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2019 EAST TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PREVIEW

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call call 903.939.0920. 8101 8101 S.903.939.0920. S.Broadway, Broadway,Tyler, Tyler,TXTX75703 75703 Photography Photography may include may include models models or actors or actors and may and not mayrepresent not represent actualactual patients. patients. Notice Notice Regarding Regarding Physician Physician Ownership: Ownership: Baylor Baylor Scott Scott & White & White TexasTexas SpineSpine & Joint & Joint Hospital Hospital is a hospital is a hospital in which in which physicians physicians have have an ownership an ownership or investment or investment interest. interest. The list Theoflist theofphysician the physician owners owners or investors or investors is available is available to youto you uponupon request. request. Physicians Physicians provide provide clinical clinical services services as members as members of theofmedical the medical staff at staff oneatofone Baylor of Baylor Scott Scott & White & White Health’s Health’s subsidiary, subsidiary, community community or affiliated or affiliated medical medical centers centers and do andnotdoprovide not provide clinical clinical services services as employees as employees or agents or agents of those of those medical medical centers, centers, Baylor Baylor Health Health Care Care System, System, Scott Scott & White & White Healthcare Healthcare or or Baylor Baylor Scott Scott & White & White Health. Health. ©2018 ©2018 Baylor Baylor Scott Scott & White & White Health. Health. BSWTSJH_2018 BSWTSJH_2018 ORMORM

Photography Photography may include may include models models or actors or actors and may and not mayrepresent not represent actualactual patients. patients. Notice Notice Regarding Regarding Physician Physician Ownership: Ownership: Baylor Baylor ScottScott & White & White TexasTexas SpineSpine & Joint & Joint Hospital Hospital is a hospital is a hospital in which in which physicians physicians have have an ownership an ownership or investment or investment interest. interest. The list Theoflist theofphysician the physician owners owners or investors or investors is available is available to youto you uponupon request. request. Physicians Physicians provide provide clinical clinical services services as members as members of theofmedical the medical staff at staff oneatofone Baylor of Baylor ScottScott & White & White Health’s Health’s subsidiary, subsidiary, community community or affiliated or affiliated medical medical centers centers and do andnot doprovide not provide clinical clinical services services as employees as employees or agents or agents of those of those medical medical centers, centers, Baylor Baylor Health Health Care Care System, System, ScottScott & White & White Healthcare Healthcare or or Baylor Baylor ScottScott & White & White Health. Health. ©2018 ©2018 Baylor Baylor ScottScott & White & White Health. Health. BSWTSJH_2018 BSWTSJH_2018 ORMORM

Hours: Hours: Monday-Friday, Monday-Friday, 8 Tyler, a.m. 8 a.m. toTX to875703 p.m. 875703 p.m. 8101 8101 S. S.Broadway, Broadway,Tyler, TX Saturday, Saturday,8 a.m. 8 a.m.toto6 p.m. 6 p.m.

Hours: Hours:Monday-Friday, Monday-Friday,8 a.m. 8 a.m.toto8 p.m. 8 p.m. Saturday, Saturday,8 a.m. 8 a.m.toto6 p.m. 6 p.m.

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INSIDE THE ZONE

A publication of

SPECIAL CONTENT

Missing ‘the’ game: Jack Stallard recalls the legendary game he didn’t see. Page 6 Striking it rich: Colleges win big when it comes to East Texas talent. Page 8 #BEASTTexas Fab 15: Unveiling our new weekly East Texas media poll. Page 12 How we see it: M. Roberts Media’s sports staffers’ pre-season picks. Page 14 Top 20 Games: Sports Editor Phil Hicks details the must-see games of 2019. Page 16 Dream Team: Our 2019 East Texas fantasy team. Page 20

FEATURED SCHOOLS 11-6A Pages 22-27 Longview Mesquite Rockwall Mesquite Horn Tyler Lee Rockwall-Heath North Mesquite

7-5A DI Pages 28-35 John Tyler Mesquite Poteet West Mesquite Texarkana McKinney North Wylie Sherman

10-4A DI Pages 36-43 Marshall Nacogdoches Lindale Pine Tree Whitehouse Hallsville Jacksonville Mount Pleasant

TAPPS Pages 44-49

Tyler Grace Community Brook Hill Tyler All Saints Tyler Bishop T.K. Gorman

9-4A DI Pages 50-55 Midlothian Heritage Crandall Athens Waxahachie Life Mabank Quinlan Ford

10-4A DI Pages 56-61 Carthage Chapel Hill Van Palestine Kilgore Henderson

6-4A DII Pages 62-65 Gilmer Pleasant Grove Pittsburg Liberty-Eylau Spring Hill

7-4A DII Pages 66-71 Rusk Wills Point Bullard Brownsboro Canton 4

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone

7-3A DI Pages 72-79 Atlanta Jefferson Mount Vernon Hughes Springs Hooks Redwater New Boston

8-3A DI Pages 80-85 Gladewater Tatum West Rusk Mineola White Oak Sabine Winnsboro

10-3A DII Pages 86-93 Harmony Troup Arp Winona Grand Saline Frankston Alba-Golden Quitman

11-3A DII Pages 94-99 Daingerfield Elysian Fields Paul Pewitt Waskom De Kalb Queen City New Diana Ore City

10-2A DII Pages 100-103 Clarksville Detroit Mount Enterprise Overton Maud James Bowie

11-2A DI Pages 104-109 Tenaha Garrison Linden-Kildare Joaquin Timpson Harleton Beckville

SIX MAN Pages 110-113 Leverett’s Chapel Union Hill Trinidad Trinity School of Texas King’s Academy Christian Heritage Tyler HEAT

PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER Stephen N. McHaney

PUBLISHER/CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER Justin Wilcox

EDITORS Emily Guevara, Richard Brack

8-5A DI Pages 114-119 Lufkin College Station Magnolia West Magnolia Tomball Waller Willis Conroe Caney Creek

5-3A DI Pages 120-123 Rains Bonham Howe Van Alstyne Pottsboro Lone Oak Commerce

6-3A DI Pages 124-127 Malakoff Kemp Eustace Dallas Life Oak Cliff Dallas A+ Academy Dallas James Madison

7-3A DII Pages 128-131 Buffalo Edgewood Palmer Rice Scurry-Rosser Corsicana-Mildred Blooming Grove Dallas Gateway Charter

11-3A DI Pages 132-135 Franklin Diboll Crockett Elkhart Coldspring-Oakhurst Palestine Westwood Trinity

SPORTS EDITORS Phil Hicks, Jack Stallard

ADVERTISING Alyssa Hankins, Tracy Stopani

PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Greg Weatherbee

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Haley Holcomb

WRITERS

Tyler Morning Telegraph: Phil Hicks and Brandon Ogden Longview News-Journal: Jack Stallard, Hayden Henry and George Whitley Marshall News Messenger: Nathan Hague

PHOTOGRAPHERS

Tyler Morning Telegraph: Sarah Miller and Cara Campbell Longview News-Journal: Les Hassell and Michael Cavazos

SPECIAL THANKS

Joe Lee Smith of Tyler and his TexasHighSchoolFootballHistory.com; Kilgore College and the East Texas Oil Museum (for use during our photo shoot)

ON THE COVER STRIKING IT RICH: Longview quarterback

Haynes King and John Tyler athlete Kitan Crawford, two of the most heavily recruited players in the nation, decided to stay in the state when King gave a verbal pledge to Texas A&M and Crawford decided he'll play at the University of Texas. College coaches have long known that East Texas produces some of the top players nationally, and this year is no exception. See the story on Page 8. (Photo by Les Hassell) 2019 EAST TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PREVIEW

9-2A DII Pages 136-139 Centerville Cayuga Jewett Leon Normangee Kerens Cross Roads

10-2A DI Pages 140-145 Alto Cushing Big Sandy Carlisle Union Grove Hawkins

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The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

© M. Roberts Media, 2019

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“Winning isis the the goal goal ofof competition, competition, but but that’s that’s “Winning “Winning is the goal of competition, but that’s “Winning is the goal of competition, but that’s “Winning is the goal of competition, but that’s notwhy whywe weplay playthe thegame. game.My Myfaith faithininJesus JesusChrist Christ not not why we play the game. My faith in Jesus Christ not why we play the game. My faith in Jesus Christ not why we play the game. My faith in Jesus Christ andmy mytime timeserving servingininthe thearmed armedforces forceshas hasdeeply deeply and and my time serving in the armed forces has deeply and my time serving in the armed forces has deeply and my timemy serving in the armed forces has deeply influenced coaching philosophy. Wehave have asimple simple influenced my coaching philosophy. We aasimple influenced my coaching philosophy. We have a simple influenced my coaching philosophy. We have simple influenced my coaching philosophy. We have a butpowerful powerfulmotto mottofor forBrook BrookHill HillFootball Footballcalled calledC4: C4: but but powerful motto for Brook Hill Football called C4: but powerful motto for Brook Hill Football called C4: but powerful motto for Brook Hill Football called C4: CHARACTER. COMMITMENT. CONFIDENCE. CHRIST. CHARACTER. COMMITMENT. CONFIDENCE. CHRIST. CHARACTER. CONFIDENCE. CHRIST. CHARACTER.COMMITMENT. COMMITMENT. CONFIDENCE. CHRIST. CHARACTER. COMMITMENT. CONFIDENCE. CHRIST.

If this this sounds sounds like like the the kind kind ofof virtues virtues you you want want for for IfIfIf this like the kind ofof virtues you want forfor Ifyour thissounds sounds like the kind of virtues you want for this sounds like the kind virtues you want son,I Iwould wouldencourage encourageyou youto tojoin joinour ourteam.” team.” your son, your you toto join our team.” yourson, son,I Iwould Iwould wouldencourage encourage you to join our team.” your son, encourage you join our team.” —SCOTT SCOTTRYLE, RYLE,HEAD HEADFOOTBALL FOOTBALLCOACH COACH — — COACH —SCOTT SCOTTRYLE, RYLE,HEAD HEADFOOTBALL FOOTBALL COACH — SCOTT RYLE, HEAD FOOTBALL COACH

CHAMPIONSHIPATHLETICS. ATHLETICS. CHAMPIONSHIP CHAMPIONSHIP ATHLETICS. ATHLETICS. ACADEMICEXCELLENCE. EXCELLENCE. ACADEMIC ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE. EXCELLENCE. CHRIST-LIKECHARACTER. CHARACTER. CHRIST-LIKE CHRIST-LIKE CHARACTER. CHARACTER. TheBrook Brook HillSchool School doesnot not discriminate on the basis race, of race, color, national or ethnic orgin. The color, national or or ethnic orgin. The Brook Hill Hill School School does does not notdiscriminate discriminateon onthe thebasis basisofof of race, color, national ethnic orgin. The The Brook Brook Hill Hill School does does not discriminate discriminate on on the the basis basis ofrace, race,color, color,national nationalororethnic ethnicorgin. orgin. The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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STILL SINGING THE BLUES

over missing"the"game

W

here were you on Nov. 26, 1994? Your trusty scribbler, as you might expect since that date falls right in the middle of the Texas high school football playoffs, was covering a football game. What torments me about that date is the game I didn’t cover. Or, to be more up front, the game I didn’t finish covering. In today's Tyler Morning Telegraph and Longview NewsJournal, you'll find a column written by former Tyler Morning Telegraph sports writer Paul Stone about a football game played on this date. There were lots of games played on Nov. 26, 1994, but only one is remembered as “The” Game. Texas Stadium in Irving. John Tyler 48, Plano East 44. I was there. Sort of. Earlier in the day, I covered a regional quarterfinal playoff game between Lufkin and Plano. I was sports editor at the Lufkin Daily News then, and when I wrote and sent my story back to the newspaper chronicling Plano’s 38-14 win over Lufkin my football season was officially over. John Tyler held a slim 21-14 lead over Plano East at halftime, which is when I put the finishing touches on my Lufkin vs. Plano story and called it a season. Typically, I would have stuck around to watch the finish of a good game at a great venue, but I was led astray by a couple of beautiful women. One had watched the game with me. The other was blues singer Lou Ann Barton, who was performing in Dallas later that evening. This was before Facebook, Twitter or basically any other form of social media, so I didn’t know until later the next day John Tyler and Plano East had scored a combined seven touchdowns in the final 4:30 of the game and I had missed witnessing perhaps the best game in Texas high school football history. I’m still singing the blues about that.

WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED We hope you enjoy this year’s issue of The Zone, and I feel confident in saying you won’t find a better, more comprehensive season preview anywhere for East Texas programs. It’s a labor of love, and I’m proud to be a part of a team that includes the combined forces of the Longview News-Journal, Tyler Morning Telegraph, Marshall News Mes6

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone

senger, Kilgore News Herald and Panola Watchman. I can’t even count high enough to add up the combined years of experience between myself and fellow scribes George Whitley and Hayden Henry in Longview, Phil Hicks and Brandon Ogden in Tyler, Nathan Hague in Marshall, Mitch Lucas in Kilgore and J. Scott Russell in Carthage. We might be a little “seasoned,” but I promise you we’re all excited to start another season in the best part of the state when it comes to high school football.

ALL-NAME TEAM Back in 1987, your trusty scribbler – in dire need of a quick column – scanned the rosters of local high school and junior college football players and gave birth to the first AllName Team. That list, celebrating the most colorful and unusual names from my coverage area, has over the years included the likes of Kokain Mothershead, Hickory Van Winkle, Hercules Tarver, Hunter Hunter, Dakota Sandman, Money Peterson and brothers Hunter and Trapper Kessinger. This year’s roster includes: Tank Randell of Hawkins; Purdell Sigler of West Sabine, Trevion Bloodworth of Groveton, Radley Hamm of Whitewright, Blaze Drake of Hull-Daisetta, Wrangler Priest of Bells, King Moore of Mesquite Poteet, Lion Felder and Justice Nelson of Hallsville, Promous Morrison of Pittsburg, Lyrik Rawls of Marshall; Boston Morris of Mount Vernon, Tookie Jimmerson of Waskom, Cross Holder of Paul Pewitt, Shannon Bacon of Crockett, Canyon Holmes of Garrison, Brink Bizzell of Frankston, Hoss Brewer of Van, Neo Scales of Clarksville, Scooter Adams and Lucky Daniels of Kilgore College, Leander Strathmann of New Mexico Military Institute, Harrison Diamond, Thomas Dollar and Montreal Henry of Northeastern Oklahoma, Romeo Brown, Romeo Martinez and Creed Spivey of Cisco, Timerland Sanders of Navarro, Charming Launiuvao, Race Moser and Maverick Roberts of Trinity Valley and O’Tay Barker of Tyler Junior College. This year’s MVP: Messiah Birdow of Elkhart. (Email: jstallard@news-journal.com; Follow Jack Stallard on Twitter: @lnjsports)


The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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STRIKING IT RICH Longview’s Haynes King, left, and John Tyler’s Kitan Crawford pose for The Zone at the World’s Richest Acre. (Les Hassell/News-Journal) 8

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


COLLEGES WIN BIG

WHEN IT COMES TO EAST TEXAS TALENT

By HAYDEN HENRY // hhenry@news-journal.com

T

hey traverse coast-to-coast every year looking to fill their rosters with the nation’s premier talent and maybe find a diamond in the rough along the way. When it comes to college recruiting, East Texas is a premier destination to accomplish both of those takes year-in and year-out. Henderson’s Caleb Medford, a 247Sports three-star recruit, knows why a trip through the Piney Woods is a must when college programs big and small are ready to strike it rich. “They love East Texas,” Medford, a TCU wide receiver commit, said. “Every single coach that comes through says that. “They know they’re going to get a good, hard-working kid. It doesn’t matter how big the school is because they know what they’re going to get – athletes that have great coaches and will be ready to go.” Medford is among a deep recruiting class in 2020, one that includes prospects heading to the top programs in the country. “East Texas has a lot of talent all over the place and we do every year,” John Tyler four-star cornerback/athlete Kitan Crawford said. “There is so much talent that it’s hard to keep up with.” Crawford had a meteoric rise in his recruiting after seeing offers roll in – with more than 20 coming in a month span. Crawford and Medford are just two recruits in a deep 2020 class in East Texas, a region that has produced top talent for decades and boasts names and hometowns that pepper NFL rosters. “The 2020 recruiting cycle is definitely a strong one in East Texas,” 247Sports recruiting analyst Gabe Brooks wrote. “In fact, the region has 13 players in the Texas top 100, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite rankings. “The most players East Texas

has put in the state top 100 of the 247Sports Composite since its unveiling in 2010 has been 11 (twice, 2012 and 2014). While rankings will be changed and tweaked throughout the remainder of the cycle, this 2020 class is in position to set a new bar in that regard.” Staying at home, as far as playing college football in Texas, is a trend in the class. Like Medford and Crawford, who verbally committed to the University of Texas in June, a number of the top recruits aren’t going too far from home. Longview quarterback Haynes King is committed to Texas A&M. Pine Tree’s JJ Sparkman is joining Lufkin wide receiver Ja’Lynn Polk at Texas Tech. Tyler Lee’s Jamal Ligon is heading to the University of North Texas and Chapel Hill athlete Khalan Griffin is bound for Rice. Even if a program in Texas is not the collegiate destination, the Lone Star State roots run deep. Such is the case for the Carthage duo of Kelvontay Dixon and Ty’Kiest Crawford, both fourstar recruits, as well as Marshall wide receiver Savion Williams. All three are committed to the University of Arkan-

sas where head coach Chad Morris and associate head coach Jeff Traylor have strong roots in Texas high school football. Morris was a successful coach at Elysian Fields and other programs before heading to the college ranks. Traylor won three state titles at Gilmer. “Arkansas just felt like home,” Williams said. “They treated me like family. “I’ve known Coach Morris, he’s close to my family. He coached my uncle in high school at Elysian Fields.” Medford had ties to the Horned Frogs as well. He grew up attending church with his primary recruiter and future position coach, Longview Lobo standout Malcolm Kelly, and will join former Henderson standout Lakendrick VanZandt in Fort Worth. “It’s close to home, two hours from the house so my family gets to come watch me play,” he said. “I love Texas and I didn’t want to go too far. There’s no reason to leave the state. I mean, it’s Texas. This is where we’re from. This is our home.” Just as deep as this class is, they’re a close group as well. “East Texas easily has the best tal-

John Tyler's Kitan Crawford. The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

(Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

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Longview High School Haynes King (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

ent in Texas, in my opinion,” Griffin said. “There are so many schools and so many players around here that have the potential to be great at the next level. “You can see with the recruiting in East Texas that if you’re going to be good, you’re going to be recognized. I think it’s pretty cool that all of these guys that I grew up with are being recruited.” The dream and goal is college football, whether it’s Division I or not. “Across East Texas, there are so many athletes and so many have Divi10

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone

sion I talent,” Gilmer’s Malik Williams, who has offers from Northwestern State and Lamar, among others, said. “That’s the dream, to go play college football, that is what drives them. You can see it every time you step on the field.” That’s the thing about East Texas – the "iron sharpens iron" mentality, Malik Williams said, adding there are a number of players on the verge of breaking out and realizing that dream of getting the call for that first offer. Added Malik Williams: “Every team out here makes you better and every-

one is competing to be the best. You know what you’re going to get and you better be ready.” College recruiting goes deeper than the action on the field as well. Academics plays a major role as well, making sure that a life after football is set. “I’m looking for somewhere where I can get a good education as well,” Mineola’s Trevion Sneed, who has offers from SMU and Louisiana-Lafayette, said. “If football doesn’t work out, I know I’ll have something to fall back on.” Griffin had offers from the likes of Cornell, Dartmouth and West Point. The Owls brought the complete package, he said. “Rice felt like home and when I looked at the academic side, I couldn’t say no to that,” he said. “The academics, the athletics, being in Texas – it all just came together.” Another trend in this class is that a number have already made their decisions heading into December’s National Signing Day. Now, it’s a matter of focusing on the 2019 season. “I feel relieved but you can’t relax at all because it’s time to keep getting ready for the season,” King, who will help Longview defend its state title, said after drawing national headlines after committing to the Aggies. “It’s crunch time now.” Added Ligon: “It’s really just like that burden is lifted, the whole recruiting process. I enjoyed it, but know that it’s over going into the season, I knew that I could just focus on doing my thing for my team.” The process will continue for a number of East Texas’ elite, such as Lufkin’s Jerrin Thompson, who has offers from Texas, LSU, Notre Dame, among others as well as Athens’ Garrett Hayes, a four-star offensive tackle who has 32 offers to choose from when the time is right. Longview defensive lineman Sawyer Goram-Welch is mulling several offers, among them, SMU and Texas Tech. While the recruiting is deep in East Texas, the passion and love for the game runs even deeper. From the biggest offers all the way down, they know that once the Friday night lights fire up, the stars, the rankings and the offer lists don’t matter much. “We always bring that effort, attitude and toughness no matter what we do,” Medford said. “There are a lot of great players out there that are always willing and ready to work hard. “I just feel like what ranking you are, any of that, it doesn’t matter. You’ve got to come to play. There’s a reason it’s called ‘Beast Texas.’ There’s nothing like it."


August 24th through November 16th | 10am to 12pm

The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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FAB 15 POLL Defending Class 6A Divison II state champion Longview was a unanimous choice as the No. 1 ranked Class 6A/5A/4A team in the first #BEASTTexas Fabulous 15 poll. The poll, selected by media members from across East Texas, also included a 3A/2A/TAPPS listing for the preseason edition and it will be updated each week during the regular season with the next poll released on Sept. 5. The Lobos, who return 28 lettermen and a total of eight starters from a team that ran the table in 2018 (160), garnered all 12 first-place votes in the large school poll. Longview will be tested early, facing all three of the teams immediately trailing them in the poll during the regular season. Longview will open the season at Lufkin on Aug. 30, host Marshall on Sept. 6 and visit John Tyler on Sept. 12. John Tyler is ranked second, Marshall third and Lufkin fourth in the poll. Atlanta, Daingerfield and Malakoff all gathered four first-place votes in the 12

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone

Longview’s Kaden Kearbey pulls down a pass for a touchdown during a 8 game against Marshall. (Les Hassell/News-Journal Photo)

CLASS 6A/5A/4A 1. Longview (12) 180 2. John Tyler 153 3. Marshall 143 4. Lufkin 140 5. Carthage 125 6. Pleasant Grove 111 7. Henderson 86 8. Gilmer 79 9. Tyler Lee 62 10. Van 59 T11. Lindale 42 T11. Kilgore 42 13. Texas High 35 14. Whitehouse 33 15. Pittsburg 32

small school poll, with Atlanta leading the pack by a slim three total points (166-163) over Daingerfield. Gladewater, despite not earning a first-place vote, is ranked one spot ahead of Malakoff. Atlanta brings back 24 lettermen and 12 total starters from an 8-6 team. Daingerfield returns 18 lettermen and 12 total starters from a 9-4 team. Gladewater finished 11-2 a year ago and returns 22 lettermen and 11 total starters, and Malakoff has 20 lettermen and 11 total starters back from a team that went 12-3 and lost in the Class 3A Division I state title game. Voting in the preseason poll were Jack Stallard, Hayden Henry and George Whitley of the Longview News-Journal, Phil Hicks and Brandon Ogden of the Tyler Morning Telegraph, J. Scott Russell of the Panola Watchman, Nathan Hague of the Marshall News Messenger, John Krueger of the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel, Josh Havard of the Lufkin Daily News, Mitch Lucas of the Kilgore News Herald, freelance writer Chris Parry and Reagan Roy of CBS 19.

Others receiving votes: Paris, 27; Liberty-Eylau, 18; Pine Tree, 11; Rusk, 11; Nacogdoches, 10; Corsicana, 8; Chapel Hill, 4; Bullard, 4; Center, 3; Athens, 2; Jasper, 2.

CLASS 3A/2A/TAPPS 1. Atlanta (4) 166 2. Daingerfield (4) 163 3. Gladewater 155 4. Malakoff (4) 105 T5. Tatum 87 T5. Jefferson 87 7. Harmony 85 8. Tenaha 77 9. Diboll 68 10. Troup 63 11. Elysian Fields 60 12. Alto 45 13. Garrison 40 14. Waskom 37 T15. San Augustine 35 T15. Carlisle 35 Others receiving votes: CorriganCamden, 30; Mount Vernon, 22; Grapeland, 16; Mineola, 11; Tyler Grace Community, 11; Joaquin, 11; West Rusk, 9; Edgewood, 7; Arp, 5; Bullard Brook Hill, 5; Paul Pewitt, 3; White Oak, 1; Frankston, 1.


COACHINGCHANGES

ALBA-GOLDEN New coach, Drew Webster; Previous coach, Derek Smith

ATHENS New coach, Zac Harrell; Previous coach, Paul Essary

BECKVILLE New coach, Cody Ross; Previous coach, Mike Bickham

CENTER New coach, Scott Ponder; Previous coach, Barry Bowman

CHAPEL HILL New coach, Jeff Riordan; Previous coach, Jason Hooker

CLARKSVILLE New coach, Derek Schlieve; Previous coach Dewaski Davis

COMO-PICKTON New coach, Ronnie Green; Previous coach, Charles Swann

CORSICANA New coach, Hal Wasson; Previous coach, Stephen Hoffman

GRAPELAND New coach, Terry Ward; Previous coach, Wayne Mahaffey

HARLETON

New coach, Kyle Little; Previous coach, Terry Ward

LIBERTY-EYLAU New coach, Klint King; Previous coach, Steve Wells

MARSHALL New coach, Jake Griedl; Previous coach, Claude Mathis

MAUD New coach, Josh Turner; Previous coach, Allen Cross

MOUNT ENTERPRISE New coach, Jeremy Jenkins;

Previous coach, Scott Holzhauer

MOUNT VERNON New coach, Art Briles; Previous coach, Josh Finney

NACOGDOCHES New coach, Darren Allman; Previous coach, Bobby Reyes

ORE CITY New coach, Ron Burhman; Previous coach, Tracy Blankenship

PALESTINE New coach, Lance Angel; Previous coach, Robby Clark

QUEEN CITY New coach, Eric Droddy; Previous coach, Mike Baysinger

SPRING HILL New coach, Jonny Louvier; Previous coach, Kelly Mercer

TATUM New coach, Jason Holman; Previous coach, Darren Hylander

TENAHA New coach, Ronnie Tamplin; Previous coach, Greg Jenkins

TERRELL New coach, Marvin Sedberry, Jr.; Previous coach, Mike Shields

UNION GROVE New coach, Scotty Laymance; Previous coach, Roger Adams

WEST RUSK New coach, Nick Harrison; Previous coach, John Frazier

WINNSBORO New coach, Josh Finney; Previous coach, Steve Pinnell

COACHING RECORDS Hal Wasson, Corsicana 249-114-3 John King, Longview 168-36 Art Briles, Mount Vernon 165-46-3 Scott Surratt, Carthage 149-28 Dale Irwin, Arp 135-65 Phil Castles, Henderson 134-73 Antwain Jimmerson, Jefferson 133-36 Scott Ponder, Center 127-86 Joe Drennon, Hallsville 125-68 Kerry Therwanger, Timpson 122-66 Scott Ford, Elysian Fields 120-72 Tim Russell, Harmony 93-53 Darren Allman, Nacogdoches 88-38 Chris Edwards, Hughes Springs 87-50 Josh Finney, Winnsboro 86-32 Whitney Keeling, Waskom 83-31 Buddy Griffin, DeKalb 83-85-1 Jared Moffatt, Van 78-29 Terry Ward, Grapeland 75-44 Mike Wood, Kilgore 69-42 Jeff Riordan, Chapel Hill 67-17 Ricklan Holmes, John Tyler 66-23 Kris Iske, White Oak 66-50 Wayne Coleman, Jacksonville 66-80 Larry Minter, Big Sandy 63-50 Ritchie Pinckard, Mount Pleasant 58-49 Gerry Stanford, Texas High 57-33 Matt McClure, Atlanta 57-41 Josh Gibson, Pleasant Grove 49-20 John Eastman, Troup 48-39 Matt Turner, Gilmer 43-13 Paul Gould, Frankston 43-26 John Berry, Gladewater 37-21 Derek Simmons, Linden-Kildare 35-56 Brad Baca, Pittsburg 31-17 Wade Lawson, Joaquin 29-14 Tommy Graf, Redwater 28-33 Keylon Kincade, Winona 27-31 Chris Birdwell, Hooks 24-20 Rex Sharp, Sabine 24-45 Andy Bates, Leverett’s Chapel 21-15 Michael Ridge, Grand Saline 20-42 Josh Bragdon, Union Hill 20-13 Scott Evans, Hawkins 14-38 Clay Baker, Carlisle 12-1 Luke Blackwell, Mineola 12-10 Chris Cochran, Lindale 11-11 Kerry Lane, Pine Tree 10-21 Davin Nelson, Daingerfield 9-4 Triston Abron, Paul Pewitt 8-3 Ricky Meeks, Alto 8-4 Kurt Traylor, Tyler Lee 8-12 Marcus Gold, Whitehouse 7-4 Josh Moore, Cushing 6-4 Jonny Louvier, Spring Hill 4-6 Travis Chrisman, New Diana 3-7 Justin Arnold, Overton 2-7 Bryan Oakes, Quitman 1-18 Cody Ross, Tatum 1-19 Justin Waltz, New Boston 0-10 The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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PREDICTIONS

2019

11-6A 7-5A DI 8-5A DI 9-5A DII 9-4A D1 10-4A DI 6-4A DII 7-4A DII 5-3A DI 6-3A DI 7-3A DI 8-3A D1 7-3A DII 10-3A DII 11-3A DII 10-2A DI 11-2A DI 10-2A DII SWJCFC ASC Southland Big 12 SEC AAC National Champion Heisman Earl Campbel NFC Champion AFC Champion Super Bowl 14

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone

HAYDEN HENRY

PHIL HICKS

Longview

Longview

John Tyler

John Tyler

Lufkin

Lufkin

Marshall

Marshall

Midlothian Heritage

Midlothian Heritage

Carthage

Carthage

Pleasant Grove

Pleasant Grove

Rusk

Wills Point

Van Alstyne

Van Alstyne

Malakoff

Malakoff

Jefferson

Atlanta

Gladewater

Gladewater

Buffalo

Buffalo

Harmony

Troup

Daingerfield

Elysian Fields

Carlisle

Alto

Garrison

Garrison

Detroit

Clarksville

Kilgore College

Blinn College

Mary Hardin-Baylor

Mary Hardin-Baylor

SFA

Sam Houston State

Oklahoma

Oklahoma

Alabama

Alabama

Central Florida

Memphis

Clemson

Clemson

Trevor Lawrence

Tua Tagovailoa

Sam Ehlinger

Sam Ehlinger

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs

Dallas Cowboys

Kansas City Chiefs


NATHAN HAGUE

BRANDON OGDEN

JACK STALLARD

GEORGE WHITLEY

Longview

Longview

Longview

Longview

John Tyler

John Tyler

John Tyler

John Tyler

Lufkin

Lufkin

Lufkin

Lufkin

Pine Tree

Marshall

Marshall

Marshall

Athens

Midlothian Heritage

Midlothian Heritage

Midlothian Heritage

Carthage

Carthage

Carthage

Carthage

Spring Hill

Pleasant Grove

Pleasant Grove

Pleasant Grove

Brownsboro

Rusk

Bullard

Rusk

Rains

Van Alstyne

Van Alstyne

Van Alstyne

Dallas A-Plus

Malakoff

Malakoff

Malakoff

Atlanta

Atlanta

Atlanta

Atlanta

Gladewater

Gladewater

Gladewater

Gladewater

Blooming Grove

Edgewood

Buffalo

Buffalo

Alba-Golden

Harmony

Harmony

Harmony

Daingerfield

Daingerfield

Daingerfield

Daingerfield

Alto

Alto

Carlisle

Carlisle

Beckville

Tenaha

Linden-Kildare

Tenaha

Clarksville

Clarksville

Clarksville

Clarksville

Kilgore College

Kilgore College

Kilgore College

Blinn College

Mary Hardin-Baylor

Mary Hardin-Baylor

Mary Hardin-Baylor

Mary Hardin-Baylor

Nicholls State

Nicholls State

Nicholls State

Sam Houston State

Oklahoma

Texas

Texas

Oklahoma

Alabama

LSU

Alabama

Alabama

Central Florida

Central Florida

Memphis

Memphis

Clemson

Clemson

Alabama

Clemson

Trevor Lawrence

Jalen Hurts

Tua Tagovailoa

Trevor Lawrence

Sam Ehlinger

Sam Ehlinger

Sam Ehlnger

Sam Ehlinger

New Orleans Saints

Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears

New Orleans Saints

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs

Chicago Bears

Kansas City Chiefs The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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TOP 20 GAMES OF 2019

By PHIL HICKS // phicks@tylerpaper.com

tests. Each week during the high school football season, there are always marquee matchups, rivalry games and, of course, district showdowns. Whether's it's the season opener or the first district game, or a crosstown rivalry (John Tyler vs. Lee) or national televised game (Longview at JT) or a battle of bragging rights contest (Chapel Hill vs. Whitehouse) or just an oldfashion grudge meet, each week has something for fans. Here are our list of top games for 2019. Of course, there will be surprise teams and upsets, so the list could change during the season.

1

LONGVIEW VS. JOHN TYLER

Chapel Hill's Dypatrec'a Thomas (10) tackles Whitehouse's Kendrion Johnson (2) as he catches the ball during a high school football game at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium in Tyler, Tx on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

16

A

s fans when you see your team's schedule for the first time, there are games you circle — the must-attend con-

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone

Thursday, Sept. 12, Earl Campbell Field at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, Tyler The two old rivals once played for district championships and now it is for bragging rights. There is even a dispute about the number of wins and losses. According to Joe Lee Smith’s TexasHighSchoolFootballHistory.com, JT and Longview have played 95 times with the Lobos leading 48-40-7. Smith, a Tyler resident, was the longtime Lamar University sports information director and he is a member of the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame. "I will carry as 48-40-7 in favor of Longview because I do not include forfeits of a game played since I don't know all the forfeited games in history," Smith said in an email to the Tyler Morning Telegraph. But Lobohistory.com says Longview leads 50-38-7. The Lobos have won the last two meeting (41-13 in 2018 and 28-19 in 2017). Get your tickets and your popcorn as both teams are expected to be in the top 10. Longview is ranked No. 6 in Class 6A by Dave Campbell's Texas Football, while the Lions are ranked No. 6 in Class 5A Division I. If you can't make it to The Rose, the game is scheduled to be on national television on one of the ESPN family of networks. Plus, Aggies and Longhorns will have an interest as Lobo QB Haynes King is a Texas A&M commit, while JT DB/RB Kitan Crawford is a Texas commit. Also, the two clubs are two of the winningest programs in the state. Longview ranks No. 8 with 726 wins,


while the Lions are No. 11 at 717. And with Longview winning last year's state title, the Lobos have pulled within one of the Lions' three state championships. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

2

LONGVIEW VS. LUFKIN

Friday, Aug. 30, John Outlaw Memorial Field at Abe Martin Stadium, Lufkin Another treat for Piney Woods fans, will have the Lobos and Panthers meeting for the 83rd time. According to Lobohistory.com, the Lobos lead the series 41-37-4 with Longview having won the last three matchups. Last year's season opener was televised from Lobo Stadium and it resulted in a great game, a Lobo 35-28 victory. Just like JT and Longview, Lufkin and the Lobos were once fierce district rivals, but now just call them fierce rivals. The Lobos and Panthers have met three times in the playoffs since 2014, all Longview wins. That won't happen this season as the two are in different classifications. Get your tickets and climb those steep steps at Abe Martin. If you want to stay home, there will be live lookins from Fox Sports Southwest. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

3

TYLER LEE VS. JOHN TYLER

Saturday, Sept. 7, Earl Campbell Field at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, Tyler One of the classics in Texas High School Football. The field is awash in red and blue for a spectacular setting. The bragging rights are treasured despite the fact the rivals are not playing in the same district. The game means so much to the players, students and community, along with the bands, drill teams, flag corps, etc. They even have a competition to see which school gathers the most food for the East Texas Food Bank. The Lions lead the series with Red Raiders, 33-29-1. The teams, however, have split the last four meetings with JT winning 65-21 last year. This will be the 64th meeting between the Tyler schools, which dates back to 1958. Both teams are celebrating

memories this year as JT is honoring the 1994 state football championship season and Lee is honoring the 2004 state football championship season. Plus, the seventh class of the Tyler ISD Athletic Hall of Fame will be inducted. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

4

VAN VS. LINDALE

5

WHITEHOUSE VS. CHAPEL HILL

Friday, Sept. 13, Eagle Stadium, Lindale The school boundaries are right next to each other and it's taught from a young age, Eagles don't like Vandals and Vandals don't like Eagles. Just red and blue don't play well together. Well, something like that. It is such a fun rivalry. Plus, Lindale is hoping to show off its new digs as the renovation of Eagle Stadium is "hopefully" finished in time to host the game. Both squads have high expectations for this season. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 6, Earl Campbell Field at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, Tyler It's not like exactly like England and France, but a body of water — Lake Tyler — separates these two rivals. And it is like Texas and Oklahoma, the two play at a neutral site in Tyler. It is an electric atmosphere withthe First Ladies and Highlighters bringing their best games as well.

The Wildcats have won the last seven meetings to lead the overall series, 16-14-2. The Bulldogs are ready to get back in the game. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

6

SPRING HILL VS. GLADEWATER

7

CARTHAGE VS. JACKSONVILLE

Friday, Aug. 30, Jack V. MurphyBear Stadium, Gladewater This is a game that would spark interest whether it is the first game of the season or in Week 11. Gladewater standout Jonny Louvier is the new head football coach at Spring Hill, which has not seen the postseason since 2004. In 2001, Louvier quarterbacked the Gladewater Bears to a thrilling 21-20 second-round playoff win over Steve Gaddis' Spring Hill Panthers. Now, Louvier will be donning the blue & white of the Panthers instead of the orange & black of the Bears. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 30, Tomato Bowl, Jacksonville Not only does it match the powerhouse Carthage Bulldogs against the Indians, but it will be the first game at the renovated Tomato Bowl, a place where many traditions abound. After playing all their games on the road in 2018, the Indians will finally get to play at home.

The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

17


Lindale running back Jordan Jenkins (22) evades tackles as he runs during a high school football game at Van High School in Van, Tx, on Sept. 14, 2018. (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

The Flaming J pregame tradition, by the Jacksonville students, has become a permanent fixture now that the $16 million renovation of the historic Tomato Bowl stadium is complete. Students no longer have to build their own “J” to burn before games — the renovated stadium features a giant, gas-powered metal “J” that will light up before games and each time the football team makes a touchdown. The once cracked and failing concrete seating of the original facility has been fixed, and seating capacity has been expanded with room for more than 8,000 spectators. The press box has nearly tripled in size and features state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment overlooking the field, and the new scoreboard has a 40-foot monitor. Carthage visiting is a nice way to christen the new Tomato Bowl. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

8

GRANDVIEW VS. MALAKOFF

Friday, Sept. 20, Tiger Stadium, Malakoff This is a rematch of last year's Class 3A Division I state championship

18

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone

game, won by the Zebras 35-21 when they scored 14 points in the fourth quarter. It was the second meeting of the season between the two with the Zebras winning 28-7 in Grandview during a non-district matchup. Dave Campbell's Texas Football Magazine predicts another state final between the two with Grandview No. 1 in the preseason poll and the Tigers No. 2. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

9

MARSHALL VS. LONGVIEW

Friday, Sept. 6, Lobo Stadium, Longview This is the fourth most-played series in the state of Texas, trailing only El Campo-Bay City (115 times), Denison-Sherman (114) and Cuero-Yoakum (110). Longview and Marshall, which began playing in 1909, will play for the 109th time this season. The Lobos have won 17 of the last 18 matchups and lead the overall series, 61-42-5. This will be the 87th straight meeting.

Both teams have lofty goals in 2019 with Longview eyeing back-to-back state titles and the Mavericks favored to win District 9-5A Division I, along with a deep run into the postseason. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

10

BIG SANDY VS. HAWKINS

Friday, Oct. 25, Lowrance Field, Hawkins Two communities that are separated by less than six miles sport great traditions on the football fields. From the regional championships by Hawks' Coach Robert "Red" Lowrance's teams to Wildcats Coach Jim Norman's state title teams with Lovie Smith, David Overstreet and Cookie Mitchell, the football is in their DNA. What better setting than a Friday night on a cool October evening. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.


11

EULESS TRINITY VS. JOHN TYLER

in Newton, but look for a bounce-back year for the Buckeyes.

7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, Earl Campbell Field at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, Tyler: First meeting between the state powers after last year's game was canceled due to potential bad weather in the Metroplex.

15

12

HALLSVILLE VS. PINE TREE

16

13

SPRING HILL VS. WHITE OAK

7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, Pirate Stadium, Longview: Big rivalry opens District 9-5A Division I season.

7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, Roughneck Stadium, White Oak: Here's another rivalry game not to miss. The Panthers have won back-to-back to games after losing five straight to the Roughnecks in the series that White Oak leads 25-24-1.

14

NEWTON AT GILMER

7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, Jeff Traylor Stadium, Gilmer: It's a 3A powerhouse (Newton) vs. a 4A machine (Gilmer). Newton won 51-31 last year

BROOK HILL AT GRACE COMMUNITY

7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, ClydePerkins Stadium, Tyler: This rivalry could very well be a game that decides a playoff berth.

TROUP AT ARP

7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, Bill Herrington Tiger Stadium, Arp: It will be Tiger vs. Tiger and Maroon vs. Maroon in this District 10-3A Division II matchup.

17

LINDALE AT WHITEHOUSE

18

ATHENS AT BROWNSBORO

7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, Wildcat Stadium, Whitehouse: Last year's game was played in a downpour so the battle of the bands was washed out. Hopefully, the bands are back this year plus another great game between the Smith County rivals.

7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, Bear Stadium, Brownsboro: These

Henderson County rivals go at it in every sport and football is no different. The Hornets love to put the Bears in hibernation and the Bears love to stir up Hornets' nest. The hospitality in Brownsboro is unmatched, plus what a spread in the press box.

19

KILGORE AT HENDERSON

20

TYLER LEE AT LONGVIEW

7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, Lion Stadium, Henderson: We can't get away without mentioning the "District of Doom" so here you go. This should be a fun one.

