Nearing the end of August, the Community football team is ready to get going with an uncertain season, as new coach Dustin Blann guides the Braves into the 2020 season.
Blann will be tested immediately. Playing in front of the local crowd, The Braves will face a difficult challenge in their season opener, hosting 3A state finalists Pottsboro Cardinals in Blann’s first game as Community head coach.
Pottsboro is competing as a member of District 5-3A Div. I, alongside Bonham, Commerce, Emory Rains, Howe, Mineola, Mount Vernon and Winnsboro. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine has selected the Cardinals to finish at the top of their division, with quarterback Braden Plyler being named their preseason offensive MVP of the division.
Last season, Pottsboro ended its season in the 3A Div. 1 state finals, losing in the state championship 42-35 to Grandview High School. They finished the season with a 15-1 record, including wins of over 30 points in seven of their 15 wins.
This season, coach Matt Poe and the Cardinals return five starters back on the offensive side of the ball and five players defensively.
The biggest hurdle offensively for the Braves will be containing the dynamic Cardinals offense, led by Plyler. A starter last season, Plyler is described by Dave Campbell’s Texas
Football as, “a true dual-threat under center,” recording 1,058 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground while throwing for 2,725 yards and 30 touchdowns through the year. Plyler is surrounded by dynamic playmakers, including his top target, 6’3” wide receiver Titus Lyons. Lyons finished the 2019 season with 75 catches for 1,303 yards and 17 touchdowns receiving, forming a dangerous duo with Plyler and the Cardinals offense.
Defensively, the Cardinals were very commanding last season, holding opponents to 13.7 points per game. Facing the Braves, watch out for defensive lineman Silas Barr and linebacker Jackson Libscomb as key contributors on defense. Both had strong junior seasons for the Cardinals, as Barr finished with 106 tackles and 5.5 sacks last season while Libscomb finished with 111 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions.
Other players to watch include offensive lineman Dan Graham, defensive back Tyler Farris, running back/defensive back Cooper Townsley, linebacker Landon Dunaway, linebacker Colton Creswell and offensive lineman Landon Simpson.
Kickoff against the Cardinals is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 28, hosting Pottsboro at 7:30 p.m. at Braves Field.
By Jackson King [email protected]