Football Fever

Shoemaker’s Rahssan Thornton, left, and Kendell Jones are two of the top players in America.

Each of the 11 area football teams open their 2015 season this week.

The Belton Tigers, led by offensive tackle Zack Shackelford, will play Saturday night on the road against Waco University.

The area’s other 10 teams all play Friday.

Legendary coach Jack Welch, who has guided Copperas Cove into the playoffs 16 of the past 17 years, will take his Bulldawgs on the road to face A&M Consolidated.

The Ellison Eagles, led by center Mike Smith, will meet Eagle Pass in Converse.

Defensive back Stephon Primous is the rock of the Harker Heights Knights and they face Waco on the road.

Center Darrius Mosley anchors the Killeen offensive line and the Roos will host Leander in the Killeen head coaching debut of Neil Searcy.

Shoemaker has two of the top play-

ers in America, defensive tackle Kendell Jones and linebacker/defensive end Rahssan Thornton. Fifth-year head coach Channon Hall has turned the Grey Wolves program around. Shoemaker has been to the playoffs the past two years.

The Wolves face Bryan Rudder on the road.

Gatesville, led by tight end/linebacker Cooper Edmiston, will host Brownwood.

Offensive lineman Hunter Witcher is the key cog in a strong Lampasas offense and the Badgers face Fredericksburg on the road.

Salado faces longtime rival Troy at Crusader Stadium in Belton. Salado is led by linebacker Tyler Armstrong.

Florence’s top player is right guard Ethan Bowers and the Buffaloes will host Rosebud-Lott.

Running back/safety Connell Barnett will lead the Lometa Hornets on the road against Waco Live Oak.

Contact Allan Mandell at or 254-501-7566 and read his column at

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