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September 18, 2008
Southlake Carroll sets sights back on football
In the wake of schools being closed, games cancelled and schedules scrambled, even Southlake Carroll way up in North Texas finds itself needing to refocus on football after Hurricane Ike hit the Gulf Coast last week.
The Dragons (2-0) play Mesquite (2-1) at E.H. Hanby Stadium on Friday. Carroll is coming off an unexpected bye-week when its home game with Houston Bellaire was cancelled last week as the Houston ISD braced for the hurricane.
"One of the things I love about coaching is that every day is a new day and you must adapt," Dragons coach Hal Wasson said. "I learned a long time ago if you don't control it, don't worry about it. Worry is nothing but wasted energy when you have no control."
"It's funny; we changed plans in the middle of the day and put our sights on our next opponent. You also realize how quick your player's can change gears and redirect their thoughts. They do a lot better job than I do."
Carroll gets ready for a duel with Mesquite a week before the Dragons have a huge showdown with North Shore at Dragons Stadium on Sept. 27.
For Mesquite, the Skeeters are rebounding from their first loss to Garland Naaman Forest and must face the always powerful Dragons on Homecoming Week. It's a distraction for the Skeeters, but one they'd rather have in non-district than in trying to get a playoff spot in district play.
Southlake has posted wins over Plano West and Arlington. As expected its the Dragons' front seven on defense which has been their team strength.
Mesquite's off-season switch to the Franklin System spread offense will test the Dragons' secondary. Mesquite senior quarterback Luke Halpin has adapted to the new offense quickly. He's showing great accuracy and touch int throwing the quick screens and fades.
Halpin got to study the offense first-hand last March with a spring break trip to Auburn and personal visits with Auburn's offense coordinator Tony Franklin, who is the pass-oriented designer and innovator.
The 6-0 righthander has completed 81 of 127 attempts for 784 yards with seven touchdowns and one interception. Halpin has an offer from West Texas A&M but is rising on the recruiting radar.
Mesquite's undersized offensive front will have to handle Carroll's front with defensive end Brayden Burnett, Jackson Richards and linebacker Cade Foster. Mesquite gave up five quarterback sacks to Naaman last week.
Mesquite's defense provides some good matchup but the Skeeters will be challenged. Senior cornerback Marcus Trice and linebackers Darius Taylor and Darnell Taylor will have their hands full with quarterback Kyle Padron with junior running back Tommy Avers.