http://protegegolfacademy.com/good-common-app-essay-examples by Kirk Dooley
It goes back to the 2016 Scots football slogan, “Respect all. Fear none.” Highland Park has always had quite a bit of respect for Denton Ryan and its nationally-acclaimed talent. But nobody on the HP roster fears the Raiders. It’s almost the opposite. Denton Ryan is one of the most intimidating teams in the state but in their hearts they know they’re lining up against a team that is not scared of them.
The Raiders are 12-0 so far this season. The four years before that they were 14-1, 14-1, 14-1 and 15-1, losing three times in a row to Highland Park in the semifinals and then in last year’s finals they lost to Shadow Creek, 28-22. So over the past five years Denton Ryan is 69-4. Their only losses were to HP and Shadow Creek. (Conversely, Shadow Creek won every game in its first two years of existence, with the exception of their 2018 state finals loss to Highland Park.)
To a high school football team, what has happened in years past is nothing but background noise. What happens on the field this week is their only concern in the world.
So how is this Denton Ryan/Highland Park game different than 2016, 2017 and 2018?
“This may be the best Denton Ryan team we’ve faced,” said HP head coach Randy Allen. “They are better defensively than any Ryan team we’ve seen. Their offensive line is better and they have great skill players, many of whom have started for three years. And their senior quarterback, Seth Henigan, is great.”
Most folks who talk about the Raiders will bring up Billy Bowman, Jr. and Ja’Tavion Sanders, two superlative athletes who play both ways and are probably the best set of high school receivers in the nation. When Coach Allen talks about the Raiders, the first guy he talks about is a giant nose tackle named Bear Alexander. Mr. Bear is 6-3, 325 lbs. and disrupts the middle of the line. “He is quite a load,” said Allen, shaking his head.
The Highland Park coaches have done a good job keeping their troops focused and ready to play the state’s top-ranked 5A team. They know Ryan is picked to win. They know it will take their best effort to advance to the semifinals. But there is no fear on this roster. The Scots believe they will play their best game and will be victorious.
With the exceptional HP offensive line giving Brayden Schager time, he can pick apart any defense. The Scots feature a clown-car full of receivers who are all talented and each one can beat you. The biggest arrow in the HP quiver this season is the defense, which is truly one of the best in the state.
Who will step up and be the hero on New Year’s Day? That will be determined during the game but the list of nominees is long
by Kirk Dooley
Class, let’s review. Go back two years to 2018. On September 13 the Scots traveled to Frisco to challenge the new sheriff in town, the Lone Star Rangers. The Scots were ranked second in the state and the Rangers were ranked fourth. It was billed as the Clash of the Titans. In a surprisingly defensive battle the game was tied, 7-7, when HP defensive back Hudson Clark broke up a deep, 4th-down pass from QB Julian Larry to Marvin Mims with 1:29 left in the game. With 89 seconds left Scots QB Chandler Morris drove his team 53 yards to the five-yard line with one second left on the clock.
After Clark’s heroic pass break-up, he was on the sideline when a coach told him, “By the way, if it comes down to a field goal, you’ll be the kicker.” It did, he was and his 22-yard FG gave the Scots a 10-7 victory. (Clark, now an Arkansas Razorback DB, hauled in three interceptions against Ole Miss two months ago and was named the college Defensive Player of the Week. The Offensive Player of the Week was Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. Pretty good company to keep.)
Fast forward to last September. HP hosted Lone Star on Friday the 13th. Mims stepped out of a phone booth and caught 11 Garret Rangel passes for 236 yards as the Rangers got their revenge against the Scots. Sure enough, they met in the third round of the playoffs and HP made sure that Mims wouldn’t beat them again. He was double teamed the entire game and still caught nine passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns, but he didn’t beat the Scots. The rest of the Lone Star supporting cast did. Garret threw for 417 yards and Trace Bruckler caught 14 passes for 183 yards as the Rangers slipped past the Scots 33-27 in overtime. It was the Scots only playoff loss in four years.
Which brings us to this Thursday afternoon at Globe Life Park. Mr. Rangel, Mr. Bruckler and several other starters from last year’s team are back. Once again, the Rangers are one of the best teams in the state. Once again, this will be a Clash of the Titans.
Now that Marvin Mims has graduated and is a star Oklahoma Sooners receiver, the Rangers have a new one-two punch in Ashton Jeanty (#2) and Jaden Nixon (#5). These two electrifying athletes each have more than 1,000 yards of total offense under their belts and they lead the team in scoring. QB Rangel, now a junior, has thrown for 2,199 yards and 26 touchdowns this season. On top of that, the Rangers defense is outstanding, especially at inside linebacker.
In last year’s playoff game the Scots defense held the Rangers to 46 yards rushing but gave up 417 passing yards. Without one of the nation’s best receivers, the Rangers may not put up those passing numbers but they still have plenty of firepower in Jeanty and Nixon.
On paper, it looks like a game where 49 points may not be enough to win it.
The HP players have been foaming at the mouth for a year to play these guys again. If we haven’t seen the Scots’ best foot forward yet, we will on Christmas Eve.
by Kirk Dooley
The Scots are serious about taking care of business this week. They need to be.
Highland Park faces Frisco Independence, Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at Globe Life Park in the second round of the playoffs. This should be he most competitive second round game for the Scots in several years.
Don’t let the Knights’ 5-4 record fool you. Forget their first three games. They are 5-1 over the past six weeks and are averaging 52 points per game. Their only loss during this stretch was to Denton Ryan.
Coach Randy Allen believes that Independence may be hitting its stride. The Knights have one of the best passing quarterbacks in North Texas in Braylon Braxton. What makes him so dangerous is that in addition to his 1,639 yards passing, he has also run for 798 more, averaging 9.6 yards per carry. He has thrown for 21 touchdowns and run for a dozen more. He reminds me of Mansfield Legacy’s Jalen Catalon (now an Arkansas Razorback) and Denton Ryan’s Spencer Sanders (now the QB at Oklahoma State). Great arms. Great legs.
Braxton has D-1 talent but he’s not the only one. His favorite receiver is 6-5, 220 lb. tight end Elijah Arroyo, who will play for the University of Miami next season. He has caught 12 of Braxton’s 19 touchdown passes. When defenses double team Arroyo, Braxton hits Jordyn Tyson.
While Dwayne Orr is their top running back (7.8 ypc. this season), keep an eye on Reggie Bush, an explosive athlete who lines up at running back, wide receiver and kick returner. Last time I looked, he was averaging 50 yards per kickoff return. And ironically, he is also the team’s kicker.
Braxton is so good that Frisco Athletic Director David Kuykendall figured out a way to clone him. The result is sophomore DB Jaylon Braxton who is averaging 30 yards per kickoff return. He’s back there with Bush with his 50 yards return average.
My advice is to wind up Jack Stone and have him kick it over their heads.
Caleb Ellis is the Knights’ star safety, a D-1 athlete who makes plays all over the field. The Scots would be best served to put the ball where he is not.
Denton Ryan is the only team in the past six weeks go hold the Independence offense to under 55 points. The Highland Park defense is looking forward to the challenge. In the epic star quarterback battle between Schager and Braxton, my money is on the Scots defense.
They’ve seen hours of film on the Knights quarterback who is averaging 9.6 yards per carry. Bottle him up – if it’s possible – and there’s your ball game.