Hal Wasson’s 2015 Southlake Carroll squad comes in as one of the youngest in high school football. It shouldn’t be a problem for the Dragons, as they haven’t had a season worse than 8-3 during Wasson’s 8-year tenure.
The squad loses most of its skill position players, including two-year starting quarterback Ryan Agnew. He will be tough to replace, as the dual-threat QB accumulated 9,437 total yards and 96 total touchdowns in his career.
Wasson’s search for a new quarterback starts with senior Montana Murphy. He has only played in a reserve role, but showed promise in his few appearances throwing for 249 yards and five touchdowns to no interceptions. He also added three scores on the ground. Unfortunately, Murphy missed most of the spring with a back injury leaving the door open for sophomore Mason Holmes to take the first-team repetitions.
“Well, we have always focused on the things we can control,” Wasson said. “We can’t control Montana’s injury. However, Mason Holmes took full advantage of his reps and had a really strong spring and summer.”
If Murphy is named the starter, he will be the first player since Greg McElroy to start only his senior year at Southlake. Whoever does get the starting nod will become part of the great Southlake Carroll quarterback lineage. Kyle Padron, David Piland, Kenny Hill and now Agnew have all received Div. I scholarships under Wasson. But Wasson said comparisons are not important.
“We’ve never compared, and we won’t start with these guys either. Each one is his own entity,” Wasson said. “I’m confident in both guys to just go out and do as best as they can, and that’s all I can ask for.“
The keys to the offense in 2015 may not have many experienced weapons, but it will have one of the best backs in Texas. Senior running back Lil’Jordan Humphrey is a freakish athlete at 6’4, 192 pounds. Humphrey shredded defenses last year for 1,817 yards and 29 touchdowns.
“I’m always confident in my players. We are going in with eight to nine young guys that haven’t started or even played varsity football. There’s no doubt we will have growing pains, but I’m not going to lose confidence in them.”
Carroll only returns one receiver from last year’s squad, Zach Farrar. He caught only 29 passes but for 554 yards and three touchdowns. Farrar is a field stretcher who has gotten loads of college attention and has multiple offers. Expect his numbers to skyrocket this season.
An even tougher task for the Dragons will be replacing nine starters on the defensive side of the ball.
“I’m always confident in my players,” Wasson said. “We are going in with eight to nine young guys that haven’t started or even played varsity football. There’s no doubt we will have growing pains, but I’m not going to lose confidence in them.”
Senior cornerback Obi Eboh leads the secondary in 2015. Eboh recorded 55 tackles last season and 10 pass break-ups. Junior linebacker Jacob Copeland anchors the linebacker corps after an impressive sophomore campaign. Copeland compiled 69 tackles, nine tackles for loss, four sacks and one interception.
The Dragons will need their two returners to step up, as they play in the prominent District 7-6A, which includes perennial powers Coppell and Euless Trinity.
“Whoever comes out of the district will be battle tested. If we are one of the fortunate ones to get in there it will be great, but I don’t know how much it will help you because the next district you are going to hit there are water moccasins, too,” Wasson said.
“I am going to try to enjoy each game and have fun with it, and see how much we improve as the season goes on.”