WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Teams all over Texas started football and volleyball practice Monday, and we opened our Training Camp Road Trip!
Our first stop is right here in town with our two private-school six-man football teams, the Notre Dame Knights and Wichita Christian Stars.
"We're just excited about the growth and where the program is going," said Stars head coach Josh Johnson. "It's headed in the right direction."
The Wichita Christian Stars had their most successful season in program history under first-year head coach Josh Johnson. The stars made it to the second round last year....this season the team is hungry for even more success..
"I would say that the returners, I think they are hungry," said Johnson. "They are hungry for that success. You know, two years ago they got a taste of it before we got here, with coach Neuse and his staff who did a great job. And now we came in last year, and we increased and got a little bit better. Won another -- one more game than they did the previous year."
On offense, the Stars expect to have some versatility in the backfield, with junior Jackson Landes and senior Kraig Towry both being able to step and play quarterback. On defense, Wichita Christian will rely on speed, but coach Johnson thinks that's the side of the ball his teams needs to improve on the most.
"Defensively we just have to get better," says Johnson. "In six-man, if you hold a team to thirty points and under, you're playing pretty good defense. And so, I think our defense and just our speed is going to -- I think we are going to have good speed. We've got some good skill guys that are going to really help us out. I would say one of the areas of concern is, how are we going to do against tight teams? We've got to get tougher."
The other Texoma team in District 1, TAPPS 6-Man Division II is the Notre Dame Knights. This year, the district adds two more teams and Notre Dame head coach Don Carlson thinks it will benefit everyone....
"It's going to make it a lot more competitive," Carlson said. "When you go to three divisions, that kind of waters down the playoffs and makes the divisions a little bit weaker. Going from three divisions to two divisions, it's going to be more teams, it's going to be more better teams in the playoffs, and it's going to make it tougher."
The Knights return some key players from a team that went all the way to the state title game last year, but came up just short.
"Coaches and the players, we have a real positive attitude, because we did play in the state championship game," Carlson said. "And we lost two really good football players, but we've got eleven returning lettermen and they are very good football players."
Along with the shake up in the district, coach Carlson also scheduled a tough non-district schedule so his team would be prepared in the long haul to compete for another state championship.
"We've got a very tough non-district schedule," said Carlson. "We're going to be playing some very good UIL schools. We're going to be playing Bryson and Forestburg, and we're also going to be playing Crowell. Those are going to be really tough games that we are going to be playing, But I think it's going to help us; I think its going to help us in the long run."
Wichita Christian 2016 Schedule
Aug. 27 vs Lamesa Klondike, 7:30 in Borden County
Sept. 2 at Decatur Victory Christian, 7
Sept. 9 at Northside, 7:30
Sept. 16 vs Chillicothe, 7
Sept. 23 vs Benjamin, 7
Sept. 29 vs Throckmorton JV, 7
Oct. 7 vs Amarillo Holy Cross, 6*
Oct. 14 BYE
Oct. 22 at EP Jesus Chapel, 11a*
Oct. 28 vs Notre Dame, 7*
Nov. 4 at Plainview Christian, 4*
Notre Dame 2016 Schedule
Aug. 26 vs Forestburg, 7:30
Sept. 2 at Bryson, 7:30
Sept. 9 at Benjamin, 7:30
Sept. 16 vs Crowell, 7:30
Sept. 23 BYE
Sept. 30 vs Granbury NCTA, 7:30
Oct. 7 BYE
Oct. 14 at Plainview Christian, 7:30*
Oct. 21 vs Amarillo Holy Cross, 7:30*
Oct. 28 at Wichita Christian, 7:30*
Nov. 4 vs EP Jesus Chapel, 7:30*