'Belt Line trio' high schools each eye state football championships



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WFAA Sports

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 11:37 PM

DALLAS -- There is an area in southern Dallas County that's a hot bed for great high school football.

"I think they call it the best southwest," said Lancaster head coach Chris Gilbert.

"Best southwest," agreed Cedar Hill head coach Joey McGuire.

"My pastor calls it the 'Belt Line trio,'" said DeSoto head coach Claude Mathis.

Call what you will but, if you drive east to west on Belt Line Road in southern Dallas County, you travel through Cedar Hill, into DeSoto, and on to Lancaster, a seven-mile stretch that's home to three football teams that are a combined 37-5 this season.

"They love it. Anywhere you go, they're talking about football," Mathis said. "They're talking about our kids, our kids are talking about them, but when you feel the energy on Saturday when we play, it's really unbelievable."

All three cities are one win away from playing for a state championship.

"It's really neat for these cities to be a part of this," McGuire said. "I think that all three cities are excited for each other and would be really proud to have those three state champions come home."

Lancaster's Gilbert agreed.

"All three communities have such talented kids," he said. "Great coaches and great school districts and its going to be a special weekend this weekend. Hopefully all three of us win it."

For a college recruiter, a trip down Belt Line Road in southern Dallas County is a one-stop shop.

"If you just ride up and down this area right there, you'll find some players without a doubt," Gilbert said.

It's been a shopping trip more than one recruiter has made.

"Hey, trust me," Mathis said, "they've been working me. But I love it though."

"I think that if you could get the top talent out of the DeSoto's, the Lancaster’s, the Cedar Hills, and the Duncanville's, you can win a national championship," McGuire said.

But first comes a state title. And while Lancaster is plays in Class 4A, Cedar Hill and DeSoto are in different divisions in 5A -- which means the 'Belt Line trio' can all be state champions together this year.

E-mail griba@wfaa.com