The football programs at Tyler Grace and Bullard Brook Hill have been around for less than a decade, yet both have accomplished quite a bit.

Grace has made the playoffs four consecutive seasons, including a run to the TAPPS Division II state semifinals in 2011. Brook Hill has had even greater success, playing for three consecutive Division III state titles from 2009-11.

 

Private Schools Preview

Tyler Grace's Kade Clayton. (© Christopher R. Vinn/www.etsn.fm)

PLAYMAKERS

  • Seth Brasher, WR, Soph., Bullard Brook Hill
  • Kade Clayton, ATH, Sr., Tyler Grace
  • Connor Hobbs, WR, Jr., Tyler Bishop Gorman
  • Kalir Joseph, RB, Sr., Dallas Christian
  • Trey Rowe, DE, Jr., Tyler All Saints
  • Tristan Saint, QB, Sr., Tyler Bishop Gorman
  • Xavier Suggs, WR, Soph., Dallas Parish Episcopal
  • Ryan Young, LB, Sr., Bullard Brook Hill

TOP GAMES

  • Bullard Brook Hill at Dallas Christian, 7:30 p.m., Oct. 18
  • Tyler Bishop Gorman at Tyler Grace, 7:30 p.m., Oct. 18
  • Bullard Brook Hill at Tyler Grace, 7:30 p.m., Nov. 1

 

Bullard Brook Hill Guard

Bullard Brook Hill's Seth Brasher. (© Christopher R. Vinn/www.etsn.fm)

Coach: Bobby Brasher

2012 finish: 6-5 (TAPPS Division II bi-district finalist)

Returning starters: 7 offensive, 8 defensive

Players to watch

  • LB Ryan Young, Sr., 5-10, 220 (102 tackles, 5 sacks)
  • WR Seth Brasher, Soph., 6-2, 170
  • WR/DB Chase McDermott, Jr., 6-2, 175
  • LB Malik Alley, Jr., 6-1, 195
  • LB Blake Maddox, Jr., 6-0, 190
  • DT Bryant Robinson, Soph., 6-2, 220
  • QB Zac Wilson, Sr., 6-2, 190
  • QB Grant Hanks, Jr., 6-2, 175 (289 yards, 2 TDs)

 

Offense: The Guard offense struggled down the stretch last season, managing just 19 points on average over the final five games, which included a 66-40 win over Carrollton Prince of Peace in Brook Hill's only win during that span. But despite breaking in a new

Bullard Brook Hill's Chase McDermott. (© Christopher R. Vinn/www.etsn.fm)

quarterback to replace the graduated Will Weathers (Abilene Christian), first-year coach Bobby Brasher should have several weapons at his disposal with seven starters back on that side of the ball.

Whether it's Hanks or Wilson that gets the job under center, each quarterback will have plenty of weapons to get the ball to, including the tandem of Seth Brasher and McDermott. Both targets are listed at 6-2, making each of them tough covers in one-on-one matchups.

Defense: With eight starters back, Coach Brasher -- the defensive coordinator under departed head coach Terry Pirtle -- expects major improvement to a unit that allowed more than 30 points per game. It all starts with Young, an all-state performer the last two seasons. Fellow linebackers Alley and Maddox make the mid-level the strength of the Brook Hill defense.

2013 outlook: After reaching the TAPPS D-III state title game three years in a row, which included a state title in 2011, Brook Hill struggled up a class in Division II. The Guard still made the playoffs, but their season ended in the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Dallas Christian, Dallas Parish Episcopal and Tyler Grace -- responsible for Brook Hill's three district losses in 2012 -- all lost quite a bit from last season. So the experienced Guard may be able to close the gap on the rest of the competition this year.

