The Ballinger football team returns just three starters on both offense and defense from last year’s outstanding squad that won the District 2-3A Division II title with a 5-0 record, went 10-2 overall and advanced to the area round of the playoffs.
One of the key returning starters for the Bearcats, however, is QB/DB Carter Arrott. He led the team last year with 1,240 yards and eight touchdowns passing and 520 yards and five TDs rushing. Arrott also recorded 37 tackles from his defensive back position.
Arrott will be joined on offense by TB/LB Beau Perkins (303 yards, 1 TD rushing) and WR Trey Matschek (225 yards receiving).
Ballinger’s offensive and defensive lines are anchored by OL/DL Nakia Villarreal (86 tackles, including 19 for losses), 275-pound OL/DL Markus Castleberry (53 tackles, including eight for losses) and OL/DL Daniel Medina.
Other key returnees include RB/DB Nathan McDuffee, HB/LB Zack Canada, WR/DB Landen Landers, WR/DB Jayden Fuentes, RB Zack Canada, Blake Collum and Robert Roman.
Coach Chuck Lipsey also listed several promising newcomers that he is counting on, including Monte McKinnon, Luke Rollwitz, Noah Peacock, Jonathan Wheeler, Bryce Sallee, Cade Busenlehner, Aiden Knight and Storm Skelton.
Lipsey said the Bearcats are “dedicated hard workers,” but he admitted his young team’s weakness this season will be its lack of varsity experience.
Ballinger was the only team to beat state champion Jim Ned last year, knocking off the Indians 20-14 in the season opener.