7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, Lobo Stadium, Longview: This will be the 60th meeting between the Red Raiders and Lobos. The first encounter was in 1960, two seasons after Lee began playing varsity football. Longview leads the series, 43-14-2 with the Lobos winning 14 straight. That streak follows REL having won six of seven.

Tyler Lee's Jamarion Miller (4) finds running room for a positive gain Sept. 8, 2018, against John Tyler at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. (Mark Martin Photo)

The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

19


DREAM TEAM

2019 EAST TEXAS

6-0, 178 By the numbers: 260 carries for 2,606 yards and 24 touchdowns; 7 catches for 119 yards and one TD; Opened the season with four straight 200-yard plus games and had six total 200yard outings with a high of 290 yards and five touchdowns in the playoffs; Rushed for at least 100 yards in all 13 games for the Bears

JORDAN JENKINS

Lindale Running back 6-2, 205 By the numbers: 274 carries for 1,504 yards and 17 touchdowns; 18 catches for 239 yards; 245 kickoff return yards; Offers from Baylor, Arkansas, BYU and Louisiana-Monroe

BRUCE GARRETT

Pleasant Grove Running back 5-10, 191 By the numbers: 264 carries for 2,004 yards and 20 touchdowns; Has rushed for 3,035 yards and 30 TD in past two seasons

J.J. SPARKMAN

Longview’s Haynes King is the preseason Offensive Player of the Year. (Les Hassell/News-Journal Photo)

By JACK STALLARD // jstallard@news-journal.com

T

he 12th annual East Texas High School Football Preseason Dream Team consists of players from the combined coverage areas of the Longview News-Journal, Tyler Morning Telegraph, Marshall News Messenger, Texarkana Gazette, Kilgore News Herald, Lufkin Daily News, Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel and Panola Watchman. The selection committee included Jack Stallard, George Whitley and Hayden Henry of the Longview News-Journal, Phil Hicks and Brandon Ogden of the Tyler Morning Telrgraph, Nathan Hague of the Marshall News Messenger, Josh Richert of the Texarkana Gazette, Mitch Lucas of the Kilgore News Herald, Josh Havard of the Lufkin Daily News, John Krueger of the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel and J. Scott Russell of the Panola Watchman.

OFFENSIVE MVP HAYNES KING

Longview Quarterback 6-3, 190 By the numbers: Completed 183 20

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone

of 273 passes for 3,665 yards, 41 touchdowns and four interceptions to go along with 568 rushing yards and eight touchdowns and one touchdown reception. The Texas A&M verbal pledge is 26-1 as a starter after leading the Lobos to a Class 6A Division I state title last season

BEN HARMON

Pleasant Grove Quarterback 6-1, 190 By the numbers: Completed 91 of 171 passes for 2,008 yards and 30 touchdowns with just six interceptions and has thrown for more than 4,000 yards and 58 TDs in the past two seasons

SABASTION PORTER

Garrison Running back 5-10, 200 By the numbers: 294 carries for 2,461 yards and 43 touchdowns; 9 catches for 78 yards and one TD

ELIGIA CARTER Gladewater Running back

Pine Tree Receiver 6-4, 210 By the numbers: 28 catches, 662 yards and 10 touchdowns; Verbal to Texas Tech

KELVONTAY DIXON

Carthage Receiver 6-0, 175 By the numbers: 84 catches, 1,286 yards, 17 touchdowns; Carried 22 times for 27 yards and three touchdowns; Verbal to Arkansas

JA’LYNN POLK

Lufkin Receiver 6-3, 180 By the numbers: 37 catches, 695 yards, 8 touchdowns; Verbal to Texas Tech

SAVION WILLIAMS

Marshall Receiver 6-5, 203 By the numbers: 42 catches, 659 yards, 12 touchdowns; Verbal to Arkansas

JAMAL LIGON

Tyler Lee Fullback 6-3, 250 By the numbers: Solid blocker who also had 15 catches for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns to go along with two rushing touchdowns; Verbal to North Texas

JHAILON BRADEN

Longview Tight end 6-0, 230 By the numbers: Dominant blocker


who also had six catches for 56 yards

and nine scores; Verbal to Tulsa

TY’KIEST CRAWFORD

KADEN MEREDITH

Carthage Offensive line 6-5, 315 By the numbers: Started all 15 games last season and recorded 25 knockdowns. Ranked 30th overall in Texas on 247Sports Composite; Verbal to Arkansas

RILEY BIRDWELL

Nacogdoches Offensive line 6-4, 320 By the numbers: Offers from SFA and Northwestern State

GARRETT HAYES

Athens Offensive line 6-4, 280 By the numbers: Second team Super Team by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine

ANGEL SARMIENTO

John Tyler Offensive line 6-2, 285 By the numbers: 40 pancakes and 20 knockdowns while grading out at 92 percent and allowing no sacks in 2018; Top blocker on a team that averaged 206 rushing yards, 452 total yards and 36 points per game

PARKER COX

Longview Offensive line 5-11, 255 By the numbers: Three-year starter with 30 games in the trenches; Graded out at 85 percent and is top returning blocker for a team that produced a pair of 1,000-yard rushers and piled up more than 6,000 total yards during a state championship campaign

KHALAN GRIFFIN

Chapel Hill Utility 5-10, 190 By the numbers: Passed for 1,514 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushed for 1,018 yards and 11 TD as a sophomore at Chapel Hill, and he was 80 of 148 for 1,030 yards and eight touchdowns and rushed for 1,495 yards with 23 touchdowns last season at Brook Hill; Expected to play running back with some chances at QB for the Bulldogs; Verbal to Rice

TYRESE GRANT

Daingerfield Utility 6-0, 175 By the numbers: Has been all-district as a receiver and defensive back; Had 36 tackles, six fumble recoveries (2 returned for touchdowns), four interceptions, a sack, two tackles for loss and seven passes defended in 2018; caught 32 passes for 661 yards

Longview Return specialist 5-9, 185 By the numbers: Expected to be one of the top running backs in the area after piling up 646 yards and 11 touchdowns on limited carries a year ago, Meredith did major damage as a return man – averaging 34.2 yards per return with one touchdown

MARK PATTON

Tyler Lee Punter 6-6, 240 By the numbers: Expected to be the Red Raiders’ starter under center, Patton also averaged 33.3 yards per punt with a long of 62 yards

CARLOS CAMPOS

Beckville Kicker 5-10, 190 By the numbers: Was successful on 41 of 43 extra points and 5 of 7 field goals, with a long of 46 yards

DEFENSIVE MVP LANDON JACKSON

Pleasant Grove Defensive line 6-6, 244 By the numbers: Limited to nine games a year ago due to an injury, but still recorded 56 tackles, nine sacks, 15 tackles for loss and 29 QB pressures. A junior with offers from multiple schools – including Alabama – has recorded 150 tackles and 20.5 sacks in two varsity seasons

SAWYER GORAM-WELCH

Longview Defensive line 6-4, 275 By the numbers: 65 tackles, five sacks, 15 tackles for loss

JAYDEN JACOBS

Van Defensive line 6-2, 215 By the numbers: 132 tackles, 17 sacks, 27 tackles for loss

MIKE WASHINGTON

Marshall Defensive line 5-11, 210 By the numbers: 75 tackles, 12 sacks, 25 tackles for loss, 12 QB pressures, three passes defended, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery

DEUNDRE BLANTON

Kilgore Defensive line 6-2, 265 By the numbers: 64 tackles, five sacks, seven tackles for loss

TREVION SNEED

Mineola Defensive line 6-1, 210 By the numbers: 82 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, eight sacks, four forced fumbles, 12 QB pressures

BRADY ODOM

Henderson Linebacker 5-11, 210 By the numbers: 179 tackles, 18 QB pressures, nine passes defended, three sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery

TYSHAWN TAYLOR

Longview Linebacker 5-10, 185 By the numbers: 121 tackles, three sacks, 15 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one recovery

RAYVON INGRAM

Carthage Linebacker 5-11, 220 By the numbers: 128 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, three sacks, three forced fumbles, two interceptions

HARMON WEST

Alto Linebacker 6-1, 192 By the numbers: 115 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, five sacks, six forced fumbles, two recoveries

KITAN CRAWFORD

John Tyler Defensive back 5-11, 195 By the numbers: 30 tackles, 12 passes defended, three interceptions. Verbal to Texas

JERRIN THOMPSON

Lufkin Defensive back 6-1, 170 By the numbers: 90 tackles, four tackles for loss, 15 passes defended

TALON WININGS

West Rusk Defensive back 6-0, 180 By the numbers: 30 tackles, three tackles for loss, three interceptions, nine passes defended, one fumble recovery. Ten interceptions last two seasons

SETH MOSS

Brook Hill Defensive back 6-0, 175 By the numbers: Six interceptions in 2018 The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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DISTRICT 11-6A 22

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


OUR PICKS 1. LONGVIEW 2. ROCKWALL 3. MESQUITE HORN 4. MESQUITE 5. TYLER LEE 6. ROCKWALL-HEATH 7. NORTH MESQUITE

The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

23


Longview High School (10) Haynes King, (66) Parker Cox, (92) Sawyer Goram-Welch,(88) Jhailon Braden, (45) Dakirin Buchanan, (34) Tyshawn Taylor. (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph) 24

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone

LONGVIEWLOBOS

COACH: John King (16th season, 168-36) ALL-TIME: 729-345-52 STADIUM: Lobo Stadium, 201 E. Hawkins Parkway, Longview, TX 75605 2018 RESULT: 16-0; 6A, DII state champions RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 28/8 LETTERMEN LOST: 39 OFFENSE: Pro-I OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Haynes King, Sr., 6-3, 190 … WR Kaden Kearbey, Sr., 6-0, 170 … TE Jhailon Braden … OL Parker Cox, Sr., 5-11, 255 … RB Kaden Meredith, Jr., 5-9, 185 … ATH JD Williams … WR Kyas Moore DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Sawyer Goram-Welch, Sr., 6-4, 275 … LB Tyshawn Taylor, Sr., 5-10, 195 … S Robert Pierce, Sr., 5-9, 165 … CB Dakirin Buchanan … LB Kybrien Jackson-Jamerson, Jr., 6-0, 190 2019 OUTLOOK: It’s hard to reach the mountaintop and even harder to stay there. That’s where the defending state champion Lobos find themselves entering the 2019 season after running the table with a 16-0 season to bring Longview its first state championship in 81 years. Now, the Lobos must replace a number of key players as they shift gears to title defense. The loss of 39 lettermen with four starters returning on each side of the ball will be a difficult task but those returners are back at key spots for the Lobos, who return 35 percent of the rushing yards, 25 percent of the receiving yards and 34 percent of the total tackle numbers from 2018. QB King returns after passing for 3,665 yards with a 41-to-4 touchdown-to-interception mark as a junior. Kearbey proved to be a reliable target in 2018 with 553 receiving yards and the Lobos will look to fill a gap at receiver, a spot that could be filled with do-it-all Williams. On the ground, the Lobos have to replace two 1,000-yard rushers but Meredith, with a blend of strength and speed, put up 646 yards with 11 touchdowns as a sophomore. Up front, Cox is a three-year starter and is the veteran on the line by far. Defensively, Goram-Welch (15 TFL, 5 sacks) leads the charge up front ahead of returners Taylor (121 tackles, 15 TFL) at linebacker, Pierce (65 tackles, 7 INTs) at safety and Buchanan (45 tackles, 9 PBUs) at cornerback. Jackson-Jamerson and well as junior Laqualon Hale saw quality time at linebacker as sophomores and are joined by newcomer Shannon Jackson in the secondary. Longview’s non-district schedule includes powers in Lufkin and West Monroe, La. as well as rivals John Tyler and Marshall before beginning the 11-6A race and officially kicking off the climb back to the top. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Lufkin; Sept. 6 – Marshall; Sept. 12 – at John Tyler, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20 – vs. West Monroe, La., 7:30 p.m., Independence Stadium, Shreveport, La.; Sept. 27 – Rockwall*; Oct. 4 – Open; Oct. 11 – at Mesquite Horn*; Oct. 18 – Rockwall-Heath*; Oct. 25 – at North Mesquite*; Nov. 1 – Tyler Lee*; Nov. 8 – at Mesquite* (* indicates district game; All games at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)


ROCKWALL YELLOWJACKETS

COACH: Rodney Webb (7th season, 48-26; 130-73 overall) ALL-TIME: 570-421-31 STADIUM: Wilkerson-Sanders Memorial Stadium, 1197 T.L. Townsend Drive, Rockwall, TX 75087 2018 RESULT: 8-3; 6A, DI area round RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 34/12 LETTERMEN LOST: 32 OFFENSE: Multiple Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Sr., 6-1, 195 … RB Zach Henry, Sr., 5-11, 190 … OL Mat Joyce, Sr., 6-5, 310 … WR JJ Williams, Sr., 6-0, 190 … OL Carson Haynes, Jr., 6-1, 250 … ATH Alex Orji, Soph., 6-3, 200 DEFENSE: 3-3 Stack DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: S Tyler Ashworth, Sr., 5-9, 170 … CB PJ Barber, Sr., 5-7, 190 … LB Tyson Neighbors, Jr., 6-0, 205 2019 OUTLOOK: Offensive firepower paired with what Webb calls a young defense ‘eager to break out’ has the Yellowjackets poised to make some noise in 2019. Smith-Njigba, an elite Ohio State commit, got things done on both sides of the ball but particularly on offense, where the Yellowjackets put up 500 yards per game, including a shootout loss to state finalist Allen. Henry returns in the backfield behind some size on the line and Rockwall has key returners at a lot of positions both ways to be a force in 11-6A and beyond. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Highland Park; Sept. 6 – at Garland Rowlett, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13 – Arlington Bowie; Sept. 20 – Arlington Martin; Sept. 27 – at Longview*; Oct. 4 – Mesquite Horn*; Oct. 11 – at Rockwall-Heath*; Oct. 18 – North Mesquite*; Oct. 15 – at Tyler Lee*; Nov. 1 – Mesquite*; Nov. 8 – Open (* indicates district game; All games at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

SKEETERS

MESQUITE

MESQUITE HORN JAGUARS

COACH: Chris Hudler (1st season, 0-0; 0-0 overall) ALL-TIME: 100-91-0 STADIUM: E.H. Hanby Stadium, 401 E. Davis Drive, Mesquite, TX 75149; Mesquite Memorial Stadium, 2411 W. Scyene Road, Mesquite, TX 75149 2018 RESULT: 5-8, 6A, DII regional finals RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 23/11 LETTERMEN LOST: 31 OFFENSE: Multiple Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB N’Kowski Emory, Sr., 5-10, 170 … OL Daimonte Williams, Sr., 6-3, 305 … WR Donovan Payne, Sr., 6-5, 200 … WR Cameron Jackson, Sr., 5-19, 170 DEFENSE: Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Quavon Grant, Sr., 5-10, 200 … LB Nick Garcia, Sr., 6-1, 230 … CB John Burris, Jr., 5-11, 160 … S Marquis Edwards, Soph., 5-11, 170 … DL Matthew Robles, Sr., 5-9, 245 2019 OUTLOOK: Momentum finished with the Jaguars in 2018, which turned in one of the more impressive turnarounds in the state after a 0-7 start to the season. First-year head coach Hudler takes over a senior-laden squad who is poised to get things going quicker in 2019. Emory is a prospect after an all-around junior season and the Jaguars have targets out withed in Payne and Jackson (26-429, 3 TDs). Robles (54 tackles) is back up front ahead of Grant (128 tackles, 13 TFL) and Garcia (132 tackles, 3 sacks) at linebacker as well as experience in the secondary. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at John Tyler, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6 – Highland Park; Sept. 13 – at Cedar Hill; Sept. 20 – Arlington; Sept. 27 – Mesquite*; Oct. 4 – at Rockwall*; Oct. 11 – Longview*; Oct. 18 – Open; Oct. 25 – at Rockwall-Heath*; Nov. 1 – North Mesquite*; Nov. 8 – at Tyler Lee* (* indicates district game; All games at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

COACH: Jeff Fleener (3rd season, 6-14) ALL-TIME: 477-455-37 STADIUM: E.H. Hanby Stadium, 401 E. Davis Drive, Mesquite, TX 75149; Mesquite Memorial Stadium, 2411 W. Scyene Road, Mesquite, TX 75149 2018 RESULT: 5-5, 6A, DI bi-district RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 37/12 LETTERMEN LOST: 37 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB La’Darius Turner, Sr., 6-0, 191 … QB Dylan McGill, Sr., 6-3, 188 … WR Ja’Darion Smith, Sr., 5-8, 153 … ATH K.B. Frazier … OL Seth Robinson DEFENSE: Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL/LB Jar’rion Smith, Sr., 6-0, 218 … S Dewayne Adams, Sr., 5-11, 158 … LB/S Alec Rice, Sr., 5-11, 198 … LB Jayden Brown … DB Ja’Travion Rudd 2019 OUTLOOK: Heading into his third season at the helm, Fleener and the Skeeters are trending upward and have several key pieces – seven returners on defense and five on offense – to lead the charge. Turner is a big-time back, McGill has the ability to make plays on the ground and through the air and Adams is back to lead the secondary. After a 1-9 season, the Skeeters made the playoffs last year and will be in the hunt this season. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Lake Highlands; Sept. 5 – at Grand Prairie, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13 – Plano West; Sept. 19 – at Hurst Bell, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27 – at Mesquite Horn*; Oct. 4 – Rockwall-Heath*; Oct. 11 – at North Mesquite*; Oct. 18 – Tyler Lee*; Oct. 25 – Open; Nov. 1 – at Rockwall*; Nov. 8 – Longview* (* indicates district game; All games at 7:30 p.m. unless noted) The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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COACH: Kurt Traylor (3rd season, 8-12; 8-12 overall) ALL-TIME: 291-333-20 STADIUM: Earl Campbell Field at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, 700 Fair Park Drive, Tyler, TX 75701 2018 RESULT: 2-8 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 32/15 LETTERMEN LOST: 29 OFFENSE: Power Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: TE Jamal Ligon, Sr., 6-3, 250 … RB Jamarion Miller, Soph., 5-10, 175 … QB Mark Patton, Sr., 6-6, 240 … WR Te’Vion Massey, Sr., 5-11, 165 … OL Dion Daniels, Jr., 6-4, 250 ... FB Noah Springer, Sr. DEFENSE: 50 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Jamal Ligon … CB Te’Vion Massey … S Elliott Davison, Sr., 6-0, 180 … LB Carson Gallagher, Jr., 6-1, 210 … DL TJ Hawkins, Sr., 5-11, 200 … LB Jack Janis, Jr., 6-1, 195 2019 OUTLOOK: Lee returns heavy hitters and numbers in key spots on both sides of the ball, a trend that continues throughout 11-6A. Two-way standout Ligon, a North Texas commit that had a team-best 70 tackles, leads a defense that returns a number of Red Raiders that either started or got playing time in 2018. The defense must be big for Lee this season to go with an offense that returns Patton (1,083 passing yards) and Miller, the district newcomer a year ago. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Marshall; Sept. 7 – vs. John Tyler, 7 p.m.; Sept. 14 – Nacogdoches, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20 – at Mesquite Poteet, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27 – at Rockwall-Heath*; Oct. 4 – North Mesquite*; Oct. 11 – Open; Oct. 18 – at Mesquite*; Oct. 25 – Rockwall*; Nov. 1 – at Longview*; Nov. 8 – Mesquite Horn* (* indicates district game; All games at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

Robert E. Lee High School Elliott Davison (25) and Noah Springer (45). (Cara Campbell/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

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East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


(* indicates district game; All games at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

HAWKS

ROCKWALL-HEATH

NORTH MESQUITE

COACH: Mike Spradlin (1st season at Heath; 124-64 overall) ALL-TIME: 90-55-0 STADIUM: Wilkerson-Sanders Memorial Stadium, 1197 T.L. Townsend Drive, Rockwall, TX 75087 2018 RESULT: 3-7 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 27/10 LETTERMEN LOST: 30 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Taven Paxton, Sr., 6-0, 195 … QB Josh Hoover, Soph., 6-1, 198 … WR Casey Curtain, Sr., 6-2, 190 … WR Jaden Jones, Sr., 6-2, 190 … OL Hunter Smith, Jr., 6-5, 290 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Grady Brewer, Jr., 6-0, 218 … DL Trae Martin, Jr., 6-3, 230 … DL Jaden Allen, Sr., 6-2, 235 … DL Marques Sowels, Sr., 6-1, 200 2019 OUTLOOK: It’s a new era for the Hawks under Spradlin, who takes over after serving as AD at Magnolia after a successful run as the head coach at Temple, and the freshness is evident in a few areas for the longtime coach: a new offense, a new defense and a new culture. The Hawks have a nucleus on offense with WRs Curtain (848 receiving yards) and Jones to go with a quarterback battle between Paxton and Hoover. Defensively, the Hawks have size and speed in the front seven to usher in a new area at Heath. SCHEDULE: Aug. 29 – Keller Timber Creek, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6 – Wylie; Sept. 13 – FW Richland; Sept. 19 – McKinney North, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27 – Tyler Lee*; Oct. 4 – at Mesquite*; Oct. 11 – Rockwall*; Oct. 18 – at Longview*; Oct. 25 – Mesquite Horn*; Nov. 1 – Open; Nov. 7 – at North Mesquite*, 7 p.m.

STALLIONS

COACH: Tim Seder (2nd season, 1-9; 1-9 overall) ALL-TIME: 303-203-11 STADIUM: E.H. Hanby Stadium, 401 E. Davis Drive, Mesquite, TX 75149; Mesquite Memorial Stadium, 2411 W. Scyene Road, Mesquite, TX 75149 2018 RESULT: 3-6 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 21/8 LETTERMEN LOST: 20 OFFENSE: Two-Back Multiple OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Ka’Maury Thompson, Sr., 6-1, 175 … OL LaMarr Campbell, Sr., 6-1, 265 … WR Marcus Yow, Jr., 6-0, 170 … OL Roman Reyna, Sr., 6-2, 271 … OL Tristan Cox, Sr., 6-1, 293 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Davion Carter, Soph., 6-0, 270 … DB Samuel Inyang, Sr., 5-10, 180 … DL Jalen Delance, Sr., 6-0, 260 … LB Tim Cobb, Jr., 6-1, 215 … LB Jordan Colston, Sr., 5-11, 195 2019 OUTLOOK: Year two under Seder hopes to be a bounce-back season for the Stallions, who have six wins over the past two seasons. QB Thompson welcomes back a few out wide in Yow (293 yards) and Torrion Smith. Defense is where the Stallions are posed to make the biggest impact with the likes of Carter and Delance up front ahead of a returning linebacker corps. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Arlington Sam Houston, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6 – Lakeview Centennial; Sept. 12 – FW Paschal, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20 – at FW Haltom; Sept. 27 – Open; Oct. 4 – at Tyler Lee*; Oct. 11 – Mesquite*; Oct. 18 – at Rockwall*; Oct. 25 – Longview*; Nov. 1 – at Mesquite Horn*; Nov. 7 – Rockwall-Heath*, 7 p.m. (* indicates district game; All games at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

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DISTRICT 7-5A DI 28

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


OUR PICKS 1. JOHN TYLER 2. MESQUITE POTEET 3. WEST MESQUITE 4. MCKINNEY NORTH 5. TEXAS HIGH 6. SHERMAN 7. WYLIE EAST

The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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JOHN TYLER LIONS 30

John Tyler High School (1) Isaiah Johnson, (24) Kitan Crawford, (13) Jermone Bowser Jr., (11) Kameron Mayfield. (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

COACH: Ricklan Holmes (8th year, 66-23) SCHOOL'S ALL-TIME RECORD: 717-384-41 STADIUM: Earl Campbell Field at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, 700 Fair Park Drive, Tyler, Texas 75701 (Capacity: 12,000; year opened: 1942) 2018 RESULT: 10-3, 5A DI Region II finalist RETURNING letterman/starters: 18/13 OFFENSE: Multiple Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Kitan Crawford, Sr., 5-11, 195 ... OL Angel Sarmiento, Sr., 6-2, 285 ... OL Ashton Williams, Jr., 6-1, 290 ... WR Jermone Bowser ... WR Frank Turner ... ... QB Isaiah Johnson ... QB Cameron Ford DEFENSE: 4-3 and 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Kitan Crawford, Sr., 5-11, 195 ... S/OLB Isaiah Johnson, Sr., 6-1, 200 ... DE/DL Kimbrick McCaney, Sr., 6-1, 250; S/OLB Tyrone Williams, Sr., 6-0, 190; LB Kameron Mayfield, Sr., 6-1, 220 ... 2019 OUTLOOK: JT coach Ricklan Holmes expects another standout season for his crew, although the Lions graduated some 10 players who signed with colleges. Those include a fouryear letterman — placekicker/punter Frankie Sanchez, (Navarro) — and eight three-year lettermen — WR Ke'Andre Street (University of Houston), OL Chance Billington (University of Louisiana at Monroe), DL JaBralen Yarber (Northwestern State University), LB Jarrius Lane (East Texas Baptist University), DL Christian Hartsfield (Austin College), RB Cameron Grant (Texas A&M-Commerce), QB Devlen Woods (Texas A&M-Commerce) and WR/DB Roy Lampton (Cisco College). ... Also gone is standout running back Rod Hawkins Jr., a two-year letterman who signed with Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. ... That is a lot of leadership that will not be on the field. Still Holmes said the Lions have key returners, along with an influx of young talent (JV and freshmen teams both won district titles and were perfect in league play). ... Holmes is entering his eighth year as the Lion King with six playoff appearances in seven years, along with four district championship and a district record of 41-7. Holmes has also led JT to a 14-6 playoff record. ... JT was so close to winning the Region I title last year before eventual three-time state champion Highland Park rallied from a 21-point deficit for a 42-35 victory at the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco. Holmes credited the Scots

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


team, but also was not happy about the penalty flags that negated several long runs and potential Kameron Mayfield. (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph) scores for his team. ... "We are going to continue to build on the success we had in 2018 because of who we have," said Holmes, a former star at JT and Oklahoma State before playing in the NFL with the New England Patriots. "We have a very good football team coming back and I said this after we won our game against Lancaster in the second round last year. We've got a possibility of winning the state championship two years in a row. I meant that. We got close last year. We are going to get even closer this year." ... The Lions also have the stability of a coaching staff remaining intact including assistant head coach Jayme Moore, offensive coodinators Antoine Bush and Brandon Ross, defensive coordinator Barry Anderson and special teams coordinator Torey Elder. ... JT also has one of the most highly recruited players in the state in athlete Kitan Crawford, who picked Texas over Tennessee and Oklahoma. Holmes said of Crawford, "Very explosive athlete with an elite skill set to run the ball and be a lockdown cornerback." Crawford won the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds during the Nike/Cowboys 11-on in June at The Star in Frisco. He was also a member of JT's silvermedal winning 4x100 team at the state track & field meet in Austin. Crawford ran the first leg and helped his team to a a clocking of 40.61. Fort Bend Marshall won with a 40.24. ... Angel Sarmiento and Ashton Williams will lead the way up front on the O-line. Holmes said Sarmiento is a "physical and athletic lineman that can play all positions." He added about Williams, a junior, "physical and athletic lineman with elite skill set to dominate the line of scrimmage." ... Last year, the Lions were the road warriors and won the District 7-5A Division I title with a 6-0 record. They then reeled off three playoff victories. DID YOU KNOW?: This year JT will have seven home games, including a Thursday night game with Longview that will be on national TV. ... The Lions' first road game is Oct. 4 at Wylie East. ... All season at home games, the Tyler ISD will honor the 1994 JT state championship team. Jermone Bowser Jr. (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph) The seventh class of the Tyler ISD Athletic Hall of Fame is scheduled for Sept. 7, prior to the game with crosstown rival Robert E. Lee. ... JT honorees include: Hayden Moore (1959, basketball and baseball), David Warren (1997, football, basketball, baseball, and track), Doug Wyatt, (1965, football, basketball and baseball) and Bill “Tiger” Johnson from the Tyler High Lions, (1945, football and baseball). Also, the 1976 JT state basketball finalist. ... The Lions, who began playing football in 1906, have made the playoffs 37 times with 28 district championship, three state titles (1930, 1973, 1994) and two runners-up (1955, 2000). They have won 22 outright district titles and are the defending league champions. Cujo's playoff record is 59-313. They have 18 10-win seasons and their all-time winning streak is 27 games (1994-95). SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 - Mesquite Horn; Sept. 7 – Tyler Lee; Sept. 12 – Longview; Sept. 20 – Euless Trinity; Sept. 27 – Texarkana Texas High*; Oct. 4 – at Wylie East*; Oct. 11 – West Mesquite*; Oct. 18 – open; Oct. 24 – at McKinney North*; Nov. 1 – Mesquite Poteet*; Nov. 8 – at Sherman* (* Indicates district game; All games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m.) The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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PIRATES

MESQUITE POTEET

COACH: Rodney McLain (1st year) SCHOOL'S ALL-TIME RECORD: 203-126-1 STADIUM: Mesquite Memorial Stadium, 2411 W. Scyene Road, Mesquite, Texas 75149 (Capacity: 20,000; year opened: 1977; renovated: 2016) 2018 RESULT: 8-3, 5A DI bi-district RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 28/12 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Seth McGowan, Sr., 6-1, 215 ... WR/TE Tristan Golightly, Sr., 6-4, 215 ... RB/WR AJailyn Graham, Jr., 6-1, 185 ... WR TJ McCollum, Sr. ... OL Matthew Martinez, Sr. DEFENSE: Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: S Jalen Hodo, Sr., 6-0, 175 ... OLB Jalen Updite, Sr., 6-1, 190 ... OLB Nicholas Deville, Jr., 6-1, 200 ... ILB Jonathan Kath, Sr., 5-10, 195 2019 OUTLOOK: McLain takes over for Kody Graves, who became the Mesquite ISD Athletic Director. ... It is McLain's first year as a head coach anywhere. He was promoted from the Pirates' defensive coordinator ... Mesquite Poteet was one play away from winning the district championship. John Tyler pulled off the "Miracle in Mesquite" when quarterback Devlen Woods threw a Hail Mary pass to Ke'Andre Street, who leaped high in the end zone over three Pirates to grab the 49yard TD pass as time expired. Thus, the Lions won 48-44 and Poteet finished second in the district. ... McGowan is one of the top recruits in the nation and he has committed to Oklahoma. He rushed for 1,614 yards and scored 25 touchdowns on 218 carries in 2018. ... Hodo is the top defender with three interceptions and three defensive TDs. He led the Pirates with 98 tackles. ... Golightly is the top returning receiver with 14 catches for 301 yards and a TD. DID YOU KNOW?: McLain graduated from Plano Prestonwood Academy and then moved on to play at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall. However, some health-related issues ended his playing career and pushed him in a different direction. After graduating from ETBU, he remained at the school as the Director of International Relations, where he organized and led football mission trips to Croatia, London and Turkey. In 2015, he joined the Poteet coaching staff, where he has served as the defensive coordinator and strength coach until he was named the fifth head coach in Pirate history. ... Poteet began playing varsity football in 1990 and made its first playoff appearance in 1993. The Pirates have made the playoffs 16 times with five district titles, three outright. They have a playoff record of 25-16. Poteet's last district title was in 2016. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Denton Ryan; Sept. 6 – at Waxahachie, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 13 – Mansfield Summit; Sept. 20 – Tyler Lee; Sept. 27 – open; Oct. 4 – at Sherman*; Oct. 10 – Texarkana Texas High*; Oct. 18 – at Wylie East*; Oct. 25 – West Mesquite*; Nov. 1 – at John Tyler*; Nov. 8 – McKinney North*(* Indicates district game; All games start at 7 p.m. unless noted)

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East Texas Football Preview | The Zone

WEST MESQUITE WRANGLERS

COACH: Jeff Neill (7th year, 37-27) SCHOOL'S ALL-TIME RECORD: 203-126-1 STADIUM: Mesquite Memorial Stadium, 2411 W. Scyene Road, Mesquite, Texas 75149 (Capacity: 20,000; year opened: 1977; renovated: 2016); E.H. Hanby Stadium, 410 E. Davis, Mesquite, Texas 75149 (Capacity: 11,950; year opened: 1956; renovated: 2002) 2018 RESULT: 4-5 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 19/7 OFFENSE: 2x2 OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Ty Jordan, Sr., 5-9, 185 ... OG Kyree Miller, Sr., 6-4, 380 ... QB Jakobe Walton, Jr., 5-10, 182 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Jay Wynn, Sr., 5-9, 180 ... DB Jakobe Walton 2019 OUTLOOK: The Wranglers won their final two games last season against Sherman and Texas High, but were left out of the playoffs. They do have running back Ty Jordan returning. The speedster (runs a 4.3 40-yard dash) rushed for 1,220 yards and 16 touchdowns last year on 160 carries. ... Leading the way for Jordan up front is the big guy — Kyree Miller, a 6-4, 380-pound guard who runs a 5.20 40. ... West Mesquite also has a speedy sophomore in wide receiver D'Erian Mitchell, who dashes to a 4.6 40. ... Junior Jakobe Walton, who was the Wranglers' leading receiver last season is expected to step in at QB. DID YOU KNOW?: The Wranglers lost 23 letterman, including two who signed Division I — defensive back Aaron Lowe (Utah) and wide receiver Dylan Wright (Texas A&M). ... West Mesquite began varsity football in 1982. The Wranglers earned a playoff berth for the first time in 1995. ... WMHS has missed the playoffs the last two years and have made the postseason at total of 12 times with five district championships, but with only one outright title (1995). The Wranglers have a playoff record of 8-12. Their last district title came in 2010. SCHEDULE: Aug. 31 – vs. Hutto 11 a.m. at Waco ISD Stadium, Waco; Sept. 6 – at Lancaster, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 13 – at Keller Timber Creek; Sept. 20 – at Denton Ryan; Sept. 27 – Wylie East* at Hanby Stadium; Oct. 4 – open; Oct. 11 – at John Tyler*; Oct. 18 – McKinney North* at Memorial Stadium; Oct. 25 – at Mesquite Poteet* at Memorial Stadium; Nov. 1 – Sherman* at Hanby Stadium; Nov. 8 – at Texarkana Texas High*(* Indicates district game; All games start at 7 p.m. unless noted)


DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Clayton Smith, Jr., 6-4, 220 ... FS Marquavius Fisher, Sr., 6-0, 165 ... DL Christon Surratt, Jr. 6-0, 250 ... OLB Braylon Stewart, Soph., 5-10, 165 2019 OUTLOOK: The Tigers will try to bounce back after a disappointing 2018. ... Smith, just a junior, is already considered one of the top outside linebackers in the nation, already holding offers from Arkansas, TCU, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and LSU, among others. ... Webster is the top returning receiver with 33 receptions for 434 yards and five touchdowns. Cellers had 19 catches for 331 yards and two TDs. ... The search for a QB will be the key for the Tigers. DID YOU KNOW?: Key players lost to graduation were QB Coltin Clack (Arkansas State), TE/WR Kendall Reid (Southern Arkansas) and WR Myles Washington (Southern Arkansas) ... Texas High has made the playoffs 35 times with 28 district titles and a state championship (2002). The Tigers have a playoff record of 22-33-2. ... Texas High began playing football in 1911 and has 23 outright district titles. ... Last year's postseason miss broke a string of 17 straight playoff appearances. SCHEDULE: Aug. 29 – vs. Pflugerville Hendrickson at Waxhachie's Lumpkins Stadium; Sept. 6 – at Texarkana Arkansas High; Sept. 13 – Liberty-Eylau; Sept. 20 – at Kilgore, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 27 – at John Tyler*; Oct. 4 – McKinney North*; Oct. 10 – at Mesquite Poteet* at Mesquite Memorial Stadium; Oct. 18 – Sherman*; Oct. 25 – open; Nov. 1 – at Wylie East*; Nov. 8 – West Mesquite* (*

COACH: Mike Fecci (11th year, 60-51) SCHOOL'S ALL-TIME RECORD: 93-910 STADIUM: McKinney ISD Stadium, 4201 S. Hardin Blvd., McKinney, Texas 75070 (Capacity: 12,000; year opened: 2018) 2018 RESULT: 6-5 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 29/9 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: TE Brandon Frazier, Sr., 6-7, 250 ... C Austin Markiewicz, Sr., 6-5, 275 ... QB Dillion Markiewicz, Sr., 6-5, 230 ... TE Dylan Frazier, Soph., 6-5, 250 ... WR JJ Henry, Jr., 6-0, 165 DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Max Fecci, Sr., 6-1, 205 ... LB Carson Criss, Sr., 5-11, 225 ... DE John Jones, Jr., 6-4, 240 2019 OUTLOOK: The Bulldogs top player is tight end Brandon Frazier, who has committed to Arkansas. He had 20 D-I offers, including from Alabama, TCU, Baylor, SMU, Nebraska, Vanderbilt, Texas Tech and Auburn. Dillion and Austin Markiewicz are both returning all-district players, as well as Brandon Frazier and Max Fecci. Dylan Frazier played on the varsity as a freshman. Criss will be a three-year starter. DID YOU KNOW?: Key players lost to graduation were OL Cameron Coker (West Texas A&M), DE Jonovan Lee (Southern Nazarene) and DL Landon Teel (Fort Hays State). ... McKinney North's first year as a varsity program was in 2002. The Bulldogs have made the playoffs eight times, the first in 2005. Their only district title was a four-way tie for first in 2013. McKinney North's playoff record is 6-8. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at McKinney High; Sept. 6 – at Justin Northwest; Sept. 13 – Frisco Wakeland; Sept. 19 – Rockwall-Heath; Sept. 27 – Sherman*; Oct. 4 – at Texarkana Texas High; Oct. 11 – Wylie East*; Oct. 18 – at West Mesquite* at Mesquite Memorial Stadium; Oct. 24 – John Tyler*; Nov. 1 – open; Nov. 8 – at Mesquite Poteet* at Mesquite Memorial Stadium. (* Indicates district game; All

BULLDOGS

MCKINNEY NORTH

Indicates district game; All games start at 7 p.m. unless noted)

games start at 7 p.m. unless noted)

TEXARKANA

OFFENSE: Multiple OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Kobe Webster, Sr., 6-1, 205 ... WR/P Rian Cellers, Jr., 6-1, 170 ... RB Tracy Cooper, Sr., 6-0, 175 ... OL Eric Poe, Sr., 5-11, 255 ... OL Demarcus Day, Jr., 6-3, 335

TEXAS HIGH TIGERS

COACH: Gerry Stanford (3rd year, 10-11-0 at Texas High; Overall: 56-33-0) SCHOOL'S ALL-TIME RECORD: 620-410-33 STADIUM: Tiger Stadium at Grim Park, Summerhill Road & W. 12th St., Texarkana, Texas 75501 (Capacity: 9,500; year opened: 1953) 2018 RESULT: 3-7 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 23/11

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WYLIE EAST RAIDERS

COACH: Mike Dormady (2nd year, 1-9 at Wylie East; Overall: 38-37-0) SCHOOL'S ALL-TIME RECORD: 52-48 STADIUM: Wylie Stadium, FM 544 at Country Club Road, Wylie, Texas 75098 (Capacity: 10,000; year opened: 2003) 2018 RESULT: 1-9 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 32/13 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Xavier Smith, Sr., 5-10, 160 ... QB Zach Haaland, Sr., 6-3, 190 ... RB Tyler Jackson, Soph., 6-0, 190 ... OL Travis Lambert, Sr., 6-1, 280 ... RB Christian Johnson, Jr., 5-8, 170 ... Josh Hollingsworth, Soph., 5-10, 160 DEFENSE: Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Quinten Younger, Sr., 6-0, 200 ... DL Will Schulmeistrat, Jr., 6-3, 230 ... DB Darrick McClendon, Jr., 5-8, 155 ... LB Devin Lester, Sr., 6-0, 185 2019 OUTLOOK: The Raiders are hoping for better results in 2019, however the varsity was 1-9 and the JV was 0-6. However, there are 13 returning starter, led by WR Xavier Smith who had 40 receptions for 512 yards and three touchdowns last season. Also, QB Zack Haaland is back. Last season he threw for 1,194 yards and six touchdowns, while rushing for 581 yrds and seven TDs on 75 carries. He also played some wide receiver where he caught 11 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown. ... This will be Dormady's second year at WEHS. Before coming to the Collin County school, he spent six years at Boerne, compiling a record of 37-28 and leading the Greyhounds to five playoff appearances. DID YOU KNOW?: Key players lost to graduation RB Corbin Johnson (Missouri Valley) and OL Jacob Pryor (Texas Wesleyan). ... Wylie East, which begin playing varsity football in 2010, has made the playoffs five times with one district title. The Raiders have a playoff record of 5-5. ... They made the playoffs in their second year as a program. ... Wylie East is seeking its first postseason in three years. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Mount Pleasant, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 6 – North Forney; Sept. 13 – at Dallas Woodrow Wilson at Franklin Field, Dallas, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 20 – at Fort Worth North Side at Farrington Field, Fort Worth; Sept. 27 – at West Mesquite*, at E.H. Hanby Stadium, Mesquite; Oct. 4 – John Tyler*; Oct. 11 – at McKinney North*; Oct. 18 – Mesquite Poteet*; Oct. 25 – at Sherman*; Nov. 1 – Texarkana Texas High*; Nov. 8 – open (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7 p.m. unless noted)

district game; All games start at 7 p.m. unless noted) 34

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SHERMAN

BEARCATS

COACH: J.D. Martinez (4th year, 14-18) SCHOOL'S ALL-TIME RECORD: 648-453-47 STADIUM: Bearcat Stadium, 200 N. Rusk, Sherman, Texas 75090 (Capacity: 6,500; year opened: 1940) 2018 RESULT: 4-7 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 18/14 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Miketavion Brown, Sr., 5-9, 185 ... C Jordan Lamondue, Sr., 5-10, 260 ... QB Tate Bethel, Jr., 6-0, 160 ... WR Jacoby Hunt, Jr., 6-3, 200 ... DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Gage Smith, Sr., 6-1, 175 ... DB Benjamin Omayebu, Jr., Jr., 5-10, 175 ... LB Ethan Bedgood, Sr., 5-10, 210 ... LB Brandon Bonilla, Jr., 5-10, 200 ... DL Amando Chavez, Soph., 5-10, 220 ... 2019 OUTLOOK: The Bearcats finished 3-3 in district and made the playoffs. ... Miketavion Brown will spark in the Bearcats offense again. He finished second in rushing in the district with 1,259 yards with 10 TDs rushing on 207 carries. He had 11 catches for 203 yards and three touchdowns. He was an All-Texomaland Player of the Year nominee. ... Tate Bethel, who played receiver last year, is transitioning to QB. DID YOU KNOW?: Although Bearcat Stadium seats 6,500, it has been known to pack 10,000 fans into the arena for Sherman's rivalry match with Denison (which will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest this year on Aug. 30). ... Key players lost to graduation QB Blaise Bentson (Houston Baptist) and LB Diego Moran (Sterling College). ... Sherman, which begin playing football in 1902, has made the playoffs 34 times with 21 district titles. The Bearcats have a playoff record of 24-31-3. ... Sherman has 20 outright district crowns and have made the playoffs the last two seasons. ... SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Denison, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 6 – at Fort Worth Brewer; Sept. 12 – at Frisco at The Ford Center at The Star; Sept. 20 – Justin Northwest, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 27 – at McKinney North*; Oct. 4 – Mesquite Poteet*; Oct. 11 – open; Oct. 18 – at Texarkana Texas High*; Oct. 25 – Wylie East*; Nov. 1 – at West Mesquite* at E.H. Hanby Stadium; Nov. 8 – John Tyler*(* Indicates


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DISTRICT 10-4A DI

Lindale's Brennan Moore carries the ball during the Eagles 5A Division II Region III Bi-District game at home against Montgomery. (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

OUR PICKS 1. MARSHALL 2. NACOGDOCHES 3. LINDALE 4. PINE TREE 5. WHITEHOUSE 6. HALLSVILLE 7. JACKSONVILLE 8. MOUNT PLEASANT 36

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MARSHALL

games start at 7:30 p.m.)

