.

(UPDATE: As of 12:54 a.m. Saturday, I got an email with a link to Matheus’ aunt’s Facebook post saying she’d talked to Savannah, who was indeed on the bus but was thankfully not seriously injured. That means all of our local players are accounted for and are safe.)

 

Guyer-ex Rhame dazzled to close season

Seen here in a Guyer game in 2011, Jacob Rhame is now a hard-throwing reliever in the Los Angeles Dodgers' system. (DRC File Photo)

While making one of my weekly visits up to Guyer on Monday afternoon, I saw a familiar face walking up to the baseball field on my way to the car.

It was former pitcher Jacob Rhame, who graduated from Guyer in 2011 and led the Wildcats to the playoffs in their first season at the state’s largest classification, coming within a sole mistake of a huge one-game playoff win over Plano. He signed with Oklahoma and was later let go from the program before heading to Grayson College and pitching for Tim Tadlock.

It was after he was cut loose from the Sooners, when he weighed 240 pounds, that he decided he had to make some changes or get out of baseball. Now, he’s down to 190 pounds and after being selected in the sixth round of the MLB draft in 2013, Rhame is doing quite well in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.

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What you need to know: Ennis

 

Ennis senior defensive end/linebacker James Lockhart (9) during the first half of a high school football game against Mansfield Timberview at Vernon Newsom Stadium in Mansfield, Friday, August 29, 2014. Mansfield Timberview won 34-21. (Brandon Wade/The Dallas Morning News contributor)

There was a time a few years ago when it looked as if Guyer and Ennis would be on a crash course to play in the Class 4A state semifinal, but instead, the Wildcats had to deal with Longview for two straight seasons before finally getting the best of the Lobos in 2010 in Class 5A.

Now, we’re finally going to see that matchup. Since those days, Guyer has established itself as one of the top programs in the state, while Ennis took a few really bad years before bouncing back to a state championship contender this year at the newly named Class 5A (formerly Class 4A).

So follow the jump, and learn everything you to know about Friday’s game between two of the best 0-1 teams in the state, the loser of which will most likely be the best 0-2 team in the state.

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Guyer corner Owens no longer on team

Former Guyer cornerback DeMarcus Owens (4) tackles San Antonio Brennan quarterback Da'Shawn Key (17) in the Class 4A Division I State Championship game in December at Arlington's AT&T Stadium. Owens moved to Oklahoma this week and will be a big loss to the Wildcats. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)

After Guyer’s 55-41 loss to No. 1 Allen on Friday night, something came to my attention.

Despite him still being listed on Guyer’s roster and being listed on the videoboard at North Texas’ Apogee Stadium as a starting cornerback, DeMarcus Owens was nowhere near Apogee Stadium on Friday night.

The senior cornerback, who was one of four returning starters in Guyer’s secondary — arguably the strength of the defense — moved to Oklahoma this week after his mom got a job that took her out of the area.

“DeMarcus will be missed on the field with his play, and will be missed off the field for his likable personality,” said Guyer head coach John Walsh, who did a good job of keeping the move a secret to hopefully throw Allen a wrench.

Last season, Owens had 39 tackles at cornerback to go with eight pass breakups and two interceptions as a junior in his first year as a starter for the entire season after working his way into the starting lineup as a sophomore in 2012. Owens, who has an offer from North Texas, is a big loss to the Wildcats’ secondary, if for nothing else because of his vast experience. He will be replaced by Victor Hubbard, a 6-1, 175-pound athletic player, but not a natural corner, who wore Owens’ No. 4 jersey on Friday.

What you need to know: Allen

 

Allen head coach Tom Westerberg, left, high-fives quarterback Kyler Murray after a second-half touchdown against Pearland in the Class 5A Division I state championship game at AT&T Stadium in December. Allen won its second straight 5A Division I state title. (The Dallas Morning News file photo)

Since Guyer’s quick rise to Texas high school football elite, the Wildcats and head coach John Walsh have never shied away from playing top competition in nondistrict play. But this one takes the cake.

The Wildcats open the 2014 season in a rare battle of defending state champions. To make it more rare, it’s a battle of two-time defending state champs, as Guyer will play Allen in the Tom Landry Classic at North Texas’ Apogee Stadium.

In case you have a short memory, Allen is the two-time defending Class 5A Division I state champion. Guyer is the two-time defending Class 4A Division I state champion. Now, both are Class 6A teams. Allen has more boys in its school than Guyer has students, as the Eagles have the biggest pool in the state to choose from and despite losing 10 defensive starters, it’s hard to ever called an Allen team a rebuilding one.

No. 7 Guyer vs. No. 1 Allen, Apogee Stadium, 7:30 p.m. (Rankings are from preseason Class 6A Associated Press poll)

 

Series record: This is the first meeting between the teams.

What happened last year: Allen went undefeated, never really being tested by anyone outside of DeSoto. As a junior, standout quarterback Kyler Murray threw for 3,669 yards and 46 touchdowns to go with just nine interceptions. He rushed for 1,274 yards and 19 touchdowns while leading Allen to a second straight title. The Eagles also had a loaded defense, and they still might, but it’s yet to be determined with the 10 new starters.

