Posted DFW Varsity
Last season: 11-2 (7-0 District 4-5A)
Key players: Ryan Agnew (6-2, 180), Parker Fentriss (6-2, 190), King Newton (6-2, 255), S Andy Chelf (6-0, 185), RB Lil’Jordan Humphrey (6-5, 195)
The big picture: It will be a different kind of year in a few ways for Carroll, but none more so than that the Dragons will be in a bit of a rebuilding mode. Fewer than 20 lettermen return from last year’s team, including only one full-time starter on offense. The good news for Dragons fans is that the returning starter is quarterback Ryan Agnew, who accounted for almost 4,500 yards of total offense last season. He ran for 20 touchdowns and threw for 31 last season. The only other players with significant experience are running backs Lil’Jordan Humphrey, who accounted for more than 600 yards rushing last season, and Grant McFarlin added almost 500 yards. Humphrey grew 3 inches over the summer, and has added some muscle. Wide receiver Parker Fentriss was injured much of last season and figures to be a top target for Agnew, and the offensive line is completely new. Coach Hal Wasson admits that he was concerned about the guys up front after the spring, but feels they’ve made big strides over the first couple of weeks of fall camp. The Dragons are a little more seasoned on defense with five returning starters. Nose tackle King Newton anchors the defensive line. Linebackers Joel McClellan and Clark Parr headline a mobile unit that can run effectively. Safety Andy Chelf, who had more than 100 tackles last season, leads a secondary that includes CB Tariq Gordon, who may also see time at receiver. Wasson also expects to lean more on a sophomore class than any other season since he came to Carroll in 2007.
Quotable: “We’re investing a lot of time in the mental toughness part of the game. I’m referring to: Offensively as a skill guy, how hard do you play without the ball? How do you block? How do you run your routes? Defensively, are you gap responsible? Are you trusting your key? Do you take the right pursuit angles or play with the right leverage? That’s the mental toughness I’m referring to. It’s the what you do; it’s the how you do things. That’s our key to success. It’s not the what, it’s the how. We’re still working a bit on the how.” — coach Hal Wasson
“We all know what the district is. There’s good football teams all around. But if we focus on district right now, we won’t be able to get better in our nondistrict games, and we won’t be prepared for those district games. So we just have to take it on a day-by-day basis and improve as much as we can, so that when we do come to those great football teams, we’re going to be a great football team ourselves.” — Ryan Agnew
Notable: QB Ryan Agnew, the lone returning starter on offense, accounted for 65 percent of the Dragons’ total offense last season (3,176 passing yards; 1,255 rushing).