The end of one chapter gives way to the start of another, and such is the case for Northeast Dallas County athletics.
Throughout the summer, Star Local Media will reflect on the year that was in Northeast Dallas Country, while also looking ahead to what lies in store for 2019-20.
Obviously, there are a number of teams in each of the five represented districts that are outside of the coverage zone, so many of these answers will focus on Mesquite ISD, Rowlett, Sachse, Sunnyvale and Dallas Christian.
With that said, here’s the fifth installment of Three Questions for Northeast Dallas County:
1. Who are the girls soccer teams that can contend for a district title?
The most obvious contenders are the two power programs in 10-6A with Sachse and Rowlett.
The Mustangs have claimed at least a share of the district crown in each of the last seven seasons. The Eagles earned a split of the title in 2018 and led the district for much of last season before getting caught by Sachse on the final day of the regular season.
Both teams are expected to return a slew of talent.
The Mustangs should welcome back all-district performers in senior goalkeeper Cynthia DeLeon, senior defender Jazlyn Reese, junior defender Jordan Scrantom, junior midfielders Chayse Thorn, Storm Harris, Kaitlyn Valatis and Emily Mougia and sophomore forward Paige Baumgartner.
The Eagles will also be loaded with junior offensive most valuable player Taylor Conway, senior defensive most valuable player Ashley Johnson, senior goalkeeper of the year Kennedy Stelling and five other all-district performers.
The other paths appear to be more difficult.
Horn has been a perennial playoff team for the last decade, but both 11-6A co-champions Rockwall-Heath and Tyler Lee return a solid nucleus and it will be tough to knock them off their perch.
The same is true in 13-5A, where based on returning contributors, Forney and North Forney still appear to be the teams to beat.
2. Who are the boys soccer teams that can contend for a district title?
Rowlett and West Mesquite each claimed district championships a year ago and are poised for a repeat performance, though Sachse and Poteet should not be counted out in those respective district races.
The Eagles return one of the most potent 1-2 scoring punches in the state in seniors Kevin Adolfo and Carson Prestridge. Adolfo captured 10-6A most valuable player honors after recording 37 goals and 18 assists, while Prestridge was named offensive player of the year after amassing 22 goals and 19 assists.
Add district co-newcomer of the year Dalton Reyna, freshman of the year Oscar Martinez and junior first-team defenders Tyler Griffin and Hudson Meisner and Rowlett has the tools to defend its crown.
The Wranglers will return one of the most veteran lineups in the area with senior most valuable player Carlos Lara, senior offensive player of the year Junior Saavedra, senior offensive midfielder of the year Edgar Lopez, senior defensive midfielder of the year Jarius Robledo and five other first-team all-district selections in seniors Jesse Velasquez, Josue Murillo, Cristobal Jimenez and Pablo Hernandez and junior Jose Estrada.
Mesquite and North Mesquite were in the hunt for the 11-6A title and should be once again. The Skeeters return seniors Kevin Parra, Oscar Moran, Daniel Castaneda, Elias Martinez, Edgar Carrasco and Lenny Andrade, while the Stallions feature one of the most dynamic scorers in the area in Heriberto Campuzano, as well as Alonso Zamarripa, Ricardo Rodriguez and Oscar Hernandez.
3. Will wrestling become a sport in GISD and MISD?
There are currently more than 14,000 boys and girls who compete in high school wrestling in Texas and nearly 250,000 around the country according to wrestlingtexas.com.
It is a sport that has caught on and seen big numbers in nearby cities such as Rockwall and Allen, but that has not been the case in Garland ISD or Mesquite ISD, as none of the high schools in either school district has a team.
That might not be the case forever.
There have been rumblings recently about schools looking into starting a wrestling program, but it all boils down to interest.
Take a look at swimming, another sport that has seen its popularity increase around the state, but has not quite taken off locally.
Garland High once had nearly 200 members on its swim team, but those numbers have dwindled, and they, North Garland and South Garland are currently the only GISD schools with teams, though the hopes are that interest will grow with the opening of the new natatorium next year.
All five MISD schools have teams, but there is only one head coach for all of the athletes.
Both GISD and MISD would expand the programs if the interest was there and are taking the same stance with wrestling.