Following back-to-back playoff berths in 2014-15, the Trojans took a step back in District 14-5A competition, missing out on the postseason on both occasions.
Things don’t figure to get any easier for Smith in 4-5A Division I in 2018, but head coach Paul Ressa and the Trojans are excited about the team’s prospects following a productive spring camp that featured an increase in overall participation and enthusiasm within the program.
On the field, Smith brings back 12 starters, including eight on the offensive side of the ball, from a squad that went 2-8 with wins over crosstown foes Creekview and R.L. Turner.
One new starter with the ball will be at quarterback, however, where senior Dane McMahon and freshman Cameron Beard will be in competition to replace former two-year starter John Mark Lamb.
Whoever emerges as the starter, look for him to develop chemistry quickly with junior wide receiver Marshal Funches — last year’s Offensive Newcomer of the Year in 14-5A – and hoopster-turned-receiver and senior Christian McGee.
The Trojans are well-equipped in the backfield as well with senior two-way player and second-team all-district performer Jalen Hughes returning after posting 406 total yards and five touchdowns in 2017.
Senior running back Jakobe Johnson also returns after totaling 347 yards and two touchdowns in an injury-shortened campaign.
Smith will also boast an experienced offensive line featuring seniors Darain Dozier and Kendall Iwuagwu and juniors Aundrelle Edwards and Dakota Miller.
The Trojans are a little less seasoned defensively after consistently surrendering big yardage and point totals last season, but Ressa believes a shift to an even-man front will better suit Smith’s skill set in the trenches.
The Trojans are also loaded in the secondary behind Hughes and Johnson, plus seniors Terrell Chatmon and Al-Jaleel Ihsaan and juniors Kayden Carter and Sanjay Jones, while linebackers include juniors Damion Alston, Brandon Stegall and Cam’Ryn Taylor.
|Aug. 31||Fort Worth Eastern Hills||Herman Clark Stadium||7:30 p.m.|
|Sept. 6||Irving Nimitz||Standridge Stadium||7 p.m.|
|Sept. 13||North Garland||Williams Stadium||7 p.m.|
|Sept. 28||Colleyville Heritage||Mustang-Panther Stadium||7 p.m.|
|Oct. 5||Denton Ryan||C.H. Collins Stadium||7 p.m.|
|Oct. 12||R.L. Turner||Standridge Stadium||7 p.m.|
|Oct. 19||Grapevine||Mustang-Panther Stadium||7 p.m.|
|*Oct. 26||Birdville||Standridge Stadium||7 p.m.|
|Nov. 2||Denton||Denton ISD Stadium||7 p.m.|
|Nov. 9||Creekview||Standridge Stadium||7 p.m.|