6-5A Div. I Preview

Dallas ISD and Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD merge in a conference that should offer a more competitive change of scenery for both school districts.

However, any hopes of competing for a 6-5A Division I championship run through Lancaster, which went 11-3 and advanced to the regional finals last season. For comparison’s sake, the other eight teams in the district won a combined 14 games and none qualified for the playoffs. 

Ranked No. 5 in the state in preseason polls and are chalked in college-caliber talent, the Tigers are an overwhelming favorite to hoist the district title when all is said and done. 

There will still be intrigue elsewhere, with the bulk of the remaining eight teams in the district capable of contending a playoff berth. Woodrow Wilson, WT White and Bryan Adams had the most success of the remaining clubs in 2019, winning at least three games apiece, while Newman Smith and RL Turner hope to wedge their way into the postseason conversation as well.

The Lions are under new leadership following back-to-back winless campaigns and have hired Michael Farda as their head coach, while the Trojans have half their starters back and look to ride that continuity toward their first playoff berth since 2015.

The Top Five: Which Games to Watch this Year

Creekview vs. Smith

Oct. 2: Although the Mustangs and Trojans will compete in separate districts this season, the marquee rivalry bout for Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD football remains intact, with this early October clash doubling as the season opener for both teams. It’ll be a fitting sight for those in attendance at Standridge Stadium, as Creekview and Smith finished last season with their annual head-to-head bout — won by the Mustangs, 23-6. Creekview’s victory snapped a three-year skid against the Trojans.

Skyline at Lancaster

Oct. 2: It’s unlikely the state-ranked Tigers will meet a ton of resistance during their district schedule. They’re the only team in 6-5A Div. I that qualified for the playoffs or won more than four games last season. So, with only one non-district bout on the docket, Lancaster draws another Dallas ISD program in Skyline, which went 7-4 and qualified for the bi-district round. The Raiders will likely be the Tigers’ biggest test before the postseason.

Turner at Sunset

Oct. 9: As the old adage goes, somebody’s “0” has got to go. The Trojans and Bison have fallen on tough times in recent years, both going 0-10 last season. Turner hasn’t found the win column since September 2017, 26 games ago, while the Bison have gone winless since September 2018 and are stuck in an 18-game slump. The good news for both is, barring a pandemic-related cancellation, someone’s getting a much-needed boost on Oct. 9.

Wilson at White

Oct. 23: Although Lancaster is a prohibitive favorite for the top spot in 6-5A Div. I, the rest of the district shouldn’t lack in competitive football, and this late-October clash between Dallas ISD programs could very well be one of the highlights. Wilson and White were among three non-Lancaster teams in the conference to win at least three games last season and both teams have a healthy amount of experience back with 13 returning starters apiece.

Smith vs. Turner

Oct. 30: On the eve of Halloween, the two holdovers from C-FB ISD in Class 5A Division I square off at Standridge Stadium in a matchup where bragging rights, and maybe the upper hand on contending for a playoff spot, could be on the line. The Trojans are hopeful for a bounce-back campaign after a rugged district draw dealt them a 1-9 campaign last year, while the Lions will be looking for a building-block victory over a rival under new head coach Michael Farda.

 

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter.

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