MAVERICKS

COACH: Jake Griedl (1st year) ALL-TIME: 602-464-45, .562% STADIUM: Maverick Stadium, 1900 Maverick Dr., Marshall, Texas 75670 2018 RESULT: 10-3, Class 5A DII Regional semifinals RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 23/16 LETTERMEN LOST: 26 OFFENSE: Spread Multiple OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Savion Williams, Sr., 6-5, 203 … QB JJ Green, Sr., 6-5, 185 … ATH DeDe Williams, Jr., 5-7, 153 … RB Dathan Straw, Soph., 5-10, 181 … RB Dominique Williams, Jr., 5-10, 174 … OL Lewis Dunn, Jr., 6-2, 272 DEFENSE: Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Kygze Turner, Sr., 5-10, 221 … CB Jared Washington, Sr., 5-9, 162 … CB Darius Williams, Sr., 5-10, 178 … DE James Washington, Sr., 6-3, 212 … Marcus Jones, Sr., 6-5, 223 … LB Rod Hyter, Sr., 5-11, 241 2019 OUTLOOK: Jake Griedl readies for his first year with the Marshall Mavericks and expectations are sky high. The Mavs are two-time defending district champion and coming off a 10-win, regional semifinal showing in 2018. Griedl, who worked as an assistant under former coach Claude Mathis, has nine defensive and seven offensive starters back and 23 lettermen. Marshall is ready for a legitimate state-title push in 2019. The Mavs haven’t been to the state championship since 2005 and haven’t won it all since 1990. Offensively, Griedl has some dynamite talent to work with. It starts at QB where JJ Green runs the offense and includes a blue-chip wide out in Savion Williams. Green threw for 2,499 yards and 36 TDs, while adding 769 yards rushing with 7 TDs. For good measure, he had 137 yards receiving with three scores. Williams, at 6-5, 203 pounds, is a perfect target for Green. Last year Williams pulled in 42 passes for 659 yards and 12 TDs. Michael Washington is top returning tackler on the Marshall roster. The 6-0, 218 pound junior DE racked up 13 sacks last year for the Mavs. The Griedl era gets started at full speed with a home opener against Tyler Lee and consecutive road trips to Longview and Carthage before loop play begins. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Tyler Lee; Sept. 6 – At Longview; Sept. 13 – At Carthage; Sept. 27 – Lindale*; Oct. 4 – At Hallsville*; Oct. 11 – Mount Pleasant*; Oct. 18 – At Jacksonville*; Oct. 25 – Nacogdoches*; Nov. 1 – At Whitehouse*; Nov. 8 – Pine Tree*(*Indicates district game; All

Marshall High School (8) Kygze Turner, (5) Jared Washington, (6) Darius Williams, (21) James Washington, (92) Kacye Hurd, (1) J.J. Green, (3) Savion Williams. (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph) The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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Nacogdoches' Jake Smith poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore.

NACOGDOCHESDRAGONS

(Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

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COACH: Darren Allman (1st year at school, 88-38 overall) ALL-TIME: 448-541-36, .454% STADIUM: 4310 Appelby Sand Rd., Nacogdoches, Texas 75961 2018 RESULT: 5-6, Class 5A DII Bi-district RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 30/12 LETTERMEN LOST: 25 OFFENSE: Power Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Jake Smith, Sr., 6-1, 190 … RB De’Morian Thacker, Jr., 5-11, 195 … OG Riley Birdwell, Sr., 6-4, 320 … WR Jatavious Deckard, Sr., 6-0, 198 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Glen Young, Jr., 5-11, 195 … S Dillion Williams, Jr., 6-0, 180 … LB Kolton Koonce, Jr., 5-11, 180 … DB Brennan Jones, Soph., 6-1, 215 2019 OUTLOOK: Former Odessa Permian and Austin Westlake coach Darren Allman has been called on to breathe fire into a Nacogdoches program that’s had losing campaigns in nine of the last 11 calendars. Allman, who most recently served as AD at Southlake Carroll, has a 10-year record of 88-38. The Dragons made postseason last fall under veteran Bobby Reyes. It was Nac’s first playoff excursion in four years. Allman has a half dozen regulars back on both sides of the leather and welcomes 30 letter winners from last year’s bi-district qualifier. Glen Young heads up the Dragon D. The 5-11, 195 pound junior plays a physical brand of defense and amassed 97 stops last year. Brennan Jones, younger brother of Texas DB Brandon Jones, is an expected contributor in the secondary. Jake Smith is back in the lair at QB for the Dragons. Smith completed 135 of 234 passes for 2,093 with a 17/3 TD to interception ratio. Senior flanker Jatavious Deckard hopes to build on his 2018 numbers of 30 receptions and 612 yards with 5 TDs. De’Morian Thacker represents Nac’s top returning rusher. The 5-11, 195 pound junior had 433 yards on 91 touches with 7 TDs. The Allman era begins in earnest with a home opener against Kilgore. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Kilgore; Sept. 6 – Lufkin; Sept. 14 – At Tyler Lee**; Sept. 27 – Jacksonville*; Oct. 4 – At Lindale*; Oct. 11 – At Whitehouse*; Oct. 18 – Pine Tree*; Oct. 25 – At Marshall*; Nov. 1 – Hallsville*; Nov. 8 – At Mount Pleasant* (*Indicates district game; **Indicates game starts at 7 p.m. All other games start at 7:30 p.m.)

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


(*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

LINDALEEAGLES

COACH: Chris Cochran (3rd year, 11-11) ALL-TIME: 373-451-17, .454% STADIUM: Eagle Stadium, North Stadium, Lindale, Texas 75771 2018 RESULT: 7-5, Class 5A DII Area RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 23/12 LETTERMEN LOST: 22 OFFENSE: Power Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Jordan Jenkins, Jr., 6-2, 205 … WR Conner Boyette, Sr., 5-9, 155 … TE Dylan Worrell, Sr., 6-3, 210 … QB Luke Poe, Soph., 6-1, 180 … QB Brayson Campbell, Sr., 5-10, 160 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DE Jaymond Jackson, Jr., 6-3, 215 … FS Airik Williams, Jr., 5-9, 150 … DE Matthew Grady, Sr., 6-0, 205 … LB Jaret Allen, Jr., 5-11, 180 … Christian Wood, Sr., 5-10, 172 2019 OUTLOOK: The Lindale Eagles made some noise in the playoffs last fall and thirdyear boss Chris Cochran is hoping his birds make a little more in 2019. With 23 letter winners back from last year’s area qualifier, Cochran has to be exciting about prospects of a repeat playoff performance. Lindale dropped Montgomery 52-38 in bi-district, marking its first postseason triumph in seven years. Junior tailback Jordan Jenkins is back and looks to build on an outstanding sophomore season. The 6-2, 205 pound Jenkins averaged 5.5 yards per tote and finished with 1,504 yards and 17 TDs. Sophomore Luke Poe could contend for snaps at quarterback with senior Brayson Campbell. Poe’s “strong arm” could factor into potential playing time. Campbell, however, has had a “great offseason.” Whoever wins the QB battle will have senior Conner Boyette to throw to. Boyette finished 2018 with 75 catches for 907 yards and 7 TDs. Junior DE Jaymond Jackson managed 52 tackles and nine sacks last fall and heads up the eight returning defensive starters for the Eagles. Junior free safety Airik Williams had four picks and a touchdown last year. He’ll factor in on the pass defense for Cochran’s crew, while junior LB Jaret Allen is coming off a 20-tackle season. SCHEDULE: Aug. 29 – Kaufman* CTMF Rose Stadium, 7p.m.; Sept. 6 – At Forney; Sept. 13 – Van; Sept. 27 – At Marshall*; Oct. 4 – Nacogdoches*; Oct. 11 – Hallsville*; Oct. 18 – At Whitehouse*; Oct. 25 – Mount Pleasant*; Nov. 1 – At Pine Tree*; Nov. 8 – At Jacksonville*

Lindale High School's Jordan Jenkins (22), Connor Boyette (3), Airik Williams (23), Zach Baggett (55), and Christian Wood (7) at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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Pine Tree's Gabe Adams poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore.

PINE TREEPIRATES

(Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

COACH: Kerry Lane (4th year, 10-21) ALL-TIME: 374-429-19, .465% STADIUM: Pirate Stadium, 3737 W. Loop 281, Longview, Texas 75604 2018 RESULT: 5-5 RETURNING LETTERMAN/ STARTERS: 22/11 LETTERMEN LOST: 20 OFFENSE: Multiple OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR JJ Sparkman, Sr., 6-4, 210 … WR Gabe Adams, Sr., 5-11, 185 … QB DJ Freeman, Jr., 5-7, 155 … QB Corey Thomas, Sr., 5-6, 160 … RB Jayden Smith, Jr., 5-5, 185 … OL Jadarlon Key, Sr., 6-7, 310 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Tyler Sheffield, Jr., 5-6, 150 … LB Colton Munoz, Sr., 5-9, 185 … LB Ryan Levingston, Jr., 5-9, 170 … DL Deaundre Heath, Jr., 5-11, 180 … DB Keith Wright, Sr., 6-0, 175 … DB Keelan Turner, Jr., 5-9, 136 2019 OUTLOOK: Close, but no cigar.

That summation could easily be given to the 2018 Pine Tree Pirates. The final product, a 5-5 non-playoff season, doesn’t reflect that Pine Tree was a merely a few points shy of being 8-2 and in the playoffs. Kerry Lane goes into year four as head of the ship with designs on making last year’s heartbreak a footnote in history. Scoring points shouldn’t be a problem with talented pass catchers like JJ Sparkman and Gabe Adams. Sparkman, who is committed to Texas Tech, had 662 yards on 29 receptions last year and scored 10 times. Adams pulled in 218 yards on 18 grabs and 4 TDs. DJ Freeman has a sensational sophomore campaign at QB for the Bucs. Freeman hit on 65 of 118 pass attempts for 1,202 yards with 16 TDs. Replacing 1,634-yards and 11 TDs from Gabe Nelson will likely go to junior dynamo Jayden Smith, who tallied 68 yards on 20 carries in limited action on offense. Towering 6-7, 310 pound Jadarlon Key is an imposing figure on the offensive line. The Pirates averaged 43 points on offense, but must replace seven positions. Defensively, Pine Tree surrendered on average 39 points. The Bucs welcome back all but four regulars on that side of the ball. Smith, while expected to start in the backfield, was a force at linebacker last fall. The 5-5, 185-pounder returns as Pine Tree’s leading tackler with 54 stops. Senior LB Colton Munoz paced the Pirates with a couple sacks and 40 stops.

SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Bullard; Sept. 6 – Pittsburg; Sept. 13 – At Kilgore; Sept. 27 – Hallsville*; Oct. 4 – At Mount Pleasant*; Oct. 11 – Jacksonville*; Oct. 18 – At Nacogdoches*; Oct. 25 – Whitehouse*; Nov. 1 – Lindale*; Nov. 8 – At Marshall* (*Indicates district game;

All games start at 7:30 p.m.) 40

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


game; **Indicates game at Rose Stadium; #Indicates game in Emory; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

WHITEHOUSEWILDCATS

COACH: Marcus Gold (2nd year, 7-4) ALL-TIME: 241-320-12,. 431% STADIUM: Wildcat Stadium, 106 Wildcat Dr., Whitehouse, Texas 75791 2018 RESULT: 7-4, Class 5A DII Bi-district RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 18/8 LETTERMEN LOST: 19 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Peyton Kennedy, Sr., 6-1, 195 … WR Austin Barron, Jr., 6-2, 180 … OL Lance Deal, Jr., 6-0, 275 … QB Kaden Casey, Sr., 6-1, 185 … WR Markus Warren, Sr., 6-1, 190 … RB Carter Adams, Sr., 5-9, 160 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Peyton Kennedy, Sr., 6-1, 195 … CB Cooper Clemons, Sr., 5-11, 165 … DT Gunner Clark, Sr., 6-0, 320 … DE Ty Ward, Sr., 5-11, 210 … DT Marshall Johnson, Jr., 6-1, 235 2019 OUTLOOK: Marcus Gold’s first season in charge at Whitehouse proved golden. The Wildcats finished the regular season 7-3, marking their most victories since Pat Mahomes’ 12-1 senior season in 2013. Whitehouse was promptly bounced out in the first round, stretching its playoff-victory drought to five years. Gold has his work cut out in 2019 for an encore performance. Whitehosue averaged 30 points per game on offense last season and now must find nine offensive replacements. The ‘Cats also have to locate another five new starters on defense. The loss of 19 lettermen could put Whitehouse’s run of three straight playoff appearances in peril. Talented twoway performer Peyton Kennedy is a nice block to build around. The fleet-footed Kennedy rushed for 82 yards on only nine touches and scored 5 TDs. On defense he racked up 50 tackles, 3.5 sacks and a Pick6. Carter Adams returns as the leading rusher with 60 carries for 220 yards. Austin Barron is leading receiver among returnees with 10 catches for 101 yards. Senior DE Ty Ward should provide pressure from the edge after accumulating 35 tackles and a half dozen sacks. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Henderson; Sept. 6 – Chapel Hill**; Sept. 13 – Melissa#; Sept. 27 – Mount Pleasant*; Oct. 4 – At Jacksonville*; Oct. 11 – Nacogdoches*; Oct. 18 – At Lindale*; Oct. 25 – At Pine Tree*; Nov. 1 – Marshall*; Nov. 8 – At Hallsville* (*Indicates district

Whitehouse High School (63) Gunner Clark, (1) Peyton Kennedy, (6), Cooper Clemons, (4) Kendall Woods. (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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Hallsville High School (8) Tyler Lee, (50) Alex Peralta, (7) Will Parsons, (2) Brian Pullum, (62) Dale Dawes, (12) Nolan Sirmons.

BOBCATS

HALLSVILLE

(Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

COACH: Joe Drennon (3rd year 5-15 at school, 12568 overall) ALL-TIME: 393-408-23, .491% STADIUM: Bobcat Stadium, #1 Bobcat Lane, Hallsville, Texas 75650 2018 RESULT: 4-6 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 25/8 LETTERMEN LOST: 18 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Cortland Venters, Sr., 5-10, 165 … C Dale Dawes, Sr., 5-10, 225 … QB Carter Rogas, Soph., 5-10, 155 … WR Brian Pullum, Sr., 5-7, 145 .. OL Brian Nino, Sr., 6-2, 270 … RB Tre Fulton, Sr., 5-8, 165 DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DE Nolan Simmons, Sr., 6-4, 218 … LB Blake Ware, Sr., 5-9, 190 … OT Reagan Bailey, Sr., 6-6, 290 … OLB Lion Felder, Sr., 5-11, 165 … DL James Nehk, Sr., 6-0, 210 … CB Chad Howard, Sr., 5-10, 150 2019 OUTLOOK: The Hallsville Bobcats showed a three-game improvement in Joe Drennon’s second season. With a bucket full of 25 returning lettermen, including four starters on both offense and defense, the Bobcats hope to continue in their upgrade. Drennon, who won a state title at Mineola in 2016 and played for another in 2015, knows what it takes to build a successful program. It’s nice to have a talent like Cortland Venters to work with. Venters had a junior season 700 yards rushing. He’ll be featured back in the Bobcat Spread. “Cortland’s a great kid with a lot of speed. He’s getting better with his feet in the holes and moves in the open field,” lauded Drennon. Sophomore Carter Rogas is likely to get the call at QB. “He’s a great leader with great work ethic,” Drennon said. Senior Blake Ware, returning leader in tackles, heads up Hallsville’s defense at LB. “Blake’s a tough hard-nosed kid that loves the game. He’s also a good leader on the field,” offered Drennon. Nolan Simmons is a versatile athlete the Bobcats are expected to use on both offense and defense. The 6-4, 218 pound Simmons plays a rush end on defense and returns as Hallsville’s leading receiver with 218 yards. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Terrell; Sept. 6 – Kilgore; Sept. 13 – At Bullard; Sept. 27 – At Pine Tree*; Oct. 4 – Marshall*; Oct. 11 – At Lindale*; Oct. 18 – At Mount Pleasant*; Oct. 25 – Jacksonville*; Nov. 1 – At Nacogdoches*; Nov. 8 – Whitehouse* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


INDIANS

JACKSONVILLE

COACH: Wayne Coleman (5th year, 17-25 at school, 66-80 overall) ALL-TIME: 491-515-39, .489% STADIUM: The Tomato Bowl, 202 Austin St., Jacksonville, Texas 75766 2018 RESULT: 3-7 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 15/9 LETTERMEN LOST: 22 OFFENSE: Spread Gun OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Chris Carpenter, Sr., 6-0, 165 … RB Aaron Richardson, Sr., 5-10, 190 … WR Jaylon Freeney, Sr., 5-10, 165 … OL Marco Nunez, Sr., 6-2, 240 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: FS Steve Gallegos, Sr., 5-10, 165 … LB Bryson Tatum, Jr., 5-10, 180 … DL Jordan Hicks, Jr., 6-0, 190 … LB Josue Lopez, Sr., 6-0, 175 2019 OUTLOOK: After achieving back to back playoff entries, the bottom dropped out for the Jacksonville Indians in 2018. Wayne Coleman heads into season five with designs on rekindling some postseason magic. He’ll have to overcome the loss of 22 lettermen and replace six offense and seven defensive starters from a year ago. Senior Chris Carpenter is a returning all state candidate and should provide offensive spark. Carpenter had 31 receptions for 501 yards and 2 TDs last fall. He also carried the ball 24 times for 255 yards and one score. The Tribe must find a replacement for QB Tristen Shewmake, who moved in the off season. Patrick Clater is penciled in as Shewmake’s heir. The 6-2, 185 pound Clater started on Jasonville’s JV. Aaron Richardson is a good bet to tote the rock at tailback. The 5-10, 190 pound senior had 118 yards on 27 carries in limited duty. Josue Lopez is back on the reservation and returns as Jacksonville’s leading tackler with 56. Steve Gallegos heads up the Tribe’s secondary. The 5-10, 165 pound FS had three interceptions last year and took two back to the house. The Indians have a loaded threegame non-district slate. They open with perennial power Carthage and close with heavyweight Henderson. An improved Palestine team is sandwiched the middle. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Carthage; Sept. 6 – At Palestine; Sept. 13 – Van; Sept. 27 – At Nacogdoches*; Oct. 4 – Whitehouse*; Oct. 11 – At Pine Tree*; Oct. 18 – Marshall*; Oct. 25 – At Hallsville*; Nov. 1 – Mount Pleasant*; Nov. 8 – At Jacksonville*(*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

MOUNT PLEASANT

TIGERS

COACH: Ritchie Pinckard (2nd year, 3-7 at school, 58-49 overall) ALL-TIME: 508-463-27, .523% STADIUM: Sam Parker Field, 2801 Old Paris Rd., Mount Pleasant, Texas 75455 2018 RESULT: 3-7 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 8/8 LETTERMEN LOST: 16 OFFENSE: Multiple Pro OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Tyke Fluellen, Sr., 6-2, 215 … RB Jalen Williams, Jr., 5-11, 204 … QB Kaleb Thompson, Sr., 5-11, 185 … WR Jo Jo Bolton Brown, Sr., 6-5, 180 … WR Will Hills, Soph., 6-4, 189 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Hagan Holloway, Sr., 5-9, 185 … LB Yahri Hudson, Jr., 5-9, 180 … FS Caleb Jones, Jr., 6-1, 185 … DL Trey Emory, Soph., 6-2, 285 … LB Christian Cervantes, Sr., 5-8, 181 2019 OUTLOOK: Ritchie Pinckard built a nice resume three previous stops at Garrison, DeKalb and Callisburg. His first edition of Mount Pleasant Tigers, however, struggled to a 3-7 campaign. The Tigers only have eight letter winners back in the fold, but they do expect a good influx of talent from a 9-1 JV squad. A backfield tandem of Tyke Fluellen and Jalen Williams provide a path to potential success. Mount Pleasant hasn’t experienced a winning season since 2012. Williams, a 5-11, 204 pound junior, rushed for 463 yards and 3 TDs, while the 6-2, 215 pound senior Fluellen found the pay window six times and added 266 yards on the ground. The QB duties fall on senior Kaleb Thompson, who completed 29 of 63 passes for 513 yards and 4 TDs in 2018. Jo Jo Bolton is back as the top Tiger pass catcher. Bolton hauled in 15 passes for 206 yards and scored three times. LB Hagan Holloway is back to give opposing offenses fits. The 5-9, 185 pound Holloway led the way tackles, while fellow LB Christian Cervantes tallied eight sacks. Caleb Jones is back in the secondary after picking four passes last fall. The Tigers start the season with back-to-back road games against Wylie East and North Lamar. They don’t play at Sam Parker Field until Sept. 20 against Paris. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Wylie East; Sept. 6 – At North Lamar; Sept. 20 – Paris; Sept. 27 – At Whitehouse*; Oct. 4 – Pine Tree*; Oct. 11 – At Marshall*; Oct. 18 – Hallsville*; Oct. 25 – At Lindale*; Nov. 1 – At Jacksonville*; Nov. 8 – Nacogdoches*(*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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TAPPS Grace's Alvin Skipworth (24) catches the ball as Bishop T.K. Gorman's Chris Jones (10) jumps to tackle him during a high school football game at Grace Community School. (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

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East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


TYLER GRACE COMMUNITY COUGARS

COACH: Norman Thompson (3rd year, 10-11) DISTRICT: TAPPS Division II District 2 STADIUM: Orville Rogers Field at Clyde-Perkins Stadium, 3001 University Blvd., Tyler, Texas 75701 (Capacity: 1,507; year opened: 2008) 2018 RESULT: 5-5 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 31/19 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Alvin Skipworth, Sr., 5-10, 195 ... C Josh Glenney, Sr., 6-3, 220 ... WR Luke Smith, Sr., 6-3, 195 ... WR Austin Johnson, Jr., 6-1, 165 ... TE Jacob Tucker, Jr., 6-2, 190 ... RB Ethan Hammons, Soph., 5-10, 185 ... QB/WR Peyton Walters, Sr., 5-10, 170 ... OL/P Hamilton Williams, Sr., 5-9, 200 ... QB Price William, Jr., 5-9, 165 ... OL Kamo Mitchell, Sr., 6-4, 245 DEFENSE: 50 shade and stack DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DT Brooks Bay, Jr., 5-10, 205 ... FS Joshua Murray, Jr., 6-0, 190 ... DT John Moore, 5-11, 210 ... LB Kaden Ramirez, Sr., 5-9, 170 ... LB Jacob Pena, Sr., 6-0, 190 ... DB Jaxon Rees, Jr., 6-0, 185 ... LB/K Alex Quintero, Jr., 6-0, 195 ... 2019 OUTLOOK: Running back Alvin Skipworth will be a key for the Coogs on both offense and defense. Coach Thompson noted, "Alvin will do the bulk of the rushing work. He is a tough runner with breakaway speed." Last year the speedy Skipworth, who runs a 4.4 40-yard dash, had 425 yards rushing and seven TDs and 525 yards receiving and six TDs. ... Price William and Peyton Walters are in the quarterback competition. "Peyton is one of the players that will challenge for the quarterback position," Coach Thompson. Walters played slot receiver in 2018 and had 330 receiving yards. Thompson added, "(William) is looking to fill in at QB. He led the JV in 2018." ... The Cougars are strong in the kicking game with all-district punter/placekicker Hamilton Williams returning and kickoff specialist Alex Quintero. "Alex does a great job on kickoffs and plays multiple positions on defense." Williams hit 95 percent of his PATs and 70 percent of his FG attempts. Brooks Bays is the top tackler returning with 75 stops (15 solo). ... John Moore had eight sacks last year. According to Dave Campbell's Texas Football Magazine, Grace is picked fourth in TAPPS Division II District 2. Cedar Hill Trinity Christian is the favorite, followed by Dallas Christian. Bullard Brook Hill is picked hird with McKinney Christian tabbed fifth. DID YOU KNOW?: The Cougars lost QB Braydon Stone to graduation and he signed with Arkansas. ... Austin Johnson had two interceptions last year. ... The Cougars return 10 of 11 starters on defense. ... Grace will host 14th annual Azalea Orthopedics and Baylor Scott & White Texas Spine & Joint Hospital Tyler Football Classic for the second straight season at Clyde-Perkins Stadium. Tyler Bishop Gorman kicks off the Classic with a game against Dallas Covenant on Thursday, Aug. 29. Grace will play Canton on Friday, Aug. 30 with Tyler All Saints Episcopal School concluding the three-day football festival with a contest against The Woodlands Christian Academy on Saturday, Aug. 31. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 Tyler Classic: Canton; Sept. 6 – at Redwater; Sept. 13 – Dallas Parish Episcopal; Sept. 20 – Wills Point; Sept. 27 – at Center; Oct. 4 – TBA; Oct. 11 – McKinney Christian*; Oct. 18 – Bullard Brook Hill*; Oct. 25 – TBA Nov. 1 – Cedar Hill Trinity Christian*; Nov. 8 – at Dallas Christian* (* Indicates district game; All games are scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.)

Grace Community Cougars (8) Jacob Pena. (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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BULLARD BROOK HILL GUARD 46

COACH: Scott Ryle (4th year, 15-16 at Brook Hill; Overall: 33-27) DISTRICT: TAPPS Division II District 2 STADIUM: Young Field at Herrington Stadium, 22450 FM 2493 (Old Jacksonville Hwy.), Bullard, Texas 75757 (Capacity: 2,500; year opened: 2005) 2018 RESULT: 6-5 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 26/14 OFFENSE: Multiple Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: C Jere Saranpaa, Sr., 6-0, 240 ... WR Connor Carson, Jr. ... WR Carson Richards, Jr. ... RB Nick LaRocca, Soph. ... OL Johannes Mallinen, Jr. ... OL William Roberts, Jr. ... Philip Obaseki, Sr. ... QB Garrett Esposito, Sr., 6-6, 195 ... DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Seth Moss, Sr., 6-0, 175 ... LB Nico Flores, Sr. 6-0, 205 ... OLB Jake Shaffer, Sr., 6-1, 195 ... DB Fisher Bass, Sr. ... LB Valdemar Henriksen, Sr. ... LB Lane Barter, Jr. ... 2019 OUTLOOK: The Guard lost standout quarterback Khalan Griffin, who transferred back to Chapel Hill Brook Hill's Lane Barter poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil after a spectacular season at The Museum in Kilgore. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo) Brook Hill School. BH also lost a number of standouts in WR Garrett Davis, OL/DL Josh Blalock, RB/S Kirk Jean-Baptiste, RB/LB Konstantin Krasser, OL Peyton Adams, DL Sam Fetkovich and OL Tobias Braun. ... But the Guard have a number of standouts returning, including WR/ CB Seth Moss, who was one of the top pick-off artist in the area with six interceptions. The athletic Moss also hauled in 20 receptions for 301 yards and five touchdowns. ... Linebacker Nico Flores is a key on defense, with 73 tackles a year ago, while Jere Saranpaa returns after recording three sacks. ... Expected to take over for Griffin at QB is Bullard transfer Garrett Esposito. DID YOU KNOW?: Seth Moss has committed to play Division I baseball at Louisiana-Lafayette ... Placekicker Jake Shaffer hit on 33 of 33 PAT attempts last season. He was 5 of 10 on field goal attempts. ... The Brook Hill School's first year was in 1997 and became a boarding school in 2003. ... Brook Hill will play host to the Fifth Annual American Warriors Bowl on Aug. 30. The Guard will play Fort Worth Southwest Christian. BH Athletic Director Wally Dawkins said the Tyler Ford/Brook Hill American Warrior Bowl Classic brings in teams of interest to the local East Texas community. Previous teams have been California St. Bernard’s High School (2015), Florida Boca Raton Saint John Paul (2016), Canada Royal Imperial Collegiate (2017) and Plano John Paul II (2018). ... Garrett Esposito is also one of the area's top golfers. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 - American Warrior Bowl: Fort Worth Southwest Christian; Sept. 6 – at Plano John Paul II; Sept. 13 – Huntington; Sept. 20 – open; Sept. 27 – at Flower Mound Coram Deo Academy, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4 – at Willow Park Trinity Christian; Oct. 11 – Dallas Christian*; Oct. 18 – at Tyler Grace Community*; Oct. 25 – McKinney Christian*; Nov. 1 – Pro Vision Academy; Nov. 8 – at Cedar Hill Trinity Christian* (* Indicates district game; All games are scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


COACH: Drew Starnes (3rd year, 9-19) DISTRICT: TAPPS Division V District 1 STADIUM: Mewbourne Field, 2695 S. SW Loop 323, Tyler, Texas 75701 (Capacity: 1,628; year opened: 2007) 2018 RESULT: 3-6 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 17/14 OFFENSE: Split Gun OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Roland Poster, Sr., 6-3, 210 ... RB Cor'Drell Radway, Soph., 5-10, 155 ... WR/P/K Russell Wynne, Sr., 5-11, 160 ... WR Cody Brewer, Sr., 6-1, 180 ... RB Will Morgan, 6-0, 160 ... WR DJ White, 5-10, 165 ... OL Smith Reynolds, Sr., 6-0, 240 ... C Logan Haley, 6-1, 190 ... Ol Thomas Goughnour, Jr., 6-2, 225 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: S Nick Davis, Jr., 6-1, 180 ... LB Alex Sinclair, Sr., 6-2, 215 ... DL Sid Ireland, Jr., 6-2, 190 ... DL Parker Bracken, Jr., 6-2, 220 ... DE Dustyn Rose, Soph., 6-0, 200 ... LB Cayden Mitcham, Soph., 6-0, 170 ... LB Jake Lewis, Soph., 5-9, 180 ... LB Harrison Williams, Jr., 6-0, 175 2019 OUTLOOK: Gunslinger Roland Poster will be in his second year at the helm of the Trojan attack. Last year he threw for 685 yards and eight touchdowns. Cor'Drell Radway is the leading rusher who is returning. The sophomore rushed for 310 yards and six touchdowns on 28 carries (11.07 yards per carry) as a freshman. Cody Brewer is the top returning receiving, hauling in 17 catches for 259 yards and two TDs in 2018. Alex Sinclair had 52 tackles and three tackles for losses last year. Thunderfoot Russell Wynne is back. He hit on 22 of 22 PATs last year and averaged 36 yards per punt. He also is a threat at wide receiver. DID YOU KNOW?: All Saints will compete in the 14th annual Azalea Orthopedics and Baylor Scott & White Texas Spine & Joint Hospital Tyler Football Classic. For the second straight year the Classic is at ClydePerkins Stadium on the Grace Community campus in Tyler. Tyler Bishop Gorman kicks off the Classic with a game against Dallas Covenant on Thursday, Aug. 29. Grace will play Canton on Friday, Aug. 30 with Tyler All Saints Episcopal School concluding the three-day football festival with a contest against The Woodlands Christian Academy on Saturday, Aug. 31. SCHEDULE: Aug. 31 - Tyler Classic: The Woodlands Christian Academy at Grace Community's Clyde-Perkins Stadium, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6 – at Hawkins; Sept. 13 – at Carrollton Prince of Peace; Sept. 20 – Houston Cristo Rey Jesuit, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27 – Dallas A+ Academy; Oct. 4 – at Cushing, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11 – Arlington Newman International; Oct. 18 – Tyler Bishop Gorman; Oct. 25 – at Founders Classical Academy, 7 p.m.; Nov. 1 – Ovilla Christian; Nov. 9 – at Dallas Covenant

TYLER ALL SAINTS EPISCOPAL SCHOOL TROJANS

All Saints' Russell Wynne poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

(* Indicates district game; All games are scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted) The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

47


TYLER BISHOP T.K. GORMAN CATHOLIC CRUSADERS

COACH: Brady McCoy (1st year) DISTRICT: TAPPS Division II District Independent STADIUM: McCallum Stadium, 405 ESE Loop 323, Tyler, Texas 75701 (Capacity: 1,000; year opened: 1958) 2018 RESULT: 6-5 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 2/3 OFFENSE: Spread Multiple OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Dozie Ifeadi, Jr., 6-3, 185. DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Jack Dial 2019 OUTLOOK: The Crusaders are starting anew this season with not only a new coach in Brady McCoy, who took over for veteran Randy McFarlin, but also basically a new squad. TKG graduated 12 letterman and a number of players transferred. Gone is three-year starting quarterback Jake Smith, now at Texas A&M. ... "Well as far as guys that we have returning we will lean very heavily on WR Dozie Ifeadi," McCoy said. "He is returning for his junior season and getting a lot of attention from big-time college programs. We look forward to him having a big year and being the focal point of our offense as well as our defense. Others that we will lean on will be returners such as Jack Dial who will be a senior and will play a number of different roles for us this season. Dial will have the biggest presence on the defensive side of the football, playing the inside linebacker role, but will also serve as a running back and tight end in our offensive system. The QB role is the bigger question going into practice, with the graduation of Jake Smith; It leaves a big hole to fill. We are looking at one of two guys to fill that role, both who will be new to the Crusader football program." ... "I believe that we will have a few really good players that have not had a lot of experience step up and play a big role in our team this season," McCoy said. "Players such as Ben McKnight who will be a running back and outside linebacker for us this season. Ben has been a part of this program for the past two season and going into his junior year he will be one of the leaders of this team ..." DID YOU KNOW?: Gorman will compete in the 14th annual Azalea Orthopedics and Baylor Scott & White Texas Spine & Joint Hospital Tyler Football Classic. For the second straight year the Classic is at Clyde-Perkins Stadium on the Grace Community campus in Tyler. Gorman kicks off the Classic with a game against Dallas Covenant on Thursday, Aug. 29. Grace will play Canton on Friday, Aug. 30 with Tyler All Saints Episcopal School concluding the three-day football festival with a contest against The Woodlands Christian Academy on Saturday, Aug. 31. ... Gorman won the 1995 TAPPS Class 2A state championship with a 3518 win over Hallettsville Sacred Heart. ... "As far as how our division works, we have moved into Division V (an independent division)," McCoy said. "For this season we will not play in a district and will not be eligible for the Division V post season. This decision was made due to the numbers of our program, the overall size of our athletes, and the competition that we would have faced in the Division II level. So we do have a full independent schedule that we will compete in (this) 2019 football season." SCHEDULE: Aug. 29 - Tyler Classic: Dallas Covenant at Grace Community's Clyde-Perkins Stadium; Sept. 6 – open; Sept. 13 – at Tenaha, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20 – Redwater, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27 – at Dallas Atlas, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 4 – Waco Reicher, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11 – at Fort Worth Calvary; Oct. 18 – at Tyler All Saints; Oct. 25 – at Katy St. Johns XXIII, 7 p.m.; Nov. 1 – open; Nov. 8 – McKinney Christian, 7 p.m (* Indicates district game; All games are Bishop Gorman Crusaders' Ben McKnight poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore.

(Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo) 48

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone

scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)


w w w . b i s h o p g o r m a n . n e t

08/16

H

08/23

H

Union Grove (Scrimmage) Overton (Scrimmage)

08/29

A

Dallas Covenant (At Grace Communuty)

09/13

A

Teneha

09/20

H

Redwater (HOMECOMING)

09/27

A

10/04

H

Dallas Atlas Waco Reicher

10/11

A

Ft. Worth Calvary

10/18

A

10/25 11/08

All Saints Katy St. Johns H McKinney Christian (Senior Night) A

BISHOP Gorman CRUSADERS

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49


DISTRICT 9-4A DI

Athens and Van bi-district playoff game at Mesquite Memorial Stadium. (Cori Smith/Focusinon.me)

OUR PICKS 1. MIDLOTHIAN HERITAGE 2. ATHENS 3. CRANDALL 4. WAXAHACHIE LIFE 5. MABANK 6. QUINLAN FORD 50

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


JAGUARS

MIDLOTHIAN HERITAGE

COACH: Lee Wiginton (4th year, 34-5, 131-77 overall) ALL-TIME: 34-5-0 .872% STADIUM: MISD Multi-Purpose Stadium, US-287 and S. 14th Street, Midlothian, Texas, 76065 2018 RESULT: 11-2, 4A DI regional semifinalist RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 22/11 LETTERMEN LOST: 20 OFFENSE: Spread (2 back) OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Jay Wilkerson, Sr., 6-2, 164 … QB Cade Sumbler, Sr., 6-0, 174 … FB LB Brody Greeson, Sr., 6-1, 224 … RB Cullen Stone, Jr., 5-11, 175 … OL Carson Walker, Jr., 6-4, 276 …WR Haydon Wiginton, Jr., 5-11, 178 … QB Blake Wilhoite, Jr., 5-10, 164 … FB Noah Gray, Jr., 6-0, 184 … DL Jonah Leatherwood, Sr., 6-3, 312 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Konner Jones, Sr., 6-1, 227 … DL Kolton May, Jr., 6-2, 255 … DB Cade Sumbler, Sr., 6-0, 174 … LB Brody Greeson, Sr., 6-1, 224 … DL Ben Eskins, Soph., 5-10, 178 … DL Jack Gray, Sr., 6-0, 176 … LB Gabe Vasquez, Sr., 5-11, 177 … DE/LB D’Angelo Freeman, Sr., 6-2, 188 … LB Noah Gray, Jr., 6-0, 184 … DL Jonah Leatherwood, Sr., 6-3, 312 2019 OUTLOOK: Most new programs have to endure some sort of growing pains. That wasn’t the case for Midlothian Heritage. The Jaguars have three seasons under their belts, and they’ve won 11 games in each of those campaigns. After a heartbreaking 50-49 loss in overtime to Carthage in the 2018 regional semifinals, Midlothian Heritage is positioned to have another strong season. The Jaguars are ranked No. 5 in Class 4A Division I in the preseason by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine. Konnor Jones is the captain of the defense. He compiled 116 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and four sacks last season. Kolton May (33 tackles, nine tackles for loss, 3 sacks) and Cade Sumbler (60 tackles, two interceptions) join Jones on the Jaguar defense. Sumbler will also have a chance to take the reigns of an offense that averaged 43.4 points per game last year as he will battle with Blake Wilhoite for the quarterback job. Sumbler has started at safety the past two years and is an Oklahoma State baseball commit. Whoever the quarterback is will have an elite target at their disposal. Jay Wilkerson is a three-star prospect with offers from SMU, Illinois and Oklahoma State. Cullen Stone is expected to take on a larger role in the backfield after rushed for 471 yards and five touchdowns on 77 carries last season. Carson Walker is a rising prospect on the offensive line, and defensive lineman Ben Eskins is a sophomore to keep an eye on. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Gatesville; Sept. 6 – at Kennedale; Sept. 13 – at Decatur, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20 – Stephenville; Sept. 27 – at Waco La Vega, 7 p.m.*; Oct. 10 – Quinlan Ford*, 7 p.m.; Oct. 18 – at Athens*; Oct. 25 – Crandall*; Nov. 1 – at Waxahachie Life*; Nov. 8 – Mabank* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

CRANDALLPIRATES

COACH: Joe Cary (6th year, 28-26) ALL-TIME: 388-369-20 .499% STADIUM: Pirate Stadium, 520 W. Lewis, Crandall, Texas, 75114 2018 RESULT: 8-3, 4A DI Bi-district RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 22/8 LETTERMEN LOST: 20 OFFENSE: Power spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Luke Spitzer, Sr., 6-1, 180 … WR Billy Myers, Sr., 5-8, 160 … FB Gabe Cortez, Sr., 6-0, 210 … OL Tyreq Avery, Sr, 6-2, 290 … WR Mason Daugherty, Jr., 5-9, 165 … RB Damerian Wigenton, Soph., 5-8, 205 DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Calob Davis, Sr., 6-2, 240 … DB Luke Spitzer, Sr., 6-1, 180 … DB Billy Myers, Sr., 5-8, 160 … LB Gabe Cortez, Sr., 6-0, 210 … DB Mason Daugherty, Jr., 5-9, 165 … DE Tommy Crockett, Jr., 5-11, 185 … LB Damerian Wigenton, Soph., 5-8, 205 2019 OUTLOOK: The Pirates were good in 2018 … really good. But a lot of players from that team graduated, including four-star offensive lineman Branson Bragg. That will lead Crandall to regroup a bit in 2019, but the cupboard isn’t bare for head coach Joe Cary, who has led the Pirates to the playoffs in all of the past four seasons. Defensive lineman Calob Davis will be an integral part in helping keep that streak alive. Luke Spitzer is back in the secondary, but he will also be called upon to take some snaps under center this year. Spitzer will look for Billy Myers, who had 256 yards and five touchdowns receiving a year ago. Despite losing Bragg up front, the Crandall offensive line will still have some strong pieces, including Tyreq Avery. Damerian Wigenton is a talented sophomore who is expected to contribute at running back and linebacker. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Chapel Hill; Sept. 6 – at Kaufman; Sept. 13 – North Lamar; Sept. 20 – Dallas Carter; Sept. 27 – at Palestine; Oct. 11 – Mabank*; Oct. 18 – Waxahachie Life*; Oct. 25 – Midlothian Heritage*; Nov. 1 – Quinlan Ford*; Nov. 8 – at Athens* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

51


ATHENSHORNETS

Athens' Jalynn Gualdarama poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore.

(Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

COACH: Zac Harrell (1st year) ALL-TIME: 473-513-29 .466% STADIUM: Bruce Field, 480 Royal Street, Athens, Texas, 75751 2018 RESULT: 5-5, 4A DI Bi-district RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 13/10 LETTERMEN LOST: 18 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: OL Garrett Hayes, Sr., 6-4, 280 …RB Nathan Sims, Jr., 5-11, 210 … WR Jerquindon Taylor, Sr., 5-7, 155 … WR Rowdy Godwin, Sr., 6-4, 235 … WR Cameron McDonald, Sr., 5-9, 175 … QB Chase Friedrich, Sr., 5-10, 170 … OL Juan Marron, Sr., 6-0, 255 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Nathan Sims, Jr., 5-11, 210 … DL Rowdy Godwin, Sr., 6-4, 235 … DB Cameron McDonald, Sr., 5-9, 175 … LB Conner Clay, Jr., 5-11, 185 ... LB JeCory Roberts, Soph., 5-9, 205 … DB Jaylynn Gualdarama, Sr., 5-9, 160 … DL Derek Killingsworth, Jr., 6-1, 205 2019 OUTLOOK: The Harrell name has become synonymous with Texas high school football. Now, it is associated with the Athens program as Zac Harrell is the new head coach of the Hornets. Harrell’s father, Sam, has won 194 career games and has led Ennis to three state titles, one of which Zac was a receiver. Zac’s brother, Graham, quarterbacked for Texas Tech and is currently the offensive coordinator at the University of Southern California. Their other brother, Clark, will join Zac on the Athens staff as the offensive coordinator. The Harrell duo will have a big-time offensive lineman and a strong running attack at their disposal in 2019. Garrett Hayes is a four-star prospect who is ranked as the No. 5 offensive tackle in the country, and he has 32 collegiate offers. Hayes will lead an offensive line that will block for Nathan Sims, who rushed for 1,530 yards and 14 touchdowns on 193 carries as a sophomore. Jerquindon Taylor rushed for 1,228 yards and 14 touchdowns on 119 carries last year but will be used more as a receiver this season. Chase Friedrich will be the Hornets’ signal caller. He was 26 of 62 last season for 464 yards with eight touchdowns and four interceptions. Athens didn’t have much trouble scoring last season, averaging 40.5 points per game, but the defense will look to improve after giving up 41.5 points per contest. Rowdy Godwin will lead the defense along with Sims, Cameron McDonald and Conner Clay. Johan Mendez is back as the kicker. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Brownsboro; Sept. 6 – Rusk; Sept. 13 – at Fairfield; Sept. 20 – Ferris; Sept. 27 – Bullard; Oct. 11 – at Waxahachie Life*; Oct. 18 – Midlothian Heritage*; Oct. 25 – at Quinlan Ford*; Nov. 1 – at Mabank*; Nov. 8 – Crandall* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


WAXAHACHIE LIFE MUSTANGS

COACH: Heath Blalock (6th year, 27-26) ALL-TIME: 30-63 .323% STADIUM: Mustang Stadium, 170 Butcher Road, Waxahachie, Texas, 75165 2018 RESULT: 5-5 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 20/12 LETTERMEN LOST: 24 OFFENSE: Flexbone OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB/RB Gage Mayfield, Sr., 5-11, 175 … RB SirMichael Veasley, Sr., 6-0, 200 … OL Kitt Wilder, 6-0, 235 … WR Chris Gillespie, Jr., 6-1, 180 … WR Tony Evans, Jr., 6-0, 155 … QB Coby Oder, Sr., 6-2, 195 … OL Bryan Harwell, Sr., 5-11, 225 DEFENSE: Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Trenten James, Sr., 6-3, 210 … DB Robert Williams, Sr., 6-0, 155 … DB Chris Gillespie, Jr., 6-1, 180 … DL David Hipshire, Sr., 6-3, 230 … DL Bryan Harwell, Sr., 5-11, 225 … DL Trevon Brantley, Sr., 5-10, 240 2019 OUTLOOK: Heath Blalock has brought life to the Mustangs. Before Blalock arrived to the then Red Oak life, the program was 3-37 and had never reached the playoffs. Blalock led the Mustangs to a 9-2 record and a trip to the playoffs in his first season. In its second season as Waxahachie Life, the program reached the playoffs for the fourth time in five years in 2018. The Mustangs are still searching for their first playoff victory, though, and will look to accomplish that feat in 2019. Athlete Gage Mayfield will lead the way in that quest after throwing for 582 yards and nine touchdowns and rushing for 1,134 yards and 11 scores last season. SirMichael Veasley is another dynamic ball carrier alongside Mayfield in the backfield. Trenten James returns after compiling 59 tackles a season ago. Robert Williams is the team’s returning interceptions leader with two. Defense is what prevented the Mustangs from taking that next step last season and with just five starters returning on that side of the football, they will need some new players to step up SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Ferris; Sept. 6 – at Fort Worth Nolan Catholic; Sept. 13 – at Kemp; Sept. 20 – Nevada Community; Sept. 27 – Farmersville; Oct. 11 – Athens*; Oct. 18 – at Crandall*; Oct. 25 – Mabank*; Nov. 1 – Midlothian Heritage*; Nov. 8 – at Quinlan Ford* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

ALL-TIME: 366-424-21 .451% STADIUM: Panther Stadium, 822 W. Mason Street, Mabank, Texas, 75147 2018 RESULT: 2-7 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 21/17 LETTERMEN LOST: 17 OFFENSE: Wing T OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: TE Devyn Gibbs, Sr., 6-5, 220 …RB Dakota Shaw, Sr., 6-0, 230 … OL Bodie Rowe, Sr., 5-11, 270 … QB Dahltyn McKinnley, Jr., 5-11, 170 … OL Stevie Montgomery, Jr., 6-3,260 DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Jacob McCray, Sr., 6-0, 175 … LB William Goforth, Soph., 5-10, 225 2019 OUTLOOK: It’s been tough sledding in Mabank for the past decade. The Panthers haven’t had a winning season since 2007. However, heading into the second season under head coach Zach Hudson, the Panthers could be headed toward an upward trajectory. Hudson led Howe to winning seasons in three of his five years at the helm, and Weimar was 7-5 both years he was in charge. The Panthers are returning 17 total starters, including nine on defense, so Mabank will likely take a step up in 2019. Dahltyn McKinley started five games at quarterback as a sophomore because of an injury. That experience will be valuable as he heads into the 2019 season as the guy. Devyn Gibbs is the top returning receiving target. The 6-5 tight end will be crucial to the success of the Mabank offense. Jesus Mendoza is back after compiling 58 tackles last season. Landry Johnson is the team’s returning leader in interceptions with three, and Stuart Burns is back to handle the kicking duties. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Rains.; Sept. 6 – Kemp; Sept. 13 – at Wills Point; Sept. 20 – at Canton; Sept. 27 – Ferris; Oct. 11 – at Crandall*; Oct. 18 – Quinlan Ford*; Oct. 25 – at Waxahachie Life*; Nov. 1 ¬– Athens*; Nov. 8 – at Midlothian Heritage* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

MABANK PANTHERS

COACH: Zack Hudson (2nd year, 2-7, 46-45 overall)

The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

53


QUINLAN FORD PANTHERS

COACH: Todd Wallace (8th year, 25-47, 101-99 overall) ALL-TIME: 203-377-15 .341% STADIUM: Hobart Lytal Memorial Stadium, 423 Panther Path, Quinlan, Texas 75474 2018 RESULT: 2-8 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 17/14 LETTERMEN LOST: 14 OFFENSE: Fly T OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Eli Chambers, Jr., 6-2, 190 … WR Kobe Jennings, Sr., 6-5, 190 … RB Cayson Hoff, Sr., 6-1, 175 … WR Bryce Sandman, Sr., 6-2 180 … RB Kaiden Roden, Soph., 5-11, 195 … OL Landen Akin, Sr., 6-0, 250 … RB Jose Acosta, Jr., 5-6, 160 … OL Victor Alberto, Jr., 5-7, 215 DEFENSE: Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Kobe Jennings, Sr., 6-5, 190 … DB Cayson Hoff, Sr., 6-1, 175 … DB Bryce Sandman, Sr., 6-2 180 … LB Kaiden Roden, Soph., 5-11, 195 2019 OUTLOOK: Todd Wallace has spent his entire head coaching career in Quinlan — first at Boles and then the past seven seasons at Ford. Wallace expects his team to be stronger this season and compete for its first playoff berth since his first season of 2012. Eli Chambers accumulated more than 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns last year as a dual-threat quarterback and will lead the Panther offense. At his disposal will be Klbe Jennings, Cayson Hoff and Bryce Sandman, who will also form the Quinlan Ford secondary on defense. Jennings, who stands at 6-5, will be the focal point of the offense. Kaiden Roden had 49 tackles and 10 tackles for loss last year on defense and will also see time in the backfield this season. The main thing for Quinlan Ford will be to improve on an offense that scored just 16.9 pioints per game last season. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Caddo Mills; Sept. 6 – Dallas Molina; Sept. 13 – at Ferris; Sept. 19 – at Western Hills, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27 – Canton; Oct. 10 – at Midlothian Heritage*, 7 p.m.; Oct. 18 – at Mabank*; Oct. 25 – Athens*; Nov. 1 – at Crandall*; Nov. 8 – Waxahachie Life* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

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Van players celebrate a touchdown during a high school football game at Van High School.

DISTRICT 10-4A DI

(Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

OUR PICKS 1. CARTHAGE 2. HENDERSON 3. KILGORE 4. VAN 5. CHAPEL HILL 6. PALESTINE 56

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


CARTHAGE BULLDOGS

COACH: Scott Surratt (13th year, 149-28) ALL-TIME: 621-364-40, .625% STADIUM: Bulldog Stadium, 1600 W. Panola St., Carthage, Texas 75633 2018 RESULT: 14-1, Class 4A DI state semifinalist RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 30/14 LETTERMEN LOST: 25 OFFENSE: Multiple/Pro Style OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Kelvontay Dixon, Sr., 6-0, 175 … OT Ty’kiest Crawford, Sr., 6-5, 315 … WR Kel Williams, Sr., 6-1, 175 … RB Mason Courtney, Jr., 5-9, 186 … OL Tee Kellum, Jr., 5-10, 295 DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Rayvon Ingram, Sr., 5-11, 220 … DE Quinton Owens, Sr., 6-3, 220 … DB Austin Morgan, Jr., 5-11, 171 … LB Cole Whitlock, Sr., 5-9, 165 … Quinterrius Brown, Sr., 6-4, 225 2019 OUTLOOK: The Carthage Bulldogs found time to Christmas shop last year. That’s what happens when you come up short of a third straight trip to Jerry World and the state championship. The two-time Class 4A DI kingpins were stripped up 44-41 against Liberty Hill in the state semifinals. Don’t expect that to sit too well with Scott Surratt and his ’Dawgs this year. They should be stout on defense with eight veterans back. Finding a replacement for QB Gunner Capps will be the task on offense with six holdovers returning. Whoever gets the call at QB, they’ll have ultra-talented Kelvontay Dixon to hook up with. Dixon, clocked at a 4.3 in the 40, had 1,401 all-purpose yards with 12 TDs in 2018. Mason Courtney is back at halfback after rolling up 934 yards with 12 TDs. The offensive line is anchored by 6-5, 315-pound Ty’kiest Crawford, who has scouts drooling finished last year with a total of 25 knockdowns. Rayvon Ingram should draw all-state attention at LB for Carthage. The 5-11, 220-pounder racked up 128 tackles, had three sacks, three forced fumbles and two interceptions. Carthage is set with a pair of DEs in seniors Quinton Owens and Quanterrius Brown. The duo combined for 153 tackles, 24 TFL and five sacks. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Jacksonville; Sept. 6 – Liberty-Eylau; Sept. 13 – Marshall; Sept. 20 – Gilmer; Oct. 4 – At Pleasant Grove; Oct. 11 – At Van*; Oct. 18 – Chapel Hill*; Oct. 25 – At Palestine*; Nov. 1 – Henderson*; Nov. 8 – At Kilgore* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

Carthage High School (10) Kelvontay Dixon (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

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CHAPEL HILL BULLDOGS

COACH: Jeff Riordan (1st year at school, 67-17 overall) ALL-TIME: 311-401-12, .438% STADIUM: Bulldog Stadium, 13172 State Highway 64 East, Tyler, Texas 75707 2018 RESULT: 1-9 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 18/14 LETTERMEN LOST: 24 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Keyjun Thomas, Sr., 6-1, 180 … RB Elijah Demus, Sr., 5-8, 165 … OL Brayden Price, Sr., 6-0, 260 … ATH Khalan Griffin, Sr., 5-11, 185 … QB/WR Tanner Rudd, Sr., 6-2, 170 ... QB Kobe Coker DEFENSE: Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Adrian Lacy, Sr., 5-10, 208 … DB Ty Keys, Sr., 5-8, 150 … LB Max Richardson, Jr., 5-10, 212 … DE Mason Mupmhrey, Jr., 6-2, 215 … DB Gary Moore, Soph., 5-10, 155 2019 OUTLOOK: It’s been a long and hard fall for the Chapel Hill Bulldogs since they played in consecutive state championships in 2010 and 2011. The Bulldogs won it all with a perfect 15-0 run of the table in 2011. In the seven years since, Chapel Hill has five losing seasons and it hit rock bottom last fall at 1-9. Jason Hooker left after two seasons and Jeff Riordan has taken over with sights set of returning to past glory. The Bulldogs said farewell to 24 lettermen and retained 18. It’s an even 7-7 split on offensive and defensive returnees. The defense is expected to be spearheaded by senior Adrian Lacy. Riordan refers to Lacy as “old school” and says he makes plays all over the field. Lacy had 70 stops last year and earned all district accolades. Senior Keyjun Thomas is a big, physical wide receiver and gives the Bulldogs a deep threat. Thomas had 25 receptions for 583 yards and 4 TDs a year ago. Senior signalcaller Tanner Rudd returns after throwing for 1,117 yards and 8 TDs in 2018. Brook Hill transfer Khalan Griffin should be a nice addition to the offense. Griffin completed 124 of 240 passes for 1,514 yards and 19 TDs, while rushing for 1,018 yards on 171 carries and 11 TDs as a sophomore at Chapel Hill before transferring to Brook Hill. Rudd is returning at QB but could play receiver with the additions of Griffin and Crosby transfer Kobe Coker. Griffin could also see snaps at halfback. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Crandall; Sept. 6 – Whitehouse**; Sept. 13 – At Argyle; Sept. 20 – Bullard; Oct. 11 – At Kilgore*; Oct. 18 – At Carthage*; Oct. 25 – Henderson*; Nov. 1 – At Van*; Nov. 8 – Palestine*(*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

Chapel Hill High School Khalan Griffin (7), Kobe Coker (3) and Brayden Price (57). (Cara Campbell/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

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VAN VANDALS

COACH: Jared Moffatt (10th year, 78-29) ALL-TIME: 565-343-30, .618% STADIUM: Van Memorial Stadium, 1085 N. Maple, Van, Texas 75790 2018 RESULT: 10-3, Class 4A DI Regional Quarterfinals RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 25/15 LETTERMEN LOST: 17 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Jayton Moffatt, Sr., 6-0, 185 … WR Javontae Thomas, Jr., 5-10, 170 … C Melito Sanchez, Sr., 5-10, 240 … WR Hoss Brewer, Sr., 6-3, 180 … OL Carson McCoy, Sr., 6-1, 265 … WR Hunter Hutchins, Sr., 6-0, 170 DEFENSE: Even DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DE Jayden Jacobs, Sr., 6-2, 215 … S Marcon Orozco, Sr., 6-0, 205 … CB JJ Kellum, Sr., 6-1, 200 … DT Beau Thompson, Sr., 6-0, 240 … LB Emillio Herrera, Sr., 6-1, 205 … OLB Cole Catlin, Sr., 6-0, 200 2019 OUTLOOK: Van Vandal football has been synonymous with the postseason under 10th year coach Jared Moffatt. The Vandals have won 10+ games in five of the coach’s nine previous campaigns. Last year they advanced to the quarterfinals before bowing out to Henderson 21-20 in a regular season rematch. The Vandals, ironically, won the regular season finale by the identical score of 21-20. With 25 letter winners returning and all but three spots on defense and four on offense needing replacing, the Vandals look like a solid playoff contender for a 12th year in a row. Senior DE Jayden Jacobs certainly has the attention of opposing offenses. Jacobs, at 6-2, 215, is a four-year letterman and piled up 132 tackles with a ridiculous 17 QB sacks last fall. “He has a tremendous motor and is a great competitor,” lauded Moffatt. Safety Marcos Orozco is another three-year starter for the Vandals. The 6-0, 205-pound senior managed 103 tackles and two interceptions in 2018. Jayton Moffatt, the coach’s son, is settled in at QB after splitting his time the first six games before assuming the starting role. He finished with an impressive 66% on completions (119 of 179) for 1,491 yards and 13 TDs. Junior wide out Javontae Thomas and senior Hoss Brewer give Moffatt options. Thomas hauled in 29 passes for 311 yards, while Brewer added 18 receptions for 258 yards and 4 TDs. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Alvarado; Sept. 6 – Gilmer; Sept. 13 – At Lindale; Sept. 20 – Pittsburg; Sept. 27 – At Brownsboro; Oct. 11 – Carthage*; Oct. 18 – Palestine*; Oct. 25 – At Kilgore*; Nov. 1 – Chapel Hill*; Nov. 8 – At Henderson*(*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

PALESTINE WILDCATS

COACH: Robby Clark (5th year, 13-27 at school, 35-66 overall) ALL-TIME: 500-510-39, .495% STADIUM: Wildcat Stadium, 1600 South Loop 256, Palestine, Texas 75801 2018 RESULT: 3-7 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 19/13 LETTERMEN LOST: 13 OFFENSE: Multiple OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Jeremiah Davis, Sr., 5-10, 200 … QB Christian Hutchinson, Sr., 6-1, 215 … WR Marquis Thompson, Sr., 6-1, 175 … OL Jarrett Henry, Soph., 6-5, 240 … Cedric Hicks, Sr., 5-10, 235 DEFENSE: Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Quintin Cook, Sr., 6-0, 205 … LB Daelan Williams, Jr., 6-2, 190 … DL Elvin Calhoun, Jr., 6-0, 245 …LB Keshawn Nonette, Sr., 5-11, 195 … DB Tayon Huntley, Sr., 6-1, 185 2019 OUTLOOK: With eight starters back in the fold on defense, 5th year coach Robby Clark is expectant of better things on the horizon. His Palestine Wildcats took a step back with a 3-7 finish in 2018. Palestine hasn’t been to the playoffs and or had a winning season since 2013. With the return of 19 veteran lettermen, including five offensive regulars, Clark wants to snap the 5-year slide. Quintin Cook is a good horse to ride at linebacker for the ’Cats. The 6-0, 205-pound senior Cook amassed 123 tackles, 23 TFL, three sacks, three fumble recoveries and a defensive TD. “Quintin is a fast, versatile athlete who has the ability to make plays all over the field,” explained Clark. Another key cog on defense should be senior LB Keshawn Nonette. The 5-11, 195-pounder rang up 121 tackles, 16 TFL and two sacks. Offensively, the ’Cats pin their hopes on senior halfback Jeremiah Davis, who tallied 1,150 yards and scored 11 TDs in just eight games last fall. “Jeremiah is an explosive running back with a combination of agility, physicality and top end speed,” Clark said. Christian Hutchinson saw action in five games last fall for Clark at QB. The 6-1, 215-pound senior managed 78 completions for 1,008 yards and 6 TDs. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Waco Connally; Sept. 6 – Jacksonville; Sept. 13 – At Rusk; Sept. 20 – Fairfield; Oct. 11 – Henderson*; Oct. 18 – At Van*; Oct. 25 – Carthage*; Nov. 1 – Kilgore*; Nov. 8 – At Chapel Hill*(*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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KILGORE BULLDOGS

COACH: Mike Wood (10th year, 69-42) ALL-TIME: 540-358-30, .598% STADIUM: R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium, Harris St. At Simmons St., Kilgore, Texas 75662 2018 RESULT: 3-8, Class 4A DI Bi-district RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 20/10 LETTERMEN LOST: 21 OFFENSE: Multiple OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: OT Calvin Woodside, Sr., 6-4, 260 … RB Kenneth Lacy, Sr., 5-8, 165 … OG CJ Brown, Sr., 5-10, 265 … RB Tray Epps, Jr., 507, 160 … QB Dalton McElyea, Jr., 6-1, 175 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DT Deundre Blanton, Sr., 6-2, 265 … DB Davondrick Crowe, Sr., 6-1, 170 … S Donovan Adkins, Jr., 5-7, 170 … CB AJ Smith, Jr., 5-6, 160 … OLB Kilgore's Tray Epps poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil Museum in Zach Williams, Sr., 5-9, 170 Kilgore. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo) 2019 OUTLOOK: The Kilgore Bulldogs extended their playoff streak to eight years running, but suffered through their fourth losing season in the past decade. The Bulldogs were actually outscored 333-268, marking the first time that’s happened in Mike Wood’s nine-year tenure as head coach. Being able to build a defense around Deundre Blanton should give the ’Dogs reason for optimism. Blanton rates as one of the top defensive lineman in East Texas. The 6-2, 265-pounder finished the 2018 season with 64 tackles and five sacks. Expect those numbers to improve. Kilgore has a half dozen back on defense and four on offense. Junior safety Donovan Adkins is back after totaling a team-best 64 stops and one pick last season. Junior AJ Smith is another one expected to fortify the Kilgore secondary at corner. Kenneth Lacy returns for Kilgore at halfback. Lacy averaged 6.3 yards per touch in racking up 850 yards. He added 108 yards receiving out of the backfield. Junior Tray Epps gives the Bulldogs a nice 1-2 combo at halfback. Epps stepped 812 yards on 114 carries for a 5.6 clip. The offensive line is anchored by 6-4, 260-pound senior tackle Calvin Woodside and 5-10, 265-pounder senior guard CJ Brown. The two frontline stalwarts graded out 90% and 89%, respectively. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Nacogdoches; Sept. 6 – At Hallsville; Sept. 13 – Pine Tree; Sept. 20 – Texas High; Oct. 11 – Chapel Hill*; Oct. 18 – At Henderson*; Oct. 25 – Van*; Nov. 1 – At Palestine*; Nov. 8 – Carthage* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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DEFENSE: Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Brady Odom, Sr., 5-11, 210 … DB Adrian Pryor, Sr., 5-10, 175 … DB Pedro Garza, Sr., 5-9, 160 … DT Saul Quintanilla, Sr., 5-10, 205 … NG Jay Johnson, Sr., 5-11, 220 2019 OUTLOOK: When you share the same address with a perennial state title contender like Carthage, your team’s accomplishments might sometime be overshadowed or overlooked. The Henderson Lions have fielded some top-shelf football teams four of the last five years. They’ve won 49 games in five years and advanced four rounds deep in three of those five seasons. Unfortunately, for the Lions, they’ve gone 2-6 against Carthage in that same window. Phil Castles has four offensive and six defensive starters back and welcomes many hopefuls off an undefeated JV squad. All totaled, Henderson has 20 letter winners back from a year ago. Headliner of the bunch is senior wide out Caleb Medford. The 6-3, 185-pound Medford played some QB for the Lions in 2018 and completed 14 of 26 attempts for 232 yards and 1 TD. Ironically, he was also the top pass catcher for the Lions with 30 receptions totaling 542 yards and 8 TDs. Look for Henderson’s defense to be strong again in 2019. The Lions gave up less than three scores a game last year and are anchored by senior LB Brady Odom, who finished the season with a teamleading 179 tackles. Senior DB Pedro Garza came up with three pass thefts last year to lead the Lion returnees in the secondary. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Whitehouse; Sept. 6 – Pleasant Grove; Sept. 13 – At Jacksonville; Sept. 20 – Center; Sept. 27 – At Rusk; Oct. 11 – At Palestine*; Oct. 18 – Kilgore*; Oct. 25 – At Chapel Hill; Nov. 1 – At Carthage*; Nov. 8 – Van* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

Henderson's Caleb Medford poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

HENDERSON LIONS

COACH: Phil Castles (7th year, 52-23 at school, 134-73 overall) ALL-TIME: 573-403-54, .583% STADIUM: Lion Stadium, 700 Lion St., Henderson, Texas 75654 2018 RESULT: 9-5, Class 4A DI regional finals RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 26/11 LETTERMEN LOST: 22 OFFENSE: Multiple I OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Caleb Medford, Sr., 6-3, 185 … OL Trace Tidwell, Sr., 6-2, 290 … RB Alan Pollard, Sr., 5-9, 180 … WR Jakobie Bussey, Sr., 6-1, 185 … RB Eli Jones, Sr., 5-10, 210

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DISTRICT 6-4A DII

Gage White makes a pass for Spring Hill during their game with Pleasant Grove at Panther Stadium. (Michael Cavazos/ News-Journal Photo)

OUR PICKS 1. PLEASANT GROVE 2. GILMER 3. PITTSBURG 4. LIBERTY-EYLAU 5. SPRING HILL 62

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: OL Devon King, Sr., 6-3, 330 … OL Blake Olivares, Sr., 5-11, 300 … RB Darrell Bush, Sr., 5-10, 195 … QB Mason Hurt, Jr., 6-2, 160 DEFENSE: 50 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: OLB Malik Williams, Sr., 6-1, 190 … LB Omar Euceda , Jr., 6-0, 171 … DB Davion Smith, Jr., 5-11, 150 … DL Matt Burton, Soph., 5-10, 241 2019 OUTLOOK: Underestimate the Gilmer Buckeyes at your own peril. After finishing the regular season with their first losing record in 23 years, the Buckeyes caught a second wind in the playoffs and advanced all the way to the regional semifinals. After wins over higher-seeded Sunnyvale and Fairfield, Gilmer dropped a repeat match against district foe Pleasant Grove to end a storybook surge. Matt Turner, considered among peers to be one of the best in the business, has nine back on offense and six on defense. The Buckeyes have a lot of pride and coming off a rare losing campaign they could be very dangerous. It starts with the offensive line as 6-3, 330-pound senior Devon King and 5-11, 300-pound senior Blake Olivares lead the charge. Mason Hurt is acting field general and threw for 2,006 yards and 18 TDs as a sophomore. The ground game centers on senior Darrell Bush, who clicked off 848 yards and found the pay window 13 times. Defensively, senior OLB Malik Williams is back after 54 total tackles and a couple sacks. The Buckeyes also rely on junior DB Davion Smith, who notched 91 tackles, 70 of which were solos. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Atlanta; Sept. 6 – At Van; Sept. 13 – Paris; Sept. 20 – At Carthage; Sept. 27 – Newton; Oct. 4 – At Bullard; Oct. 11 – Spring Hill*; Oct. 18 – At Pleasant Grove; Oct. 25 – Pittsburg*; Nov. 8 – At Liberty-Eylau*(*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

GILMER BUCKEYES

COACH: Matt Turner (5th year, 43-13) ALL-TIME: 686-388-39, .634% STADIUM: Jeff Traylor Stadium, N. Bradford St. at Buffalo St., Gilmer, Texas 75644 2018 RESULT: 6-7, Class 4A DII Regional semifinals RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 17/15 LETTERMEN LOST: 21

Gilmer's Malik Williams poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo) The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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HAWKS

PLEASANT GROVE

COACH: Josh Gibson (6th year, 49-20) ALL-TIME: 196-192-1, .505% STADIUM: Hawk Stadium, 5406 McKnight Rd., Texarkana, Texas 75503 2018 RESULT: 13-3, Class 4A DII State runner-up RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 27/14 LETTERMEN LOST: 13 OFFENSE: Wing-T OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: Bruce Garrett, Sr., 5-10, 191 … QB Ben Harmon, Sr., 6-1, 190 … OT Connor Stanfill Sr., 6-0, 265 … OL Jordan Stuart, Jr., 6-4, 338 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DE Landon Jackson, Jr., 6-6, 244 … DE Marcus Burris, Jr., 6-5, 255 … OLB Nick Martin, Jr., 6-0, 189 … DT Camren Weekly, Jr., 5-11, 215 2019 OUTLOOK: Only in existence since 1984, the Pleasant Grove Hawks have been making up for lost time. Since 2014, the Hawks have qualified for the postseason and played for the last two 4A DII state titles. PG ran the table in 2017 and lost to Cuero 40-28 last December in the championship. Josh Gibson has created a well-oiled machine near the Texas/Arkansas state line. The scary thing is eight offensive and six defensive regulars return from last year’s 13-3 outfit. Are the Hawks a good bet for a three-peat visit to the finals? You bet! It’s names you’ve heard for what seems like 10 years. Senior Ben Harmon controls the offensive unit scrimmaging out of the Wing-T. Harmon had 2,008 yards passing with 30 TDs and only a half dozen picks. “Best leader I’ve coached,” said Gibson. Halfback Bruce Garrett returns after rushing for 2,004 yards and scoring 20 TDs. The defense has a monstrous set of DEs in juniors Landon Jackson and Marcus Burris. Jackson, at 6-6, 244, is the top-rated at his position in the state and already holds an offer from Alabama. He recorded 56 tackles and 9 sacks last year. Burris, at 6-5, 255, received his first DI offer as a freshman. Burris racked up 75 stops, 12 TFL, 23 QBPs and 5 sacks. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Paris; Sept. 6 – At Henderson; Sept. 13 – Atlanta; Sept. 20 – At Gladewater; Sept. 27 – At Chapel Hill; Oct. 4 – Carthage; Oct. 11 – At Pittsburg*; Oct. 18 – Gilmer*; Oct. 25 – At Liberty-Eylau*; Nov. 1 – Spring Hill*(*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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PITTSBURG PIRATES

COACH: Brad Baca (4th year, 31-17) ALL-TIME: 486-475-33, .506% STADIUM: Pirate Stadium, 300 N. Texas St., Pittsburg, Texas 75686 2018 RESULT: 10-4, Class 4A DII Regional finals RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 7/5 LETTERMEN LOST: 16 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Promous Morrison, Sr., 5-8, 176 … OG Undra Bates, Sr., 6-1, 220 … Trace Reynolds, Jr., 6-2, 280 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: CB Cade Busch, Sr., 5-10, 155 … DT Braydon Morris, Jr., 5-8, 195 … DT Issam Toler, Sr., 6-1, 190 2019 OUTLOOK: Brad Baca has been a model of consistency since taking over for Dicky Meeks in 2014. The Pittsburg Pirates, under Baca, have won 10 games twice and qualified for postseason all four seasons, stretching the school’s streak to six years. Last year the offensive was explosive with an average of 35 points per game. They also had a cat named Jaylon Jimmerson at the controls. Jimmerson has moved on to Incarnate Word and Baca looks to rebuild. The Pirates are depleted of returnees on both sides. Only four starters return to the offense, and just one regular is back on the defensive side. A total of seven experienced varsity players start practice this fall. This could be a very daunting task, but Baca is optimistic players will step up and take ownership. Fleet-footed senior wide out Promous Morrison looks to improve on 32 receptions, 343 yards and 4 TDs from last fall. Up front, senior Undra Bates is expected to open holes in the ground game at offensive guard. Cade Busch headlines the Pitt defense at CB. The senior speedster had 42 tackles and a pick in 2018, earning him second team all district. It plays heavily into Pitt’s favor that four of five district teams qualify for the playoffs. SCHEDULE: Aug. 29 – Jefferson**l; Sept. 6 – At Pine Tree; Sept. 13 – Tatum; Sept. 20 – At Van; Sept. 27 – Kilgore; Oct. 4 – Rusk; Oct. 11 – Pleasant Grove*; Oct. 25 – At Gilmer*; Nov. 1 – Liberty-Eylau*; Nov. 8 – Gilmer* (*Indicates district game; **Indicates game starts at 7 p.m. All other games start at 7:30 p.m.)


COACH: Jonny Louvier (1st year at school, 4-6 overall) ALL-TIME: 434-342-23, .558% STADIUM: Panther Stadium, 3101 Spring Hill Road, Longview, Texas 75605 2018 RESULT: 2-8 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 15/14 LETTERMEN LOST: 14 OFFENSE: Multiple OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Gage White, Sr., 6-0, 180 … WR Zach Henry, Sr., 5-7, 135 … OL Aaron Collier, Jr., 6-1, 200 … WR Ty Jones, Jr., 5-10, 155 … RB Michael Marrs, Jr., 5-8, 175 DEFENSE: Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Malik Cooks, Sr., 6-0, 250 … LB Kaden Rogers, Sr., 6-2, 205 … DB Eric Morrow, Soph., 6-0, 170 … DL Colby Bowles, Jr., 5-9, 260 … LB Michael Marrs, Jr., 5-8, 175 2019 OUTLOOK: Jonny Louvier, once a nightmare for Spring Hill fans when he was quarterback at Gladewater in the early 2000s, has been tasked with returning the Panther football program back to glory. Louvier, considered one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the East Texas, has the luxury of 14 returning starters and a total of 15 letter winners. The Panthers have eight offensive regulars back and three-year starter Gage White headlines the group. White, a starter at QB since his 9th grade season, completed 112 of 214 passes for 1,523 yards and 11 TDs last year. White’s preferred target will likely be fellow senior Zach Henry, who was on the end of 31 receptions for 340 yards last fall. Henry is a twoyear letter winner and while small in stature – 5-7, 135 – he has a fierce competitive spirit. He’s also clocked 4.5 in the 40. Kaden Rogers returns as Spring Hill’s leading tackler from a year ago. The 6-2, 205-pound Rogers is penciled in at linebacker. Michael Marrs is a player that’ll be hard to keep off the field. The 5-8, 175-pound junior should playing time on offense at halfback and is likely settle in on defense at a linebacker slot. The Panthers haven’t been to the playoffs since the George W., Bush administration. That’s 12 years and counting. Louvier aims to bring that dubious streak to a halt. With a small five-team district and four tickets to the dance, Spring Hill has a reasonable expectation of ending the postseason drought. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Gladewater; Sept. 6 – Bullard; Sept. 13 – At White Oak; Sept. 20 – Rusk; Sept. 27 – Malakoff; Oct. 4 – At Silsbee; Oct. 11 – At Gilmer*; Oct. 18 – Liberty-Eylau*; Oct. 25 – Nov. 1 – At Pleasant Grove*; Nov. 8 – Pittsburg* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

Spring Hill's Zach Henry (16). (Cara Campbell/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

SPRING HILL PANTHERS

LEOPARDS

LIBERTY-EYLAU

COACH: Klint King (1st year) ALL-TIME: 361-295-13, .549% STADIUM: Harris Field, 2901 Leopard Dr., Texarkana, Texas 75501 2018 RESULT: 4-8, Class 4A DII Area RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 19/8 LETTERMEN LOST: 17 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Damian Henderson, Jr., 5-9, 200 … RB Korbyn White, Sr., 5-10, 180 … WR Shannon Roy, Sr., 5-7, 140 DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Ethan Banks, Sr., 5-10, 175 … DT Josh Gamble, Jr., 6-0, 290 … DT Trevon Revels, Sr., 5-10, 240 2019 OUTLOOK: Klint King has been charged with taking over for Steve Wells at Liberty-Eylau. The Leopards, playoff entrants each of the last six seasons, have three holdovers on offense and five on defense, hoping to make it seven straight ticket punches to the party. L-E limped into the playoffs last year with an 3-7 ledger and stunned a higher-seeded Caddo Mills 47-17 in bi-district. The Leopards gave Lorena all it wanted in area before bowing out, 51-43. It’s not how you start that matters as much as how you finish. King will lean on senior Korbyn White and junior Damien Henderson to tote the rock. White found the end zone eight times and Henderson three in 2018. Shannon Roy had 106 yards on eight receptions and is back at wide receiver. The Leopard defense was riddled for an average of 36 points per game. King clearly seeks improvement on that side of the ledger. Ethan Banks is a 5-10, 175-pound senior returning at LB. Banks totaled 54 tackles and recovered two fumbles last season. Junior DT Josh Gamble is back after 42 tackles. The 6-0, 290-pounder also deflected two passes. Joining Gamble on the defensive front is senior Trevon Revels, who was injured much of last season. Revels at full strength will be a nice addition for the spotted cats. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Arkansas High; Sept. 6 – At Carthage; Sept. 13 – At Texas High; Sept. 20 – At Atlanta; Sept. 27 – Argyle**; Oct. 4 – Waco La Vega; Oct. 18 – At Spring Hill*; Oct. 25 – Pleasant Grove*; Nov. 1 – At Pittsburg*; Nov. 8 – Gilmer*(*Indicates district game; **Indicates game at Sulphur Springs; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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DISTRICT 7-4A DII OUR PICKS 1. RUSK 2. BULLARD 3. BROWNSBORO 4. WILLS POINT 5. CANTON 66

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


RUSKEAGLES

COACH: Jowell Hancock (4th year, 18-17, 57-37 overall) ALL-TIME: 465-453-36 .487% STADIUM: Eagle Stadium, High School Road, Rusk, Texas, 75785 2018 RESULT: 5-7, 4A DII Area finalist RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 14/10 LETTERMEN LOST: 14 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Jaylon Hall, Sr., 6-4, 210; OL Garrett Blalock, Sr., 6-0, 290 … WR Jaden Rushing, Sr., 5-10, 185 … OL Nick Acker, Sr., 5-9, 230 … OL Rylan Reynolds, Sr., 6-3, 275 … WR Joseph McGowan, Jr., 6-0, 160 … OL Jadon Turner, Sr., 5-10, 270 DEFENSE: Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Garrett Blalock, Sr., 6-0, 290 … DB Sean Rogers, Sr., 6-1, 185 … LB Jaden Rushing, Sr., 5-10, 185 … DL Nick Acker, Sr., 5-9, 230 … DL Jaheim Upshaw, Sr., 5-10, 175 … DB JD Thompson, Soph., 6-0, 175 … DL Jadon Turner, Sr., 5-10, 270 2019 OUTLOOK: Since becoming a head coach, Jowell Hancock’s team has never missed the playoffs. He took Dayton to five straight postseason trips and made it three straight at Rusk last season despite an 0-6 start to the year. Once district play began, nobody was hotter than the Eagles, who outscored their opponents 173-60 in league play. With Jaylon Hall back at quarterback, it’s hard to envision 2019 not being a strong year for the Eagles. Hall threw for 1,118 yards with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions a year ago, and he rushed for 918 yards and 16 scores. Jaden Rushing is the top returning receiving target with 13 grabs for 178 yards, and he also had 73 tackles and three fumble recoveries on defense. Sean Rogers is the team’s leading returning tackler with 99 stops as a junior. Jaheim Upshaw had 46 tackles and four sacks. Sophomore JD Thompson has made a quick name for himself on the baseball diamond, but he’s also a key member of the secondary for the Eagles on the gridiron. Rusk has a tough non-district slate that features Fairfield, Athens, Palestine, Spring Hill, Henderson and Pittsburg. The Eagles faced Pittsburg twice in 2018 with Pittsburg winning 53-24 in the regular season and 36-21 in the second round of the playoffs. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Fairfield; Sept. 6 – at Athens; Sept. 13 – Palestine; Sept. 20 – at Spring Hill; Sept. 27 – Henderson; Oct. 4 – at Pittsburg; Oct. 18 – at Bullard*; Oct. 25 – Brownsboro*; Nov. 1 – at Canton*; Nov. 8 – Wills Point* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

WILLS POINT TIGERS

COACH: Greg Cranfill (6th year, 27-26, 45-41 overall) ALL-TIME: 538-427-29 .541% STADIUM: Ken Autry Davis Field, 785 Wingo Way, Wills Point, Texas, 75169 2018 RESULT: 5-5, Bi-District RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 15/13 LETTERMEN LOST: 18 OFFENSE: Multiple OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR JaQuez Thompson, Sr., 6-3, 175 … RB Savion Kellum, Sr., 6-0, 205 … TE Cameron Penney, Sr., 6-3, 270 … FB Josh Etheridge, Sr., 6-2, 200 … OL Juan Martinez, Sr. 6-0, 235 … RB Justin Perez, Sr., 5-5, 135 DEFENSE: Odd DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Savion Kellum, Sr., 6-0, 205 … DL Cameron Penney, Sr., 6-3, 270 … DL Josh Etheridge, Sr., 6-2, 200 … LB Aaron Hardman, Jr., 6-0, 235 … DL Markeithian Lyons, Sr., 6-0, 225 … DB Justin Perez, Sr., 5-5, 135 2019 OUTLOOK: Wills Point was a tough team to figure out in 2018, especially once district play began. The Tigers’ final five games were all decided by at least 35 points, and they were 2-3 in those contests, which makes consistency the key in 2019. There’s no question that the Tigers have talent, and it starts with the duo of JaQuez Thompson and Savion Kellum. Thompson caught 40 passes for 741 yards and five touchdowns last season, and he could see some time at quarterback this season, according to head coach Greg Cranfill. Kellum recorded 121 tackles, five tackles for loss and two forced fumbles as a junior, and he will likely be the featured back on offense this season after compiling 49 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries in 2018. Cameron Penney is another two-way player who the Tigers will rely on. His 6-3, 270-pound frame will give opposing teams trouble. Aaron Hardman had 121 tackles and five tackles for loss last season and will team with Kellum to form a potent linebacker duo. Cranfill expects his team to be stronger this season, but he also said the district will be stronger, which will make for an interesting October and November. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Mineola; Sept. 6 – at Carrollton Ranchview; Sept. 13 – Mabank; Sept. 20 – at Grace Community; Sept. 27 – Krum; Oct. 4 – at Hillsboro; Oct. 11 – Bullard*; Oct. 18 – at Brownsboro*; Oct. 25 – Canton*; Nov. 8 – at Rusk* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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BULLARDPANTHERS 68

