Strong Spring Has HP Confident for Fall

As it enters the second season of a two-year stint in District 7-6A, Highland Park hopes a repeat of its regular-season success can translate into a deeper postseason run.

The Scots have been motivated by those and other goals since the 2022 season ended with a loss to Denton Guyer in the Region I area round of the Class 6A Division II playoffs in November.

Before that, HP’s transition to the state’s largest classification resulted in a perfect regular season while playing perhaps its toughest schedule in years.

“It makes our team tougher when you play people that have more depth and more athletic ability than the teams we’ve played in the past,” said longtime HP head coach Randy Allen. “You have to play hard because it’s a lot closer talent-wise.”

The Scots wrapped up three weeks of spring practice on Thursday with an annual intrasquad game at Highlander Stadium. They will return to the field on Aug. 7 in preparation for the regular-season opener on Aug. 25 at Flower Mound Marcus.

As was the case a year ago, HP will have just two games to prepare for the start of the eight-game district slate. That means the customary abundance of new starters on both sides of scrimmage will be tested immediately.

“We’ve got to get better and our guys are going to have to grow up in a hurry,” Allen said.

Warren Peck will likely take over as the starting quarterback this season after serving as the backup last year, throwing for 273 yards in limited action.

“He studies hard and he’s a very accurate passer,” Allen said. “He’s improved his speed. He’s really competing well.”

Peck has taken a majority of the first-team repetitions in practice, but Allen also hopes to utilize fellow senior Parker Thompson, a dual-threat quarterback whose strengths complement those of Peck, a more traditional pocket passer.

“Nowadays you need two guys,” Allen said. “Both of them have a unique talent, so I’ll probably have packages for both players. They both help our team and will give us a depth that sometimes you don’t have.”

Peck and Frisco Legacy transfer Cade Trotter were the primary quarterbacks during Thursday’s competitive spring game, which finished with a 14-10 score. Thompson was limited by a minor injury but still saw action.

Allen is optimistic about the upcoming season in part because offseason participation in early-morning strength and conditioning sessions has been higher than ever.

“Our players have worked extremely hard,” he said. “From that perspective, the leadership has really been positive.”

PHOTOS: Chris McGathey

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