Once again, all four Nolan County high school teams have gotten the Rodney Dangerfield treatment in the latest edition of Dave Campbellâ€™s Texas Football magazine, which arrived in stores late last week.
None of the four is predicted to make the playoffs out of their new districts, and one of them is picked to finish dead last.
Shane Mobley, Sweetwaterâ€™s new coach, takes over a team seeking its first winning campaign in four seasons. The Mustangs, 4-6 a year ago, are picked fifth â€” or next-to-last â€” out of the six teams in District 4-3A (see complete list below). Sweetwater returns nine defensive starters and four on offense, including senior running back-linebacker Ryan Linebaugh and senior lineman Jonathan Martinez, both considered by TF as players to watch. Other top returning players and prospects according to the magazine are wide receiver-defensive backs Sean Morrow, Nick Nemir, Kaleb Hoover and Willie Norman, linemen Luis Gaxiola and Kyle Lambert, linebacker Alex Garcia and slotback-defensive backs Isiah McGee and Bray Amos. Morrow is also competing at quarterback to replace Taylor Jones, who graduated after holding the position for three years.
Things should improve at Roscoe, coming off an 0-10 season but with seven starters returning on both sides of the ball. The Plowboys are picked to finish sixth out of eight teams in District 7-A, Division II. Among the teamâ€™s players to watch are offensive lineman-linebacker Landon Jones (84 tackles last season) and quarterback candidates Dillon Freeman and Luke Rovig, who will also see plenty of action defensively.
Highland, which finished 3-7 this past season, has three offensive and four defensive starters back but the Hornets have been chosen to finish last among the four teams in District 7 Six-Man, Division I.
The top returning player for Highland may be senior quarterback-safety Ron Covington, who passed for 602 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2011 and also recorded 71 tackles and two interceptions on defense.
Prospects seem brighter at Blackwell, which was 1-9 a year ago but returns all six starters on both sides of the ball. The Hornets are picked to finish third out of the four teams in District 8 Six-Man, Division II.
Several of Blackwellâ€™s returnees, including running back Jayden Jones, wide receiver-linebacker Mason Magness and defensive lineman Ted Chambliss, earned all-district recognition this past season.