Consecutive playoff appearances for the Heath High School football team is proof enough that coach Mickey Moss’ Hawks can compete at both the 4A and the 5A level. But Heath will look to do more than make the playoffs in 2013.
With a talented group of players returning this season, Moss might have enough to make a deeper run. The offense is returning six starters, and the defense has five coming back.
One key contributor for the Hawks in 2012 was quarterback Chase Schultz, who passed for 1910 yards with 15 touchdowns and ran for another 523 yards with five touchdowns. He’s now graduated, but the Hawks aren’t being left out on the street offensively. Junior quarterback Jordan Hoy completed 41 passes for 469 yards and nine touchdowns.
Running back Rico Henderson could be extremely important to Heath’s 2013 success, as he ran for 781 yards and seven touchdowns on just 140 carries. Another key player for the Hawks will be wide receiver R.J. Williams, who is among the district’s returning stats leaders with 551 yards receiving and four touchdowns.
Defense should also be very strong for the Hawks, as linebacker Clay Wilkerson and defensive back Jacob Grand-Lienard are returning from very successful junior seasons. Wilkerson had 88 tackles, one sack, four caused fumbles, and three passes defended. Grand-Lienard had 16 tackles, one sack, one interception, one pass defended and a fumble recovery.
Unlike their cross-town rival, Heath’s non-district schedule shouldn’t be too difficult to navigate. In non-district play they take on West Mesquite (8-3 bi-district finalist, 6-1 in District 10-4A), South Garland (7-5 area finalist, 4-2 in District 11-5A) and North Richland Hills (2-8, 0-7 in District 4-5A) before ending non-district play at Rowlett (4-7 bi-district finalist, 3-3 in District 11-5A).
District is quite a bit tougher though, as they face their cross-town rivals Rockwall High School to begin district play, then travel to Mesquite (11-1 area finalist, 6-0 in District 12-5A) before facing what could be the top two schools in the district in Longview (9-4 regional semi-finalist, 4-2 in District 12-5A) and at Mesquite Horn (8-4 area finalist, 5-1 in District 12-5A). But they end the season on somewhat of a downward swing, hosting North Mesquite (2-8, 1-5 in District 12-5A) and traveling to Tyler Lee (1-9, 0-6 in District 12-5A).
This year most of District 12-5A is reloading from the departure of the talented 2012 class, which should leave the district race wide open. With a little bit of luck, Heath could grab one of those four playoff spots.
Head Coach: Mickey Moss 2012 Results: 6-5 bi-district finalist, 3-3 in District 12-5A Top Players: RB Rico Henderson, Jr., 5-11, 190; Rushing 140-781 yards, 4 TD; Receiving 34-185 yards, TD. OL Trevor Elbert, Jr., 6-6, 292. QB Jordan Hoy, Jr., 5-10, 165; 41-68, 469 yards, 9 TD. WR RJ Williams, Sr., 5-9, 170; Receiving 36-551 yards, 4 TD.