ESPNDallas.com counts down the top area football teams in our spring rankings.
5A NO. 1: ALLEN
Spring game: Held on Wednesday
Coach: Tom Westerberg
2010 record: 10-2, 6-1 in District 8-5A (champions)
2010 playoffs: Lost in Division I area round to Euless Trinity, 37-35.
Returning starters: 7 on offense; 7 on defense
Key losses: LB Melvin Spears, WR Jonathon Lee, OL Brad McNulty, OL Justin Wotring, DB Jersean Walder
Key returnees: QB Alec Morris, RB Jonathan Williams, WR Oliver Pierce, WR Andrew Rodriguez, LB Thadeus LaGrone, LB Nick Cobb, OL Jake Trotter, DL Stone Drulman, DL Deandre Hill, LB Chris Hudson, DB LB Bates,
Overview: Allen's two seasons since winning the state title in 2008 have ended in the area around. Southlake Carroll beat Allen in a double-overtime thriller in 2009 and a few costly turnovers doomed Allen against Euless Trinity last season. Still, Allen accomplished a lot in 2010 by replacing many of the stars who contributed to its state title. Now with 14 starters returning, Allen is poised to make a serious run at another title. ... With so much returning for the 2011 season, Westerberg said Allen’s primary objective in the spring was to find depth. Allen never struggles to find bodies play. It boasts one of the highest total numbers in the state, but Westerberg stressed that quantity doesn’t always produce quality. ... Allen has more than 4,500 yards of offensive production returning between QB Morris and RB Williams. Morris had a solid 2010 by throwing for 2,533 yards and 22 touchdowns to just six interceptions. Westerberg said Morris has progressed considerably in the offseason and he’s impressed in camps in the spring. Williams, a Missouri commit, rushed for 2,078 yards and 19 touchdowns and is one of the higher rated running back recruits in the area. ... Allen loses big play WR Lee, who was plagued by injuries in 2010, but the return of Rodriguez and Pierce give the Eagles experienced options in the passing game. ... Offensive line is always a strength for Allen. It will be no different in 2011 as Trotter and Mark Massey return after all-district seasons. ... Maybe the only unit Allen has holes in is the secondary, where Bates is the only returning starter. Westerberg said he feels good about his options for filling those holes although they’ll likely be young. ... The front seven will definitely miss LB Spears, but with LBs Cobb, Hudson and LeGrone returning, linebacker should be a position of strength for the Eagles. LeGrone has offers from Michigan State and Baylor. ... Allen’s junior varsity team went 6-4 in 2010. ... Allen will play one more year at Eagle Stadium before moving to its new $60 million stadium.