COACH: Scott Callaway (3rd year, 6-15, 71-54 overall) ALL-TIME: 139-258-1 .349% STADIUM: Panther Stadium, 1000 S. Houston, Bullard, Texas, 75757 2018 RESULT: 3-8, 4A DII Bi-District RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 12/8 LETTERMEN LOST: 19 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Tristen Shewmake, Sr., 5-11, 190 … OL Tanner Fowler, Sr., 5-9, 215 … WR Nic Hooley, Sr., 5-8, 160 … WR Jaxson Elliott, 5-8, 170 … FB John Engle, Jr., 5-9, 175 … WR Bryce Jewell, Jr., 5-9, 160 … WR/QB Mason Kelley, Sr., 5-10, 165 … WR Riley Long, Jr., 5-8, 160 … RB Landon Wheeler, Jr., 5-6, 160 … FB Caden Key, 5-10, 180 … RB Bryson Luscombe, 5-6, 155 … OL Bullard Panthers Tristen Shewmake at the East Texas Oil Peyton Ellis, Jr., 6-4, 265 … OL Carson Museum. (Les Hassell/News-Journal Photo) Willborn, 5-11, 260 … OL Blake Morse, 5-11, 250 … WR Derek Carces, 6-0, 170 … QB Cooper Callaway, Jr., 5-9, 165 … OL Jackson Smith, Sr., 5-10, 185 … OL Will Chapman, Sr., 5-10, 276 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Tanner Fowler, Sr., 5-9, 215 … DB Nic Hooley, Sr., 5-8, 160 … LB Jaxson Elliott, 5-8, 170 … LB John Engle, Jr., 5-9, 175 … DB Bryce Jewell, Jr., 5-9, 160 … DB Riley Long, Jr., 5-8, 160 … DB Landon Wheeler, Jr., 5-6, 160 … LB Caden Key, 5-10, 180 … LB Bryson Luscombe, 5-6, 155 … DL Peyton Ellis, Jr., 6-4, 265 … DL Carson Willborn, 5-11, 260 … DL Blake Morse, 5-11, 250 … DB Derek Carces, 6-0, 170 … LB Cooper Callaway, Jr., 5-9, 165 … DL Jackson Smith, Sr., 5-10, 185 … DL Will Chapman, Sr., 5-10, 276 2019 OUTLOOK: Tristen Shewmake saw limited action as a sophomore at Bullard. He then went to Jacksonville as a junior and was 88 of 208 through the air for 1,430 yards with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Shewmake is back at Bullard for his senior year and looking to lead the Panthers to the playoffs for the second straight year. Nic Hooley, Jaxson Elliott and Bryce Jewell give Shewmake some weapons at receiver. Mason Kelley, who recently committed to Louisiana Tech University for baseball, adds depth at quarterback and receiver. Tanner Fowler is a senior leader who the Panthers will count on on both the offensive and defensive lines. Peyton Ellis is another lineman to keep an eye on. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Pine Tree; Sept. 6 – at Spring Hill; Sept. 13 – Hallsville, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20 – at Chapel Hill; Sept. 27 – at Athens; Oct. 4 – Gilmer; Oct. 11 – at Wills Point*; Oct. 18 – Rusk*; Nov. 1 – at Brownsboro*; Nov. 8 – Canton* (*

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone

Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)


COACH: Greg Pearson (3rd year, 8-14) ALL-TIME: 364-451-25 .433% STADIUM: Bear Stadium, Saylors Street, Brownsboro, Texas, 75756 2018 RESULT: 3-8, 4A DII Bi-district RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 12/9 LETTERMEN LOST: 18 OFFENSE: Wing T OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Cole Williams, Sr., 6-0, 180 … QB Gage Wehrmann, Sr., 6-0, 170 … TE Noah Sissom, Sr. … FB Alonzo Welch, Sr. … OL Kade Stutts, Sr. … RB Dakota Harmon, Sr. … RB Marcos Molina, Jr., 5-7, 180 … OL Ja’Tavien Session, Soph. DEFENSE: 10-1 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Cole Williams, Sr., 6-0, 180 … DB Gage Wehrmann, Sr., 6-0, 170 … DL Noah Sissom, Sr. … DL Alonzo Welch, Sr. … DL Kade Stutts, Sr. … DL Dakota Harmon, Sr. … DL Ja’Tavien Session, Soph. 2019 OUTLOOK: Greg Pearson has taken Brownsboro to the playoffs in each of his two seasons at the helm, and the Bears will look to continue that trend in 2019. The return of Cole Williams will certainly help. Williams opened his junior season as the Bears’ quarterback. Midway through the game against Van, Williams was moved to running back because of injuries to the rest of the Brownsboro backfield. He finished with 790 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on the season, including a five-touchdown performance in a 62-43 win over Canton. Williams is also a presence at linebacker and safety, and he also handles some kicking duties. Gage Wehrmann took over at quarterback when Williams shifted to running back and finished with 535 yards and eight touchdowns. Dakota Harmon is another backfield threat who compiled 606 yards and four touchdowns lst season. Marcos Molina will add depth at running back. Harmon, Noah Sissom, Alonzo Welch, Kade Stutts and Ja’Tavien Session will lead the way on the defensive line as the Bears look to take a big leap on that side of the football after allowing 41.7 points per game last season. Brownsboro opens the season with the Battle of Highway 31 against Athens, and the Bears are one of the rare teams without a Week 11 contest. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Athens; Sept. 6 – Fairfield; Sept. 13 – at Sunnyvale; Sept. 20 – at West; Sept. 27 – Van; Oct. 4 – Center; Oct. 11 – at Canton*; Oct. 18 – Wills Point*; Oct. 25 – at Rusk*; Nov. 1 – Bullard* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

BROWNSBOROBEARS

Brownsboro Bears Cole Williams at the East Texas Oil Museum. (Les Hassell/News-Journal Photo)

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CANTON EAGLES

COACH: Robert Ivey (9th year, 43-40, 66-74 overall) ALL-TIME: 373-462-21 .436% STADIUM: Norris Birdwell Stadium, W. State Highway 243 at Cherry Creek Road, Canton, Texas, 75103 2018 RESULT: 2-7 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 24/11 LETTERMEN LOST: 15 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Cooper Smith, Sr., 6-9, 165 … RB Chris Cade, Jr., 5-9, 160 … OL Cayden Saffel, Sr., 6-2, 280 … OL Will Brock, Jr., 6-1, 230 … QB Chris Hobbs, Sr., 5-10, 185 … RB Jatavian McGee, Sr., 5-8, 150 … WR Clayton Stern, Sr., 6-2, 170 … WR Jordan Humphrey, WR, Sr., 5-9, 165 … WR Jon Anderson, Jr., 5-11, 165 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Kale Shaw, Jr., 5-11, 200 … DB Cooper Smith, Sr., 6-9, 165 … DB Chris Cade, Jr., 5-9, 160 … DL Cayden Saffel, Sr., 6-2, 280 … DL Garrett Wycough, Sr., 5-9, 170 … DB Caleb Phillips, Sr., 5-9, 155 … DL Will Brock, Jr., 6-1, 230 … DL Hunnar Boswell, Soph., 5-10, 200 … DB Jatavian McGee, Sr., 5-8, 150 … DB Jon Anderson, Jr., 5-11, 165 … LB Noah Stubblefield, Sr., 5-10, 190 … LB Ethan Martin, Sr., 5-9, 170 2019 OUTLOOK: The 2018 campaign was a rough one for Canton. The Eagles allowed 50 points per game while going winless in district competition. With six starters coming back, including the District 14-4A Defensive Newcomer of the Year Kale Shaw, the Eagles expect to show some improvement on defense in 2019. Garrett Wycough is a three-year starter on the defensive line, and Caleb Phillips has two years of starting experience in the secondary. Cooper Smith was a first-team All-District selection at both receiver and free safety last year, and Chris Cade is a returning All-District pick at running back. Head coach Robert Ivey said the Eagles have a very strong sophomore group that he will be counting on this season, led by defensive lineman Gunnar Boswell. If Canton can receive positive contributions from the younger players, they will have a chance to get back into the postseason after breaking a string of three consecutive postseason trips in 2018. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Grace Community; Sept. 6 – Mineola; Sept. 13 – at Mount Vernon; Sept. 20 – Mabank; Sept. 27 – at Quinlan Ford; Oct. 3 – Godley in Sunnyvale, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11 – Brownsboro*; Oct. 25 – at Wills Point*; Nov. 1 ¬– Rusk*; Nov. 8 – at Bullard* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

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DISTRICT 7-3A DI

Kemp defensive back Fabian Lujan (15) looks to tackle Atlanta running back Dra Nelson (8) runs the ball during a high school football playoff game. (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

OUR PICKS 72

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone

1. ATLANTA 2. JEFFERSON 3. MOUNT VERNON 4. HUGHES SPRINGS 5. HOOKS 6. REDWATER 7. NEW BOSTON


ATLANTA RABBITS

COACH: Matt McClure (9th year, 57-41) ALL-TIME: 563-395-33, .584% STADIUM: Rabbit Stadium, 705 Rabbit Blvd., Atlanta, Texas 75551 2018 RESULT: 8-6, Class 3A DI Regional finalist RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 24/12 LETTERMEN LOST: 17 OFFENSE: Multiple I Back OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Kade Wood, Sr., 6-1, 175 …RB Caleb Hamilton, Jr., 5-9, 165 …RB Dra Nelson, Sr., 5-8, 190 … OL Cade Fant, Sr., 6-0, 235 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Connor Samples, Sr., 6-1, 195 … CB Jacorian Fields, Sr., 6-1, 165 … CB Keyshawn Easter, Jr., 6-0, 165 … LB Dekorian Parker, Soph., 6-0, 185 2019 OUTLOOK: Never underestimate those Atlanta Rabbits. During their state title run of 2003, the Rabbits finished the regular season a ho-hum 6-4, but ran the tables for a Class 3A state title. Last year’s edition opened the postseason after a rather unimpressive 5-5 regular campaign. The Rabbits upset West Rusk in bi-district 28-20 and followed that by doubling up Kemp 42-21 in area. In a third-round rematch with district counterpart Mount Vernon, Atlanta, much like it did the first contest, disposed of the Tigers, 38-14. The train finally ran out of gas in a 37-22 setback to eventual state runner-up Malakoff. Matt McClure has led Atlanta to the postseason in six of eight years at the helm. With a half dozen starters back on both sides of the leather, there’s no reason not to expect the Rabbits to make a push for their first loop title in 13 years. Kade Wood is a top-notch pass catcher and returns after a 29-catch, 416-yard season with 4 TDs. The running game is in good hands with Caleb Hamilton and Dra Nelson. As a sophomore Hamilton rushed for 1,019 yards and scored 11 TDs. Nelson, a senior, had 684 yards on the ground and 207 yards receiving and a total of 7 TDs. Defensively, Connor Samples is back and, as McClure describes, is a tough run stopper with a big motor. Samples rang up 149 tackles and 11 TFL. Defensive back Jacorian Fields is back after a 85-tackle 2018. Atlanta has arguably one of the toughest non-district menus in the state. The Rabbits open at Gilmer right off the bat, host Gladewater, visit Pleasant Grove and entertain Liberty-Eylau. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Gilmer; Sept. 6 – Gladewater; Sept. 13 – At Pleasant Grove; Sept. 20 – Liberty-Eylau; Sept. 27 – Redwater*; Oct. 4 – At New Boston*; Oct. 11 – Hughes Springs*; Oct. 18 – At Mount Vernon*; Oct. 25 – Jefferson*; Nov. 8 – At Hooks* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

Atlanta's Connor Samples poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore. Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

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JEFFERSON BULLDOGS 76

COACH: Antwain Jimmerson (4th year, 32-14 at school, 133-36 overall) ALL-TIME: 522-404-31, .562% STADIUM: W.F. Lockett Stadium, #1 Bulldog Drive, Jefferson, Texas 75657 2018 RESULT: 11-1, Class 3A DI Area finalist RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 18/10 LETTERMEN LOST: 20 OFFENSE: Spread I OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Dee Black, Sr., 5-6, 158 … WR Christian Shepard, Jr., 6-0, 150 … OL Justin Rogers, Sr., 6-0, 250 … WR Carlos Smith, Sr., 5-10, 150 … WR Carlos Jackson, Jr., 5-8, 130 … QB Kylan Thomas, Sr., 5-11, 188 … K Landon Fuquay, Sr., 6-0, 155 DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Jordan Friday, Jr., 6-0, 240 … DE Falando Craver, Soph., 6-0, 200 … DE Alexander Romano, Jr., 6-0, 200 … DL Carson Harper, Sr., 5-10, 300 … P Camden Simpson, Sr., 5-10, 175 … DE Tyler Cherry, Sr. 2019 OUTLOOK: Hit hard by graduation, Jefferson’s Antwain Jimmerson must replace a half dozen offensive and defensive starters from last year’s 11-1 area finalist. Jimmerson also has to account for three players that transferred out. The ’Dawgs, who have gone 30-6 the past three years, don’t rebuild inasmuch as they reload in this old historic city. Jefferson rolled to a perfect 10-0 regular season and secured its second district championship in three years. After throttling Mineola in bi-district 41-22, the ’Dawgs stumbled in a 31-21 loss to Malakoff in area. Defending the district dominion will be no easy task this season. But expect a banner year from senior halfback Dee Black. The 5-6, 158-pound water bug ravaged defenses for 1,773 yards and scored 20 TDs. Christian Shepard along with Carlos Smith and Carlos Jackson have mighty big shoes to fill at wide out. The trio has the unenviable task of stepping in and stepping up for T.Q. Jackson, who has taken his immense talent to the Ozarks to play for the Arkansas Razorbacks. Kylan Thomas settles in at QB for Jefferson after totaling 486 passing yards mad 5 TDs last fall. Defensively, senior Tyler Cherry represents the team’s leading returning tackler with 113 stops and 7 TFL, while junior Alexander Romano and sophomore Falando Craver are expected to push for playing time. Jefferson opens the season with a Thursday night tilt against Pittsburg. SCHEDULE: Aug. 29 – Pittsburg**; Sept. 6 – At Center; Sept. 13 – At Arp; Sept. 20 – North Lamar; Sept. 27 – New Boston*; Oct. 4 – At Hughes Springs*; Oct. 11 – Mount Vernon*; Oct. 25 – At Atlanta*; Nov. 1 – Hooks*; Oct. 8 – At Redwater* (*Indicates district game; **Indicates 7 p.m. start, all other games start at 7:30 p.m.)

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone

Jefferson High School's Kylan Thomas (5), Jacari Mosley (50), Dee Black (21) and Landon Fuquay (18). (Cara Campbell/Tyler Morning Telegraph)


TIGERS

MOUNT VERNON

COACH: Art Briles (First year at school, 166-46-4) ALL-TIME: 491-414-28, 541% STADIUM: Don Meredith Stadium, 1 Tiger Drive, Mount Vernon, Texas 75457 2018 RESULT: 9-4, Class 3A DI Regional semifinals RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 22/10 LETTERMEN LOST: 18 OFFENSE: TBD OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Boston Morris, Jr., 6-2, 190 … WR Max Rutledge, Sr., 6-3, 185 … OL Alan Quiones, Jr., 6-1, 265 … OL Gunner Fielden, Jr., 6-0, 220 … RB Zander Reader, Sr., 6-0, 190 DEFENSE: TBD DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: OLB Max Rutledge, Sr., 6-3, 185 … OLB Zander Reader, Sr., 6-0, 190 … OLB Boston Morris, Jr., 6-2, 190 … CB Kedris Chandler, Sr., 5-10, 160 … CB Jose Arzola, Sr., 5-7, 150 2019 OUTLOOK: Shockwaves reverberated across the Lone Star landscape Memorial Day weekend when Mount Vernon hired former Baylor coach Art Briles. The controversial Briles, who is a Texas high school coaching legend, left Baylor under a cloud of turmoil in 2014. No question the Rule, Texas Native can coach, but the baggage he brings could prove calamitous. Only time will tell. The Tigers, under the direction of Josh Finney, advanced to the third round of this past season after a district championship 11-1 run in 2017. Finney returned to his hometown of Winnsboro, leaving the door open for Mount Vernon to reel in Briles, who coached Stephenville to consecutive state championships in 1993 and 1994 and again in 1998 and 1999. Most recently Briles has been plying his trade in Italy where he took Estra Guelfi to the Italian version of the Super Bowl, which the season didn’t end until early July. By getting a late start, Briles might be behind the eight ball implementing a drastic change to the offense. Finney was old-school with the Wing-T, while Briles is considered one of the architects of Air Raid. Players to count on making the smooth transition include two-way talents Max Rutledge and Zander Reader. Rutledge is the Tigers’ top returner in receptions and tackles. He amassed 111 tackles, 18 TFL with four forced fumbles and one recovery. Reader, meanwhile, played a slot back last year in the run-centric attack. He also rang up 103 tackles, 17 TFL and one interception. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Bonham; Sept. 6 – At Farmersville; Sept. 13 – Canton; Sept. 20 – Winnsboro; Sept. 27 – Hughes Springs*; Oct. 11 – At Jefferson*; Oct. 18 – Atlanta*; Oct. 25 At Hooks*; Nov. 1 – Redwater*; Nov. 8 – At New Boston* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

HUGHES SPRINGS

MUSTANGS

COACH: Chris Edwards (13th year, 87-50) ALL-TIME: 442-430-34, .507% STADIUM: Mustang Stadium, 701 Russell, Hughes Springs, Texas 75656 2018 RESULT: 5-6, Class 3A DI Bi-district RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 18/13 LETTERMEN LOST: 11 OFFENSE: Slot-T OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: Isaiah Bolden, Sr., 5-10, 180 … QB Andrew Gaul, Sr., 5-11, 170 … C Tanner Byrd, Jr., 5-10, 195 … TE Collin Cook, Jr., 6-2, 180 … OL Hudson Brabham, Sr., 6-2, 215 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Jace Ratley, Sr., 5-10, 210 … LB Tyson Daigle, Jr., 5-10, 180 … LB Gustoavo Soto, Sr., 5-10, 190 … DE Patrick Boyd, Soph., 6-0, 195 … DL Nacorey Lee, Sr., 5-7, 180 … DL Trayvonn Kennedy, Jr., 6-2, 220 2019 OUTLOOK: One of the best-kept secrets in East Texas is that Chris Edwards is a darn good football coach. Eawards has taken Hughes Springs to the playoffs in 10 of his 12 seasons in charge. The Mustangs have won four district titles in that stretch. With 18 lettermen back in the fold, Edwards has no reason to think this will be 11 of 13 years to the dance. Hughes Springs, despite its 5-5 record, played a good Gladewater team to a 35-21 loss in bi-district. The Ponies welcome back seven offensive holdovers and a half dozen on defense. The talented Isaiah Bolden should get plenty of touches in the Slot-T attack. Bolden racked up 715 yards and scored nine times last year. QB Andrew Gaul is a year older and hopefully a year wiser. The senior signal-caller completed 31 of 63 passes for 367 yards with 4 TDs. Tight end Collin Cook could be a popular target when Gaul does look to pass. LB Jace Ratley returns after 89 tackles last year. Trayvonn Kennedy promises to make life tough on opposing quarterbacks. As a sophomore Kennedy totaled eight sacks and 64 tackles. Edwards see his Ponies stronger this fall and credits the high number of returning starters. By the same token, he sees the district as a whole stronger, too. SCHEDULE: Aug. 29 – Vs Hamshire-Fannett^^; Sept. 6 – Arp; Sept. 12 – At Waskom**; Sept. 20 – Tatum; Sept. 27 – At Mount Vernon*; Oct. 4 – Jefferson*; Oct. 11 – At Atlanta*; Oct. 18 – Hooks*; Oct. 25 – At Redwater*; Nov. 1 – New Boston* (*Indicates district game; ^^Indicates game at Lufkin with 7 p.m. start; **Indicates 7 p.m. starts; All other games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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HOOKSHORNETS

COACH: Chris Birdwell (5th year, 24-20) ALL-TIME: 394-336-14, .539% STADIUM: Hornet Stadium, 601 East Ave., Hooks, Texas 75561 2018 RESULT: 4-6 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 15/11 LETTERMEN LOST: 14 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: ATH Mason Vasquez, Sr., 5-11, 195 … WR Marquiz Estell, Sr., 6-2, 182 … OL Matthew Estes, Sr., 6-3, 295 … OL Dawson Adams, Jr., 6-4, 295 DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: S Marquiz Estell, Sr., 6-2, 182 … DL Matthew Estes, Sr., 6-3, 295 … DL Dawson Adams, Jr., 6-4, 295 … LB Benji Johnson, Jr., 6-3, 187 2019 OUTLOOK: After taking Hooks to three straight playoffs, Chris Birdwell saw his fourth edition narrowly miss out. Birdwell won a district crown in his first season of 2015, but the Hornets suffered four straight setbacks to end the regular season and started basketball earlier than usual. Seven starters are back on offense, but Birdwell must replace seven spots on defense. It’s nice to have a talented player like Mason Vasquez to lean on. The senior standout could see time at running back, but most likely will lead the Hornets from the QB position. Vasquez rushed for 1,306 yards and scored 15 TDs. He’s also a mainstay on defense for Hooks with 72 tackles from his safety position. Another talented two-threat is senior Marquiz Estell. The 6-2, 182-pound Estell excels at wide receiver with 20 catches for 301 yards and 7 TDs. He also managed 78 stops and picked five passes from his safety post. The offensive and defensive lines are in the capable hands of senior Matthew Estes (6-3, 295) and junior Dawson Adams (6-4, 295). SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Linden-Kildare; Sept. 6 – Paul Pewitt; Sept. 13 – At Queen City; Sept. 20 – Cooper; Oct. 4 – At Redwater*; Oct. 11 – New Boston*; Oct. 18 – At Hughes Springs*; Oct. 25 – Mount Vernon*; Nov. 1 – At Jefferson*; Nov. 8 – Atlanta* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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REDWATERDRAGONS

COACH: Tommy Graf (8th year, 28-33) ALL-TIME: 152-287-3, .347% STADIUM: Dragon Stadium, 221 Redwater Blvd., Redwater, Texas 75573 2018 RESULT: 1-9 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 12/8 LETTERMEN LOST: 17 OFFENSE: Flex Bone OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Malcom Brown, Soph., 6-2, 175 … QB Preston Davis, Jr., 6-2, 215 … RB Garrett Johnson, Sr., 5-9, 170 … OL John Collier, Soph., 5-7, 190 DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Carlos Rojas, Jr., 5-8, 190 … DL Nick Parker, Sr., 6-0, 220 … LB Matt Williams, Sr., 5-10, 185 … DE Noah Fernandez, Sr., 5-10, 180 2019 OUTLOOK: After stringing together eight consecutive playoff squads, the Redwater Dragons failed to breathe fire in 2018 and plummeted to a 1-9 debacle. It was Redwater’s worst showing since a 0-10 season in 2006. There’s nowhere to go but up for veteran coach Tommy Graf in 2019. Unfortunately, seven positions on both offense and defense need to find replacements. Garrett Johnson, another backfield component, rushed for 230 yards on 28 touches last season. Johnson was also the top receiver for the Dragons with 48 yards on six catches and one score. Linebacker Matt Williams spearheads the Redwater 4-3 scheme. Williams tallied 55 tackles to led the way for a defense that surrendered on average 48 points per game. Senior Noah Fernandez is penciled in at defensive end after making 30 stops last season. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Waskom; Sept. 6 – Tyler Grace; Sept. 13 – At Paul Pewitt; Sept. 20 – At T.K. Gorman; Sept. 27 – At Atlanta*; Oct. 4 – Hooks*; Oct. 18 – At New Boston*; Oct. 25 – Hughes Springs*; Nov. 1 – At Mount Vernon*; Nov. 8 – Jefferson* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

COACH: Justin Waltz (2nd year, 0-10) ALL-TIME: 391-475-16, .452% STADIUM: Lion Stadium, Sunset St. & College St., New Boston, Texas 75570 2018 RESULT: 0-10 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 18/12 LETTERMEN LOST: 8 OFFENSE: Wing-T OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: ATH Kyle Atkinson, Jr., 6-0, 155 … RB Treycyn Thomas, Sr., 5-7, 145 … FB Kevon Thompson, Jr., 5-8, 185 … OL Cody Rutherford, Jr., 6-0, 300 … QB Tyler Strain, Sr., 5-10, 160 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Trent Graham, Sr., 5-9, 180 … CB Angel Recendiz, Soph., 5-11, 165 … LB Brian Reed, Jr., 5-8, 160 … CB Tre Lewis-Colber, Jr., 6-2, 180 … DB Deaundre Haywood-Jones, Sr., 5-10, 150 2019 OUTLOOK: How the mighty have fallen. It wasn’t that long ago the New Boston Lions were a perpetual playoff participant. From 2010 to 2014 the Lions roared with an overall record of 56-11 and five straight playoff showings. Things turned on dime in 2015 and in the last four season, New Boston has lost 35 of 40 contests. It all bottomed out last year with the Lions’ first winless campaign in 14 years. Justin Waltz is confident his second season in charge will be better than his first and he’s banking on six offensive and defense stalwarts back. The Lions only lost nine lettermen and return 18. Better days ahead for New Boston seem to be a certainty. Kyle Atkinson should provide Waltz with options. Listed simply as an athlete, Atkinson could hold the key to New Boston breaking its 11-game losing streak. QB duties rest on the shoulders of senior Tyler Strain. Senior Treycyn Thomas is listed at running back and 6-0, 300-pound Cody Rutherford could be a road-grader on the offensive line. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Paul Pewitt; Sept. 6 – DeKalb; Sept. 13 – At Daingerfield; Sept. 20 – Carlisle; Sept. 27 – At Jefferson*; Oct. 4 – Atlanta*; Oct. 11 – At Hooks*; Oct. 18 – Redwater*; Nov. 1 – At Hughes Springs*; Nov. 8 – Mount Vernon* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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DISTRICT 8-3A DI

Tatum Eagles' Kavontae Starling at the East Texas Oil Museum. (Les Hassell/News-Journal Photo)

OUR PICKS 1. GLADEWATER 2. TATUM 3. WEST RUSK 4. MINEOLA 5. WHITE OAK 6. SABINE 7. WINNSBORO 80

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


GLADEWATERBEARS

COACH: John Berry (6th year, 37-21) ALL-TIME: 525-406-23, 562% STADIUM: Jack V. Murphy Stadium, 2201 W. Gay Ave., Gladewater, Texas 75647 2018 RESULT: 11-2, Class 3A DI Regional semifinals RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 22/11 LETTERMEN LOST: 12 OFFENSE: I under center OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Eligia Carter, Jr., 6-0, 178 … QB Tristan Holmes, Jr., 5-9, 180 …TE Jailyn Robertson, Sr., 6-1, 245 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: FS Robby Hodges, Sr., 5-10, 160 … ILB Zachary Villareal, Sr., 6-0, 185 … DT Zach Tyeskie, Sr., 5-9, 223 2019 OUTLOOK: The Gladewater Bears are an East Texas institution when it comes to high school football. The late Jack Murphy, for which Gladewater's stadium is named, guided the Bears to 11-straight playoff appearances from 1982 through 1992. David Hussman put Gladewater in postseason six of seven calendars from 2000 through 2006. Enter John Berry, who worked prior as John King's right-hand man at Longview, and he's put the Bears in the playoffs in five of six efforts including last year's 11-2 finish. Gladewater lost in the Class 3A DI regional semifinals against eventual state runner-up Malakoff. One thing that's eluded this proud football factory is a state championship. Berry gladly welcomes back 22 letter winners from a year ago with six defensive and five offensive regulars back. Could this be the year Gladewater finally scales the mountain? Maybe so. The Bears have a dynamic junior at tailback in Eligia Carter, who rushed for 2,613 yards and scored 26 TDs in 2018. Carter will be among the most pursued recruits over the next two seasons. "We're looking forward to another great season from an explosive player," offered Berry. Tristan Holmes is back at QB where he started 10 games last fall. His 4.5 speed make him a potential game-breaker when defenses focus too much on Carter. The defense has a half dozen regulars back and that includes FS Robby Hodges, who totaled 87 tackles and three interceptions. "Robby had a breakout year as a junior and should lead a good secondary this year," Berry said. Filling the big shoes of graduated Rashaud Johnson at ILB will be senior Zachary Villareal. "We are confident Zachary will be very good," said Berry. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Spring Hill; Sept. 6 – At Atlanta; Sept. 13 – At Center; Sept. 20 – Pleasant Grove; Sept. 27 – Winnsboro*; Oct. 4 – At West Rusk*; Oct. 11 – Mineola*; Oct. 25 – At White Oak*; Nov. 1 – Sabine*; Nov. 8 – At Tatum*(*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

TATUMEAGLES

COACH: Jason Holman (1st year) ALL-TIME: 468-341-26, .576% STADIUM: Eagle Stadium, 483 Hill St., Tatum, 75691 2018 RESULT: 6-4, Class 3A Bi-district RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 20/12 LETTERMEN LOST: 12 OFFENSE: Multiple I OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Decartiyay Allison, Jr., 5-8, 165 … QB Kendric Malone, Soph., 5-10, 155 … TE Trey Fite, Soph., 6-5, 190 … RB Daymien Smith, Soph., 5-11, 185 … OL Logan Foster, Sr., 6-0, 255 ... OL James Johnson, Sr., 5-8, 200 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: S Quiston Sheffield, Jr., 5-10, 165 … OLB Jayden Boyd, Soph., 6-4, 175 … CB KaVontae Starling, Sr., 5-5, 145 … CB Dexter Monroe, Jr., 5-10, 145 … LB Ty Hollins, Jr., 5-9, 185 ... LB AJ Singleton, Sr., 5-9, 165 2019 OUTLOOK: Jason Holman's first venture into head coaching starts with a top-shelf program in Tatum. Andy Evans delivered the school back-to-back state titles in 2005 and 2006. The Eagles have been playoff entrants 16 of the last 17 years, but there's been a certain degree of instability since Evans' retirement after the 2015 campaign. Holman becomes the third coach to lead Tatum into flight since 2016. Craig Barker left after two seasons and Darren Hylander was gone after one year. Holman, a 1990 Jacksonville graduate, hopes to provide a stable atmosphere and hang around longer than a couple calendars. Tatum battled Gladewater in an end of the season OT thriller before bowing out. Holman has a half dozen starters back on both sides and 20 letter winners from last year's 6-4 district runner-up. The big void, however, is at QB where OB Jones has graduated. That loss could be softened with a good year from junior Decartiyay Allison at halfback. Sophomore Kendric Moore has the unenviable task of replacing Jones at QB. Senior stalwart Logan Foster is back to provide protection in the offensive line, while sophomore Daymien Smith hopes to add balance in the run game. Junior safety Quiston Sheffield is joined by sophomore OLB Jayden Boyd to fortify a Tatum defense that surrendered on average 28 points in 2018. If youth is served, expect Tatum to challenge Gladewater for top honors as it did last fall. It's a good bet the Eagles are in the playoffs for the 17th time in 18 years. Holmon is certainly hoping so. SCHEDULE: Schedule: Aug. 30 – Center; Sept. 6 – Daingerfield; Sept. 13 – At Pittsburg; Sept. 20 – At Hughes Springs; Sept. 27 – At White Oak*; Oct. 4 – Sabine*; Oct. 18 – At Winnsboro*; Oct. 25 – West Rusk*; Nov. 1 – At Mineola*; Nov. 8 – Gladewater*(*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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(Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

WEST RUSK RAIDERS

West Rusk's Jaylon Shelton poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore.

COACH: Nick Harrison (1st year) ALL-TIME: 268-285-5, .485% STADIUM: Bruce Bradshaw Stadium, School St. at Burnett St., New London, Texas 75682 2018 RESULT: 8-3, Class 3A DI Bi-district RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 9/11 LETTERMEN LOST: 21 OFFENSE: Multiple OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Talon Winings, Sr., 6-0, 180 … OL Colton Mills, Sr., 6-0, 230 … QB Jaylon Shelton, Sr., 6-3, 190 … WR Travis Graham, Jr., 6-1, 170 DEFENSE: Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Talon Winings, Sr., 6-0, 180 … OLB Myles Foster, Sr., 6-0, 185 … DL Parker Mizell, Sr., 6-0, 240 … DL Keldon Johnson, Soph., 6-1, 350 2019 OUTLOOK: Following the coach with the most wins in school history could be a daunting task. But it's a challenge Nick Harrison welcomes with the West Rusk Raiders in 2019. Harrison, who prepped at nearby Troup, served the now retired John Frazier for several years before assuming the throne. The Raiders have 37 games over the last four seasons and must overcome the loss of 21 lettermen from an 8-3 squad. Harrison does have six starters back on offense and another five regulars on defense. West Rusk expects to be in the mix at season's end. Whether or not the Raiders can forge in front of either Taum or Gladewater is a chapter yet to be written. The multi-talented Talon Winings is a nice block for Harrison to build on. Winings should spark West Rusk on both sides of the leather. On offense, Winings can stretch the field as a wide out and he's a real ball hawk on defense at safety. QB Jaylon Shelton has bided his time and now the senior directs the Raider offense. He'll be reliant on 6-0, 230-pound OL Colton Mills to lead the attack from the front line. Joining Winings on defense is seniors OLB Myles Foster and DL Parker Mizell along with 6-1, 350-pound sophomore tackle Keldon Johnson. West Rusk hung its hat on the defense in 2017 when it gave up only 108 points. Last season's squad was clipped for 212. If this year's defense falls somewhere between 108 and 212, the Raiders will be right in the middle of district title talk. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Arp; Sept. 6 – Waskom; Sept. 13 – Harmony; Sept. 20 – At Palestine Westwood; Sept. 27 – At Mineola*; Oct. 4 – Gladewater*; Oct. 11 – At White Oak*; Oct. 18 – Sabine*; Oct. 25 – At Tatum*; Nov. 1 – Winnsboro* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.) 82

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


Mineola's Trevion Sneed poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

MINEOLAYELLOWJACKETS

COACH: Luke Blackwell (3rd year, 12-10) ALL-TIME: 503-518-47, .493% STADIUM: Meredith Memorial Stadium, 1044 West Loop 564, Mineola, Texas 75773 2018 RESULT: 6-4, Class 3A DI Bi-district RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 16/16 LETTERMEN LOST: 11 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Trevion Sneed, Jr., 6-1, 210 … WR Cole Castleberry, Sr., 5-9, 165 … TE Wylie Franks, Sr., 6-3, 185 … OL Zane Bedford, Sr., 5-11, 260 … RB Kobe Kendrick, Jr., 6-2, 190 ... RB Montrell Williams, Sr., 5-10, 185 DEFENSE: 4-1 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Jackson Anderson, Jr., 6-3, 285 … OLB Wylie Franks, Sr., 6-3, 185 … DB Dalton Rogers, Sr., 5-8, 150 … DE Kobe Kendrick, Jr., 6-2, 190 ... DB Cole Castleberry, Sr., 5-9, 165 ... LB Hunter Wright, Jr., 5-10, 200 2019 OUTLOOK: Mineola was at one time a football wasteland. From 1990 to 2000, the Yellowjackets didn't make the playoffs and even suffered through a couple 0-10 seasons. Joe Drennon, now head coach at Hallsville, started to turn the ship around in 2008. Mineola went 28-3 in 2015 and 2016, winning the school's first state title in 2016. Drennon's replacement, Luke Blackwell, has carved a 1210 mark in his two years and made the postseason both times. But the 'Jackets have been a far cry from their 15-16 form. Blackwell, however, has reason to see his third year as charming. Mineola has a defense back almost intact - 9 starters - while the offense is fortified with near a full complement 7 starters - and the times could be changing. Junior Trevion Sneed is back to the hive and looks to build on a spectacular sophomore season where he racked up 1,613 yards and scored 16 TDs. He was equally lethal on defense with 82 tackles, 20 TFL and a half dozen sacks. For his efforts, Sneed was named his district's defensive MVP. He already holds and offer from SMU. Jackson Anderson should carry on with the Anderson offensive line lineage. The 6-3, 285-pounder should be a force, according to his coach. Jackson's older brothers Austin and Riley currently play at A&M. Junior LB Hunter Wright returns after a sophomore season of 105 tackles, 10 TFL and 7 QBPs. Senior Dalton Rogers roams the secondary for the 'Jackets and will be counted on heavily. Rogers posted 81 tackles, three pass break ups, a couple fumble recoveries and a force. Speedy Cole Castleberry will help at both wide receiver and in the secondary along with Rogers. Castleberry, closked at 4.5, had 40 tackles and 11 PBU. Wylie Franks, like Castleberry, could ignite on both sides of the ball. Franks averaged 17.8 receiving at tight end and piled up 42 stops and recovered three fumbles at OLB. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 - At Wills Point; Sept. 6 – At Canton; Sept. 13 – Farmersville; Sept. 20 – At Big Sandy; Sept. 27 – West Rusk*; Oct. 11 – At Gladewater*; Oct. 18 – At White Oak*; Oct. 25 – At Sabine*; Nov. 1 – Tatum*; Nov. 8 – At Winnsboro* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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WHITE OAK ROUGHNECKS 84

COACH: Kris Iske (6th year, 37-19 at school, 66-50 overall) ALL-TIME: 565-301-26, .648% STADIUM: Roughneck Stadium, 200 S. White Oak Rd., White Oak, Texas 75693 2018 RESULT: 4-6 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 14/11 LETTERMEN LOST: 16 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Bo Reddic, Sr., 5-9, 205 … ATH Blake Barlow, Jr., 6-0, 200 … OL Luke Ummel, Jr., 6-1, 225 … WR Micah Gibson, Sr., 6-3, 185 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: FS Colton Cobb, Jr., 5-8, 160 … OLB Tanner McKinney, Sr., 5-8, 145 … ILB Michael Stevens, Jr., 5-9, 148 … CB Jackson Frazier, Jr., 5-11, 170 2019 OUTLOOK: White Oak's six-year run of playoffs came to an end last year when the Roughnecks suffered their first non-winning season - 4-6 - in over a decade. Kris Iske pins his hopes on one of the best RBs in East Texas - Bo Reddic - and 14 returning letter winners to make their absence brief. The Roughnecks have in addition Reddic four other other offensive starters and six regulars on defense. Reddic, a starter for three years, totaled 1,049 yards, 124 receiving and 16 total TDs. The hard-running style of Reddic will always give White Oak a chance. He'll get his touches and yards on offense, but the defense has to show improvement. The Roughnecks suffered blow out three times last fall and gave up on average 30 points per game. FS Colton Cobb returns in the secondary. The junior rang up 135 tackles and picked a couple passes. His defensive contributions will be as important as Reddic's offensive. OLB Tanner McKinney had 52 stops, 17 of which were solo, with a couple fumble recoveries and pass thefts. Plugging in talented Blake Barlow shouldn't be a problem for Iske. The junior do-it-all is 6-0 and 200 pounds. He compiled 243 yards receiving with a score and rushed six times for 64 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, Barlow added 18 tackles, a QB sack and an assist. White Oak's return to postseason may be a tall order this year, but you can never count Iske's crew out. He's led four of five editions to the party. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Elysian Fields; Sept. 6 – New DIana; Sept. 13 – Spring Hill; Sept. 20 – At Rains; Sept. 27 – Tatum*; Oct. 4 – At Winnsboro*; Oct. 11 – West Rusk*; Oct. 18 – At Mineola*; Oct. 25 – Gladewater*; Nov. 8 – At Sabine* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone

White Oak's Colton Cobb poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)


SABINECARDINALS

COACH: Rex Sharp (3rd year, 7-13 at school, 21-49 overall) ALL-TIME: 294-502-22, .373% STADIUM: James Bamburg Stadium, 5424 FM 1252 W, Gladewater, Texas 75647 2018 RESULT: 5-5 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 18/19 LETTERMEN LOST: 12 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Landon McKinney, Sr., 6-1, 188 … WR AJ Gresham, Sr., 6-0, 170 … OL Tristan Green, Sr., 6-0, 305 … C LJ Mitchell, Sr., 5-11, 192 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Bre’den Ford, Sr., 5-10, 150 … LB Brannigan Willige, Soph., 5-9, 175 … OLB Ty Francisco, Jr., 6-2, 215 … DE Asher Foster, Jr., 6-2, 215 2019 OUTLOOK: Long known as a basketball school, the Sabine Cardinals labor to put football on the map. The Red Birds haven't won a district championship since the days of JT "Red" Russell in 1953. Sabine went through a drought of near three decades between playoff showings. The Cardinals, however, have qualified for the party three of the last five years. A late-season loss to White Oak last year hindered that from being four in five. Battle-tested veteran coach Rex Sharp is resting his hopes on 10 offensive and nine defensive starters returning to the nest. The Cards actually outscored the opposition on average 30-26 in 2018, but finished with a 5-5 overall worksheet. With nearly everyone back intact, Sabine has the chance to be one of the surprises in 2019. Senior QB Landon McKinney passed for 1,623 yards and rushed for an additional 907 accounting for a total of 29 TDs. "Landon is a tough, savvy kids," Sharp lauds. "He has a strong arm and has a good wheel set. He's just a really good player." McKinney's most popular target is likely to be fellow senior AJ Gresham, who reeled in 40 passes for 437 yards last year. Sophomore LB Brannigan Willige wasn't awed by Friday night lights as a freshman. He is back as the Cards' top tackler with 95 stops. Junior DE Asher Foster is a force off the edge for Sharp's 4-2-5 defense. Foster bagged three sacks last fall. Junior OLB Ty Francisco and senior DB Bre'den Foster each picked two passes in 2018. "We're returning many starters on both sides of the ball. The JV will supply our varsity with good skill kids," said Sharp. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Carlisle; Sept. 6 – Shelbyville; Sept. 13 – At Harleton; Sept. 20 – At Elkhart; Oct. 4 – At Tatum*; Oct. 11 – Winnsboro*; Oct. 18 – At West Rusk*; Oct. 25 – Mineola*; Nov. 1 – At Gladewater*; Nov. 8 – White Oak* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

