High School Football

High school football preview: Lewisville Lions

Basics

Coach: Will Mitchell, fourth year

Career record: 15-18

Last year: 2-9, 2-2 in Region 3-A; lost to McBee 61-0 in first round of 1A Division I playoffs

Assistant coaches: Rob Scott, offensive line/defensive line; Billy Keels, quarterbacks/defensive backs; Michael McCray, wide receivers/defensive backs; Larry Reynolds, offensive line/linebackers; Tavion White, defensive line/wide receivers; Daniel Hay, operations/kickers.

Returning starters: 7 offensive, 7 defensive

Twitter account: @wmitchell473

The Herald's sports editor Bret McCormick caught up with Lewisville senior receiver James Peeler for the 2015 high school football preview section.

Players to watch: Sr. WR/DB James Peeler, Jr. QB Trey Keels, Jr. ATH Mike Hill, Soph. DL Josh Belk, Sr. RB/DB D.J. Robinson, Jr. LB Jene Thompson, Jr. LB Daryl Manning, Jr. OL DeAllen Boulware, Jr. OL D’metrius Edwards, Soph. OL D.J. McCullough, Soph. WR John Courtney, Jr. LB Josh Courtney, Soph. CB Quentin Sanders, Soph. WR/DB Mikail Fourney.

Lewisville might be one of the most intriguing teams in The Herald’s coverage area this fall.

The Lions are young and talented, but a brutal schedule for a 1A team could stunt their growth in the short-term.

Coach Will Mitchell started one freshman in his first three seasons in Richburg, but started a dozen rookies last fall. The Lions were ravaged by injuries and depth concerns.

Headed into the Lancaster game in Week Five, Lewisville had no healthy running backs and three offensive line starters that began the year on junior-varsity. The Lions ran their offense out of the shotgun with an otherwise empty backfield the entire game.

“Just the lack of depth at some key spots, on the O-line especially, and just sheer youth,” said Mitchell.

But Lewisville had an encouraging summer of 7-on-7s, boasts one of the top class of 2018 prospects in the nation – defensive tackle Josh Belk – and the team is stronger and bigger, which should help stave off some injury issues.

“We are so much more physically aggressive,” said Mitchell. “I had to tone the kids down some this summer.”

The Lions offense should be better too. Junior quarterback Trey Keels was a 2,000-yard-plus passer last season, but Mitchell said this year, “in a perfect world, he’ll have less yards and more touchdowns.”

The team’s progression could be stunted by the tough schedule. Lewisville’s non-region schedule will have a big say in how the team feels headed into an equally challenging Region 3-A.

“It’s not just getting older, but it’s weight room, it’s all of that stuff comes together and you get a little more swagger,” said Mitchell. “That’s why an early-season win will be so important for us.”

Schedule

Aug. 21 at Chester

Aug. 28 at Blacksburg

Sept. 4 Chesterfield

Sept. 11 Indian Land

Sept. 18 at North Central

Sept. 25 at Lancaster

Oct. 2 McBee*

Oct. 9 at Lamar*

Oct. 16 Open

Oct. 23 at C.A. Johnson*

Oct. 30 Great Falls*

*Region 3-A game

Opponents’ 2014 records: 58-53 (.522 winning percentage)

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