Wylie ended a two-year postseason drought by making the playoffs a year ago in their first season under long-time defensive coordinator Clay Martin, who was elevated to the head coaching position following the retirement of veteran coach Hugh Sandifer. The Bulldogs finished 4-4 overall in a start-and-stop season that was interrupted several times by COVID cancellations. Wylie went 2-3 as the fourth-place team from District 3-5A Division II and lost to 34-24 to Grapevine in bi-district.
The Bulldogs return only five starters on offense and three on defense, but Martin believes this year’s team will be better, in part because of its strong offensive line.
Senior center Jaxon Lunsford will anchor that offensive line.
“Jaxon is a smart and aggressive lineman,” Martin emphasized. “He is very strong.”
Jaxon Rutledge, a starter at left tackle a year ago, will move to tight end. OT Cayden Clay and sophomore OL/DL Cameron Vann will be key contributors, too.
Aden Kincaid will take over at quarterback after being the backup last year. TB/FS Josh Carpenter (59-379 rushing) and TB Trey Gomez will handle the running duties for the Bulldogs. Kincaid’s favorite targets will be WR/CB J.T. Thompson (14-102 receiving), who will be a two-way starter, and 6-4 WR Harrison Heighten.
Martin’s biggest concern is the Bulldogs’ inexperienced defense, although Wylie returns a couple of key starters in senior LB Garrett Graham (78 tackles, 3 sacks), who Martin calls “a big, fast linebacker,” and 6-3 NG X’Zavier Collins.
“X’Zavier is quick and agile for his size,” Marti said. “He was fourth in the state in powerlifting this spring.”
Grayson Bearden returns as the team’s kicker.