After winning its third consecutive Class 5A Division I state championship in December, Highland Park might have earned the right to rest on its laurels a bit.
(ABOVE: Chandler Morris will return as Highland Park’s quarterback after leading the Scots to the Class 5A Division I state title as a junior. Photo by Chris McGathey)
However, any such complacency was nowhere to be found during the Scots’ spring workouts and scrimmages.
“We’ve had really strong leadership in the spring,” said HP head coach Randy Allen. “We haven’t had a bad practice. Every practice, we thought we were a better team when we came off the field.”
One of the primary goals of HP’s three-week schedule of on-field workouts and scrimmages was to establish a preliminary depth chart for next season.
“When you’re an underdog, you want to prove them wrong. When you’re a favorite, you want to prove them right.” -Coach Randy Allen
Along with standout returnees such as quarterback Chandler Morris and defensive lineman Prince Dorbah — who each won MVP awards during the state championship victory over Alvin Shadow Creek — the Scots must fill several holes in the starting lineup due to graduation. For example, HP will have four new offensive linemen and three new defensive backs next season.
“We got a lot of looks at some really good players. We feel good about our depth right now,” Allen said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, and we’ve just got to work hard this summer at getting stronger and faster. Those guys need to work together to get some chemistry, but we’re optimistic.”
HP will return to the practice field on Aug. 12, with a scrimmage slated for Aug. 23 at Plano East. Other important dates include the regular-season opener on Aug. 30 at Rockwall, the home opener on Sept. 13 against Frisco Lone Star, and the start of District 11-5A play the following week versus Bryan Adams.
Allen said HP stuck with a familiar formula during the spring because of past success, but the Scots still might have some surprises in store in the fall as they aim for a historic fourth straight state crown.
“When you’re an underdog, you want to prove them wrong. When you’re a favorite, you want to prove them right. We’ve got to be good enough to be able to prove them right,” Allen said. “Everybody will have our game circled, so we’ve got to be ready every week.”