FLOYDADA — The Floydada Whirlwinds and Tulia Hornets will kick off the 2021 Texas high school football season in what has been a close rivalry down through the years. Expect similar competition when they meet for the 63rd time (according to Lone Star Football) at Charles Tyer Stadium Friday night.
The Hornets lead the all-time series 32-29-1.
Floydada’s new coach J.R. Compton will make his head coaching debut after being an assistant coach over the past 30-plus years.
“I think you are going to see two teams who mirror each other,” Compton said. “We both run a similar spread offense and a 3-4 defense. The size and speed of the two ballclubs will have similarities. I think Floydada and Tulia have about the same type of athletes,” he added.
Senior Trace Glasscock will get the starting nod at quarterback for the Whirlwinds. Glasscock has had two good scrimmages in battling with junior Izaiah Alvarado for the number one position. Alvarado will be utilized extensively on defense and the kicking game due to his speed.
Speed and quickness should be Floydada’s strength this season with some potential playmakers in running back Andres Mendoza, slotbacks Saul Reyes and Aiden Trevino, and wide receivers Phillip Rodriquez and Donovan Rocha. All of these players are underclassmen.
The offensive line is expected to be anchored by a pair of seniors: Andrew Suarez at center and Davian Ramos at one of the guards. Sophomore tackle Edgar Cervera will be heaviest lineman at 232 pounds.
Compton has commented that the young defense is ahead of the offense going into the season opener. Tackle Davian Ramos will be the only senior starting. Junior Adam Delgado will be largest player at nose guard at 262 pounds, and Edgar Cervera will add more beef in the trenches at the other tackle.
Compton and defensive coordinator Anthony Carson will call upon a quartet of mobile linebackers in Alvarado and Trevino in the middle, while Mendoza and Hagen Hinsley will be on the outside.
The secondary of Donovan Rocha and Rodriquez at the corners, along with safeties Jayson Cooper and Saul Reyes made multiple interceptions during the two scrimmages.
“We need to continue improving on consistency of executing both sides of the ball. Playing fundamental football with lots of energy is going to be a key for us,” Compton repeatedly preaches.
As for the Hornets, junior quarterback Travon McCaslin will be returning after suffering an collarbone injury last season. A pair of senior receivers in Ethan Reyes and Brayden Franco should be key players for Tulia. A trio of seniors in Joe Barrera (214 pounds), Alan Garcia (210 pounds) and Caleb McDowell (185 pounds) are expected to lead the Hornets in the trenches. Tulia has good numbers with 14 seniors on the roster and just one sophomore. They have a total of 64 players out for football under second-year coach Steven Coursey.
Tulia has defeated Floydada in the last two meetings of 28-26 last season, and 29-21 in 2019. The Whirlwinds’ most recent victory over the Hornets was 20-6 in 2018.
106.1 Flip FM will have the broadcast with Randell Sims and Nick Long. You can get all the results of high school football across Region 1 on the West Texas Friday Night Scoreboard Show from 10 p.m. to midnight, following the Whirlwinds broadcast.
The Lady Winds basketball team will sponsor a pre-game meal at the high school cafeteria. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.
Predictions by Harris Ratings including Floydada’s opponents this season:
Tulia Hornets over Floydada by 13
Lockney Longhorns favored at Ropes by 20
Smyer Bobcats vs Lubbock Christian – not rated
New Home Leopards by 28 against Odessa Compass Academy
Hale Center Owls over Seagraves by 10
New Deal Lions at Trinity Christian – not rated
Post Antelopes better than Tolar by 15
Sundown Roughnecks over Muleshoe by 21
Tahoka Bulldogs edging Plains by 7