WINNSBORO RED RAIDERS

COACH: Josh Finney (1st year at school, 86-32 overall) ALL-TIME: 463-481-37, .491% STADIUM: Red Raider Stadium, 409 Newsome St., Winnsboro, Texas 75494 2018 RESULT: 2-8 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 17/15 LETTERMEN LOST: 7 OFFENSE: Flex Bone OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: OL John McCurdy, Sr., 6-3, 275 … RB Landry Deaton, Sr., 5-11, 190 … RB Kyd Cole, Jr., 5-9, 160 … QB Keen Glover, Jr., 5-10, 170 … WR Elijah Bolton, Sr., 5-11, 150 DEFENSE: Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DE Kilder Ortega, Sr., 5-10, 210 … LB Logan Minick, Jr., 5-10, 165 … LB Zeb Fulmer, Soph., 5-7, 170 … DB Kainer Hart, Sr., 5-10, 165 … DL Brandon Noll, Sr., 6-1, 200 2019 OUTLOOK: Josh Finney returns home and wants to deliver results for the Winnsboro Red Raiders. Finney, a graduate of Winnsboro, carved an impressive nine-year record of 73-32 in stops at Maud, Teague, Hull-Daisetta and most recently Mount Vernon. He returns to his alma mater with great optimism. Winnsboro, after making the playoffs in 10 of 11 years under Steve Pinnell, hasn’t got a ticket to the dance the last two years. Finney welcomes back 17 letter winners, seven of which were offensive regulars and eight defensive stalwarts. A methodic, ground-it-out approach served Finney well at Mount Vernon and should do so at Winnsboro. Good ground games are built on those boys in the trenches. Finney lists his top returnee as senior lineman John McCurdy. Junior Keen Glover gets the keys to the Red Raider offense. He'll have senior Landry Deaton in the backfield as well as junior Kyd Cole. Winnsboro's multiple defensive scheme is in good hands with senior DE Kilder Ortega and returning LBs Logan Minick and Zeb Fulmer. The senior duo of Kainer Hart and Brandon Noll patrol the secondary for the Red Raiders. It'll be a week four reunion of sorts for Finney when he returns to Mount Vernon and faces Art Briles' Tigers on Sept. 20. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Winona; Sept. 6 – Queen City; Sept. 13 – Paris Chisum; Sept. 20 – At Mount Vernon; Sept. 27 – At Gladewater*; Oct. 4 – White Oak*; Oct. 11 – At Sabine*; Oct. 18 – Tatum*; Nov. 1 – At West Rusk*; Nov. 8 – Mineola* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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DISTRICT 10-3A DII

Harmony’s Michael Everett Follows his blockers during a game against Daingerfield. (Les Hassell/News-Journal Photo)

OUR PICKS 1. HARMONY 2. TROUP 3. ARP 4. WINONA 5. GRAND SALINE 6. FRANKSTON 7. ALBA-GOLDEN 8. QUITMAN

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East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


COACH: John Eastman (9th year, 48-39) ALL-TIME: 451-472-35, .489% STADIUM: Tiger Stadium, Colle Street, Troup, Texas 75789 2018 RESULT: 10-3, Class 3A DII regional semifinals RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 18/14 LETTERMEN LOST: 14 OFFENSE: Gun Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Desmon Deason, Sr., 5-10, 165 … OT Garrett Towery, Jr., 6-3, 242 … WR Jaden Lewis, Sr., 6-0, 170 … QB Jordan Elliott, Sr., 5-10, 165 … Aiden Simmons, Soph., 6-3, 240 DEFENSE: 3-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: OLB Max Hale, Sr., 5-9, 170 … DT JJ Gossett, Sr., 6-0, 235 … OLB Brayden Vess, Jr., 6-0, 165 … DL Dalton Palmer, Jr., 6-1, 230 … LB Calob Smith, Sr., 5-9, 170 2019 OUTLOOK: The third time on the second time around proved charming for Troup’s John Eastman. The veteran coach guided his Tigers to an impressive 10-3 record and a berth in the Class 3A DII regional semis. After impressive wins over Waskom and Chisum, the Tigers fell hard to eventual repeat state champion Newton. Eastman, previously head coach of the Tigers from 2005-2009, has plenty of reason to smile. Troup has eight offensive holdovers and six more on defense. No reason the Tigers can’t make a serious challenge for league supremacy again. A couple of talented pass catchers return in seniors Demon Deason and Jaden Lewis. Deason was tops on the Tigers with 34 receptions, while Lewis proved a big-play type with a team-best 840 yards and 11 TDs. Deason totaled 519 yards receiving with 7 TDs. Jordan Elliot makes the switch from pass catcher to thrower. Elliott had 209 yards receiving and 234 more on the ground with 6 TDs. Now Elliott will be counted on to direct Troup’s offense. Max Hale is steady at OLB after ringing up 151 tackles, 10 of which went for lost yardage. JJ Gossett gives offensive lineman fits with his quick burst off the ball at defensive tackle. Gossett managed 46 stops and 3 sacks for the Tigers. Troup gets a stern test to open when it hosts Class 2A toughie Tenaha in a tangle of tigers. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 - Tenaha; Sept. 6 – At Carlisle; Sept. 13 – Elkhart; Sept. 27 – Grand Saline*; Oct. 4 – At Harmony*; Oct. 11 – At Quitman; Oct. 18 – Frankston*; Oct. 25 – Alba-Golden*; Nov. 1 – Winona*; Nov. 8 – At Arp* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

TROUPTIGERS

HARMONYEAGLES

COACH: Tim Russell (11th year, 93-53) ALL-TIME: 344-347-17, .498% STADIUM: Eagle Stadium, 9788 State Highway 154 West, Gilmer, Texas 75644 2018 RESULT: 10-2, Class 3A DII Area RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 19/12 LETTERMEN LOST: 20 OFFENSE: Wing OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Issac Edwards, Sr., 6-1, 215 … OL Shane Sewell, Sr., 6-2, 295 … OL Brody Chatham, Sr., 6-2, 295 … QB Gage Goddard, Sr., 6-2, 175 … WR Mike Everett, Jr., 5-11, 180 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Trent Hart, Sr., 6-2, 200 … LB Issac Edwards, Sr., 6-1, 215 … DB Mike Everett, Jr., 5-11, 180 2019 OUTLOOK: In Harmony, running the football is religion. The Eagles like to ground and pound. Under veteran coach Tim Russell, Harmony has gone 30-6 the past three autumns. With seven offensive and five defensive regulars returning, no reason to expect the Eagles not to make it five consecutive trips to the postseason. Russell, nearing 100 victories in his career, has Gage Goddard back at QB. Replacing Barrett Hill’s 1,000+ yards in the backfield falls on the capable shoulders of Issac Edwards, who 629 yards and 8 TDs last fall. Goddard completed 52% of his passes for 747 yards and 10 TDs. His top returning pass catcher is junior Mike Edwards, who had 8 receptions for 183 yards and 3 TDs. He also added 622 yards on 65 totes with 5 TDs. The offensive line is solid with Shane Sewell and Brody Chatham. The identical 6-2, 295 pounders are extremely strong and athletic. Harmony’s defense surrendered just two scores per contest in 2018 and should be ever-bit that greedy again this season. Trent Hart is back at MLB, where he racked up 52 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles and 1 interception. Everett was also productive in the secondary for the Eagles and finished with 70 stops, 3 picks and a Pick6. Russell and his Eagles should be a good bet to make it four straight district titles in 2019. All eyes focus on Harmony’s second week opponent when it hosts Elysian Fields in an early-season battle. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 - At New Diana; Sept. 6 – Elysian Fields; Sept. 13 – At West Rusk; Sept. 27 – At AlbaGolden*; Oct. 4 – Troup*; Oct. 11 – Winona*; Oct. 18 – At Quitman*; Oct. 25 – Arp*; Nov. 1 – At Frankston*; Nov. 8 – Grand Saline* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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Arp High School Kajun Horton (50), Joshua Pawlik (65), Claye Whitehead (15) and Tren Jones (5).

ARPTIGERS

(Cara Campbell/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

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COACH: Dale Irwin (17th year, 130-60 at school, 135-65 overall) ALL-TIME: 476-389-14, .549% STADIUM: Bill Herrington Tiger Stadium, 420 East Front Street, Arp, Texas 75750 2018 RESULT: 3-7 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 13/11 LETTERMEN LOST: 11 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Tren Jones, Sr., 6-2, 180 … WR Chris Gladney, Jr., 6-2, 170 … TE Tristen Wagoner, Jr., 6-2, 170 … WR Brandon Holloway, Jr., 5-8, 155 DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Robert Greenlee, Sr., 5-10, 225 … DT Kajun Horton, 5-9, 235 … DB Chris Gladney, Jr., 6-2, 170 … DE Tristen Wagoner, Jr., 6-2, 170 … OLB Jacob Langlinais. Sr., 5-8, 145 2019 OUTLOOK: It was most unusual for the Arp Tigers to be sitting on the outside looking in at last year’s playoff party. Longtime head coach Dale Irwin saw a streak of 11 consecutive postseason visits abruptly snapped last year as the Tigers suffered their first losing season in eight years. Irwin, one of the more respected taskmasters in East Texas, has taken the Tigers to the playoffs in 13 of his 16 seasons at the helm. Arp has never sat out back-to-back seasons under Irwin and shouldn’t this time either. The Tigers are excited to welcome back 13 letter winners with a half dozen offensive and five defensive regulars back in the fold. It starts at QB with senior Tren Jones. The 6-2, 180 pound Jones racked up 1,100 in total offensewith 4 passing TDs and 8 rushing scores. Irwin said of Jones, “He’s a good player we will be dependent on him heavily.” The defense anchors its hopes on returning senior linebacker Robert Greenlee. The 5-10, 225-pound Greenlee is a three-year starter and amassed 88 tackles last fall in a disappointing 3-7 campaign. Junior Chris Gladney and Tristen Wagoner are a pair of returning two-way performers for the Tigers. Gladney starts at wide receiver and defensive back, while Wagoner is a force at tight end and defensive end. Arp plays host to 3A DI heavyweight Jefferson in attractive week three non-district tilt. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – West Rusk; Sept. 6 – At Hughes Springs; Sept. 13 – Jefferson; Sept. 27 – At Quitman*; Oct. 4 – Frankston*; Oct. 11 – At Alba-Golden*; Oct. 18 – Winona*; Oct. 25 – At Harmony*; Nov. 1 – At Grand Saline*; Nov. 8 – Troup* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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WINONA

WILDCATS

Winona's Quindarius Johnson poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

COACH: Keylon Kincade (6th year, 27-31) ALL-TIME: 261-354-13, .426% STADIUM: Wildcat Stadium, 605 Wildcat Drive, Winona, Texas 75792 2018 RESULT: 7-5, Class 3A DII Area RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 21/12 LETTERMEN LOST: 8 OFFENSE: Multiple Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Quinn Johnson, Sr., 5-5, 165 … WR Nick Garrett, Sr., 6-4, 185 … RB Jermichael Akins, Jr., 5-8, 195 … Arimon Ford, Jr., 5-6, 150 … QB Zach Halbert, Jr., 5-10, 155 DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Peyton Snow, Jr., 5-4, 160 … DB Ashton Smith, Sr., 6-0, 170 … OLB Jermichael Akins, Jr., 5-8, 195 … DL Manny Garcia, Soph., 5-9, 215 2019 OUTLOOK: Don’t sleep on these Winona Wildcats. Keylon Kincade has taken the Wildcats to the playoffs in four of his five seasons in charge. With 21 letter winners returning and only eight lettermen lost, Winona appears to be in prime position to make it five straight playoff appearances. The Wildcats actually surprised Cooper 37-35 in their bi-district bout before falling in a wild one 54-40 to Corrigan-Camden in area. Kincade, a former Winona standout and onetime Dallas Cowboy himself, always fields a very talented group of athletes. For what they lack in size, they more than make up for with speed. A half dozen regulars on both sides of the leather are back. Running back and return specialist Quinn Johnson heads the parade. Johnson is 5-5, 160 and runs the 40 in 4.6. He compiled over 1,100 yards rushing and over 350 receiving with 15 TDs. Wide out Nick Garrett is back after pulling in on average 21 yards per catch with 4 TDs. Junior Zach Halbert gets his turn at QB for Kincade and has big shoes to fill in graduated Dakota Pullum. On defense, MLB Peyton Snow is back after racking up 176 tackles last year. Senior Ashton Smith proved to be a true lockdown corner in 2018. Smith tallied 38 stops, broke up six passes and only surrendered two pass receptions on his side of the field. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 - Winnsboro; Sept. 6 – Eustace; Sept. 13 – At Elysian Fields; Sept. 27 – At Frankston*; Oct. 4 – AlbaGolden*; Oct. 11 – At Harmony*; Oct. 18 – At Arp*; Oct. 25 – Grand Saline*; Nov. 1 – At Troup*; Nov. 8 – Quitman* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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INDIANS

GRAND SALINE

COACH: Michael Ridge (7th year, 20-42) ALL-TIME: 452-504-33, .474% STADIUM: Carter Elliott Field at Indian Memorial Stadium, 500 Stadium Dr., Grand Saline, Texas 75140 2018 RESULT: 7-4, Class 3A DII Area RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 18/17 LETTERMEN LOST: 6 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Cameron Lowe, Sr., 6-0, 180 … OL Luke Morrison, Sr., 6-1, 195 … OL Aubrey Barnes, Sr., 6-2, 245 … RB Eric Jimenez, Jr., 5-8, 155 … RB Jake Davis, Jr., 5-7, 150 … QB Jase Melton, Soph., 6-0, 186 DEFENSE: 10-1 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Bryce Smith, Sr., 5-10, 190 … OLB Grant Lewis, Sr., 6-3, 215 … DL Reed Deatherage, Sr., 6-0, 230 2019 OUTLOOK: For just the second time in 10 years the Grand Saline Indians garnered a spot in the playoffs. It was the second time in Michael Ridge’s six seasons to guide the Tribe to the party and he’s hoping no less than 17 starters prove it no aberration in 2019. Grand Saline notched its first playoff win in near two decades with a 23-0 shutout of Blue Ridge in bi-district before suffering a 59-5 annihilation to Newton. The Indians return nearly intact on both sides of the line. Nine starters are back in the fold for the offense and eight return on defense. Senior linebacker Bryce Smith spearheads the Indian D after bagging up 130 tackles last fall. Grant Lewis is back at OLB and hopes to improve on his 94 tackles and 10 quarterback sacks. Opposing offensive lines will have their hands full with 6-0, 230-pound Reed Deatherage, who was responsible for 81 tackles in 2018. Grand Saline implements Texas high school coaching icon G.A. Moore’s famed 10-1 defense. Sophomore Jase Melton starts at QB will look to connect with senior Cameron Lowe. He’ll hand the rock off to juniors Eric Jimenez and Jake Davis. The offensive line is led 6-2, 245-pound Aubrey Barnes as well as 6-1, 195-pound Luke Morrison. Grand Saline will play six of its 10 games on the road this fall. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Como-Pickton; Sept. 6 – At Palmer; Sept. 13 – At Scurry-Rosser; Sept. 27 – At Troup*; Oct. 4 – Quitman*; Oct. 11 – At Frankston*; Oct. 18 – Alba-Golden*; Oct. 25 – At Winona*; Nov. 1 – Arp*; Nov. 8 – At Harmony* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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FRANKSTONINDIANS

COACH: Paul Gould (2nd year, 1-9 at school, 43-26 overall) ALL-TIME: 261-297-14, .469% STADIUM: Jeff & Opal Austin Stadium, 100 West Perry St., Frankston, Texas 75763 2018 RESULT: 1-9 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 22/18 LETTERMEN LOST: 5 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Brink Bizzell, Jr., 5-10, 175 … WR Clayton Carnes, Sr., 6-0, 165 … WR Roark, Sr., 6-4, 215 … OL Juan Perez, Jr., 6-0, 225 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB J.J. Beckfield, Sr., 5-10, 175 … DB Jesse Newman, Sr., 5-9, 165 … DL Nick Haney, Jr., 5-10, 240 … DL Cody Dickerson, Jr., 5-9, 225 2019 OUTLOOK: Restoring stability on the reservation is what Paul Gould has done in Frankston. After a four-year hitch by Sam Wells, followed by a three-year stint from Matt Nally, Frankston struggled through four coaches in four seasons. It started with Mike Owens in 2015 and followed with Jonny Louvier in 2016 to Kevin Chase in 2017. Gould, who went 42-17 at Alto from 2013 to 2017, assumed control last year and is back for a second term. Nowhere to go but up for a program that hasn’t won a playoff game since 2010. Frankston was young last year and took their lumps. Hopefully it pays dividends this fall as nine starters on both offense and defense along with 22 lettermen return. The Indians have struggled through consecutive 1-9 seasons and are ready to turn the thing around. Super-quick Brink Bizzell is penciled in at QB for the Tribe. Clayton Cames started at QB last year but makes the transtiton to wide out in hopes of taking advantage of his 4.4 speed. He accounted for 620 yards on the ground with 8 TDs and added 65 yards receiving with a score. Bizzell can also count on 6-4, 215-pound Ethan Roark at receiver. Roark managed 150 yards in receptions and scored once. Frankston’s 3-4 defensive approach has a solid in the secondary with DBs J.J. Beckfield and Jesse Newman. The senior duo combined for 121 and five picks. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At West Sabine; Sept. 6 – At Elkhart; Sept. 13 – Ore City; Sept. 27 – Winona*; Oct. 4 – At Arp*; Oct. 11 – Grand Saline*; Oct. 18 – At Troup*; Oct. 25 – Quitman*; Nov. 1 – Harmony*; Nov. 8 – At Alba-Golden* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)


PANTHERS

ALBA-GOLDEN

COACH: Derek Smith (3rd year, 8-11 at school, 24-37 overall) ALL-TIME: 99-257-2, .279% STADIUM: Alba-Golden Stadium, US 69 & FM 1799, Alba, Texas 75410 2018 RESULT: 5-4 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 17/16 LETTERMEN LOST: 9 OFFENSE: Slot-T OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Boedy Baker, Jr., 6-3, 215 … RB Jon Michael Chadwick, Sr., 6-1, 180 … OT Jacob Dailey, Jr., 6-1, 235 … FB Austin Hartley, Sr., 5-9, 160 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: OLB Boedy Baker, Jr., 6-3, 215 … FS Jon Michael Chadwick, Sr., 6-1, 180 … DE Tim Mitchell, Jr., 6-2, 185 … DE Ryan Jackson, Soph., 6-0, 195 … 2019 OUTLOOK: Alba-Golden’s next win will be its 100th in school history. That’s cause for celebration. Derek Smith embarks on his third year looking for it to be a charm. The Panthers finished with five wins, which was their best showing in four seasons. The 2015 A-G squad won a school record eight games and were part of a tri-championship. It also marked the end of a three-year playoff run for the Panthers. With a healthy return of nine offensive starters, coupled with seven defensive regulars, Smith hopes a hundredth win isn’t the only cause for celebration in 2019. A-G senior Jon Michael Chadwick and junior Boedy Baker best represent the Panthers on both sides of the ball. Chadwick run a 4.6 and rushed for 825 yards with 5 TDs. He also had 175 yards through the air and managed 32 tackles and 3 picks. Chadwick starts at one back in A-G’s methodic Slot-T and is a free safety in the Panthers’ 3-4 defense. Baker is a beast at 6-3, 215 pounds. He plowed his way to 515 yards rushing, 350 receiving and 9 TDs. On defense as OLB, Baker made 47 stops, 10 TFLs and 4 sacks. The Panther defense also returns their bookends in junior Tim Mitchell and sophomore Ryan Jackson. Mitchell mustered 59 tackles and 5 sacks, while Jackson, as a freshman, finished with 62 tackles and earned 1st all district. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Hawkins; Sept. 6 – At Big Sandy; Sept. 13 – Honey Grove; Sept. 27 – Harmony*; Oct. 4 – At Winona*; Oct. 11 – Arp*; Oct. 18 – At Grand Saline*; Oct. 25 – Troup*; Nov. 1 – At Quitman*; Nov. 8 – Frankston* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

ALL-TIME: 340-403-15, .458% STADIUM: Bud Moody Stadium, Morris Avenue, Quitman, Texas 75783 2018 RESULT: 1-8 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 15/16 LETTERMEN LOST: 6 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Trey Berry, Sr., 6-0, 165 … RB Eliseo Turcios, Sr., 5-8, 165 … OL Hunter Batchledge, Jr., 6-1, 230 … WR Riley Flanagan, Sr., 6-4, 170 DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Dylan Coe, Sr., 6-2, 160 … DL Hunter Gilbreath, Sr., 6-1, 225 … S Ty Holland, Jr., 5-9, 150 … DL Luke Pruden, Sr., 6-2, 195 2019 OUTLOOK: Bryan Oakes likely could run for mayor in Quitman and win by a landslide. Oakes, in his second year on board with the Bulldogs, finished 1-8. That one victory, a 30-6 season-opening win over Cumby, snapped a 43-game losing streak. Quitman endured four consecutive 0-fer seasons. Now the Bulldogs only look to snap an 8-game losing skid heading into the 2019 campaign. It’s all about small victories. Oakes has to be pleased to have back eight starters on both sides of the ball. The Bulldogs, who only lost a half dozen lettermen, could be as competitive as they’ve been since 2010 when they finished 7-4. Senior Trey Berry mans the offensive controls. Berry, who passed for 385 yards with 3 TDs, was also Quitman’s leading rusher with 1,173 yards and 9 TDs. Riley Flanagan is back for the ’Dogs after a junior season of seven receptions for 141 yards and 2 TDs. On defense, senior tackle Hunter Gilbreath returns after totaling three sacks last season. Senior DB Dylan Coe rates at Quitman’s top returning tackler (65) and leader in interceptions (2). The Bulldogs are hoping for a little déjà vu when they kickoff 2019 menu at home against Cumby. Oakes sees his upcoming edition stronger because of senior leadership and the district as a whole weaker due to graduation. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 - Cumby; Sept. 6 – At Scurry-Rosser; Sept. 13 – Union Grove; Sept. 27 – Arp*; Oct. 4 – At Grand Saline*; Oct. 11 – Troup*; Oct. 18 – Harmony*; Oct. 25 – At Frankston*; Nov. 1 – Alba-Golden*; Nov. 8 – At Winona* (*Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

QUITMANBULLDOGS

COACH: Bryan Oakes (3rd year 1-18)

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DISTRICT 11-3A DII 94

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone

Daingerfield vs. Harmony game at Pine Tree Stadium. (Les Hassell/News-Journal Photo)

OUR PICKS 1. DAINGERFIELD 2. WASKOM 3. ELYSIAN FIELDS 4. PAUL PEWITT 5. ORE CITY 6. DE KALB 7. NEW DIANA 8. QUEEN CITY


DAINGERFIELDTIGERS

COACH: Davin Nelson (2nd year, 9-4 overall) ALL-TIME: 606-350-25 .617% STADIUM: Mickey Mayne Tiger Stadium, 202 Tiger Dr., Daingerfield, Texas, 75638 2018 result: 9-4, REGIONAL FINALIST RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 18/12 LETTERMEN LOST: 18 OFFENSE: Multiple Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Tyrese Grant, Sr., 6-0, 175 … RB Jakobie Craver, Sr., 5-11, 180 … RB Daevaughndric Lewis, So., 6-2, 185 … QB Braxton Jimmerson, Jr., 6-2, 180 … WR Zaylon Jeter, Jr., 5-9, 165 … DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Chad Reeves, Sr., 6-3, 215 … DL Za’kylon Williams, 6-4, 280 … LB Zavien Parker, Sr., 5-10, 170 … DB Martez Allen, Jr., 5-10, 165 … LB Alex Delacruz, So., 6-0, 170 … DL Ja’Kelyn Hayes, Jr., 6-2, 258 … LB Evan Peel, Sr., 6-0, 220 … DL Tykelan Blackll, Sr., 6-1, 246 2019 OUTLOOK: The Tigers are favored by many to win the district, and it’s easy to see why considering many

from last year’s squad that went three rounds deep, are returning for this year’s squad. They have weapons on both sides of the ball who can help the Tigers continue their success. Craver had 21 touchdowns and over 1,000 yards on the ground last year and with his senior leadership, he could be a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Gunter; Sept. 7 -- At Tatum**; Sept. 13 – New Boston; Sept. 20 – At DeKalb*; Sept. 27 – Elysian Fields*; Oct. 11 – At Ore City*; Oct. 18 – At Queen City*; Oct. 25 – Waskom*; Nov. 1 – At Paul Pewitt*; Nov. 8 – New Diana*(* Indicates district game; ** Saturday game. All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

BRAHMAS

PAUL PEWITT

Ford said his team will be even better in 2019, adding that his team has, “the best quarterback in the district returning,’ in Wilkerson, who’s entering his junior season. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At White Oak; Sept. 6 – At Harmony; Sept. 13 – Winona; Sept. 20 – Ore City*; Sept. 27 – At Daingerfield*; Oct. 11 – Queen City*; Oct. 18 – At Waskom*; Oct. 25 – Paul Pewitt*; Nov. 1 – At New Diana*; Nov. 8 – DeKalb (* Indicates district game. All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

ELYSIAN FIELDS YELLOW JACKETS

COACH: Scott Ford (7th year, 40-27 at Elysian Fields, 120-72 overall) ALL-TIME: 374-272-18 .563% STADIUM: Jacket Stadium, 2400 FM 451, Elysian Fields, Texas, 75642 2018 RESULT: 6-5, Bi-district finalist RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 18/14 LETTERMEN LOST: 10 OFFENSE: Multiple Gun OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Chris Smith, Sr., 5-9, 165 … RB Tony Mason, Sr., 5-7, 155 … QB Ryan Wilkerson, Jr., 5-11, 165 … WR Hayden Parker, Jr., 5-10, 175 … OL Gauge Parker, So., 6-3, 215 .. WR Will Ford, Jr., 5-10, 160 … OL Cody Hargett, So., 5-9, 205 … WR Jackson Illingworth, Jr., 6-3, 180 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Justin Kitchen, Jr., 6-5, 255 … DB Tyrese Hardeman, Sr., 6-3, 165 … DL Carson Holland, Sr., 5-9, 210., LB Ty Kirkland, Jr., 6-3, 175 … DB Landon Swank, So., 6-3, 175 … LB Kyle Story, Jr., 5-11, 185 2019 OUTLOOK: The ‘Jackets put up scary good numbers on offense a year ago and head coach Scott

COACH: Triston Abron (2nd year, 8-3 at Paul Pewitt, 8-3 overall) ALL-TIME: 436-325-13 .563% STADIUM: Brahmas Stadium, 1330 US Highway 67 West, Omaha, Texas 75571 2018 RESULT: 8-3, 3A DII bi-district finalist RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 17/17 LETTERMEN LOST: 5 OFFENSE: Slot-T OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB D.J. Turner, Sr., 6-0, 165 … OL Demarcus Hill, Jr., 6-3, 360 … OL David Williams, Jr., 6-3, 320 … OL Rhys Kelley, Jr., 6-1, 240 … QB Cross Holder, Sr., 6-2, 170 … DL Duke Fitts, Sr., 5-11, 255 … RB Deiontray Hill, So… DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Kadrien Johnson, Jr., 5-8, 150 … DL Kendrell Webster, Jr., 5-10, 215 … DL Keiuntray Hawkins, Sr., 5-11, 180 … 2019 OUTLOOK: Abron is looking to take the Brahmas to the playoffs for the second straight time in as many years as he’s been head coach. A trip to the postseason would also mean the 12th straight for the team that’s stacked with returners from last year’s eight-win squad. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – New Boston; Sept. 6 – At Hooks; Sept. 13 – Redwater; Sept. 20 – Waskom*; Sept. 27 – At Ore City*; Oct. 11 – At New Diana*; Oct. 18 – DeKalb*; Oct. 25 – At Elysian Fields*; Nov. 11 Daingerfield; Nov. 8 – At Queen City* (* Indicates district game. All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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WASKOMWILDCATS

Waskom High School's Hugo Tapia (44). (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

COACH: Whitney Keeling (10th year, 83-31 overall, 83-31 at Waskom) ALL-TIME: 370-324-19 .518% STADIUM: Wildcat Stadium, 365 School Ave, Waskom, Texas 75962 2018 RESULT: 10-2, 3A DII Area finalist RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 11/4 LETTERMEN LOST: 20 OFFENSE: Flex Bone OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Josh Reeves, Sr., 5-10, 150 … WR Paxton Keeling, Jr., 5-9, 140 … WR Robert Raven, Sr., 6-0, 170 … OL Tookie Jimmerson, 6-0, 250 … RB Tsean Hamilton, Fr., 6-0, 185 … DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Detrich Byrd, Jr., 5-10, 225 … 2019 OUTLOOK: Waskom was hit hard by graduation, as the Wildcats lost T.K. Hamilton to Northwestern State and Tristan McDonald to Hardin University. T.K.’s younger brother Tsean could do some damage as a freshman and Byrd will likely hold down the fort on the defensive side. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Redwater; Sept. 6 – At West Rusk; Sept. 12 – Hughes Springs**; Sept. 20 – AT Paul Pewitt*; Sept. 27 – New Diana*; Oct. 11 At DeKalb*; Oct. 18 – Elysian Fields*; Oct. 25 – At Daingerfield*; Nov. 1 – Queen City; Nov. 8 At Ore City* (* Indicates district game; **Indicates Thursday

game. All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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ALL-TIME: 251-417-9 .370% STADIUM: Smith-Wall Stadium, 905 Houston St., Queen City, Texas, 75572 2018 RESULT: 0-10 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: N/A LETTERMEN LOST: N/A OFFENSE: N/A OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Dylan Scott, Sr., 6-2, 150 … OL Christian Fitzgerald, Sr., 6-3, 210 … RB Terunte Neal, Jr., 5-10, 160 … WR Drake Moore, Sr., 5-7, 130 . DEFENSE: N/A DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Connor Alexander, Jr., 6-0, 165 … DL Noah Perkins, Jr., 6-2, 180 … DL Spencer Schmidt, Jr., 510, 206 2019 OUTLOOK: Droddy is going to have his work cut out for him as he takes over a program that went 0-10 a year ago. He’ll look for help under center with quarterback Dylan Scott. He coached the Bulldogs in 2013-2014.

DE KALB BEARS

SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Harleton; Sept. 6 – At Winnsboro; Sept. 13 – Hooks; Sept. 20 – At New Diana*; Sept. 27 – DeKalb*; Oct. 11 – At Elysian Fields*; Oct. 18 – Daingerfield*; Oct. 25 – At Ore City*; Nov. 1 – At Waskom*; Nov. 8 – Paul Pewitt* (* Indicates district game. All games start at 7:30 p.m.) COACH: Buddy Griffin (2nd year, 4-6 at DeKalb, 83-85-1 overall) ALL-TIME: 435-415-30 .494% STADIUM: Bear Stadium, SW Maples Street, De Kalb, Texas, 75559 2018 RESULT: 4-6 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 23/16 LETTERMEN LOST: 4 OFFENSE: Split back veer OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Timon Proby, Sr., 6-3, 180 … QB Kole Dooly, Sr., 5-10, 200 … WR Riley Starrett, Sr., 6-1, 175 … OL Dillon Kizer, Sr., 5-10, 185 … RB Ty Olson, Jr., 6-3, 180 … OL Carter Wafford, Sr., 5-11, 200 DEFENSE: Bear Front (Pressure) DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Chrsitopher McDaniel, Sr., 6-4, 280 … LB Londell Howard, Sr., 6-0, 212 … DB Jamar Vaughn, Jr., 5-9, 170 … DB Ramaj Vaughn, Jr., 5-9, 170 … DL Bryan Eubanks, Jr., 6-3, 215 … LB Demarcus Ingram, Jr., 5-9, 165 2019 OUTLOOK: The Bears were unable to punch their ticket to the playoffs in 2018 but second-year head coach Buddy Griffin believes his team will be stronger with year one with his team under his belt. He’ll have solid weapons in the backfield to help guide his offense and this year, he’ll have help from guys who were hit by the injury bug last year. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Prairiland; Sept. 6 -- At New Boston; Sept. 13 – Linden Kildare; Sept. 20 – Daingerfield*; Sept. 27 – At Queen City*; Oct. 11 – Waskom*; Oct. 18 – At Paul Pewitt*; Oct. 25 – New Diana*; Nov. 1 – Ore City*; Nov. 8 – At Elysian Fields (* Indicates district game. All games start

at 7:30 p.m.)

QUEEN CITY BULLDOGS

COACH: Eric Droddy (1st year back, 8-13 in two years at Queen City)

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NEW DIANA EAGLES 98

New Diana's Cooper Holland poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

COACH: Travis Chrisman (2nd year, 3-7 at New Diana, 3-7 overall) ALL-TIME: 411-232-8 .631% STADIUM: Eagle Stadium, 11826 Hwy 154 E., New Diana, Texas, 75640 2018 RESULT: 3-7 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 20/18 LETTERMEN LOST: 4 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Zane Freeman, Sr., 5-11, 190 … OL Isaiah Martinez, Sr., 5-11, 220 … QB Darren Manes, Jr., 5-10, 170 … WR Austin Green, Sr., 5-11, 165 … OL Jordan Sartori, Jr., 6-3, 280 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Carson Willeford, Jr., 5-10, 190 … LB Gage Shields, Sr., 6-5, 165 … DL Dylan Dodson, Sr., 5-9, 190 … LB Cooper Holland, Sr., 5-10, 180 2019 OUTLOOK: Chrisman officially has a year under his belt with the team and likes the Eagles’ chances of earning a playoff spot, saying, “We return the majority of our team, while graduating only three starters combined.” SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Harmony; Sept. 6 At White Oak; Sept. 13 At Alto; Sept. 20 Queen City*; Sept. 27 At Waskom*; Oct. 11 Paul Pewitt*; Oct. 17 Ore City**; Oct. 25 At DeKalb*; Nov. 1 Elysian Fields*; Nov. 8 At Daingerfield (* Indicates district game; ** Indicates Thursday game. All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


ORE CITY REBELS

COACH: Ron Burnham (1st Year) ALL-TIME: 114-121-9 .456% STADIUM: Rebel Stadium, 100 Rebel Rd, Ore City, Texas, 75683 2018 RESULT: 3-7 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 18/14 LETTERMEN LOST: 14 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Aaron Nigreville, Sr., 5-8, 145 … RB Jose Lopez, Sr., 5-9, 165 … OL A.J. Leyva, Sr., 6-1, 270 … QB Ty Freeman, Sr., 6-0, 185 … OL Harlan Hall, So., 5-9, 195 … WR David Andrews, Sr., 5-11, 160 … DEFENSE: 3-3 Stack DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Angelo Baker, Jr., 5-11, 190 ... DL Cash Steck, Sr., 6-0, 190 … LB Ryan Shastid, Jr., 5-10, 170 … DE Tyler Cardenas 2019 OUTLOOK: The Rebels might have a chance to compete for the district if they can stay healthy. That is a big “if” however, for a team that was hit hard by the injury bug in 2018. Nigreville was one of those key pieces lost all year after suffering an ACL injury in the first scrimmage. Burnham, a first-year head coach is hopeful that Nigreville can return to his 2017 form where he earned the Utility Player of the Year honors for the district. The coach is also optimistic about the return of Lopez who suffered an early-season collarbone injury. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Maud; Sept. 6 – Joaquin; Sept. 13 – At Frankston; Sept. 20 – At Elysian Fields*; Sept. 27 – Paul Pewitt*; Oct. 12 – Daingerfield*; Oct. 17 – At New Diana**; Oct. 25 – Queen City*; Nov. 1 – At DeKalb*; Waskom* (* Indicates district game; ** Indicates Thursday game. All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

Ore City High School's (23) Aaron Nigreville (24) Jose Lopez, (7) Ty Freeman, (8) Ryan Shastid (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

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DISTRICT 10-2A DII

Mount Enterprise player Kendre Miller (11) at a Mount Enterprise vs. Cushing game. (Courtesy Photo)

OUR PICKS 1. CLARKSVILLE 2. MOUNT ENTERPRISE 3. DETROIT 4. JAMES BOWIE 5. MAUD 6. OVERTON

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East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


TIGERS

CLARKSVILLE

COACH: Derek Schlieve (1st year) ALL-TIME: 428-515-34 .438% STADIUM: New Century Club Field, 202 S. Donoho St., Clarksville, Texas, 75426 2018 RESULT: 7-5, 2A Division II Area finalist RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 17/16 LETTERMEN LOST: 7 OFFENSE: N/A OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Quay Scales … WR Tra Rose, 6-1, 165 … OL Brian Chavez, 5-7, 215 … OL Ardadrain Gray, 5-10, 215 DEFENSE: N/A DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Yahmyne Banks, 5-10, 185 … DL Neo Scales, 6-3, 210 2019 OUTLOOK: Things looked ugly early on for the Tigers a year ago as they went 1-4 early before turning around and winning six straight. Quay Scales returns after throwing for 2,233 yards and 28 touchdowns while adding 785 yards and 15 scores on the ground. He has help on both sides of the ball to help the Tigers repeat as district champs and make a deep postseason run. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – AT Whitewright; Sept. 6 – Linen-Kildare; Sept. 13 – Prairiland; Sept. 20 – Chisum; Sept. 27 – At Honey Grove; Oct. 11 – At Maud*; Oct. 18 – Overton*; Oct. 25 – At Detroit*; Nov. 1 – At Bowie*; Nov. 8 – Mount Enterprise* (* Indicates district game. All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

WILDCATS

MOUNT ENTERPRISE

DETROITEAGLES

COACH: M.K Hamilton (3rd year, 7-12 at Detroit) ALL-TIME: 151-270-2 .356% STADIUM: Eagle Stadium, 110 East Garner St., Detroit, Texas, 75346 2018 RESULT: 5-6, 2A DII Bi-district finalist RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 20/16 LETTERMEN LOST: 6 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Joel Hinson, Sr., 5-10, 170 … WR Hunter Crutchfield, Sr., 5-6, 145 … OL Adam Bean, Sr., 6-0, 230 … OL Kyler Scott, Sr., 6-3, 275 … OL Bradley Parsons, So., 5-5, 225 … QB Cleoudus Scales, FR, 5-7, 150 … OL Justin Jenkins, So., 5-8, 235 DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Claude Scales, So., 5-6, 160 … DL David Storey, Jr., 6-1, 210 … LB Scott Hendricks, Jr., 5-10, 175 … DL Cody McCoin, Sr., 6-3, 198 … DB Cody Golightly, Sr., 5-7, 150 … 2019 OUTLOOK: Hamilton said he hopes to see major improvements in the running game, which could be a bit scary for opposing defenses considering Hinson set a record for rushing yards in a game with 348. The Eagles will look to freshman Scales to take over the quarterback duties but he’ll be surrounded by experience. The Eagles should at least be contenders for a district championship. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – AT Trenton; Sept. 6 – Como-Pickton; Sept. 13 – Boles; Sept. 20 – At Leonard; Sept. 27 – Cumby; Oct. 11 – At Overton*; Oct. 18 – At Bowie*; Oct. 25 – Clarksville*; Nov. 1 – At Mount Enterprise*; Nov. 8 – Maud* (* Indicates district game. All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

COACH: Jeremy Jenkins (1st year) ALL-TIME: 233-346-10 .395% STADIUM: John Webb Stadium, 301 NW 3rd St., Mount Enterprise, Texas, 75681 2018 RESULT: 4-6, 2A DII Bi-district finalist RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 18/18 LETTERMEN LOST: 2 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Kendre Miller, Sr., 6-0, 202; QB Derrick Jackson, Sr., 6-0, 175 … OL Jamar Thompson, Sr., 5-8, 235 … RB Patrick Johnson, So., 5-7, 145 … OL Colin Reeves, Sr., 6-3, 235 … WR Christian Newman, 5-7, 175 … OL Josh Bishop, So. DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Deandrew Ferguson, Sr., 6-4, 285 … LB Zach Johnson, Jr., 5-10, 175 … LB A.J. Gray, So., 5-8, 170 … DB Landon Andros, So., 5-10, 155 2019 OUTLOOK: Things are looking pretty good for the Wildcats who lost only two lettermen from a year ago. Despite fielding a young team with several freshmen, Mount Enterprise found its way into the playoffs. There’s no reason to think it can’t do the same as the squad returns with that playoff experience. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Colmesneil; Sept. 6 – At Cushing; Sept. 13 – Cayuga; Sept. 20 – At Burkeville; Sept. 28 -- Union Grove**; Oct. 11 – Bowie*; Oct. 18 – Maude; Oct. 25 – At Overton; Nov. 1 Detroit; Nov. 8 – At Clarksville (* Indicates district game. ** Indicates Saturday game starting at 7 p.m. All other games start at 7:30 p.m.) The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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OVERTONMUSTANGS 102

Overton's Logan Reddic poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

COACH: Justin Arnold (2nd year, 2-7 at Overton, 2-7 overall) ALL-TIME: 439-417-24 .498% STADIUM: Coach Chester Roy Stadium, 501 E. Henderson St., Overton, Texas, 75684 2018 RESULT: 2-7 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 8/7 LETTERMEN LOST: 10 OFFENSE: Slot-T OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Cole Marshall, Sr.; RB Jackson Clark, Jr., OL Tucker Rogers, Jr., WR Colin Lightner, Sr. DEFENSE: Even DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Justin Gomez, Sr.; DB Aaron Warwick, Jr.; DL Landon Morgan, So., 2019 OUTLOOK: It’s an uphill climb for the Mustangs who hope to prove doubters wrong and not finish in the basement of the district. They’re a young squad but guys like Marshall bring veteran leadership. SCHEDULE: Aug. 29 – Evadale**; Sept. 6 – At Union Grove; Sept. 13 – At Carlisle; Sept. 20 ComoPickton; Sept. 27 – At Boles; Oct. 11 – Detroit*; Oct. 18 – At Clarksville*&; Oct. 25 – Mount Enterprise*; Nov. 1 – At Maud*; Nov. 8 – Bowie* (* Indicates district game. ** Indicates Thursday night game at 7 p.m. All other games start at 7:30 p.m. on Friday nights)

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CARDINALS

COACH: Josh Turner (1st year) ALL-TIME: 224-270-15 .440% STADIUM: George Frost Field, 389 Houston Dr., Maud, Texas, 75567 2018 RESULT: 1-9 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 10/18

MAUD

LETTERMEN LOST: 5 OFFENSE: Multiple Pro OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Rayne Bailey, Sr., 5-8, 165 … QB Payton Windham, Sr., 5-10, 165 … OL Seth Brower, Sr., 6-1, 200 … OL Thomas Daniels, Sr., 5-11, 240 … WR Haylon Dear, So., 6-1, 155 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Chance Hicks, Sr., 6-0, 230 … DL Skyler Pate, Sr., 6-0, 275 … DB Kadin Daniels, Jr., 5-8, 140 … LB Tucker Sanders, So., 5-11, 175 … DB Cason Lamb, So., 5-11, 170 … DL Davion Dunn, Sol., 5-10, 210 2019 OUTLOOK: The Cardinals are looking for help at getting a fresh start as Turner takes control at the helm and will look to Windham for help as the senior is the leading passer on the offensive side of the ball and the leading tackler on the defensive side. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Ore City; Sept. 13 – At Tom Bean; Sept. 20 – Honey Grove; Sept. 27 – Rivercrest; Oct. 4 – At Boles; Oct. 11 – Clarksville*; Oct. 18 – At Mount Enterprise*; Oct. 25 – Bowie*; Nov. 1 – Overton*; Nov. 8 – At Detroit* (* Indicates district game. All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

STADIUM: Pirate Stadium, 47 James Bowie Ln., Simms, Texas, 75574 2018 RESULT: 7-5, 2 A DII Area finalist RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 8/10 LETTERMEN LOST: 12 OFFENSE: Slot-T OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Duncan Hammonds, Sr., 5-9, 165 … OL Whitt Rogers, Jr., 5-9, 230 … WR Billy Walker, Jr., 5-9, 230 … RB Ethan Fields, Jr., 5-8, 145 … OL Ethan Lum, Sr., 6-3, 220 DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Evan Williams, Sr., 5-11, 180 … LB Slade Burnett, So., 5-8, 160 … 2019 OUTLOOK: Expect the defense to hold down the fort during non-district play while the Pirates look for missing pieces. If they can find those missing pieces, they’ll have a chance of punching their ticket to the postseason but if not, the 2019 season will be a long one. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – At Union Grove; Sept. 6 – Harleton; Sept. 13 – At Rivercrest; Sept. 20 – Boles; Sept. 27 – At Carlisle; Oct. 11 – At Mount Enterprise*; Oct. 18 – Detroit*; Oct. 25 – AT Maud*; Nov. 1 – Clarksville*; Nov. 8 – At Overton* (* Indicates district game. All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

JAMES BOWIE

ALL-TIME: 278-467-21 .362%

PIRATES

COACH: Eddy May (7th season, 39-30 at Bowie, 57-54 overall)

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DISTRICT 11-2A DI OUR PICKS 1. TENAHA 2. GARRISON 3. JOAQUIN 4. LINDEN-KILDARE 5. TIMPSON 6. BECKVILLE 7. HARLETON 104

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TENAHATIGERS

COACH: Robert Tamplin (1st year) ALL-TIME: 509-397-37 .559% STADIUM: Tiger Stadium, South Center at Travis, Tenaha, Texas 75974 2018 RESULT: 10-4, 2A DI Regional finalist RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 13/12 LETTERMEN LOST: 12 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Hayden Jenkins, Sr., 6-1, 186 … WR Erik Smith, Sr., 6-3, 185 … OL Orlando Perales, Jr., 6-1, 250 … RB Jordan Marshall, Jr., 5-7, 145 DEFENSE: Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Pete Giles, Sr., 5-11, 233 … LB Davon Tamplin, Sr., 5-10, 165 … DE Dylan Calloway, Jr., 6-0, 190 … DB Jatorian Calloway, Sr., 5-9, 144 2019 OUTLOOK: Robert Tamplin moves from offensive coordinator to head coach for the Tigers. Tamplin is Tenaha’s fourth coach in six years and third in three. He replaces Greg Jenkins, who guided the Tigers to a 10-4 regional finals berth in his only season. The Tigers advanced to the Region III finals before dropping a 43-17 decision to San Augustine. With five holdovers on offense and seven on defense, Tamplin’s troops should be in good shape for a 14th consecutive visit to postseason. QB Hayden Jenkins is back after throwing for 2,661 yards with 28 TDs last fall. Wideout Erik Smith is also back after reeling in 39 passes for 646 yards and 8 TDs in 2018. Tenaha’s defense, which only managed two shutouts last year, should be stronger with a stable of starters returning. Leading the way is senior defensive lineman Pete Giles, who tallied 25 solo stops, 40 tackles total and eight tackles resulting in loss of yards. LB Davon Tamplin returns after a team-leading 90 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles and four TFL. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 - At Troup; Sept. 6 – Lovelady; Sept. 13 – T.K. Gorman; Sept. 20 – At San Augustine; Sept. 27 – At Timpson*; Oct. 5 – Beckville**; Oct. 18 – At Harleton*; Oct. 25 – Garrison*; Nov. 1 – At Joaquin*; Nov. 8 – Linden-Kildare* (* Indicates district game; ** Indicates 2 p.m. start; All other games start at 7:30 p.m.)

RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 17/12 LETTERMEN LOST: 13 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Sabastion Porter, Sr., 5-10, 200 … RB Ja’Kedric Watts, Sr., 5-9, 185 … WR Ja’Kadric, Sr., 5-9, 188 … OL Garner Hancock, Jr., 6-2, 208 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Chace Rodriguez, Sr., 6-0, 208 … DL De’Travious Taylor, Sr., 5-10, 211 … DE Canyon Holmes, Jr. 6-1, 175 … LB Shawn Holmes, Jr., 5-11, 210 2019 OUTLOOK: Garrison garnered its first district title in five years last fall and hopes the return of a half dozen holdovers on both sides of the leather result in a Bulldog repeat. Larry Prince took Garrison to the playoffs for the third time in as many tries before dropping a 2927 decision to San Augustine in third round play. The Bulldog offense starts with talented tailback Sabation Porter, who ravaged defenses for 2,461 yards and 43 TDs a year ago. Prince describes Porter as an amazing young man, always positive and always smiling. Porter averaged 8.3 yards per touch, which didn’t exactly leave opposing defenses with a smile. On defense, De’Travious Taylor is back after logging 45 tackles five sacks and five TFL. Prince lauds Taylor’s constant-running motor and also expects him to contribute on the offensive line. SCHEDULE: Sept. 6 – At Crockett; Sept. 13 – San Augustine; Sept. 20 – Alto; Sept. 27 – At Joquin*; Oct. 4 – Linden-Kildare*; Oct. 11 – At Timpson*; Oct. 18 – Beckville*; Oct. 25 – At Tenaha*; Nov. 1 – Harleton* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

GARRISON

BULLDOGS

COACH: Larry Prince (4th year, 23-14) ALL-TIME: 530-265-13 .664% STADIUM: Bulldog Stadium, 459 North US Highway 259, Garrison, Texas 75946 2018 RESULT: 10-3, 2A DI Regional semifinalist

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All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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Linden-Kildare's Nic Kunze poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

LINDEN-KILDARE TIGERS

COACH: Derek Simmons (3rd year, 18-13, 35-56 overall) ALL-TIME: 492-362-30 .574% STADIUM: Jack Hetherington Tiger Stadium, FM 125 & County Road 1759, Linden, Texas 75563 2018 RESULT: 6-4 RETURNING LETTERMAN/ STARTERS: 13/14 LETTERMEN LOST: 5 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB LaDaVion Johnson, Sr., 5-6, 155 … WR Da’Von Tyson, Sr., 5-9, 161 … OT Landon Liles, Jr., 6-3, 240 … WR Trey Schuler, Sr., 5-9, 160 … QB Mason Johnson, Jr., 5-10, 167 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Nic Kunze, Sr., 6-1, 205 … DT Vincent Peters, Jr., 5-10, 262 … DT Hunter Johnson, Jr., 5-9, 233 … DE Jackson Lee, Soph., … LB Gunner Minor, Sr., 5-8, 176 2019 OUTLOOK: With practically everyone back on offense, the L-K Tigers should seriously contend for a postseason spot in 2019. The Tigers actually started last season 4-0, but dropped five of their last six to finish 6-4 and miss the playoffs for the third time in four years. L-K fell to Beckville 63-52 in a late-season game that squashed any playoff hopes. The Tiger tale starts with senior speedster LaDavio Johnson, who stands to become L-K’s alltime leading rushing at season’s end. Johnson is a slippery back that racked up 1,544 yards and scored 20 TDs. His 7.9 yard average should only improve this fall. Da’Von Tyson gives the Tigers a deep threat at wide receiver. Tyson hauled in 33 passes for 359 yards and six scores in 2018. He also provided six pass thefts on defense. L-K puts a lot of stock on defense in senior leader Nic Kunze. A standout on the Tigers’ state finalist in baseball this past spring, Kunze is one of six defensive holdovers back for third-year boss Derek Simmons. Kunze totaled 76 tackles and four sacks. He’s a four-year starter at both linebacker and tight end for the Tigers. L-K, with a stable of returning starters, is primed to make a return to the playoff party in 2019. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 - Hooks; Sept. 6 – At Clarksville; Sept. 13 – At DeKalb; Sept. 20 – Hawkins; Sept. 27 – Harleton*; Oct. 4 – At Garrison*; Oct. 11 – Joaquin*; Oct. 25 – At Timpson*; Nov. 1 – Beckville*; Nov. 8 – At Tenaha* (* Indicates district game;


JOAQUINRAMS

COACH: Wade Lawson (5th year, 29-14) ALL-TIME: 326-426-19 .435% STADIUM: Ram Stadium, Skinner St. at US 84, Joaquin, Texas 75954 2018 RESULT: 9-3, 2A DI Area RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 15/14 LETTERMEN LOST: 10 OFFENSE: Slot-T OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Connor Bragg, Sr., 5-11, 160 … OG Jesus Bravo, Sr., 5-9, 182 … ST Hunter Harper, Sr., 5-11, 190 … SG Dre Walters, Sr., 5-8, 190 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: SS Lorenzo Lane, Sr., 6-1, 195 … NG Ian Shahan, Sr., 5-9, 202 … DT Blake Cummings, Jr., 6-5, 304 … CB Gunner Nelson, Sr., 5-11, 168 2019 OUTLOOK: Wade Lawson took over for a Joaquin legend in Wayne Gandy five years ago and the results have been moving in a positive direction ever since. After missing the playoffs in his first season, Lawson has led the Rams to the party three years running. With no less than seven offensive and seven defensive starters back, Joaquin has no reason to not expect a fourth straight trip to postseason. The Rams are old school with their ground-and-pound Slot-T attack on offense. QB Connor Bragg mans the controls and rushed for 1,506 yards on 136 carries for an 11.1 average. He scored 12 TDs and also caught six passes for 151 yards and three more scores. Figure Bragg is good for 12 yards each time he touches leather. On the offensive line, a hallmark for the Rams, the trio of Jesus Bravo, Hunter Harper and Dre Walters lead the way. Joaquin’s defensive efforts are paced by senior strong safety Lorenzo Lane, who tallied 107 tackles, four sacks and seven TFL. He also picked three passes and broke up another four. Lawson is expecting a bounce-back season from nose guard Ian Shahan, who had his season cut short by injury last year. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 - Deweyville; Sept. 6 – At Ore City; Sept. 13 – Shelbyville; Sept. 20 – At CorriganCamden; Sept. 27 – Garrison*; Oct. 11 – At Linden-Kildare*; Oct. 18 – Timpson*; Oct. 25 – At Beckville*; Nov. 1 – Tenaha*; Nov. 8 – At Harleton* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

LETTERMEN LOST: 7 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: C Zach Malloy, Sr., 6-0, 230 … WR Tre Keggler, Jr., … WR Kobe Grogan, Sr., DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Jarrett Page, Sr., 5-6, 175 … S Tre’ Davis, Jr., LB Brandon Courtney, Soph., 5-9, 175 … LB Cam Foster, Soph., 5-10, 170 2019 OUTLOOK: Not even a losing record could stop Timpson from making the playoffs in 2018. Kerry Therwanger’s third edition wasn’t exactly elite, having been outscored over an 11-game menu by 56 points. Timpson’s brief traipse into the playoffs ended with a 40-12 opening-round KO to San Augustine. This came on the heels of an 11-3 Bear squad from 2017. Therwanger believes his 2019 outfit to be stronger than the year before and the district to be about the same. With four teams making the playoffs, for better or worse, Timpson should expect to make a serious push for a third consecutive berth. Seven starters are back on offense and a half dozen return on the defensive side. The Bears could be just that on defense as Jarrett Page is back in the fold. Therwanger actually lists his top two players from the defensive side. In addition to Page at linebacker, Tre’ Davis should be a force in the secondary at strong safety. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 - At Hemphill; Sept. 6 – Alto; Sept. 13 – Big Sandy; Sept. 20 – At West Sabine; Sept. 27 – Tenaha*; Oct. 4 – At Harleton*; Oct. 11 – Garrison*; Oct. 18 – At Joaquin*; Oct. 25 – Linden-Kildare*; Nov. 8 – At Beckville* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

TIMPSONBEARS

COACH: Kerry Therwanger (4th year, 20-15, 122-66 overall) ALL-TIME: 458-430-37 .515% STADIUM: John Herbert Eakin Stadium, 366 McLaughlin St., Timpson, Texas 75975 2018 RESULT: 4-7, 2A DI Bi-district RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 17/13

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HARLETONWILDCATS 108

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone

Harleton Wildcats Hunter Wallace for The Zone Wednesday, July 24, 2019, at the East Texas Oil Museum. (Les Hassell/News-Journal Photo)

COACH: Kyle Little ALL-TIME: 278-327-6 .460% STADIUM: Wildcat Field, Lake Road, Harleton, Texas 75651 2018 RESULT: 1-9 RETURNING LETTERMAN/STARTERS: 20/10 LETTERMEN LOST: 12 OFFENSE: Wing-T OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Hunter Wallace, Sr., 5-10, 195 … RB Cameron Postins, Sr., 5-9, 150 … OL Brady King, Sr., 5-11, 210 … RB Cole Ring, Jr., 5-11, 160 DEFENSE: Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DE Jaydn Salazar, Sr., 6-0, 195 … DE Jojo Clark, Jr., 6-3, 205 … LB Justin Davidson, Jr., 5-10, 160 … DB Drew Stafford, Jr., 5-8, 155 2019 OUTLOOK: Kyle Little may be called the miracle worker if he can return the Harleton Wildcats to playoff form. Former head man Terry Ward, who sported a state championship ring from Tenaha, was 4-26 in three years at the helm. The Wildcats mustered a measly 72 points on offense in 2018. Little certainly has his work cut out for him if he is capture the school’s first playoff ticket in four seasons. Harleton has 20 monogram winners with five offensive and five defensive regulars back. Senior Hunter Wallace is a nice one to build around on either side of the leather. Wallace, who runs a 4.6 in the 40, should start on both offense at halfback and defense at linebacker. Cameron Postins and Cole Ring should lighten the load in the backfield for Little’s Wing-T approach on offense. The Wildcats welcome back a couple stalwarts at defensive end in Jayden Salazar and JoJo Clark. Little, while optimistic, is a realist. “We return several young players, but it will be a new system so there could be some growing pains.” Little said. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 - At Queen City; Sept. 6 – At James Bowie; Sept. 13 – Sabine; Sept. 19 – Union Grove; Sept. 27 – At Linden-Kildare*; Oct. 4 – Timpson*; Oct. 11 – At Beckville*; Oct. 18 – Tenaha*; Nov. 1 – At Garrison*; Nov. 8 – Joaquin* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)


district game; ** Indicates 2 p.m. start; All other games start at 7:30 p.m.)

Beckville’s Abram Hairgrove poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

BECKVILLEBEARCATS

COACH: Cody Ross ALL-TIME: 355-429-20 .454% STADIUM: R.C. Beauchamp Stadium, 169 Washington, St., Beckville, Texas 75631 2018 RESULT: 5-5 RETURNING LETTERMAN/ STARTERS: 22/12 LETTERMEN LOST: 18 OFFENSE: Power Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: OL Ross Young, Sr., 6-2, 260 … OL Jashon Adams, Sr., … WR Landon Dixon, Sr., … RB Ashton Strange, Sr., … QB Ryan Harris, Soph. DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Cody Anderson, Sr., … LB Abram Hairgrove, Sr., … LB Colter Klinger, Jr., … LB Tyler Bryan, Soph., … PK Carlos Campos, Sr., 2019 OUTLOOK: Absent from the playoffs for four straight seasons, controls have been handed over to Cody Ross, who patiently bided his time as an assistant before becoming a head coach. Ross, a 1999 graduate of Tatum, is no stranger to success, having played under the tutelage of John Crawford in the late 90s. Ross loves physical football and even calls his offensive set the Power Spread and lists his top player as offensive lineman Ross Young. If the Bearcats are to find their way back into the playoff mix for the first time since 2014, they’ll do so with a young QB in sophomore Ryan Harris. Cody Anderson, Beckville’s leading tackler in 2018 with 65, is back at linebacker. Ross welcomes six starters from both sides of the line and a total of 22 letter winners from a year ago. The road is long, but Ross is just the man to lead the charge. He sees his Bearcats as stronger than last fall’s 5-5 finish, but, in the same respect, he believes the district is even better. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 - At Shelbyville; Sept. 6 – West Sabine; Sept. 13 – At Hawkins; Sept. 20 – Hemphill; Oct. 5 – At Tenaha**; Oct. 11 – Harleton*; Oct. 18 – At Garrison*; Oct. 25 – Joaquin*; Nov. 1 – At LindenKildare*; Nov. 8 – Timpson* (* Indicates

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SIX MAN 110

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Tyler HEAT huddle during a game. (Courtesy Photo)


LEVERETT’S CHAPEL

LIONS

UNION HILL

BULLDOGS

COACH: Andy Bates

COACH: Josh Bragdon

STADIUM: Lion Stadium, 8956 Highway 42/135 North, Laird

STADIUM: Billy Bass Stadium, 2197 FM 2088, Gilmer, Texas 75644

Hill, Texas 75666

2018 RESULT: 11-2

2018 RESULT: 5-3 RETURNING STARTERS: 7 (4 on defense, 3 on offense) LETTERMEN LOST: 3

RETURNING STARTERS: 2 (1 on offense, 1 on defense) LETTERMEN LOST: 6 OFFENSE: Multiple

OFFENSE: Spread

DEFENSE: Multiple

DEFENSE: 3-3

NOTABLES: C Luke Batts (6-2, 210) … Util. Cristian Aguillon (5-8, 160) … Util. Ryan Brown (6-0, 180) … WR Lawton Flinn (6-0, 170) … TE Randy Griffith (5-11, 180) … RB Clay Joyner (5-7, 160)

NOTABLES: WR/DB Jonah Shepard … RB/DB Alexis Chavez … DL Darren Brown … QB/DB Dawson Blear SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Willowbend; Sept. 6 – Apple Springs, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13 – Fannindel, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20 – Trinity School; Sept. 27 – Trinidad; Oct. 4 – Christian Heritage; Oct. 18 – at Union Hill; Oct. 25 – at Fruitvale; Nov. 2 – High Island, 2 p.m. (All games at 7:30 p.m. unless

TRINIDAD

TROJANS

otherwise noted)

SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Ovilla Christian; Sept. 6 – at Dallas Lutheran; Sept. 13 – at Avalon; Sept. 20 – Auilla; Sept. 27 – Campbell; Oct. 4 – at Oakwood; Oct. 11 – at Trinidad; Oct. 18 – Leverett’s Chapel; Oct. 26 – at High Island, 2:30 p.m; Nov. 1 – Fruitvale (All games at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

COACH: Chad Satcher STADIUM: Trojan Field, 203 East Eaton, Trinidad, Texas 75163 2018 RESULT: 6-4 RETURNING STARTERS: 8 (3 on offense, 5 on defense) LETTERMEN LOST: 7 OFFENSE: Spread DEFENSE: 3-3 NOTABLES: RB/DB Romal Womack (6-1, 168) … WR/DB Hunter Robinson (6-2, 173) … RB Kaleb Bannister (5-9, 179) … RB/LB Braydon Dickey (5-10, 161) … WR/DB Demajeigh Hampton (6-4, 183) … WR/DB Marcello Shofner (5-9, 177) … DE C.J. Thomas (5-9, 162) … WR Clayton Pierce (6-1, 169) … C/DL Kaden Anderson (5-8, 183) … WR Kaleb Mines (5-7, 138) … WR Julius Stevenson (6-5, 183) … C/DL Lance Davis (5-9, 188) … C/DL Cameron Brookins (5-7, 208) SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Tyler HEAT; Sept. 6 – Johnson County Sports Association, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13 – at Methodist Children’s Home; Sept. 27 – at Leverett’s Chapel; Oct. 4 – at Avalon; Oct. 11; Union Hill; Oct. 19 – St. Joseph Catholic, 6:30 p.m.; Oct. 25 – at Apple Springs, 7 p.m.; Nov. 11 – Chester, 7 p.m.; Nov. 8 – at Oakwood, 7 p.m. (All games at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted) The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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(Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

COACH: Brett Reeves STADIUM: Titan Field, 215 Teague Street, Longview 75601 2018 RESULT: 9-3 RETURNING STARTERS: 8 (6 on offense, 2 on defense) LETTERMEN LOST: 5 OFFENSE: Jaybird/spread DEFENSE: 2-4 NOTABLES: Marlin Reeves (6-2, 220) … RB/DB Garret Bussey (5-10, 170) … C/DE Nathan Johnson (6-0, 180) … OL Jaden Ayala (5-10, 220) … Util. Gage Bussey (5-8, 140) … OL/DL Malik Page (6-3, 275) SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – King’s Academy; Sept. 6 – Chester, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13 – Tyler HEAT; Sept. 20 – at Leverett’s Chapel; Sept. 28 – at ETCA, 2:30 p.m.; Oct. 4 – Dallas Tyler Street; Oct. 11 – at Weatherford Christian, 7 p.m.; Oct. 18 – Dallas Fairhill; Nov. 1 – Irving Faustina, 7 p.m.; Nov. 8 – at Greenville Christian (All games at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted) 112

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TRINITY SCHOOL OF TEXAS TITANS

Trinity School of Texas' Garret Bussey poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore.


KING'S ACADEMY KNIGHTS COACH: Jonathan Baggs STADIUM: Mewbourne Field (All Saints), 2695, S. SW Loop 323, Tyler, Texas 75701 2018 RESULT: 7-3 RETURNING STARTERS: 5 (2 offense, 3 defense) LETTERMEN LOST: 3 OFFENSE: Spread DEFENSE: 3-3 NOTABLES: QB Preston Abel (6-0, 145) SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Trinity School of Texas, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 7 – Willowbend, 5:30 p.m.; Sept. 13 – at Fruitvale; Sept. 21 – vs. Azle Christian, 5:30 p.m.; Sept. 28 – vs. Apple Springs, 5:30 p.m.; Oct. 12 – at TACA Plano, 2 p.m.; Oct. 19 – Tyler HEAT, 1 p.m.; Nov. 2 – Texas Christian, 5:30 p.m.; Nov. 8 – at Irving Universal, 6 p.m.

CHRISTIAN HERITAGE

SENTINELS

COACH: Griff Mauldin STADIUM: Sentinel Field, 2715 FM 1844, Longview, Texas 75604 2018 RESULT: 5-6 RETURNING STARTERS: 6 (3 on offense, 3 on defense) LETTERMEN LOST: 4 OFFENSE: Spread DEFENSE: 4-2 NOTABLES: WR/DE Mark Mitchell (5-10, 170) … QB/LB Trey Stone (5-8 150) … WR Corvin Withrow (6-1, 180) … TE/ DB Walker Holt (6-0, 170) … TE/DE Luke Land (5-8, 160) … WR/DB Jake Mauldin (5-7, 150) … OL/DE R.J. Felipe (6-1, 210) … Cason Owens (5-7, 150) SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Chester, 4:30 p.m.; Sept. 6 – at Fruitvale; Sept. 13 – Dallas Academy; Sept. 20 – at Garland Christian; Sept. 28 – Tyler HEAT, 2 p.m.; Oct. 4 – Leverett’s Chapel, 5 p.m.; Oct. 11 – at Watauga Harvest, 7 p.m.; Oct. 19 – Abilene Christian, 3 p.m.; Nov. 1 – Plano Coram Deo, 7 p.m.; Nov. 9 – at Lubbock All Saints, 11 a.m. (All games at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

TYLERHEAT

COACH: Bill Beggs 2018 RESULT: 3-7 OFFENSE: Spread DEFENSE: 2-2-2 NOTABLES: Jeff Tillman … Tyler Smith … Josiah Beggs … Eli Gage … Alec Bailiff … Cash Smith … Avery Sawyer … Jaden Muse … Caleb Cook SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Trinidad; Sept. 7 – at Full Armor, 11:30 a.m.; Sept. 13 – at Trinity School of Texas; Sept. 20 – at Apple Springs, 7 p.m.; Sept. 28 – at Christian Heritage, 2 p.m.; Oct. 4- at Fruitvale; Oct. 11 – at Johnson County; Oct. 18 – at King’s Academy; Oct. 25 – at CHANT, 3 p.m.; Nov. 2 – vs. Willow Bend at ETCA, 1 p.m. (All games at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted) The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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DISTRICT 8- 5A DI

Longview vs. Lufkin Friday, August 31, 2018. (Les Hassell/News-Journal Photo)

OUR PICKS 1. LUFKIN 2. COLLEGE STATION 3. MAGNOLIA WEST 4. MAGNOLIA 5. TOMBALL 6. WALLER 7. WILLIS 8. CONROE CANEY CREEK 114

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PANTHERS

LUFKIN

COACH: Todd Quick (8th year, 57-26) ALL-TIME: 697-355-38 .639% STADIUM: John Outlaw Memorial Field at Abe Martin Stadium, 309 S. Medford Dr., Lufkin, Texas, 75902 2018 RESULT: 10-2, 5A DI area finalist RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 31/11 LETTERMEN LOST: 36 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Ja’Lynn Polk, Sr., 6-3, 180 … OL Jacolten Jones, Sr., 6-3, 300 … QB Jordan Moore, Jr., 6-3, 185 … RB Caleb Berry, Jr., 6-0, 190 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Jerrin Thompson, Sr., 6-1, 170 … DB Christian Stafford, Sr., 6-0, 170 … LB Logan Harville, Sr., 6-1, 215 2019 OUTLOOK: After two straight double-digit win campaigns, Lufkin enters the new season as a top 10 team in Class 5A Division I. The Panthers opened the 2018 season with a close loss to eventual Class 6A Division II state champion Longview and then reeled off 10 consecutive wins before falling to Frisco Lone Star in the playoffs. Lufkin returns two four-star recruits — one on each side of the football. Ja’Lynn Polk is a four-star wide receiver who committed to Texas Tech over Arkansas and Arizona, among numerous other offers. He had 600 yards receiving and seven touchdowns a year ago. Jerrin Thompson is a four-star safety who is deciding between Arkansas, Oklahoma State, TCU and Notre Dame. Thompson, who has been starting for the Panthers since he was a freshman, had 95 tackles and five interceptions as a junior. Jordan Moore took over at quarterback last season after the injury to Kewone Thomas — now at Pittsburg State — and threw for 883 yards and 13 touchdowns. Moore is back under center and will look to connect with Polk a lot in 2019. Caleb Berry rushed for 487 yards as a sophomore and is returning in the backfield. The Lufkin defense held opponents to single-digit points seven times last season, but the Panthers will now have a different defensive coordinator as Jason Holman departed to be the head coach at Tatum. The Panthers also graduated three Division I defensive linemen — Breylon Garcia (Nevada), Carl Williams (Stephen F. Austin) and Javasia Brunson (Nevada). The Panthers will need some players to fill those roles in order to continue to be strong on defense in 2019. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Longview; Sept. 6 – at Nacogdoches; Sept. 13 – Redskins del Estado; Sept. 27 – Willis*; Oct. 4 – at Magnolia*; Oct. 11 – College Station*; Oct. 18 – at Tomball*; Oct. 25 – Magnolia West*; Nov. 1 – at Conroe Caney Creek*; Nov. 8 – Waller* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

COLLEGE STATION

COUGARS

COACH: Steve Huff (7th year, 55-12) ALL-TIME: 55-12-0 .821% STADIUM: Cougar Field, 4002 Victoria Avenue, College Station, Texas, 777845 2018 RESULT: 9-3, 5A DI area finalist RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 22/10 LETTERMEN LOST: 32 OFFENSE: Multiple spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: OL Hayden Goodlett, Sr., 5-11, 235 … QB/WR Austin Sosa, Sr., 5-11, 175 … RB Kobe Cashion, Sr., 5-10, 200 … OL Blair Payton, Sr., 5-11, 220 ... TE Peyton Rusk, Jr., 6-1, 205 … RB Roderick Brown, Jr., 5-11, 198 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Mark Taplette, Sr., 5-9, 170 … LB Michael Medlin, Sr., 5-11 190 2019 OUTLOOK: Success hasn’t been hard to come by for College Station in its five years as a program. The Cougars have already racked up 55 wins in just a short time and collected a state title in 2017. College Station’s offense took a step back in 2018, averaging 35.4 points per game after averaging 45.2 points in the three previous season. Austin Sosa made 19 catches for 247 yards and five touchdowns last season as a receiver but will now make the switch to quarterback. When he’s not using his legs, Sosa will have tight end Peyton Rusk as a receiving target. Rusk hauled in 40 passes for 518 yards and four touchdowns last season. Kolbe Cashion returns in the backfield after rushing for 780 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Mark Taplette is one of five returning starters on the defense. SCHEDULE: Aug. 31 – at Richmond Foster, 6 p.m; Sept. 13 – Huntsville; Sept. 20 – Autonoma de Nuevo Leon; Sept. 26 – at Conroe Caney Creek*, 7 p.m.*; Oct. 4 – Waller*; Oct. 11 – at Lufkin*; Oct. 18 – Magnolia*; Oct. 25 – at Willis*; Nov. 1 – at Tomball*; Nov. 8 – Magnolia West* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

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MUSTANGS

MAGNOLIA WEST

COACH: Blake Joseph (1st year) ALL-TIME: 75-49-0 .605% STADIUM: Mustang Stadium, 44204 FM 1774, Magnolia, Texas, 77353 2018 RESULT: 9-3, 5A DI area finalist RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 22/9 LETTERMEN LOST: 30 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Payton Finch, Sr., 5-7, 175 … QB Tristan Brady, Sr., 6-2, 190 … TE/WR Marcus Collins, Jr., 6-2, 220 … WR Jeffery Krop, Jr., 6-4, 200 … OL Miguel Oritz, Jr., 6-2, 300 … QB Brock Dalton, Soph., 6-0, 180 … OL Bryce Collier, Sr., 6-1, 240 … OL Jose Lopez, Sr., 6-0, 300 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: FS/CB Ryan Frank, Sr., 6-2, 190 … LB Gage Wade, Sr., 6-0,190 … DB Landon Thomas, Jr., 5-8, 170 … DE Cooper Sloan, Sr., 6-0, 230 … DE Johnathan Garcia, Sr., 6-0, 240 … FS JT Phillips, Soph., 5-10, 175 2019 OUTLOOK: Blake Joseph has been an integral part of the Mustangs for the past three years, serving as the team’s offensive coordinator. Now, Joseph will take over as a head coach for the first time in his career after JD Berna, who went 25-9 in three seasons, was promoted to athletic director. Joseph’s offense put up 505 points last season, but also graduated the majority of the unit, including quarterback John Matocha (Colorado School of Mines), wide receiver Seth Hayes (Arkansas State and tight end/wide receiver Simon Gonzalez (Texas Tech). Now, either senior Tristan Brady or sophomore Brock Dalton will take the snaps. They will have Payton Finch at receiver after his 49-reception campaign that ended with 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns. The Mustangs also feature a big offensive front with 300-pounders Miguel Ortiz and Jose Lopez. Gage Wade is back at linebacker after compiling 108 tackles last season. Ryan Frank — a threestar defensive back who is committed to Texas Tech — will join Wade on the defense. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Brenahm; Sept. 6 – Houston King; Sept. 14 – at Richmond Foster, 6 p.m.; Sept. 27 – Tomball*; Oct. 4 – at Willis; Oct. 11 – at Conroe Caney Creek*; Oct. 18 – Waller*; Oct. 25 – at Lufkin*; Nov. 1 – Magnolia*; Nov. 8 –at College Station* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

games start at 7:30 p.m.) 116

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MAGNOLIA

BULLDOGS

COACH: Craig Martin (1st year) ALL-TIME: 365-367-17 .487% STADIUM: Bulldog Stadium, 14250 FM 1488, Magnolia, Texas, 77353 2018 RESULT: 5-5 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 22/12 LETTERMEN LOST: 32 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: OL Derek Bowman, Sr., 6-4, 260 … OL Kade Bond, Sr., 6-3, 295 … WR Ben Renfro, Sr., 6-2, 190 … WR Aidan Garrigan, Sr., 6-3, 185 … OL Matthew Wykoff, Jr., 6-6, 260 … OL Tristan Simpson, Sr., 6-2, 285 … RB Mitch Hall, Jr., 5-9, 185 … TE Ben Colligan, Jr., 6-4, 199 … QB Travis Moore, Jr., 5-7, 165 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Ben Renfro, Sr., 6-2, 190 … LB Will Spicer, Sr., 5-10, 185 … DB Hunter Kitchens, Sr., 6-2, 185 … DB Nathan Hakes, Jr., 6-2, 180 … DE Ben Colligan, Jr., 6-4, 199 2019 OUTLOOK: It’s often said that a team is only as good as its offensive line. That is definitely the case for Magnolia with three-star Houston commit Derek Bowman and North Texas pledge Kade Bond paving the way up front. Up-and-coming junior Matthew Wykoff, who has offers from Baylor, Boston College, Houston, SMU, Texas Tech and Tulsa, and veteran Tristan Simpson are other pieces to the offensive line for the Bulldogs. They’ll be providing protection for Travis Moore, who threw for 1,182 yards and 15 touchdowns on 76 of 128 passing as a sophomore. Ben Renfro is back to catch passes after hauling in 38 receptions for 788 yards and 11 scores last season. Mitch Hall had 58 carries for 457 yards and seven touchdowns last season and will look to lead the way in the backfield behind the talented offensive line. The Bulldogs averaged 44.6 points per game last season and now have former Temple offensive coordinator Craig Martin as their head coach. Will Spicer is the leader of the Bulldogs’ 4-2-6 defense. He had 94 tackles and three sacks last season. Hunter Kitchens had 91 tackles, three interceptions and four fumble recoveries. Ben Renfro and Nathan Hakes will join Kitchens in the secondary. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Barbers Hill; Sept. 6 – at Alvin Shadow Creek; Sept. 13 – Montgomery; Sept. 27 – at Waller*; Oct. 4 – Lufkin*; Oct. 11 – at Willis*; Oct. 18 – at College Station*; Oct. 25 – Tomball*; Nov. 1 – at Magnolia West*; Nov. 8 – Conroe Caney Creek* (* Indicates district game; All


COUGARS

TOMBALL

COACH: Kevin Flanigan (3rd year, 13-18, 139-104 overall) ALL-TIME: 467-356-29 .548% STADIUM: Tomball ISD Stadium, 13620 Zion Road, Tomball, Texas, 77375 2018 RESULT: 6-5, 5A DI Bi-district RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 18/10 LETTERMEN LOST: 26 OFFENSE: Pro OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Hunter Dunn, Sr., 6-4, 185 … OL Tyler Marks, Sr., 6-0, 245 … WR Jake Johnson, Sr., 5-11, 175 … OL Erik LaNeave, Sr., 6-3, 295 … OT Ethan Schlundt, Jr., 6-4, 290 … RB Jermaine Mayes, Jr., 5-9, 180 … OL Patrick Mologne, Soph., 6-2, 240 … WR JayRis Smith, Sr., 6-1, 175 DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DE Jordon During, Soph., 6-0, 210 … DB Bryce Pradia, Sr., 5-10, 185 … DL Jose Barahoma, Sr., 6-0, 265 2019 OUTLOOK: The Cougars will look a lot different defensively since their last game Nov. 16, 2018, at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium — a 43-17 bi-district loss to John Tyler. Tomball has just three starters returning from that unit. Jose Barahona is the leading returning tackler. Dewayne Smith is the leading returner for sacks, while CJ Strain is the returning interceptions leader. The offense will run through three-star prospect Hunter Dunn, who has a Temple offer. Dunn threw for 2,841 yards and 19 touchdowns with just four interceptions on 174 of 304 passing last season. Dunn will look to connect with Jake Johnson, who had 31 receptions for 465 yards and three touchdowns last season. Jermaine Mayes is the Cougars’ top returning running back with 58 carries for 378 yards and four touchdowns. Tomball is looking to make the playoffs for the second straight season under Kevin Flanigan after five straight seasons without a playoff berth. Flangigan coached at Troup from 1997-99 and led the Tigers to a 20-15 record and two postseason appearances. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Tomball Memorial, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6 – Santa Fe; Sept. 13 – at Port Neches-Groves; Sept. 27 – at Magnolia West*; Oct. 4 – Conroe Caney Creek*; Oct. 11 – at Waller*; Oct. 18 – Lufkin*; Oct. 25 – at Magnolia*; Nov. 1 ¬– College Station*; Nov. 8 – at Willis* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

at 7:30 p.m.)

