Cedar Hill Coach Discusses 2020 Football Season Challenges
Ask Carlos Lynn what it feels like to be a football champion and he can give you a response from a plethora of perspectives.
Lynn won a high school state football championship as a player at Wilmer-Hutchins in 1990, followed by a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics title in 1993 playing for East Central University in Oklahoma, and later as a defensive coordinator for the Cedar Hill Longhorns in 2006.
He’ll have to wait a little longer to win his first title as a head coach, though he did come close this season as Cedar Hill reached the Class 6A Division II state championship game before falling to Katy 51-14 to finish 12-2.
And through it all, Lynn remains humble.
Although it was the largest game of the season on prep football’s largest stage, Lynn said it’s important to remember that “football is football.”
“From a competition perspective, it wouldn’t matter if the championship game were played at AT&T Stadium or a 2A or 3A stadium somewhere (kind of similar to the movie “Hoosiers,” where the coach measures the baskets from the rim to the floor and tells his team those are the same measurements as in their little gym back home),” he said.
Lynn and his squad also navigated the challenge of playing amid a COVID-19 pandemic. However, he refused to call the situation unique.
“Other teams, individuals and organizations throughout the world are going through the same thing,” he said.
And though the Longhorns feature a team of 70-plus players, along with trainers, managers, coaches, etc., he said everyone adhered to the guidelines in this challenging season.
Cedar Hill Success Due To Commitment From Team
“Typically, it would be more challenging when the scholars (students) are away from games and practices. But with this group, the scholar-athletes know how important it is to stay safe and COVID-free, that they exercise the utmost caution, even when they are away from campus and coaches are not around,” he said.
The Longhorns conquered COVID-19 and almost every opponent they faced this season. Their other loss was on the road at Duncanville, 28-14, and the Panthers advanced to the Class 6A Division I semifinals before being eliminated by eventual state champion Southlake Carroll.
Among their victories this year, the Longhorns defeated Class 5A Division I champion Aledo 27-17 on the road, along with playoff teams Arlington, Waxahachie, Mansfield DeSoto (which advanced four rounds) in the regular season. They followed that with postseason wins over Bryan (27-0), Tyler Legacy (45-0), Tomball Memorial (38-21), Rockwall (27-24 in overtime), and Denton Guyer (27-17) to reach the state final.
In fact, the two shutouts were the first in postseason history for the Longhorns, who previously won state championships in 2006, 2013 and 2014, along with finishing runner-up in 2012.
The Cedar Hill state finals appearance wrapped up a season that saw much football success in the FDN coverage area. Eleven of the 17 area teams advanced to the postseason, with nine going on to reach at least the second round.
The area’s biggest surprise was Mansfield Summit. The Jaguars, after finishing the regular season with a 4-4 record, got hot in the playoffs and reached the state semifinals before falling 49-35 to eventual Class 5A Division I state champion Denton Ryan.
Here’s a recap of each area team this season:
Cedar Hill (12-2, first in 11-6A Zone A) – Defeated Bryan in bi district, 27-0; defeated Tyler Legacy in area, 45-0; beat Tomball Memorial in regional semifinals, 38-21; defeated Rockwall-Heath in regional final, 27-24 in overtime; won against Denton Guyer in state semifinals, 27-17; lost to Katy in 6A Division II state final, 51-14.
Duncanville (10-2, first in 11-6A Zone B) – Defeated Killeen Harker Heights in bidistrict, 60-14; defeated Dallas Skyline in area, 49-14; beat Spring Westfield in regional semifinals, 56-0; defeated DeSoto in regional final, 56-28; lost to Southlake Carroll in 6A Division I state semifinals, 34-27.
DeSoto (10-2, second in 11-6A Zone A) – Defeated Killeen Shoemaker in bidistrict, 57-32; defeated Rockwall in area, 30-27; defeated Spring in regional semifinals, 27-21; lost to Duncanville in regional final, 56-28.
South Grand Prairie (6-3, third in 8-6A) – Defeated Lake Highlands in bidistrict, 38-14; lost to Allen in area, 20-16.
Waxahachie (5-5, third in 11-6A Zone A) – Lost to Temple in bidistrict, 38-0.
Grand Prairie (3-4) – No playoffs.
Mansfield (4-6) – No playoffs.
Mansfield Lake Ridge (0-10) – No playoffs.
Mansfield Summit (8-5, fourth in 4-5A Division I) – Defeated Abilene Cooper in bidistrict, 49-28; defeated Amarillo Tascosa in area, 31-28; defeated Colleyville Heritage in regional semifinals, 34-31; beat Red Oak in regional final, 41-38; lost to Denton Ryan in state semifinals, 49-35.
Red Oak (9-3, second in 4-5A Division I) – Defeated Justin Northwest in bidistrict, 62-7; defeated Del Valle in area, 55-7; defeated Lubbock Coronado in regional semifinals, 42-41 in overtime; lost to Mansfield Summit in regional finals, 41-38.
Mansfield Timberview (11-2, first in 5-5A Division II Zone B) – Defeated Dallas Kimball in bidistrict, 49-7; defeated Ennis in area, 42-28; lost to Lovejoy in regional semifinals, 64-50.
Lancaster (9-1, first in 6-5A Division I) – Defeated Frisco Wakeland in bidistrict, 29-6; lost to Longview in area, 56-20.
Midlothian (6-3) – No playoffs.
Mansfield Legacy (2-7) – No playoffs.
Midlothian Heritage (9-3, first in 5-4A Division I) – Defeated Fort Worth Castleberry in bidistrict, 70-7; lost to Paris in area, 38-28.
Wilmer-Hutchins (7-2, tied for first in 8-4A Division I) – Lost to Waco La Vega in bidistrict, 42-7.
Venus (0-9) – No playoffs.