FOURTH IN A SERIES
WOLFE CITY — The Wolfe City Wolves will work at staying on top of the District 6-2A-I standings, repeating as bi-district champions and also extending the last playoff run.
Wolfe City head coach Darren Anderson said the Wolves are “hoping to continue to build on what we have done the last three years.”
The Wolves have gone 25-10 in Anderson’s three seasons at the helm, including a 10-2 mark in 2018.
“Our expectations have been raised,” said Anderson. “Our juniors and seniors have really been buying in.”
The Wolves lost some talented players to graduation including two-time all-state defensive lineman Eric Fisk, linebacker Cody Greenway and quarterback Logan Green.
Anderson said the player losses include “the entire class of 2019. They set the groundwork for the program.”
But all-state running back Dylan Wilson (5-9, 170, Sr.) returns after rushing for 1,558 yards and 17 touchdowns last season.
Also back is all-district defensive end Mo Russell (6-3, 190, Sr.), who racked up 62 tackles and seven quarterback sacks. Russell earned mention in “Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine” as the preseason most valuable defensive player in the district.
“Texas Football” picked the Wolves to repeat as district champions and ranked them No. 24 in Class 2A, Division I.
Other senior veterans returning on offense include Russell, Dayton Smith (6-2, 180), Cody Belleville (5-10, 175) and Jesus Leon (5-6, 160) at the wide receivers, Stephen Palsting (6-0, 190) at tight end, plus Oscar Figueroa (6-5, 240), Parker Mahan (6-0, 225), Austin Ferguson (5-11, 220) and Jose Juarez (5-11, 190) at offensive line.
Some of the same players also return on defense with Smith, Wilson and Belleville along with juniors Amarien Jones (5-11, 170) and Cole Salisbury (6-2, 180) in the secondary, plus Juarez on the defensive line. Other seasoned defensive veterans include linebackers Palsting, Jaren Brummett (5-9, 170, Jr.), Logan Lankford (5-11, 180, Jr.) and Josh Tisdale (5-11, 200, Jr.) .
Promising newcomers include Corey Vaughn and Canyon Cooksy.
Anderson said the Wolves’ strength is “experience at the skill positions” though the Wolves are young at quarterback and on the front seven on defense.
He said the other teams to watch in the district are Rivercrest and Honey Grove and that the Wolves need to “stay healthy” and have the “young kids grow up fast” to be successful.
Wolfe City claimed a big district win over Rivercrest last year.
“We finally got over the hump with them, getting the win,” he said.
The Wolves’ confidence got a boost when Wolfe City’s 4x400-meter relay of Pete Martinez, Cody Belleville, Dayton Smith and Dylan Wilson placed fourth at state in May with a school record time of 3:27.39. All four of those runners play football.
“Anything that you have success in any sport it carries over,” said Anderson.
The Wolfe City coach said preseason workouts have been going well.
“They’ve been looking good so far,” he said. “I’m really pleased with the work that our seniors have put in.”
The Wolves, meanwhile, will focus on themselves more than on their opponents.
“Consistency in our play is something we’ve really worked on,” said Anderson. “The thing we really focus on is being the best we can be.”
The Wolves will scrimmage Dallas Inspire in Wolfe City on Saturday and then McKinney Christian in Wolfe City on Aug. 22 before kicking off the 2019 season on Aug. 30 at Don Howard Stadium in Wolfe City against Leonard.
Wolfe City Wolves
2019 Football Schedule
Aug. 30 Leonard 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 6 Bells 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 13 at Cumby 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 20 at Tom Bean 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 27 Tioga (HC) 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 4 at Celeste 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 11 *Honey Grove 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 18 *at Rivercrest 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 25 Open
Nov. 1 *Boles (SN) 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 8 *at Como-Pickton 7:30 p.m.
(SN) Senior night