SOURCES: Sonora and Wall Working to Schedule Each Other in 2018
SAN ANGELO, TX-- It's been over two years since the Sonora Broncos and Wall Hawks collided on the gridiron. With the high level both team's have been playing in 2017, the fans want to see the rivalry renewed. Nothing is set in stone as of right now, but it seems to be on the table for a matchup next season.
"[The game] could be a strong possibility next year," said first-year Sonora Head Coach Jeff Cordell over the phone on Tuesday. "I talked to Coach [Houston] Guy over at Wall today. He said he wants to schedule that game if everything falls into place on his end."
Realignment in the University Interscholastic League is slated to be announced in February of 2018, but it doesn't look like these two teams will find themselves in the same district. Right now, Wall is in Class 3A-D1 while Sonora resides in 3A-D2. Coach Cordell did say that UIL realignment can be unpredictable at times, but reiterated he felt the two teams would not end up in the same district next season.
Next season is way to far away to wait and look at this potential matchup, though.
These two teams are flying high in 2017, but for two different reasons. Sonora (5-0) has an offense that's averaging over 500 yards per game on offense and only Jim Ned has come close to halting Sonora. Wall (4-0) has a defense that is arguably one of the best in the state, allowing 7.5 points per game on average, two sacks per game, and one interception per game.
"Let me tell you, we have some studs," Coach Guy praised his defense over the phone. "They're prepared and have a great mindset every week."
Coach Guy also shouldered the defensive success on to first-year Defensive Coordinator Craig Slaughter, who was previously the Head Coach at Llano High School.
"It starts with the kids," Coach Slaughter mentioned. "They play with passion and fire."
The Hawks' new defensive coordinator noted there can be some skepticism from players and the community when a new coach comes in to a team. Slaughter also went on to say that "Coach Guy has a great program and is respected in the community. I think when he says 'Hey, this guy is coming in', the players immediately respect and trust his decision."
According to Slaughter, he finds himself to be a "pretty aggressive" guy when it comes to his defensive gameplans. "I feel like that gives the kids a lot of chances to make plays and they respond to that."
When it comes to first-year coaches, Cordell is in a different boat than Head-Coach-turned-Coordinator Craig Slaughter. After the resignation of former Head Coach David T. Sine in April, then Defensive Coordinator Jeff Cordell was promoted to Head Coach and Athletic Director.
Despite the promotion, and departure of 13 starters, nothing has changed at Sonora. Senior All-State Quarterback, and coach's son, Kaden Cordell has had a tremendous second act to his 3,000 yard season a year ago. The Dave Campbell's Mr. Texas Football Player of the Year nominee has already put up 1,358 yards and 14 touchdowns passing while only allowing one interception through the first half of the season.
"You can't single out one player," Coach Cordell said. "[Kaden] has had a lot of help around him, especially the offensive line. They do well opening up holes for our run game and allowing enough time for Kaden to find his receivers."
Around the Broncos' star Senior are a plethora of weapons who have been able to rack up yards-after-catch. Coach Cordell highlighted Junior Wide-Receiver Wesley Dutton, who has 509 receiving yards and six touchdowns this season. "[Wesley] is a threat," said Coach Cordell. "He had something like 220 yards and three touchdowns in our win against Llano." According to MaxPreps' stats, which are entered by the coaches, Dutton finished that game with 248 yards receiving, but who's counting?
Cordell, a defensive minded coach, put the continued success of Sonora's offense on first-year Offensive Coordinator Creighton Henderson, who came to Sonora from Round Rock Stony Point.
"He's done great with our kids," Cordell said of Henderson. "He does a tremendous job doing film study and finding our opponents' weaknesses."
This game would be one of the hottest tickets in the area, no doubt. When asked about the currently hypothetical matchup, Coach Cordell had nothing but praise for Wall and Coach Guy.
"Coach Guy does well with his team," Cordell said. "[Wall] is a machine. There's a reason they're ranked number one in just about every category."
Cordell would also go on to mention that playing against a team like Wall would be "huge" for his team and their development.
"Those are the games you may not want, but you definitely need," Cordell said. "Wall is a physical team that will hit you in the mouth. That would help us down the road for district play and, hopefully, playoffs down the road."
Even though these teams aren't meeting for at least another year, who do you think would win if the teams were to strap on the shoulder pads right now?
Both teams will be on the road, looking to avenge 2016 losses this week, as Wall will travel to Breckenridge to face Iowa Park (3-2) and Sonora will face Iraan (3-2) on Friday.