Could the Wall Hawks Soar Back to Arlington in 2017?
WALL, TX -- Head Coach Houston Guy enters his 11th year at Wall following a stellar 11-4 2016 season that saw the Wall Hawks advance all the way to the state semifinals. Guy and Co. seem poised to make another run to Arlington in 2017. The Hawks are currently ranked sixth in the 2017 Texas Football 3A Division One poll and ninth in first Associated Press preseason poll. Wall also returns 15 starters from a year ago and that experience will go a long way, especially later down the road against the likes of Brock.
“Experience is a huge factor,” Guy said. “Our kids coming back from last year are seasoned. They’ve gone through a gauntlet of great teams.”
The Hawks’ offense in 2017 will be high flying with the speed they have in their triple option offense. Senior Brock Rosenquist will stay under center for Wall in his final year, directing the run oriented offense Wall America has come to love. “When you can have a quarterback go through two years of running an option offense like this at a high level, we expect everything to be more natural,” Guy said. “We expect everything to be right.”
The Hawks’ also welcome back a trio of running backs in seniors Casey Braden and Tymber Carr, and junior Drake Holifield. That trio rushed for over 2,000 yards a year ago. Last year, Braden rushed for 839 yards and 12 touchdowns while Carr racked up 700 rushing yards, 310 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. “When you have guys that have that type of experience, it’s a huge factor,” Guy noted. “Those guys can make adjustments on the run.” This three headed attack for the Hawks’ could be the most dangerous in all of the 3A classification.
On defense, the Hawks return nine starters from a year ago, setting them up to be a stingy force against opposing offenses in 2017. “Defense wins championships,” Guy said. “From the defensive line to the secondary, they’re all great.”
The Hawks also bring in former Llano Athletic Director and Head Coach Craig Slaughter as their new Defensive Coordinator. “[Slaughter] is going to bring another dimension to our defense,” Guy said. “It’ll be really good for us.”
Heading up the Hawks’ 4-3 scheme will be senior linebackers Lucas Garcia and Dryden Virden. Last season, the two combined for 259 tackles and five sacks. “They anchor the defense,” Guy added. “They’re going to be able to make our adjustments on the field.”
Wall has the talent and the depth to make it to Arlington this season. However, the early road to AT&T Stadium seems to go through Brock, as it has the past three years in Region 1. “You have to have a team on your schedule that your team gets up for,” Guy enthusiastically noted. “I love [the rivalry].”
Four years after the Hawks made it to their first ever State Title game, I think the Hawks make a return trip to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in December for a shot at redemption against Cameron Yoe, the team who beat them in 2013. Wall goes 9-1 in the regular season, with an unblemished 4-0 record in district.
Wall opens up their 2017 campaign at home against Monahans on September 1 at 7:30 p.m.