Shared from the 8/24/2016 San Antonio Express eEdition


Four burning questions for the new season

Kin Man Hui / San Antonio Express-News

Sincere McCormick is part of a strong nucleus at Judson, which survived a tough District 27-6A to reach the 2015 state semifinals.



Can District 27-6A repeat last year’s dominance?

Steele, Judson, Clemens and Smithson Valley combined for a 48-10 record — all but two losses were to one another — and each advanced to the 2015 state quarterfinals. Judson topped Smithson Valley in the Region IV-6A Division I final, while Steele defeated Clemens in the Division II final.

All four teams return solid nuclei led by standout quarterbacks and could very well be looking at a repeat performance.

Austin Lake Travis and Austin Westlake, who played for state championships in 2015, were moved to Region IV during the University Interscholastic League’s realignment last February. Those two teams are nationally ranked and could impact things.

Highlands went from 0-10 in 2014 to a playoff berth in 2015. What should we expect this season?

Coach Juan Morales did a masterful job in his first season at the helm of the Owls, leading them to seven wins and into the postseason for the first time since 1999.

Now comes what might be the toughest part — maintaining the momentum. With 21 players back from that breakthrough campaign, including seven starters, Highlands figures to be a challenger for the District 28-5A championship.

With Cedar Park now in Region III and Austin Vandegrift and Cedar Park Vista Ridge in Class 6A, is this the year an area 5A team plays for a state title?

It certainly appears as if it could be the case. Cedar Park has been a postseason thorn for Boerne Champion and Kerrville Tivy in recent years, ending promising seasons for both schools. The UIL’s biennial realignment and reclassification in February was an early Christmas gift for area schools, removing some of the region’s biggest threats. Perennial power Corpus Christi Calallen is still around, but Boerne Champion returns 14 starters and 31 lettermen from a squad that advanced to the regional semifinals a year ago. The Chargers have the pieces — and fewer obstacles — to be playing at AT&T Stadium in Arlington in late December.

What will life be like for Antonian without running back Daniel Rosenfeld?

Rosenfeld, who committed to Air Force, finished his career as one of the most prolific runners in area history. Limited by injuries, he rushed for 5,027 yards and 71 touchdowns in roughly 2½ seasons. Replacing his production is going to be a tough chore.

But as was the case when Rosenfeld followed in Sterling Holmes’ footsteps, the Apaches have started to build a pretty good pipeline of quality running backs.

Brady French, who rushed for 862 yards a year ago after Rosenfeld was lost to a season-ending foot injury, looks as if he will be the next to carry the load. Twitter: @en_terrence

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