The Springtown Porcupines will be looking for a return trip to the postseason after a 7-5 performance, which included a win in the bi-district round of the playoffs.

Springtown has four non-district games, starting Sept. 1 at home against Mineral Wells, followed by five district games before ending the regular season on Nov. 2 in Birdville. The Porcupines will not have a bye week until Week 10.

“Hopefully, we will stay healthy and by the time we get to Birdville, we play them on a Thursday night, we will have that Friday and the whole next week to get ready for the playoff season,” Springtown head football coach Brad Turner said. “We have two home games and two road games in non-district. I think it is not just a warhorse schedule, but it is not a cake walk either.”

Springtown opens the season with two playoff teams from a year ago in Mineral Wells [8-3, 4-1] and Alvarado [3-8, 3-2].

The Mineral Wells game has a personal theme for Turner.

“Coach [David] Bourquin gave me my first job as a middle school coach in Weatherford in 1989,” Turner said. “His two coordinators coached me in high school at Weatherford, Bret Lang and Greg Wright, so my butt will be plenty tight. It will be a lot of fun.

“Coach Bourquin is an outstanding coach. I learned a lot as a young coach from him. They have got some talent. They will have some speed.”

The Porcupines travel to Alvarado on Sept. 8 before hosting Burkburnett on Sept. 15.

“Alvarado is rebuilding, but Alvarado was as good as anybody in 3A,” Turner said. “They will probably be improved I would think. That is our first road game, so being able to get my team on the bus and get them on the road, we will find out how they handle that. I think I know. That is always a question mark for a coach.

“Burkburnett has dropped down from 4A to 3A so their expectations are high. They will be all excited. They have a really good running back.”

Springtown has one interesting fact about this year’s schedule — it features two new programs in two new schools, one in non-district play and one in district play.

The first new program is McKinney Boyd on Sept. 22. Turner said no one should be fooled, McKinney Boyd and Saginaw, the other new program on the schedule, will not be easy games.

“McKinney Boyd is a brand new school,” Turner said. “I played McKinney North their first varsity season. They beat my butt at Sulpher Springs. They are not a guaranteed win. Anytime you go into a big city like that, they are going to have good players.

“It is not like they have new kids. They went and got kids from McKinney North and McKinney High. Saginaw got them from Boswell and all around there, so those kids have been in good programs. They have been worked. It would be easy to fall in the trap of they are a new school and won’t be worth a flip and that is not the case.”

Springtown opens district play on Sept. 29 with Fossil Ridge.

“Our first district game will be the one where we find out where we really stand,” Turner said. “We will get the big dog right off the bat. The good thing is that they get to come to the country. They will play in our little old stadium over there and hopefully we will catch them overlooking. To me, they are as good a team in 4A as there is in the state. It is a shame they will have to play Denton Ryan in the first round. I think the winner of that game will probably, in Division I, win the region. I don’t see anyone beating either one of those guys in the playoffs, in big school. They return some good players. I know our kids will line up and play them as hard as they will be played by anybody else. There won’t be anybody in this program that is afraid to line up against them.

“If I was not the head coach of Springtown, if I am just somebody looking, I would think Fossil Ridge is certainly the one to beat. Then there is a lot of parity throughout the rest of the district,” Turner said.

“Springtown is the smallest school in the district, by a lot. Azle is a big school and that is a huge rivalry here. Saginaw is a brand new school. Boswell just dropped down and will be very talented. Birdville has a good quarterback and a great wide receiver. Brewer got a new coach, so their expectations will be high. You are going to have to line up and play every week. There is not a school in there that is a pushover.”

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