After making the playoffs as a bi-district finalist in 2019, the Farmersville football team puts old accolades behind them, as they embark on their 2020 season.
Opening on the road, head coach Brandon Hankins faces a familiar opponent, as Farmersville heads to Emory to face the Emory Rains Wildcats.
Emory Rains is coached by Randy Barnes, who is entering his fifth season as the Wildcats head coach and AD. Hankins coached under Barnes while both were at Ferris, serving as Barnes’ defensive coordinator from 2007-2010.
Emory Rains is competing as a member of District 5-3A Div. I, alongside Bonham, Commerce, Howe, Mineola, Mount Vernon, Pottsboro and Winnsboro. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine has selected the Wildcats to finish fifth in their district, behind Pottsboro, Winnsboro, Mineola and Mount Vernon.
Last season, Emory Rains ended as a bi-district finalist, finishing 6-5 on the season while winning four of their six district games.
This season, Barnes returns six starters back on the offensive side of the ball and eight players defensively.
Returning offensively for the Wildcats are starting quarterback Luke Sheppard and tailback Mason Songer. Sheppard was dynamic for the Wildcats offense last season, rushing for 828 yards along with 1,110 passing yards despite missing three games with an injury. Songer is a strong backfield partner for Sheppard, recording 1,504 yards rushing last season.
Needing to step up the challenge will be the Farmersville defense, which returns nine players from last years’ time. Headlining the returning players on defense are linebacker Eber Padilla, who finished with 76 tackles last season, and free safety/wide receiver Tre Brewer. Other defenders to watch include linebacker/tight end Jordan Herring, linebacker Randy Johnson and linebacker Trey Linton.
Defensively, watch out for linebacker/wide receiver Bobby Dell and defensive lineman Donovan Throneberry. Both started all 11 games for the Wildcats, with Throneberry recording 70 tackles and eight sacks last season, while Dell recorded 60 tackles as a sophomore.
Other players to watch include lineman Hayden Buchanan, wide receiver/defensive back Drake Hurley, linebacker James Hinch, lineman Daniel Mendez, wide receiver/defensive back Audie McAree.
In district, Pottsboro’s quarterback Braden Plyler was named the preseason offensive Most Valuable Player by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, while Mineola’s linebacker Trevion Sneed received defensive MVP.
Varsity takes on the Wildcats on Friday, Aug. 28, traveling to Wildcat Stadium in Emory to take on Rains at 7:30 p.m. The JV team hosts Rains’ JV team on Thursday, Aug. 27, starting at 5 p.m. at Farmers Stadium.
By Jackson King [email protected]