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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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.

Guyer, Argyle open season in AP polls

Moving up to Class 6A didn’t hurt Guyer’s perception across the state.

The Associated Press released its first poll of the season this morning. The Wildcats registered in the 6A poll at No. 7 in the school’s first year back in the state’s highest classification.

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Texas offers Guyer quarterback Shawn Robinson

Guyer sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson, seen here at Guyer's spring game, was offered by Texas this afternoon. (David Minton/Denotn Record-Chronicle)

Guyer quarterback Shawn Robinson didn’t need to start a game at his new school to earn an offer from one of the biggest programs in the country.

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On-field rivals J.W. Walsh, OU’s Trevor Knight spend time together off the field

Former Guyer standout and current Oklahoma State junior quarterback J.W. Walsh spent time with Oklahoma sophomore quarterback Trevor Knight earlier this week. (The Dallas Morning News file photo)

It’s one thing to be friends with your rival. But when the two gentlemen in question are the respective quarterbacks at Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, it’s a different ballgame.

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Guyer’s backup QB Moore goes back to Prosper

The once crowded quarterback derby at Guyer heading into the 2014 season is suddenly much clearer.

After the Guyer coaching staff moved last season’s backup to Texas freshman Jerrod Heard, David Haynes, to wide receiver full-time, the starting job under center was in the hands of sophomore transfer Shawn Robinson, who started as a freshman for Saginaw Chisholm Trail last season.

Prosper move-in David Moore was set to be Robinson’s backup and had a solid performance in Guyer’s spring game. Now, Moore is headed back to Prosper before his career at Guyer ever got started.

“It wasn’t really my decision,” said Moore, who started the regular-season finale for Prosper as a sophomore, going 8-for-9 for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns. “It was more for my mom and her personal reasons, she wanted to go back and I just said, ‘all right.’”

Guyer head coach John Walsh said the decision was made due to some family health concerns.

“David and his family are moving back to Prosper due to some family health issues,” Walsh said. “David worked hard during his time at Guyer, and we wish him well.”

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Guyer Class of ’15 DT Carl Thompson commits to Kansas

Guyer senior defensive tackle Carl Thompson (right) orally committed on Thursday afternoon to play football at Kansas. (Michael Clements/For the Record-Chronicle)

One of Guyer’s highly coveted football recruits looks has made his college decision.

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Guyer, Argyle lead area’s DCTF projections

Argyle's Nick Ralston was named to Dave Campbell Texas Football's 4A preseason all-state team. The magazine was released today. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)

When grocery stores opened this morning, many Texans continued the yearly mid-summer ritual of searching the magazine racks for a publication that’s well known by football fans across the state.

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Ramacher leaving football, Oklahoma State

 

Former Guyer standout Dominic Ramacher, second from left, has chosen to leave the Oklahoma State football program. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)

What used to be four is down to two in terms of former Guyer football players who signed with Oklahoma State. J.W. Walsh is set to be the Cowboys’ starting quarterback, and Jimmy Bean is looking to have a breakout year in his second season to start at defensive end.

But Josh Stewart left the program a year early to enter the NFL draft, later signing as a free agent with Tennessee before tearing his Achilles tendon and being released, and now Dominic Ramacher, who signed with the Cowboys the year after the aforementioned three, is leaving the program and the school to pursue other opportunities.

Ramacher was the hidden gem of the 2010 team’s potent offense as an H-back who was a punishing blocker in Guyer’s running game before moving to middle linebacker in 2011 and becoming an all-district performer. He signed with OSU as a fullback, redshirted and moved to defense last season and was a contributor on special teams.

Ramacher announced the decision on his Facebook page, saying he’s quitting football and leaving Stillwater, but still plans to go to school and get a degree in audio production.

Talking to folks at Oklahoma State, as well as Guyer coach John Walsh, it sounded like Ramacher had a shot at competing for a starting linebacker spot in 2014, but college football is a big-time commitment and it’s easy to see how it would be a huge weight on one’s shoulders.

Ramacher always came across as a kid with much more on his mind than football, and it’s always been obvious he’s a very bright kid who could be successful in a variety of arenas. You just hope, for his sake, it’s not a decision he might regret years down the road. Judging by his words, it seems like it was well thought out, though. Best of luck to him.