— Weatherford at Richland
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Birdville FA-AC
9200 Mid Cities Blvd — N. Richland Hills
Type: Season opener, non-district
Last year: Richland 35, Weatherford 21
Richland Rebels (0-0)
Last season: 2-8 overall, 0-7 in District 4-5A
Last week: N/A
Players to watch: WR Jordan Whitfield (6-1, 185, 4.6), OL Sami Zequiraj (6-4, 318, 5.2), DE Tanner Moss (6-0, 225, 4.9), DE Cody Muenzberg (6-3, 225, 4.9), QB Brandon Maine (5-11, 185, 4.7).
Weatherford Kangaroos (0-0)
Last season: 3-7 overall, 2-5 in District 3-5A
Last week: N/A
Players to watch: OL Jace Ford (6-2, 310, 5.6), OL Keegan Dement (6-4, 265, 5.1), QB Grant Werts (6-2, 205, 4.6) SR Chris Whitling (5-9, 165, 4.6), SR Fred Brownlee (5-8, 165, 4.4), DL James Robinson (6-4, 260, 5.3), RB Jeuqwan Brownlee (5.9, 185, 4.5).
Game notes: Richland got one of its two wins on the season last year at the expense of the Roos, and with 17 returning starters (8-Off/9-Def) looking to get a jump-start win, while hoping to improve on its 2-8 2012 overall record. The Rebels are counting on 'seasoned' to mean improved as a roster with varsity experience seeks to fare better in tough District 4-5A, which includes Southlake Carroll on the mountain top, Keller Central and Justin Northwest.
Head coach Ged Cates is entering his second year at the helm, which means a year that the team has played in his system. Logic dictates this year's team should be better.
Weatherford's coaching staff, led by Weldon Nelms, is trying to get the Roos up to speed as fast as possible. "Speed" is an operative word as the offense under Nelms and OC Jerod Fikac has picked up the pace between plays, designed to deter as many defensive adjustments as possible.
Bigger and faster, WHS quarterback Grant Werts will direct the Roo offense, and fans should expect to see the senior run and pass with more balance than in previous years. Weatherford lost its opener to a bad Richland team last year, but are hoping a new system and a new commitment will help them best the improved Rebels.