With back-to-back 4A state championships and the nation's top running back returning, Aledo should be better than ever in 2011.
Aledo owns a 29-game winning streak and returns many key pieces, including Texas-bound Johnathan Gray
, and those returning pieces will make the Bearcats extremely difficult to stop.
The reigning U.S. Air Force National Junior of the Year, Gray rushed for an astounding 3,221 yards and 59 touchdowns last season, including eight in Aledo's impressive 69-34 romp over La Marque.
Quarterback Matthew Bishop
and wide receiver Michael Mann
also return, as does offensive lineman Michael Wilson
, who has already committed to Texas A&M. Two other starters on the line are also back.
This season, head coach Tim Buchanan expects to use Gray more in the team's passing game, making the Bearcats' offense even more potent — if that's possible. On the season last year, Aledo outscored opponents 780-217.
The team's defense will have to replace some key players but does return four starters. Defense end Jaylen Hill
will lead Aledo's efforts up front. Linebackers Gunner Johnson
and Jace Vincent are back; they were in on more than 160 tackles in total last season.Dayne Davis
, one of the team's top defensive backs last year, returns in 2011. He'll provide leadership to an otherwise inexperienced unit that could be an Achilles Heel to the Bearcats.
If Aledo solidifies its secondary and Gray stays healthy, the Bearcats have a great shot at another state title and potential undefeated season.Local look:
"Aledo has been a very solid team every year with coach Buchanan, but right now, two truly outstanding players have taken them to another level. Johnathan Gray is just unbelievable. He broke a 57-year state record last year with 59 touchdowns including eight in the championship game when he was supposed to be injured. He's a star. And quarterback Matthew Bishop went crazy when Gray was down last year. As athletes, those two guys are almost unstoppable. There's not a lot of big names on defense but they're solid. The program has been real good for a long time but those two guys make them special."
– Matt Wixon, Dallas Morning News.Continue to School Profile