McKnight Poised To Lead Wilmer-Hutchins Back To Playoffs

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Photo via Hudl

Wilmer-Hutchins made the playoffs last year for the sixth straight season. Considering the state shut down the school from 2005-10, getting back on that kind of winning track was a rather Herculean feat.

Coach Elzie Barnett has been nothing short of remarkable in making that happen.

The Eagles from 1984-1990 made the playoffs seven-consecutive seasons, and that’s the longest streak in school history. The Eagles have a chance of making it seven in a row if they take care of business like they did in 2016. The top priority on that list is beating their fellow Dallas ISD schools.

The Eagles beat Roosevelt (54-6) in non-district and in District 6-4A-DI they defeated Carter (31-7) and Pinkston (49-0), which was good enough for fourth place. Wilmer Hutchins bowed out in the first round of the playoffs with a loss to eventual state semifinalist Kennedale.

Key Losses
RB Gregory Weather, WR Luther Wright, ILB Trevaugh Durr

Weather led the team in rushing last season with 504 yards and seven touchdowns. Wright was the team’s leading receiver in yards (739) and touchdowns (6).

Durr was the captain of the Eagles’ defense.

Key Returners
QB Keondre McKnight, S Devin Connors, OLB Sir Gregory Russell

Keondre McKnight dazzled last year as a sophomore quarterback. He passed for 1,681 yards with 19 touchdowns and ran for 406 yards with five more scores.

Devin Connors was a first-team all-district selection last year. Sir Gregory Russell, who sports one of the more uppity names in the Metroplex, returns at linebacker along with defensive end Malik Thorn, who’ll be a junior.

The Verdict

Wilmer-Hutchins has the right personnel to not only beat its DISD counterparts this year, but make some noise in the rest of its district. And Keondre McKnight is the right person to lead them.

McKnight tallied more than 2,000 yards of offense in 11 games last year as a sophomore.

The Eagles open the season at home against Van Alstyne before a road game against Lincoln. Hillcrest comes back on the schedule this year in Week 4 and Roosevelt awaits in Week 5.

Wilmer Hutchins can make a dent in the upper crust of district if they can pull off a win against Ranchview, Alvarado or Midlothian Heritage.

The Eagles should be back in the playoffs in 2017 but how far they go could depend on the arm of McKnight and the strength of their returning defense.


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