Guyer dropped its season opener to eventual 5A Division II state champion Cedar Hill before reeling off 15 straight wins. They finished with an official record of 14-2 after a forfeit to Colleyville Heritage in nondistrict play for using an ineligible player. The Wildcats steamrolled opponents up until the state semifinal, when they needed a thrilling comeback from 10-0 down in the fourth quarter to get past Highland Park before thumping a previously unscathed San Antonio Brennan team for their second straight title.

What to expect: It’s hard to pick against Allen until someone beats them. But that’s the thing, eventually someone will beat the Eagles again. And this seems like a pretty prime position for Guyer. The Wildcats aren’t officially playing a home game, but they might as well be. They return eight defensive starters, several skill players on offense and get to see the debut of sophomore phenom Shawn Robinson, who is replacing Texas freshman Jerrod Heard under center. There is no talk about “playing with Allen” around Guyer or using the game as a measuring stick, so yes, that Guyer swagger is still alive and well, to no one’s surprise. Expect a high-scoring affair between two very strong offenses, and in the most cliche statement ever, look for a big play on special teams and the turnover ratio to decide this thing.

Allen player to watch: QB Kyler Murray (shocker, I know)

Guyer player to watch: DT Carl Thompson

Guyer WR set to explode on to scene

Guyer wide receiver Alex Honey runs with the ball against Cedar Hill in his first varsity start last season at Longhorn Stadium in Cedar Hill. He will be a key figure in the Wildcats' passing game in 2014. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)

In recent years, Guyer has made a habit of spitting out tall, lanky and at times just awkward wide receivers and overnight watching them blossom into standouts with big-time college potential.

Two that come to mind immediately are Conner Crane, who was a three-year starter and progressed from strictly a deep-threat wide receiver into a do-it-all, well-rounded receiver who earned a scholarship to Stanford. After Crane, there was Ellis Jefferson, who began to emerge as a junior but really stood out as a senior and is set to play for Arizona State as a redshirt freshman this season.

In a couple of years, could we be talking about Alex Honey in the same breath?

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Dillman officially staying at Guyer

Kevin Dillman will remain at Guyer despite being ruled ineligible for varsity competition by the UIL. The Nebraska pledge will play quarterback for Guyer's junior varsity. (Denton Record-Chronicle)

In pretty unsurprising news, considering the regular season begins in a week and he’d yet to enroll at Liberty Christian, Guyer senior quarterback Kevin Dillman has decided he will stay at Guyer and play junior varsity football after being ruled ineligible on Aug. 11 by the UIL.

Dillman, a three-star recruit according to 247Sports, committed to Nebraska in April, just two months after moving to Lantana from La Mirada, California. Then, two weeks ago, he was ruled ineligible by the UIL meaning he’d either have to play JV as a senior or transfer to a TAPPS school with hopes of being ruled eligible by that governing body, which likely would’ve happened.

Dillman, a Sweden native, who by all accounts is already a team leader for Guyer despite just having arrived in February, said he made the decision on his own, and without advisement from the coaching staff at Nebraska. He said he considered both Plano Prestonwood and Liberty Christian, but the decision ultimately came down to Guyer and Liberty Christian.

“Oh yeah, it was definitely a hard decision,” said Dillman, a 6-foot-3, 215-pounder with a rocket arm. “I’ve yet to hear from Nebraska what they want me to do, so it’s a decision I based on myself. Pretty much, it’s the people I was around here. They had a more competitive edge in football and their attitude [at Guyer]. That’s why I felt I fit in more here.”

For more on the Dillman decision, which leaves Guyer with probably the best JV quarterback in the free world, see Tuesday’s edition of the Denton Record-Chronicle.

 

 

Guyer’s John Walsh did the ALS challenge … and so did I

As you can plainly see, Guyer head football coach John Walsh stepped up to the plate on Wednesday morning, along with his entire staff, and participated in the latest craze, the ALS ice bucket challenge to help raise money for ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s disease) awareness.

It’s an awful, awful disease for which there is no cure. And while I’ve had my opinions on the recent viral phenomenon, it’s hard to argue with the facts, that it’s raised millions and millions of dollars for ALS research. And that’s obviously a good thing.

So, if you watch the video, you’ll figure out that Walsh and the two-time defending state champions challenged one pretty well-known figure around these parts in Allen head coach Tom Westerburg, or as Walsh accidently called him “Westerburger,” the coach he’ll be looking across the Apogee Stadium field at on Aug. 29. Then, he challenged some scrub known around these parts by the name of Adam Boedeker. Yep, yours truly.

I couldn’t not accept the challenge. Instead of taking the easy way out and having people dump ice water on me in 100-degree heat, I waited until 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday when it was a blustery 91 degrees and dumped the water on myself. So enjoy my video, and my nervous stammering of things like “Guyer Football Wildcats” and “Ice Busket Challenge.”

I challenge Lake Dallas head football coach Michael Young, Guyer head baseball coach Johnny Kinzy, my good buddy Nathan Cross and former Denton Record-Chronicle UNT beat writer Tim MacMahon, now of ESPN Dallas.

I hope all of you do what I did and donate some cash (or skrilla, as the kids might say) to a wonderful cause. Remember, this isn’t about dousing yourself in ice water. Now, it’s time to go warm up. Adios.