Photo via hudl.com

 

The reigning District 13-5A Champions will look to complete some unfinished business next year as Frisco Lone Star will look to rev up their engines again and roll through opponents and avenge what some may have considered an early playoff exit in 2016 after appearing in the 2015 5A DII state championship game.

While far from a disappointing season last year, some can’t help but wonder what could have been if Lone Star quarterback Jason Shelley was fully healthy in their playoff loss to an outstanding Mesquite Poteet team. The 45-14 defeat was perhaps as far from what the goal and expectations were at the beginning of the year for Lone Star.

With the page turned to 2017, will Lone Star have enough firepower and weapons returning in order to once again make a run to the 5A state title?

Key Departures

QB Jason Shelley, WR Jaylen Dixon, WR Coby Shelton, DE Rodnick Phillips

Lone Star will be losing two of their premier athletes in Jason Shelley and Jaylen Dixon who both signed to play football at Utah this upcoming year and together accounted for 4,975 yards of total offense and 59 total touchdowns. Wide receiver Coby Shelton will also be another substantial loss as he hauled in five receiving touchdowns on 873 receiving yards.

Defensive end Rodnick Phillips will be leaving some big shoes to fill as the All-District defensive end will be graduating after having an excellent year.

Key Returners

RB Darrin Smith, LB Nicholas Bolton, LB Noah Velicer, DB Nick Kitchens

Despite the loss of a few key players, the returning players on defense will be more than be able to fulfill the “next man up” philosophy. A dynamic linebacking duo in Velicer and Bolton will be the focal point for Lone Star on defense. Bolton is the returning defensive MVP while Velicer is a first-team all-district selection himself returning for his senior season.

On offense, Offensive Newcomer of the Year and Lone Star leading-rusher Darin Smith will occupy much of opposing team’s attention. Smith ran for 823 yards and 13 touchdowns and has yet to scrape the surface of what he is capable of.

The Verdict

Well, it may be a different looking team than last year. However, it would be foolish to believe that Lone Star will not once again be a title contender in 2017. Despite what they will be losing, the returning players they have are more than adequate replacements for the talent level seen in 2016.

With still a few months left to go before the season begins, Lone Star will only get stronger and be a highly-efficient machine that should put all of the 5A opposition on notice once again.

 

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