Playing Aledo last year was like getting your wisdom teeth removed. You have to do it, it’s on the schedule, and you’ll most likely need some painkillers afterwards.
Make no mistake, outside of two games, this team was a level of dominant that most never achieve. They almost dropped their season-opening game to a solid Colleyville Heritage squad, and they scored their title win in a slugfest against Phil Danaher and CC Calallen. The bookends were close matches, yes, but everything in between them was nothing but blowouts. They weren’t beating slouches either, there were some pretty good teams in there that the Bearcats simply dismantled.
The foundation of Aledo is the running game. They’re simply able to get it done up front and impose their will on you, no matter what scheme they run. They return two members of a fantastic three-headed monster at running back, so there’s plenty for Aledo to be excited about.
QB Dillon Davis, T Chuck Filiaga, G/DT Wes Harris, WR Logan Bridges, LB Will Trawick
The biggest hits are going to come across the offensive line. Aledo will only return one starter from that monstrous wall of flesh that made life extremely painful for so many. The connection of Dillon Davis and Logan Bridges will be missed, as well as the presence of Wes Harris and Will Trawick, two senior standouts on a defense chock-full of standouts.
RB Jase McClellan, RB Donald Evans, S Wyatt Harris, DT James Williams, DE Colt Ellison
The defensive line loses a couple standouts, but returns two that the Bearcats have to be excited about. Colt Ellison had a great sophomore season, and James Williams will make at least one preseason All-State list. There’s some youth in the secondary with bright futures as well.
If Williams will make preseason All-State, then expect to see Jase McClellan on preseason All-American lists in the next few years. McClellan and Donald Evans return to wreak havoc on defenses.
For most teams, losing four out of five members of your starting offensive line is bad. It’s even worse when every single one of them was a first team All-District performer. Aledo is, well, different. They lose huge names and simply plug in new guys and go. In this decade (2010-2017), the earliest the Bearcats exited the playoffs was in the second round in 2012. They lost in the semifinals to Lake Ridge in 2015. They won it all every single other year in the decade. Their total record from 2010-2017 is 100-7.
The Aledo streak of deep playoff runs, state titles, and total dominance over otherwise good teams will end, as all streaks do. It won’t be 2017 though. I like Aledo to compete for a title again, because this team has serious talent returning and they always seem to reload in key places.
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