Top 26 storylines for 2016: No. 24 – Richland Springs: the greatest dynasty you’re not watching
THE SEASON IS FAST APPROACHING, AND WE'RE GEARING UP BY COUNTING DOWN THE BIGGEST STORIES WE'LL BE WATCHING ALL.
by Greg Tepper
"Ask Texas high school football fans about the preeminent dynasties across the Lone Star State, and you’re likely to hear the same chorus of blue-bloods — Katy (seeking its seventh title of the century and 9th overall), Allen (aiming for its fifth title since 2008), Aledo (five-time champs since 2009), Lake Travis (winners of five straight titles from 2007-12), Cameron Yoe (fresh off a three-peat), Southlake Carroll, Celina, Daingerfield and so on.
Yet to find the greatest active dynasty in Texas high school football, you need to think small. Really, really small.
Richland Springs has won seven state championships in six-man football — all since 2004. Think about that: in the last twelve seasons, the Coyotes have won the state title more times than they haven’t.
Under the master tutelage of coach Jerry Burkhart, Richland Springs rattled off titles in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015. Last year’s championship was especially impressive or ominous, depending on your seat.
If you’re a fan, you’d be awestruck to see Coyotes’ march to the championship in which all but two games were decided by the 45-point mercy rule.
If you’re an opponent, you’re likely eyeing the Coyotes’ 2015 roster…which contained just two seniors. That’s right: the Coyotes are back in 2016 almost entirely intact.
That includes all-state running back Walker Tippie, all-state quarterback Jordan Burkhart, all-state linebacker Hutton Lusty, all-state center J.B. Salinas and all-state offensive lineman Colt Carlisle, among others.
Understandably, the Coyotes begin the year atop DCTF’s preseason Class 1A Division II state rankings, but it will be no cakewalk. Perennial power Crowell has dropped down to the smaller division, and six-man luminaries like Guthrie, Milford and Calvert would love nothing more than to knock off the Coyotes.
But for now, the road to the Class 1A Division II state championship goes through Richland Springs, as it has for the better part of this century. Another state title would make eight for the Coyotes, tying them with Katy, Southlake Carroll and Celina for the most all-time.
It would also, arguably, cement Richland Springs’ status as Texas high school football’s greatest active dynasty.
Not bad for a school with a total enrollment of 38."
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