As a proud alum of Flower Mound Marcus (Class of 1998, big ups), I always keep up with the Marauders to an extent.
It just so happens that over the past couple of years, Marcus has been stuck in a small district of six teams. When four teams make the postseason in 5A now, it seems like it'd be a pretty easy district to make the playoffs from. Not so fast.
District 6-5A is one of the most top-heavy districts in the state with Southlake Carroll, Hebron, Marcus and Coppell. Then there's Flower Mound, which has had a few decent seasons in its relatively brief existence and the once-proud Lewisville program that is trying to regain some of its mystique from the mid-1990s.
Though Carroll is used to dominating whatever district it is in, that wasn't the case last year.
The Dragons, under new coach Hal Wasson, failed to win the district, losing two games in district to Coppell and 6-5A champ Hebron.
They return more players in the district than any other team (13), all of which will be hungry to make up for a disappointing season by Carroll standards when the Dragons were knocked out of the playoffs in the area round.
Carroll is loaded on defense, led by defensive end Jackson Richards, who's committed to Texas Tech, cornerback Kacy Rodgers (Miami) and linebacker Cade Foster (Alabama ... as a kicker).
Hebron returns 10 players, including six on an incredibly formidable defense led by defensive lineman Michael Odiari, but it looks like the Hawks lost too much on offense to make a push at Carroll to defend their district title.
Marcus could be the dark horse in this district. The Marauders lost to Carroll by a touchdown and Hebron by two, but they return five offensive players, including one of the best offensive players in the state in running back Stephen Hopkins. The bruising back seems like he's been around forever now, but is finally a senior and is committed to the University of Michigan. His workload declined a bit last season as he only rushed for 1,689 yards and 22 touchdowns on 275 carries -- fewer than his 2007 campaign.
Adam Boedeker is a sports writer/award-winning blogger for the Denton Record-Chronicle. He saw "Inglourious Basterds" and thought it was glorious!