ESPN RISE takes a look at the teams to watch this month in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area:
Football -- Euless Trinity
Coming off a Class 5A, Division I state championship
last season, the Trojans are set up for quite the encore
this fall. Euless Trinity plays a brutally tough schedule in
2008, a slate that includes a matchup with reigning
Louisiana Class 2A state champ John Curtis and nondistrict
battles with state powers Allen and Cedar Hill.
"We should find out early about our team," Trinity coach
Steve Lineweaver says. "You can't take any weeks off,
but we hope to keep things going in the right direction."
That direction is shaping up to be a dynasty. The Trojans
have won two of the past three 5A-I state titles and are
favored to repeat this year. Not only that, Trinity opened
the year as the No. 1 team in the ESPN RISE FAB 50
national rankings. But when you consider the firepower
the Trojans bring back, it's easy to see why they are considered
the nation's best. Senior quarterback Denarius
McGhee and senior running back Dontrayevous
Robinson (Nebraska commit) are a lethal backfield duo,
combining for 31 TDs last year. Senior WR Tyree Tucker
and senior TE Noa Galeai are threats through the air.
Trinity's always strong offensive line is anchored by seniors
Chuck Davenport and Ben Johnson. The Trojans are
experienced, balanced and deep on defense, led by
senior lineman Siosaia Tuipulotu, senior linebacker
Earnest Norman (Kansas) and senior defensive backs
Prinz Kande (Kansas) and Eryon Barnett (Texas).
Girls' Swimming -- Frisco Centennial
Highland Park has dominated the Class 4A girls' swimming ranks of late, but Centennial appears to be
creeping up and establishing itself as a program to be reckoned with. The Titans won the Region 2-5A meet by
42 points last season and went on to finish eighth at the Class 4A state meet. Junior Alexis Ramirez and sophomore
Hannah Ellis both won three golds at last year's regional meet. Sophomores Courtney Hanna and Kelsey
Emmons and senior Sasha Johnson also return as major contributors for 2008-09.
Boys' Cross Country -- Poteet
The Pirates cruised to a third consecutive Region II-4A championship last fall by sticking together. Poteet's
first runner and fifth runner crossed the finish line just 37 seconds apart, a major factor in allowing the team to
easily outdistance its challengers. ESPN RISE All-Area picks Andy Ortiz and Jake Zinn were the team's first two
finishers, with senior Taylor Jones and juniors Jorge Ziesk and Elias Murillo rounding out the top five. With that
core group back this fall, the Pirates should challenge for a Class 4A state title.
Girls' Cross Country -- Southlake Carroll
It took an appeal to the UIL, but the Dragons were eventually named Class 5A state champions last fall. A
scoring error caused by a malfunctioning timing chip led to the championship initially being awarded to Kingwood.
But when the error was corrected, Southlake Carroll came out on top for a third consecutive year. The
Dragons bring back five of their seven state competitors this fall, including ESPN RISE All-Area picks Tara
Upshaw and Jessica Harper. Upshaw, a senior, was 11th at state last year, and Harper, a junior, was 19th.
BOYS' CROSS COUNTRY -- F.W. SOUTHWEST
Senior Andrew Herrera and junior Tommy Rivas look to carry the Raiders into Class 4A state contention.
GIRLS'VOLLEYBALL -- SACHSE
Led by senior Allegra Wells and junior Lauren Fox, the Mustangs are a deep and talented team.
FOOTBALL -- DUNCANVILLE
First-year coach Jeff Dicus rebuilt Lake Travis and now has the Panthers headed in the right direction.
GIRLS' CROSS COUNTRY -- FRISCO
Sophomore Kerri Matulis returns after finishing in the top 10 at regionals and state last fall.