District 1-6A brought a lot of high-scoring games and some surprises in 2016. El Dorado quarterback Cedarious Barfield and Americas running back Josh Fields were two of the biggest names in El Paso last season that ended with Americas, El Dorado and Montwood clinching a share of the district title. Montwood was one of the big surprises last year under first year head coach Ariel Famaligi and are looking for bigger things next season with quarterback Andrew Fernandez and receiver Tyreese Andrus both back for the Rams in 2017.
2017 could produce similar results to what 2016 brought. The top of the district to be about as even as they were last year but each team has questions. For El Dorado, can their defense step up and complement Barfield and the Aztecs explosive offense? For Americas, how good will the new starters be, particularly on defense? For Montwood, can they handle the pressure of having a bigger target on their back? Also in the mix is Eastwood, who is back healthy after losing quarterback Seth Ochoa to a torn ACL during the third week of the season. Who wins out?
It’s very close, but my pick is for El Dorado to take the title this upcoming year. The Aztecs have one of the top players in the city in quarterback Cedarious Barfield, some good weapons on the outside in receivers Cameron Hill and Corey McCoy. More importantly, El Dorado has eight returning starters on defense who by all accounts have looked much more aggressive and comfortable in their defensive system. The Aztecs are the favorite, but don’t be surprised to see Americas, Eastwood and Montwood all challenge for the top as well.
Pick: El Dorado
In the eight-team 1-6A, it appears we may be in for a four horse race for the district title. In 2016, El Paso El Dorado and El Paso Montwood each captured a share of the district crown and are expected to do the same in 2017. El Paso Americas and El Paso Eastwood should be firmly in the mix down the stretch, as well.
There’s much to like about El Dorado emerging as the thoroughbred in this district. Americas was the only team to win double digits but will need to replace a small army of seniors, which is easier said than done. Montwood, too, will replace plenty of key defensive contributors, as well as 2016’s leading rusher, Evan De And a (1,264 yards). While El Dorado will also have shoes to fill, such as those of leading receivers Jorge Hernandez and Tyquez Hamton, the Aztecs should still have more than enough firepower an on offense led by Division I quarterback prospect Cedarious Barfield, who guided El Dorado to 523 yards and 47 points per game in 2016.
If the defense has taken the necessary steps forward, El Dorado will be a team to be reckoned with coming out of West Texas as the district 1-6A champions.
Pick: El Dorado
I see this as being a tighter race than most, but El Dorado comes out on top.
My reasoning is pretty simple: Cedarious Barfield. He’s a force to be reckoned with on the field, and in a district that can sometimes struggle with defense, Barfield will likely be the best offensive player in the firey district. El Dorado will also return eight defensive starters, which will be key as we roll through the season.
There are lots of teams to like in this district, and El Dorado has the potential to be the best to come out of it in a while, especially if their defense can gel. We’ll see exactly how good they can be early on, as the Aztecs will travel to play both Wolfforth Frenship and Midland Lee in predistrict scheduling.
Pick: El Dorado
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