 

Tyler All Saints Trojans

Tyler All Saints' Jordan Bayonne. (© Christopher R. Vinn/www.etsn.fm)

Coach: Mike Hall

2012 finish: 3-7 (TAPPS independent)

Returning starters: 7 offensive, 7 defensive

Players to watch

  • OL Morgan Bain, Sr., 6-1, 250
  • DE Trey Rowe, Jr., 6-4, 235
  • DB Jordan Bayonne, Sr., 5-6, 145
  • QB Matt Brunson, Jr., 6-0, 175
  • LB Luke Lee, Soph., 6-4, 180
  • OL Parker Towns, Jr., 6-2, 215
  • LB Brad Luzietti, Sr., 5-11, 180

 

Offense:The Trojans bring back seven starters on offense from last season, All Saints' first as a TAPPS independent. Brunson has the capability of making plays with both his arms and his legs and will be key if the Trojans are to improve upon their 2012 season

Tyler All Saints' Luke Lee. (© Christopher R. Vinn/www.etsn.fm)

scoring average of 19.9 points per game. The return of Bain and Towns up front should give All Saints a solid offensive line.

Defense: When Hall arrived at All Saints prior to last season, the players were met with brand-new schemes on each side of the ball. It was a struggle last year (opponents averaged more than 30 points per game), but several key playmakers on "D" return, including Rowe at defensive end and Bayonne in the secondary.

2013 outlook: All Saints began last year at 0-3, so a win or two early on could do wonders for the Trojans' confidence. All Saints was outscored by an average of 24 points in its seven losses, so there is work to be done in order for the Trojans to feel good about moving forward.

 

Tyler Bishop Gorman Crusaders

Tyler Bishop Gorman's Connor Hobbs. (© Christopher R. Vinn/www.etsn.fm)

Coach: Coby Gipson

2012 finish: 2-8

Returning starters: 7 offensive, 7 defensive

Players to watch

  • WR Connor Hobbs, Jr., 6-4, 205
  • QB Tristan Saint, Sr., 5-11, 195 (158 of 242, 2,005 yards, 8 TDs)
  • RB/LB Taylor Hurst, Sr., 6-1, 190 (680 rushing yards, 3 TDs; 67 tackles, 7 for loss)
  • WR Collin Parks, Sr., 5-7, 170
  • C Tim Schmidt, Sr., 5-11, 225
  • LB Noah Kemp, Sr., 5-11, 185
  • DL Cartrell Freeman, Jr., 6-0, 280
  • DL Jordan Morales, Jr., 6-0, 260

 

Offense: Coach Gipson took over just weeks before the first official day of workouts began last summer, so a few growing pains were to be expected. Gorman finished 2-8 last year, but its new spread attack opened a few eyes, and many are expecting a big

Tyler Bishop Gorman's Tristan Saint. (© Christopher R. Vinn/www.etsn.fm)

improvement on that side of the ball in particular. Saint eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark and will have two pretty good targets to work with in Hobbs and Parks. Hurst should help the running game, which could make Gorman's passing attack more explosive.

Defense: Seven starters are back on a unit that allowed 43.6 points per game in 2012. A big key for the Crusaders defense will be their line play, which should see improvement with the return of juniors Freeman and Morales.

2013 outlook: The future appears bright for the Crusaders, and with the wealth of experience back along with more time to operate Gipson's systems, good things could be on the horizon at Gorman. Marked improvement on offense and much better play on defense is the recipe for success. However, the eight-team league is stacked with good programs, which might make a goal of significant improvement in the wins-and-losses department difficult.

 

Tyler Grace Cougars

Tyler Grace's Chandler Nutt. (© Christopher R. Vinn/www.etsn.fm)

Coach: Mike Maddox

2012 finish: 8-3 (TAPPS Division II bi-district finalist)

Returning starters: 3 offensive, 5 defensive

Players to watch

  • ATH Kade Clayton, Sr., 6-0, 180 (119 carries, 1,511 yards, 26 TDs; 26 catches, 502 yards, 6 TDs; 69 tackles, 5 for loss, 2 forced fumbles; 9 kickoff returns, 39.9 yards per return)
  • OT Clay Costiloe, Sr., 6-4, 290
  • S Adam Graham, Jr., 5-10, 160 (56 tackles)
  • WR Johnny Spitzer, Jr., 5-10, 150
  • WR Chandler Nutt, Jr., 6-1, 170
  • LB Danny Kelly, Sr., 5-11, 185

 

Offense: With quarterback Blake White's graduation, Coach Maddox was set to hand the offense over to do-everything standout Kade Clayton, who enjoyed a monster 2012 season at receiver, running back and special teams. However, a shoulder injury may

Tyler Grace's Clay Costiloe. (© Christopher R. Vinn/www.etsn.fm)

prevent him from playing quarterback. If that's the case, Nutt may step in to take his place. Clayton began 2012 at receiver, but switched to running back mid-season out of necessity and flourished. Having Clayton touch the ball as often as possible will be important for an offense that returns just two others starters.

Defense: The Cougars have several holes to fill on defense as well, but the secondary should be in good shape with the return of Clayton and Graham. Grace allowed 22 points per game in 2012, a respectable figure given the strong offenses TAPPS D-II District 2 puts on the field year-in and year-out.

2013 outlook: No one quite knows what to expect this year for Grace. The Cougars are normally one of the most explosive offenses in the area, but with just three starters back and a proven quarterback gone to graduation, there are some definite questions marks. Clayton's playmaking ability should keep Grace competitive with the upper-echelon teams in the district, but several fresh faces will need to step up to keep Grace among the district's elite.

 

Longview Trinity Titans

Head Coach: Thomas Emerson

2012 finish: 6-5 (TAPPS Six-Man Division II bi-district finalist)

Returning starters: 5 offensive, 4 defensive

Players to watch

  • QB Caelan Freeman, Jr., 6-2, 175 (47 of 78, 855 yards, 14 TDs)
  • DB Forrest Houston, Soph., 5-10, 150 (31 tackles, 3 INTs, 2 forced fumbles)
  • FB Travis Klotz, Soph., 5-9, 185

 

2013 outlook: Things are looking up for the Titans, who return the bulk of their starting lineup from last season's playoff team. Trinity was able to reach the postseason despite losing Freeman midway through the 2012 season, but Coach Emerson should have a healthy signal-caller leading the way this time.

 

Marshall Christian Guardians

Head coach: Guy Barr

2012 finish: 1-5

Players to watch

  • QB Samuel Lastra, Sr., 5-7, 145 (38 of 79, 524 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs; 94 carries, 1,171 yards, 26 TDs)
  • WR Ben Whiting, Sr., 5-10, 140 (17 catches, 256 yards, 1 TD)
  • WR Caleb Young, Fr., 5-9, 140 (8 catches, 153 yards, 2 TDs)

 

2013 outlook: Marshall Christian has plenty of work to do to improve on last season's one-win campaign, but the Guardians have a pretty solid building block in Lastra, who totaled almost 1,700 yards and 28 touchdowns in just six games in 2012. If the Guardians are able to surround him with a few other impact players, Marshall Christian could be a force in TCAL Six-Man Division II District 2.

 

Tyler HEAT

Head coach: Bill Beggs

2012 finish: 8-3 (TCAL Six-Man Division II semifinalist)

Returning starters: 5 offensive, 5 defensive

Players to watch

  • QB Nathan Beggs, 5-4, 135 (1,064 rushing yards, 21 TDs)
  • RB/LB Isaiah Niedrauer, 6-0, 180
  • RB/LB Phillip McKinney, 6-3, 190

 

2013 outlook: Last season's TCAL Six-Man Division II District 2 champion returns all but two starters, including the explosive, dual-threat quarterback Beggs. HEAT's ground game should also be solid with the return of bruisers Niedrauer and McKinney, who also happen to be among the team's hardest-hitting defenders.

 

Tyler King's Academy Royal Knights

Head coach: Dodie Wilson

2012 finish: 3-6 (TCAL Six-Man Division II bi-district finalist)

Returners: 8

Players to watch

  • TE Nick Thomason, Jr.
  • C John Roberson, Sr.
  • ATH Christian Corley, Sr.

 

2013 outlook: The Royal Knights made the playoffs a season ago despite registering only three wins on the year. King's Academy graduated six seniors at impact positions, but does bring back a solid corps of players that saw extensive playing time in 2012. Time will tell if the Knights are able to dethrone crosstown rival Tyler HEAT from atop the district after King's Academy suffered a 46-30 loss to HEAT last year.