WALLER BULLDOGS

COACH: Gene Johnson (1st year, 138-54 overall) ALL-TIME: 407-404-38 .479% STADIUM: Waller ISD Stadium, 20735 Stokes Road, Waller, Texas 77484 2018 RESULT: 3-7 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 20/8 LETTERMEN LOST: 27 OFFENSE: Pro style OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: OL Juan Munoz, Sr., 6-0, 250 … RB Price Hubbard, Sr., 5-10, 229 … OL Augustus Rice, Jr., 6-5, 320 … TE Robbie Larson, Sr., 5-10, 210 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Mason Stewart, Jr., 5-8, 189 … DB Jateaveon Boley, Sr., 5-10, 182 … DB Isaiah Blair, Soph., 6-0, 152 … LB Jamari Thompson, Jr., 5-10, 183 … LB Kasen Mclean, Jr., 5-11, 192 … DB Jared Hicks, Soph., 174 … DB Pablo Zamudio, Sr., 5-10, 201 2019 OUTLOOK: Waller is looking to post a winning record and get back to the postseason. The Bulldogs have had just one winning season (2014) in the 11 years and haven’t made the playoffs during the past four seasons. Waller has brought in veteran head coach Gene Johnson to help turn things around. Johnson has spent the past nine seasons at Cypress Ranch, where he led the Mustangs to 77 wins and a trip to the 2014 state championship game. Johnson has also been a head coach at Klein Forest and Fort Bend Hightower, and he spent the 2004 season on the staff at the University of Arizona. Johnson takes over a Waller team that won just three games last season and returns just four starters on each side of the ball. The Bulldogs will look to the leadership of Juan Munoz on the offensive line, along with 6-5, 320-pound Augustus Rice, who holds an offer from Tulane. Price Hubbard will lead the backfield. On defense, Waller will lean on a lot of depth in the secondary. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Bryan; Sept. 6 – at Brenham; Sept. 13 – at Sealy; Sept. 27 – Magnolia*; Oct. 4 – at College Station*; Oct. 11 – Tomball*; Oct. 18 – at Magnolia West*; Oct. 25 – Conroe Caney Creek*; Nov. 1 – Willis*; Nov. 8 – at Lufkin* (* Indicates district game; All games start

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WILLIS WILDKATS

COACH: Michael Wall (2nd year, 2-8) ALL-TIME: 334-373-26 .468% STADIUM: Berton A. Yates Stadium, Longstreet Road at Bybee, Willis, Texas, 77378 2018 RESULT: 2-8 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 18/8 LETTERMEN LOST: 31 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Jadarius Brown, Jr., 5-9, 152 … WR Joshua King, Sr., 5-7, 172 … OL Andrew Parker, Jr., 6-1, 225 … QB Steele Bardwell, Jr., 6-0, 185 … WR Jacoby McCoy, WR. Jr., 6-3, 198 … RB Johnny McHenry, Soph., 5-8, 235 DEFENSE: 4-2 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Jadarius Brown, Jr., 5-9, 152 … DL Connor Fisher, Sr., 6-3, 232 … DL Rashaad Wynne, Sr., 5-5, 283 2019 OUTLOOK: What will Willis be talking about in 2019? Under second-year head coach Michael Wall, the Wildkats hope to be talking about a turnaround and a possible playoff appearance after two consecutive two-win seasons. Steele Bardwell saw limited time at quarterback as a sophomore, throwing for 403 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The good news for Bardwell is he doesn’t lack depth at receiver with Jadarius Brown, Joshua King and Jacoby McCoy all in the mix. Johnny McHenry saw 15 rushing attempts for 80 yards as a freshman and will look for a bigger role in his second high school season. The defense will lean on Connor Fisher and Rashaad Wynne up front, while Edgar Alvarado is the top returning tackler. Christian Pavon is back as the team’s kicker. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Huntsville; Sept. 6 – Montgomery Lake Creek; Sept. 13 – at New Caney, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27 – at Lufkin*; Oct. 4 – Magnolia West*; Oct. 11 – Magnolia*; Oct. 18 – at Conroe Caney Creek*; Oct. 25 – College Station*; Nov. 1 – at Waller *; Nov. 8 – Tomball* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

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CONROE CANEY CREEK

district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

PANTHERS

COACH: Steve Svendsen (5th year, 6-33) ALL-TIME: 74-141 .344% STADIUM: Buddy Moorhead Stadium, 3200 West Davis, Conroe, Texas, 77304 2018 RESULT: 2-8 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 11/7 LETTERMEN LOST: 22 OFFENSE: Pistol spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Isaiah Mendoza, Jr., 5-10, 160 … OL Edger Heredia, Jr., 5-11, 255 … WR Cody Palmer, Sr., 5-11, 165 … OL Jonathan Reyes, Sr., 5-10, 270 … RB Spencer Brandon, Sr., 5-10, 175 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Isaiah Mendoza, Jr., 5-10, 160 … DB/OLB Cameron Pyle, Jr., 5-10, 175 … DL Edger Heredia, Jr., 5-11, 255 2019 OUTLOOK: After starting the 2018 season 2-0, Caney Creek lost its final eight games and only scored double figures twice the remainder of the season. The Panthers are going to be young in 2019, led by juniors Isaiah Mendoza, Camden Pyle and Edgar Heredia. Julian Hernandez is back at quarterback, and he will have Mendoza and Jaiden Besaw, who caught 20 passes for 367 yards and two touchdowns last season, at his disposal. Head coach Steve Svendsen describes Spencer Brandon as a tough runner, and he will look to build on his 257-yards, five-touchdown campaign a season ago. Brandon Fornero and Lando Norsworthy are back as two of the defensive statistical leaders. Roman Gomez returns after making 11 of his 13 extra-point attempts. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Montgomery Lake Creek; Sept. 5 – Pro-Vision Academy, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13 – at Vidor, 7 p.m.; Sept. 26 – College Station*, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4 – at Tomball*; Oct. 11 – Magnolia West*; Oct. 18 – Willis*; Oct. 25 – at Waller*; Nov. 1 – Lufkin*; Nov. 8 – at Magnolia* (* Indicates


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DISTRICT 5-3A DI OUR PICKS 1. VAN ALSTYNE 2. BONHAM 3. RAINS 4. POTTSBORO 5. LONE OAK 6. COMMERCE 7. HOWE 120

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BONHAM RAINSWILDCATS PURPLE WARRIORS

COACH: Randy Barnes (4th year, 10-20, 138-92-1 overall) ALL-TIME: 313-474-29 .384% STADIUM: Wildcat Stadium, 409 FM 3299, Emory, Texas, 75440 2018 RESULT: 5-5 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 28/14 LETTERMEN LOST: 9 OFFENSE: Spread Gun Pistol OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Mason Songer, Jr., 5-9, 176 … QB Luke Shepard, Jr., 6-2, 191 … WR Poppy Villegas, Sr., 6-3, 196 … WR Colt Rivera, Sr., 6-4, 206 … OL Anthony Wilson, Jr., 6-5, 274 … QB/WR Audie MaCree, Soph., 5-7, 148 … OL Hayden Buchanon, Jr., 5-10, 254 … OL Kelton Adams, Sr., 5-10, 187 … WR, Drake Hurley, Jr., 5-11, 176 … WR Luke Ratliff, Sr., 6-0, 174 …OL Trevor Coon, Jr., 6-0, 204 … WR Brye Kelley, Sr., 6-2 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Devin Jackson, Sr., 6-9, 192 … LB Ray Mares, Sr., 6-3, 231 … DB Colt Rivera, Sr., 6-4, 206 … LB James Hinch, Jr., 5-10, 243 … DL Hayden Buchanon, Jr., 5-10, 254 … DB Luke Ratliff, Sr., 6-0, 174 … DB Tyler Mandrell, Sr., 5-9, 164 … LB Frank Kleinmier, Sr., 5-10, 188 … DB WR Brye Kelley, Sr., 6-2 2019 OUTLOOK: There’s plenty of reason for optimism in Emory entering the new season. The Wildcats lost just nine players from last season and had a junior varsity that went 6-3. The Wildcats also get Ray Mares back from injury, and head coach Randy Barnes said Mares is the team’s best collegiate prospect. Devin Jacks will join Mares at linebacker after being the team’s primary running back a season ago. That will allow Mason Songer to get the bulk of the carries in the backfield after lining up in the slot as a sophomore. Luke Shepard will lead the offense. As a sophomore, he threw for 617 yards and ran for another 704 yards. Poppy Villegas and Colt Rivera are two more offensive weapons Rains will depend on. Anthony Wilson is another key piece to a strong junior class for the Wildcats. The 6-5, 274-pound offensive lineman played every offensive snap as a sophomore. With Rains having a lot of returning juniors and seniors, Barnes said Audie MaCree will possibly be the only sophomore on the team and can make plays at quarterback or in the slot. Brye Kelley is the team’s leading returner in tackles with 75, while Frank Kleinmier compiled six sacks last season. Andrew Baltrop is back as the team’s kicker. He was 24 of 25 on point-after attempts last season and also connected on three field goals, including a long of 45. With plenty of experience returning and the players being a year older, Barnes expects big things from the Wildcats in 2019. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Mabank; Sept. 6 – at Malakoff; Sept. 13 – at Cooper; Sept. 20 – White Oak; Sept. 27 – Van Alstyne*; Oct. 4 – at Howe*; Oct. 11 – Bonham*; Oct. 25 – at Pottsboro*; Nov. 1 – Lone Oak*; Nov. 8 – at Commerce* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.) COACH: John Fish (2nd year, 8-3) ALL-TIME: 525-521-35 .486% STADIUM: Warrior Stadium, 1000 Stadium Drive, Bonham, Texas, 75418 2018 RESULT: 8-3, 3A DI Bi-District RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 22/14 LETTERMEN LOST: 21 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Jerrell Stewart, Sr., 6-2, 185 … QB Brent Stuber, Jr., 6-1, 185 … WR/K Nick Rhinehart, Jr., 5-9, 145 … OL Jacob Kennedy, Sr., 6-2, 250 … OL Elijah McFarland, Jr., 6-8, 390 … WR Cade Bowser, Soph., 5-9, 145 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Cam Reed, Jr., 6-0, 165 2019 OUTLOOK: John Fish’s first year as a head coach was a success, leading Bonham to an eightwin season after the program had just five total wins in the previous four season, including two winless campaigns. Brant Stuber was the backup quarterback last season and filled in at linebacker. He will take the reigns of the offense in 2019. Stuber’s top target will be Jerrell Stewart, who had 52 receptions for 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns last year. Nick Rinehart is another solid receiving threat with 37 catches for 470 yards and eight touchdowns. Rinehart also has a valuable foot as he was 63 of 63 on extra-point attempts and made three field goals. Cade Bowser filled in as a freshman and will take on a larger role as a sophomore. Jacob Kennedy will lead the offensive line, and he will be joined by 6-8, 390-pound junior Elijah McFarland. Cam Reed will lead the defense after recording 98 tackles and two interceptions last season. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Mount Vernon; Sept. 6 – at Nevada Community; Sept. 13 – Leonard; Sept. 20 – Dallas Hillcrest; Sept. 27 – at Howe*; Oct. 11 – at Rains*; Oct. 18 – Pottsboro*; Oct. 25 – at Lone Oak*; Nov. 1 – Commerce*; Nov. 8 – at Van Alstyne* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.) The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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HOWEBULLDOGS

COACH: Bill Jehling (2nd year, 3-7, 11-38 overall) ALL-TIME: 367-359-26 .488% STADIUM: Bulldog Stadium, 709 N. Denny Street, Howe, Texas, 75459 2018 RESULT: 3-7 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 11/11 LETTERMEN LOST: 11 OFFENSE: Wing T/Shotgun wing OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: FB J.C. Helpenstell, Sr., 5-10, 200 … RB Caden Harmon, Sr., 5-8, 150 … RB Arturo Lowder, Sr., 5-9, 155 … OL Jarron Ing, Sr., 6-0, 280 … RB Jaylon Thornton, Jr., 5-8, 150 … QB Layton Elvington, Sr., 5-10, 175 … RB Jordan Jones, Jr., 5-11, 170 … OL Jackson Adkins, Jr., 5-10, 215 … OL Jonathan Meneses, Soph., 5-10, 185 … OL Raul Hernandez, Jr., 5-8, 190 … FB Dalton Winchester, Jr., 6-0, 180 … OL Luis Gonzalez, Soph., 5-9, 190 … OL Ryan Haile, Sr., 5-10, 290 … OL Dakota Herrington, Jr., 5-10, 220 DEFENSE: 3-3 Stack DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB J.C. Helpenstell, Sr., 5-10, 200 … DB Caden Harmon, Sr., 5-8, 150 … DB Arturo Lowder, Sr., 5-9, 155 … DL Jarron Ing, Sr., 6-0, 280 … DB Jaylon Thornton, Jr., 5-8, 150 … LB Layton Elvington, Sr., 5-10, 175 … DB Jordan Jones, Jr., 5-11, 170 … DL Jackson Adkins, Jr., 5-10, 215 … DL Jonathan Meneses, Soph., 5-10, 185 … LB Raul Hernandez, Jr., 5-8, 190 … LB Dalton Winchester, Jr., 6-0, 180 … DL Luis Gonzalez, Soph., 5-9, 190 … DL Ryan Haile, Sr., 5-10, 290 … DL Dakota Herrington, Jr., 5-10, 220 2019 OUTLOOK: Former Cushing head coach Bill Jehling is preparing for his second season in Howe. The Bulldogs opened the new era with three consecutive wins, but lost their final seven games including going 0-6 in district play. With six starters back on offense, including Caden Harmon, Layton Elvington and Jarron Ing, the Bulldogs are hoping to score more points in 2019. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Ponder; Sept. 6 – S&S Consolidated; Sept. 13 – at Bells; Sept. 20 – Boyd; Sept. 27 – at Bonham*; Oct. 4 – Rains*; Oct. 11 – Pottsboro*; Oct. 18 – Lone Oak*; Oct. 25 – at Commerce*; Nov. 1 ¬– Van Alstyne (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

CARDINALS

POTTSBORO

VAN ALSTYNE

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PANTHERS

COACH: Mikeal Miller (11th year, 70-41) ALL-TIME: 541-428-35 .539% STADIUM: Panther Stadium, 2001 N. Waco, Van Alstyne, Texas, 75495 2018 RESULT: 7-4, 3A DI Bi-District RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 15/9 LETTERMEN LOST: 14 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Drelin Davis, Sr., 6-2, 170 … RB Jake Carroll, Sr., 5-10, 180 … WR Cam Montgomery, Sr., 5-11, 170 … OL Hunter Griffin, Sr., 5-10, 200 … OL Jake Loganbill, Sr., 6-4, 295 … RB Zach Boncier, Sr., 5-11, 205 … OL Cade Morgan, Jr., 5-10, 220 … OL Jacob Taylor, Jr., 6-4, 195 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Drelin Davis, Sr., 6-2, 170 … DB Cam Montgomery, Sr., 5-11, 170 … DL Hunter Griffin, Sr., 5-10, 200 … DL Jake Loganbill, Sr., 6-4, 295 … LB Zach Boncier, Sr., 5-11, 205 … DL Cade Morgan, Jr., 5-10, 220 … DL Jacob Taylor, Jr., 6-4, 195 2019 OUTLOOK: After losing the first three games of the 2018 season, Van Alstyne won seven straight games before losing in the first round of the playoffs. The Panthers were hit hard by graduation but still return some solid pieces in order to challenge for another district title. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Aubrey; Sept. 6 – at Sunnyvale; Sept. 13 – Anna; Sept. 20 – Gainesville; Sept. 27 – at Rains*; Oct. 4 – Pottsboro*; Oct. 11 – at Lone Oak*; Oct. 18 – Commerce*; Nov. 1 – at Howe*; Nov. 8 – Bonham* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

COACH: Matt Poe (14th year, 116-40) ALL-TIME: 288-219-4 .564% STADIUM: Jim Henderson Memorial Stadium, 101 Highway 120, Pottsboro, Texas, 75076 2018 RESULT: 6-5, Bi-District RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 20/11 LETTERMEN LOST: 16 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Braden Blyler, Jr., 5-10, 175 … WR Jasek Hooker, Sr., 5-11, 170 … OL Silas Barr, Jr., 6-5, 225 … RB/QB Zac Talley, Sr., 5-9, 165 … OL Hunter Fulton, Sr., 6-2, 230 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Cy Shope, Sr., 6-2, 190 … DB Zack Wideman, Sr., 6-1, 185 … DE Riley Deaton, Sr., 6-2, 185 … LB Robert Goins, Sr., 5-8, 180 2019 OUTLOOK: The Cardinals have made it to the playoffs in eight straight seasons and are looking to keep that streak alive in 2019. Zac Talley filled in at quarterback last year but will be able to return to running back as Braden Plyler returns from injury. Plyler suffered a season-ending injury in the second quarter of the 2018 season opener. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Paris North Lamar; Sept. 6 – at Gunter; Sept. 13 – at Muenster; Sept. 20 – Aubrey; Sept. 27 – Commerce; Oct. 4 – at Van Alstyne*; Oct. 11 – Howe*; Oct. 18 – at Bonham*; Oct. 25 – Rains*; Nov. 8 – at Lone Oak* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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BUFFALOES

COACH: Vince Taylor (1st year) ALL-TIME: 389-249-25 .587% STADIUM: Buffalo Stadium, 8205 Highway 69 South, Lone Oak, Texas, 75453 2018 RESULT: 5-6, Bi-District

LONE OAK

RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 11/11 LETTERMEN LOST: 12 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Quaid Williams, Sr., 6-3, 185 … WR Jack Kizer, Sr., 6-2, 195 … RB Ethan Smith, Jr., 6-1, 180 DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Jack Kizer, Sr., 6-2, 195 … DR CJ Hubbard, Sr., 5-10, 285 … DE Ty Watkins, Jr., 5-11, 185 … DL Jacky Jackson, Soph., 5-10, 165 … DB Ethan Adair, Soph., 5-9, 150 2019 OUTLOOK: Luke Goode stepped down as head coach on June 4 after leading Lone Oak to the playoffs in all of his four seasons. Goode went to be the co-offensive coordinator at Mesquite Poteet. On June 20, Scurry-Rosser defensive coordinator Vince Taylor was hired to fill the void. Taylor takes over a team that returns just four starters on offense but has seven starters back on defense. While there isn’t a lot of experience back on offense, the Buffaloes do have quarterback Quaid Taylor, who threw for 2,200 yards, rushed for 1,100 yards and had 32 total touchdowns last season. Jack Kizer, CJ hubbard and Ty Watkins are the returning leaders on defense, while sophomores Jacky Jackson and Ethan Adair will provide depth. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Eustace; Sept. 6 – at Paris Chisum; Sept. 13 – Edgewood; Sept. 20 – Caddo Mills; Oct. 4 – at Commerce*.; Oct. 11 – Van Alstyne*; Oct. 18 – at Howe*; Oct. 25 – Bonham*; Nov. 1 ¬– at Rains*; Nov. 8 – Pottsboro* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m)

7:30 p.m.)

COMMERCE

TIGERS

COACH: Cody Farrell (3rd year year, 7-15) ALL-TIME: 515-487-45 .492% STADIUM: Ernest Hawkins Field at Memorial Stadium, 1606 Highway 24, Commerce, Texas, 75428 2018 RESULT: 1-8 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 20/18 LETTERMEN LOST: 6 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: OL Anthony Peak, Sr., 6-3, 265 … QB Brad Caldwell, Sr., 6-0, 192 … OL Zach Jensen Sr., 6-1, 260 … OL Taylor Kepley, Sr., 6-0, 285 … WR Brandon Turner, Sr., 6-0, 170 … WR J’Den Wilson, Jr., 5-9, 165 … RB Xzay Basham, Jr., 5-11, 180 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Anthony Peak, Sr., 6-3, 265 …DL Omahri Davis, Jr., 6-0, 215 … DL Zach Jensen Sr., 6-1, 260 … DB Brandon Turner, Sr., 6-0, 170 … DB J’Den Wilson, Jr., 5-9, 165 …DB Ashton Seale, Soph., 5-9, 165 2019 OUTLOOK: Commerce went from a team that went three rounds deep in the playoffs in 2017 to a one-win team in 2018. The Tigers scored less than 20 points per game last season and allowed just fewer than 40 points per contest. With nine starters back on both sides of the ball, Commerce is hoping for major improvement in both areas. The Tigers return two 1,000-yard rushers. Xzay Basham had 1,056 yards and eight touchdowns. Quarterback Brad Caldwell rushed for 1,005 yards and 11 touchdowns, and he threw for 488 yards and eight scores. Wade Nicholson is the leading returning tackler. J’Den Wilson returns as the leading receiver and the leader in interceptions. The Tigers play their first three games away from home. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Edgewood; Sept. 6 – at Leonard; Sept. 13 – at Nevada Community; Sept. 20 – Kemp; Sept. 27 – at Pottsboro*; Oct. 4 – Lone Oak*; Oct. 18 – at Van Alstyne*; Oct. 25 – Howe*; Nov. 1 – at Bonham*; Nov. 8 – Rains* (* Indicates district game; All games start at

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Kemp wide receiver Desmond Tutson (1) runs the ball during a high school football playoff game at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium in Tyler, Texas.

DISTRICT 6-3A DI

(Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

OUR PICKS 1. MALAKOFF 2. KEMP 3. DALLAS MADISON 4. EUSTACE 5. DALLAS A+ ACADEMY 6. DALLAS LIFE OAK ACADEMY 124

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MALAKOFFTIGERS

COACH: Jamie Driskell (11th year, 99-24) ALL-TIME: 440-430-27 STADIUM: Tiger Stadium, 5201 FM 3062, Malakoff, Texas 75148 (Capacity: 2,500) 2018 RESULT: 12-3 (Class 3A Division I state finalist) RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 20/11 LETTERMEN LOST: 11 OFFENSE: Multiple spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Andreas Garrett, Sr., 5-11, 175 ... QB Darion Peace, Jr., 6-2, 195 ... RB Keevie Rose, 6-1, 195 ... OL Erik Waldo, Jr., 6-1, 250 ... RB Duce Hart DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Colby Rush, Sr., 6-0, 190 ... DL Zamire Ruiz, Jr., 6-0, 260 ... DL Cole Gaddis, Jr., 6-0,

240 ... DE Brandon Nations, Jr, 6-6, 230 ... DB Nathan Jones, Jr., 6-4, 190 ... DB Dylan Stearman, Sr., 5-10, 160 ... LB Tanner Scholfield, Sr., 5-8, 150 ... 2019 OUTLOOK: The Tigers are primed for another run at the state title with 11 returning starters from a 12-3 team, plus an influx of talent from a 9-1 JV squad. ... Driskell describes Garrett as the "best competitor we have ever had." Garrett had 45 catches for 895 yards and 11 TDs last season. Peace returns to run the explosive offense, having thrown for 2,301 yards with 30 touchdown passes and just four interceptions. He also gained 668 yards and eight TDs on 142 carries. ... Rose leads the running attack, having gained 1,408 yards with 18 TDs on 190 uyards. ... Garrett had 45 catches for 895 yards and 11 TDs a year ago. ... Defensively, Rush had 129 tackles as he is the Sean Lee of the Tigers. ... Look for another exciting year in Henderson County. The Tigers are primed for another journey to Jerry World. ... Malakoff LB/TE Caleb Adams signed with Trinity Valley CC. ... SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Teague; Sept. 6 – Emory Rains; Sept. 13 – at Mexia; Sept. 20 – Grandview; Sept. 27 – at Spring Hill; Oct. 4 – open; Oct. 11 – Dallas Life Oak Cliff*; Oct. 18 – at Dallas A+ Academy*; Oct. 25 – Dallas Madison*; Nov. 1 – Eustace*; Nov. 8 – at Kemp* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

EUSTACE BULLDOGS

start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

KEMP

Roberts, Jr., 6-1, 200 ... LB Bryson Derrick, 6-0, 185 ... 2019 OUTLOOK: Graduation hit the Yellow Jackets hard. ... With Malakoff marching to the state finals, many forget it was actually Kemp that won the district with a 5-0 league mark. The Yellow Jackets lost a couple of key players to graduation — Boomer Irvin (Army West Point) and Cameron Clamon (Mary HardinBaylor). ... SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Sunnyvale; Sept. 6 – at Mabank; Sept. 13 – Waxahachie Life; Sept. 20 – at Commerce; Sept. 27 – Dallas Christian; Oct. 11 – at Eustace*; Oct. 17 – at Dallas Madison (Forester Field), 7 p.m.*; Oct. 25– Dallas Life Oak Cliff*; Nov. 1 – at Dallas A+ Academy*; Nov. 8 – Malakoff* (* Indicates district game; All games

YELLOWJACKETS

COACH: Lee Wilkins (2nd year, 9-3, Overall: 40-18) ALL-TIME: 317-509-24 STADIUM: Yellow Jacket Stadium, Turner Line, Kemp, Texas 75143 (Capacity: 2,500) 2018 RESULT: 9-3, area finalists RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 8/4 LETTERMEN LOST: 27 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Ethyn Ervin, Sr., 6-0, 180 ... OL Harley Manders, Sr., 5-9, 210 ... RB Jayden Galvez, Jr., 5-10, 190 ... DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL CJ Henderson, Sr., 5-10, 190 ... DB Logan Greathouse, Sr., 5-8, 165 ... DT Ty

COACH: Steve Smith (2nd year, 4-8; Overall: 17 years, 108-82) ALL-TIME: 217-380-11 STADIUM: Bulldog Stadium, Henderson St. at FM 316 S, Eustace, Texas 75124

(Capacity: 3,000; opened: 1985)

2018 RESULT: 4-8, area finalist OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Paxton Schwartz ... OL Dartanyan Pruitt ... QB Cooper Cates ... RB Charles Spencer ... DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Wesley Kirchenbaur, DL J.D. Byrd ... DE Cameron Englehart ... DB Marquavius Griffin ... 2019 OUTLOOK: Smith's teams have made the playoffs seven straight years — two times at Post, four

times at Sundown and last year at Eustace. ... The Bulldogs have been playing football since 1938, earning 12 playoff berths and three district championships. ... Did you know current Arkansas Razorbacks coach Chad Morris coached the Bulldogs from 1994 to 1997, leading Eustace to a district championship in 1997, the Bulldog's last gold ball. Morris had three straight 5-5 seasons before helping the Bulldogs to an 11-1 mark in his final season. Morris then coached at Elysian Fields (1998-99), Bay City (2000-02), Stephenville (2003-07) and finally at Lake Travis, where he led the Cavaliers to a 32-0 record for the 2008-09 seasons. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Lone Oak; Sept. 6 – at Winona; Sept. 13 – at Palestine Westwood; Sept. 20 – at Groesbeck; Sept. 27 – Hillsboro; Oct. 4 – open; Oct. 11 – Kemp*; Oct. 18 – at Dallas Life Oak Cliff*; Oct. 25 – Dallas A+ Academy*; Nov. 1 – at Malakoff* Nov. 8 – Dallas Madison* (* Indicates district game; All games

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LIONS

DALLAS LIFE OAK CLIFF

COACH: Kevin Grubbs (2nd year, 2-8) ALL-TIME: 44-85 STADIUM: Life Stadium, 4400 South R.L. Thornton Freeway, Dallas, 75224 (Capacity: 2000; year opened: 2006) 2018 RESULT: 2-8 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 21/15 LETTERMEN LOST: 14 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Lasirton Bryant, Sr., 5-9, 170 ... WR Lance Carter, Sr., 6-1, 160 ... Elijah Sheppard-Ruth, Jr., 5-7, 150 ... DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: OL Tyler Johnson, Jr., 5-11, 240 2019 OUTLOOK: The Lions began their football program in 2006. Their only winning season was in 2011 when they were 6-5 and made their only playoff appearance. Bryant will be a newcomer to the varsity and will be utilized at several different positions. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Callisburg; Sept. 6 – at Dallas Pinkston; Sept. 13 – Dallas Gateway; Sept. 20 – North Dallas; Sept. 27 – at Dallas Roosevelt; Oct. 11 – at Malakoff*; Oct. 18 – Eustace*; Oct. 25 – at Kemp*; Oct. 31 – at Dallas Madison*; Nov. 8 – Dallas A+ Academy* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

STADIUM: First Baptist Athletic Complex, 7894 Samuell Blvd. Dallas 75228 (Capacity: 1,500) 2018 RESULT: 3-7 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 26/16 LETTERMEN LOST: 5 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Abel Salazar, Sr., 5-11, 185 ... QB Jacob Duran, Jr., 5-10, 175 ... RB Alexis Gonzales, Sr., 5-8, 170 ... DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DT Angel Arellano, Sr., 5-10, 320 ... DE Jose Romo, Jr., 6-1, 215 ... LB Carlos Hernandez, Jr., 5-10, 200 ... 2019 OUTLOOK: With the Knights returning their top passer (Jacob Duran), top rusher (Alexis Gonzales) and top receiver returning (Abel Salazar) back, the offense could get going in 2019. ... This is the fourth year of A+ program and it is the first time the Knights will have a coach for consecutive years. ... All Knights' home games will be played at Dallas First Baptist Athletic Complex this season. SCHEDULE: Aug. 29 – at Dallas First Baptist, 7 p.m.; Sept. 7 – Kennedale Fellowship Academy, 2 p.m.; Sept. 13 – at Trenton; Sept. 20 – Fort Worth Calvary Christian; Sept. 27 – at Tyler All Saints; Oct. 11 – Dallas Madison*; Oct. 18 – Malakoff*; Oct. 25 – at Eustace*; Nov. 1 – Kemp*; Nov. 8 – at Dallas Life Oak Cliff*(* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m unless noted) 126

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone

DALLAS A+ ACADEMY

ALL-TIME: 5-23

KNIGHTS

COACH: Tarance Lewis (2nd year at Dallas A+, 3-7; Overall: 13-18)


TROJANS

DALLAS JAMES MADISON

COACH: Marcus Gates (7th year, 30-34) ALL-TIME: 220-258-5 STADIUM: Pleasant Grove Stadium, 8228 Maddox, Dallas, Texas 75217 (Capacity: 4,000; year opened: 1945); Forester Field, 8233 Military Pkwy, Dallas, Texas 75227 (Capacity: 10,000); John Kincaide Stadium, 9191 South Polk, Dallas, Texas 75232 (Capacity: 15,000; year opened: 2005); James Ray Henry Stadium, 819 Jack St., Seagoville, Texas 75159 (Capacity: 3,500; year opened: 1964) 2018 RESULT: 6-5 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 18/14 LETTERMEN LOST: 7 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Jaylin Thibodeaux, Sr., 5-11, 175 ... WR Cedric Pellum, Sr., 6-1, 185 ... OL Ruben Bowan, Sr., 6-4, 275 ... DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: CB Dedrick Kinney, Sr., 6-0, 175 ... LB Kabrin Fox, Sr., 6-1, 180 ... CB Dakari Lee, Sr., 5-9, 170 ... 2019 OUTLOOK: The Trojans had three players sign with colleges — WR Dadrian Marshall (McPherson College), LB/RB Derrious Kinney (Missouri Southern State), RB Marcus CobinHill (Cisco). ... Thibodeaux threw for 970 yards and 12 touchdowns last year, along with six interceptions. Coach Gates said Madison will be stronger in 2019 with experience returning. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Dallas Bryan Adams (James Ray Henry Stadium, Seagoville); Sept. 7 – at Fort Worth Dunbar (Clark Stadium), 7 p.m.; Sept. 14 – Dallas Lincoln (Kincaide Stadium), 6 p.m.; Sept. 20 – Fort Worth Poly (Forester Field); Sept. 27 – at Sunnyvale; Oct. 4 – open; Oct. 11 – at Dallas A+ Academy*; Oct. 17 – Kemp (Forester Field)*; Oct. 25 – at Malakoff*; Oct. 31 – Dallas Life Oak Cliff (Pleasant Grove)*; Nov. 8 – at Eustace*(* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

IT’S

GAME TIME

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DISTRICT 7-3A DII OUR PICKS 1. BUFFALO 2. EDGEWOOD 3. PALMER 4. RICE 5. SCURRY-ROSSER 6. CORSICANA MILDRED 7. BLOOMING GROVE 8. DALLAS GATEWAY CHARTER 128

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


BUFFALOBISON

COACH: Brandon Houston (2nd year, 12-1) ALL-TIME RECORD: 371-422-26 STADIUM: Buffalo Bison Stadium, 1724 N. Buffalo Ave., Buffalo, Texas 75831 (Capacity: 2,373; opened: 2010)

2018 RESULT: 12-1, regional semifinalist RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 14/9 LETTERMEN LOST: 14 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Jamual Randle, Sr., 6-1, 170 ... QB Brett Hoffman, Jr.,

6-3, 190 ... OL Asa Henson, Jr., 6-0, 270 .. RB/WR Ethan Williams, Soph., 6-0, 155 ... DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Eric Beshears, Jr., 6-0, 175 ... OLB Jordan Rogers, Jr. 6-1, 190 ... DB Roberto Garcia, Sr., 5-7, 155 ... 2019 OUTLOOK: The Bison lost three key players in LB Chase Thompson (East Texas Baptist), quarterback Colton Green and DL Jesus Garcia (Navarro). ... It was a spectacular first year for Coach Brandon Houston at the helm. ... Brett Hoffman is scheduled to play QB. He threw for 548 yards when he hit on 23 of 38 passing attempts for six TDs and three interceptions behind starter Colton Green. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Crockett; Sept. 6 – Palestine Westwood; Sept. 13 – at Groveton; Sept. 20 – open; Sept. 27 – Dallas Gateway Charter*; Oct. 4 – at Palmer*; Oct. 11 – Rice*; Oct. 18 – at Blooming Grove*; Oct. 25 – at Corsicana Mildred*; Nov. 1 – Edgewood*; Nov. 8 – at Scurry-Rosser*(* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

PALMER BULLDOGS

EDGEWOOD

75117 (Capacity: 3,000; year opened: 1961) 2018 RESULT: 9-2, area finalists RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 16/8 LETTERMEN LOST: 14 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: ATH Trey McPherson, Sr., 6-0, 180 ... OL Mason Tarrant, Sr., 6-0, 310 ... RB Kyle Keltner, Sr., 5-8, 175 ... RB Johnathan Bennett, Sr., 5-6, 175 ... ATH Taylor Turner, Soph., 5-10, 175 ... DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Rusty Pickens, Sr., 5-7, 225 ... OLB Sebastian Holdman, Sr., 5-10, 170 ... ATH Hudson Tyner, Jr., 6-3, 180 ... LB Preston Holdman Jr., 5-7, 180 ... 2019 OUTLOOK: The Bulldogs have three straight seasons of nine wins and they would like to get into double digits this season. Stellar athlete Trey McPherson will be asked to play multiple roles for the Bulldogs. ... Kyle Keltner and Jonathan Bennett played well on defense last year. ... SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Commerce; Sept. 6 – at Caddo Mills; Sept. 13 – at Lone Oak; Sept. 20 – open; Sept. 27 – Blooming Grove*; Oct. 4 – at Scurry-Rosser*; Oct. 11 – Dallas Gateway*; Oct. 18 – at Palmer*; Oct. 25– Rice*; Nov. 1 – at Buffalo*; Nov. 8 – Corsicana Mildred*(* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

BULLDOGS

COACH: Kevin Bachtel (4th year, 27-8) ALL-TIME RECORD: 426-442-28 STADIUM: I.T. James Memorial Stadium, 804 E. Pine St., Edgewood, Texas

COACH: Don Waddle (6th year, 24-28) ALL-TIME: 154-335-5 STADIUM: Bulldog Stadium, 422 W. Jefferson St, Palmer, Texas 75152 (Capacity: 2,000; year opened: 1999)

2018 RESULT: 7-3 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 14/9 LETTERMEN LOST: 12 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: H Back Ben Waddle, Sr., 6-2, 171 ... QB Adrian Cisneros, Sr., 6-0, 182 ... RB

Dylan Tyree, Sr., 5-11, 168 ... DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Marc Zagala, Sr., 6-2, 235 ... DT Henry Martinez, Sr., 5-10, 245 ... DB Carson Cisneros, Sr., 5-11, 160 ... 2019 OUTLOOK: The Bulldogs lost a couple of players to college programs — OL/DT Caleb Hernandez (Trinity Valley CC) and center Dylan Villasenor (Sterling College). ... Ben Waddle is a do-everything player, H Back, defensive back, punter and placekicker. ... SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Italy; Sept. 6 – Grand Saline; Sept. 13 – Millsap; Sept. 20 – open; Sept. 27 – at Rice*; Oct. 4 – Buffalo*; Oct. 11 – at Corsicana Mildred*; Oct. 18 – Edgewood*; Oct. 25 – Scurry-Rosser*; Nov. 1 – Dallas Gateway Charter*; Nov. 8 – at Blooming Grove*(* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.) The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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RICEBULLDOGS

COACH: Andy Mills (5th year, 21-22; Overall: 11 years, 31-82) ALL-TIME RECORD: 76-139-0 STADIUM: Bulldog Stadium, 1302 SW McKinney, Rice, Texas 75155 (Capacity: 1,700; opened: 1999)

2018 RESULT: 4-6 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 13/13 LETTERMEN LOST: 11 OFFENSE: Wing OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Tanner Carlisle, Sr., 6-1, 180 ... OL Saul Diaz, Sr. 5-10, 250 ... OL Angel Banda, Jr.,

6-1, 245

OFFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: CB Dakota Jessie, Sr., 5-11, 150 ... LB Brian Ovalle, Sr., 5-10, 210 ... LB Tommy Bernal, Jr., 5-11, 155

2019 OUTLOOK: Coach Andy Mills has led the Bulldogs to three straight playoff appearances. The school,

which began football in 1998, had a total of five postseason bids. ... Tanner Carlisle will be a three-year starter at quarterback. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Groesbeck; Sept. 6 – Rio Vista; Sept. 13 – at Crawford; Sept. 20 – open; Sept. 27 – Palmer*; Oct. 4 – at Blooming Grove*; Oct. 11 – at Buffalo*; Oct. 18 – Corsicana Mildred*; Oct. 25 – at Edgewood*; Nov. 1 – Scurry-Rosser*; Nov. 8 – at Dallas Gateway Charter* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 14/7 LETTERMEN LOST: 27 OFFENSE: Spread

EAGLES

CORSICANA MILDRED

OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Brandon Birmingham, Sr., 5-10, 155 ... WR Terrell Blanton, Jr., 6-3, 180 ... RB Noah Lopez, Sr., 5-8, 150 ... QB Jaxon Jonas, Jr., 5-10, 160 DEFENSE: Odd DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DE John McLean, Sr., 6-2, 230 ... DT Clayton Johnson, Sr., 5-11, 280 ... LB Gage Ehrenberger, Jr., 5-11, 165 2019 OUTLOOK: The Wildcats had three players sign with college programs — OL Brandon Laird (Texas A&M-Commerce), LB Jack Bussey (Texas A&M-Commerce) and RB Marquise Major (Southern Nazarene). ... SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Quinlan Boles; Sept. 6 – Quitman; Sept. 13 –Grand Saline; Sept. 20 – open; Sept. 27 – at Corsicana Mildred*; Oct. 11 – at Blooming Grove*; Oct. 18 – at Dallas Gateway Charter*; Oct. 25 – at Palmer*; Nov. 1 – at Rice*; Nov. 8 – Buffalo* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

130

SCURRY-ROSSER

(Capacity: 1,000; opened: 2008) 2018 RESULT: 4-6

WILDCATS

COACH: Jeff Cleveland (3rd year, 4-16; Overall: 68-87) ALL-TIME RECORD:196-300-2 STADIUM: Wildcats Stadium, 10729 S. State Hwy 34, Scurry, Texas 75158

COACH: Cody Fagan (3rd year, 9-11) ALL-TIME RECORD: 385-436-30 STADIUM: Eagle Stadium, 5475 S. U.S. Hwy 287, Mildred, Texas 75109

(Capacity: 500)

2018 RESULT: 3-6 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 14/13 LETTERMEN LOST: 10 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Bishop Harris, Jr., 6-0, 175 ... QB Cody Hayes, Soph., 5-11, 150 ... OL Elijah Sanford, Jr., 5-9, 240

DEFENSE: 3-4/4-3/Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Cale Hayes, Jr., 6-1, 185 ... LB Kain Holliman, 5-6, 190 ... DB Daniel Ayers, Jr.,

6-0, 180

2019 OUTLOOK: The Eagles are hopeful standout athlete Bishop Harris stays healthy for his junior season. He played only half the season as a sophomore due to an ankle injury. He rushed for 301 yards and five touchdowns when active and hauled in 326 yards and six TDs as a receiver. ... Cody Hayes started the final two games of the season at QB and CB. ... SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Leon; Sept. 6 – Italy; Sept. 13 – at Kerens; Sept. 20 – open; Sept. 27 – ScurryRosser*; Oct. 4 – at Dallas Gateway*; Oct. 11 – Palmer*; Oct. 18 – at Rice*; Oct. 25 – Buffalo*; Nov. 1 – Blooming Grove*; Nov. 8 – at Edgewood* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


ALL-TIME RECORD: 400-428-32 STADIUM: Lion Stadium, W. Grady St. at S. Ramsey St., Blooming Grove, Texas (Capacity: 1,400) 2018 RESULT: 5-5 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 17/13

LIONS

BLOOMING GROVE

COACH: Ervin Chandler (1st year)

LETTERMEN LOST: 12 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Carson Rucks, Sr. ... C Taylor Cochran, Sr. ... OL Carlos Flores, Sr. DEFENSE: Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Colton Nicholson, Jr. ... DB Matthew Beacum, Jr. 2019 OUTLOOK: Ervin Chandler begins his first season as head coach. ... With 13 starters returning the Lions are hoping for an above .500 record. ... Rucks rushed passed for 1,281 yards and rushed for another 318. ... SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Cross Roads; Sept. 6 – Kerens; Sept. 13 – at Italy; Sept. 20 – bye; Sept. 27 – at Edgewood*; Oct. 4 – Rice*; Oct. 11 – Scurry-Rosser*; Oct. 18 – Buffalo*; Oct. 25 – Dallas Gateway Charter*; Nov. 1 – at Corsicana Mildred*; Nov. 8 – Palmer* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

STADIUM: Gateway Field, 1015 East Wheatland Road, Dallas, Texas 75241 (Capacity: 1,000; year opened: 2008) 2018 RESULT: 0-9 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 5/12 LETTERMEN LOST: 6 OFFENSE: Power Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Courtney Montgomery, Sr., 6-1, 165 ... WR Kolby Graham, Sr., 6-3 ... QB Duquelin Johnson, Jr., 6-3 ... C Korey Scott, Soph. DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Yul Lynch, Jr., 6-1, 160 ... LB Nigel Carson, Sr., 5-11, 175 2019 OUTLOOK: First-year coach Darrin Widemon laments the fact that Gateway has small numbers for 3A. The school has an enrollment for 151. The next school above the Dallas school is Corsicana Mildred (246). Still Widemon is optimistic as junior quarterback Duquelin Johnson takes over the offense. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Celeste; Sept. 6 – Maypearl; Sept. 13 – at Dallas Life Oak Cliff; Sept. 20 – open; Sept. 27 – at Buffalo*; Oct. 4 – Corsicana Mildred*; Oct. 11 – at Edgewood*; Oct. 18 – Scurry-Rosser*; Oct. 25 – at Blooming Grove*; Nov. 1 – at Palmer*; Nov. 8 – Rice* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

DALLAS GATEWAY CHARTER

ALL-TIME RECORD: 25-70-0

GATORS

COACH: Darrin Widemon (1st year)

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DISTRICT 11-3A DI OUR PICKS 1. FRANKLIN 2. DIBOLL 3. CROCKETT 4. ELKHART 5. COLDSPRING-OAKHURST 6. PALESTINE WESTWOOD 7. TRINITY 132

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


FRANKLINLIONS

COACH: Mike Hedrick (14th year, 122-36; Overall: 300-159-11) ALL-TIME RECORD: 569-375-37 STADIUM: Lion Stadium, 1098 West Decherd, Franklin, Texas 77856 (Capacity:

3,000; opened: 1997) 2018 RESULT: 10-2, regional semifinalist

RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 14/9 LETTERMEN LOST: 20 OFFENSE: Slot T OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Datron Dixon, Sr. 5-10, 160 ... OL Cody Duewall, Sr., 6-3, 250 ... OL Kobe Lebreche, Sr., 5-10, 230 ... OL Keegan Wilson, Jr., 6-0, 225

DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB CJ Smith, Sr., 5-10, 185 ... DB Seth Spiller, Jr., 5-11, 175 2019 OUTLOOK: Two Lions signed with colleges — S/RB Jared Pedraza (Northwestern State) and LB Will

Fannin (D-III powerhouse Mary Hardin-Baylor). ... Franklin has won the district title for six of the last seven years and expect the roar to continue 2019. ... The Lions have nine starters returning and with the influx of talent from a 9-1 JV, a third-straight 10-win season could be in store. ... After missing the playoffs the first year of Coach Mike Hedrick's tenure, the Lions have made the playoffs 13 straight years, winning eight district championships. ... This will be Hedrick's 44th year as a head coach. He started his head coaching career at Chapel Hill in 1976. After four years at CH, he left for Jewett Leon where he coached there from 1980 throught 2005. Hedrick started at Franklin in 2006. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Hearne; Sept. 6 – at Lorena; Sept. 13 – Mart; Sept. 20 – open; Sept. 27 – ColdspringOakhurst*; Oct. 4 – at Elkhart*; Oct. 11 – Palestine Westwood*; Oct. 18 – open*; Oct. 25 – at Trinity*; Nov. 1 – Diboll*; Nov. 8 – at Crockett* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 26/16 LETTERMEN LOST: 12 OFFENSE: Multiple Pro OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Darius McMillan, Sr., 5-10, 232 ... QB Dylan Maskunas, Sr., 6-2, 180 ... C Billy Leverett, Sr., 6-0, 256

DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Herbert Gums, Sr., 6-3, 268 ... LB Hayden McLeroy, Sr., 6-0, 212 ... DE Jeremiah

Gums, Soph., 5-10, 265 2019 OUTLOOK: The Lumberjacks will also contend for the top spot in district. Returning are an awesome 1-2 punch in quarterback Dylan Maskunas, who threw for 1,014, and second-team all-state running back Daris McMillan, who rushed for 2,100. ... Also, Javaughn Luster returns at WR where he had 483 yards rushing. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Bridge City; Sept. 6 – Huntington; Sept. 13 – Cleveland; Sept. 20 – Liberty; Sept. 27 – open; Oct. 4 – at Crockett*; Oct. 11 – Coldspring-Oakhurst*; Oct. 18 – at Elkhart*; Oct. 25– Palestine Westwood*; Nov. 1 – at Franklin*; Nov. 8 – Trinity* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

DIBOLL

75941 (Capacity: 6,000) 2018 RESULT: 10-2, area finalists

LUMBERJACKS

COACH: Blake Morrison (6th year, 27-27, Overall: 39-61) ALL-TIME RECORD: 324-402-9 STADIUM: Lumberjack Stadium, E. Harris St. & Arrington Road, Diboll, Texas

BULLDOGS

COACH: Jimmy Thompson (6th year, 37-24; Overall: 232-121-1) ALL-TIME: 583-412-32 STADIUM: Monte Jack Driskell Stadium, 1600 SW Loop 304, Crockett, Texas

CROCKETT

75835 (Capacity: 5,000; year opened: 1987)

2018 RESULT: 7-4 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 22/16 LETTERMEN LOST: 8 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: TE Allen Horace, Sr., 6-5, 225 ... RB Joseph Porter,

Sr., 5-11, 170 ... QB Jordan Bedford, Sr., 5-11½, 153 DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Cristian Brice, Sr., 5-9, 154 ... DL Carlos Navarro, Sr., 6-0, 292 ... DB Shannon Bacon, 6-2, Sr., 167 2019 OUTLOOK: The Bulldogs should be in the hunt for the district title with the likes of standout TE/DE Alen Horace returning. Horace, who had several D-I offers, has committed to Arkansas. He had 29 catches for 468 yards and nine TDs last year. Defensively, Horace had 17 sacks and 102 tackles. ... Joseph Porter, the Class 3A 200-meter state champion, returns at running back. Porter rushed for 450 yards and six TDs in 2018. ... Leading the team at QB is Jordan Bedford, who hit on 141 of 284 passing attempts for 2,244 yards, 34 TDs and nine interceptions. ... Defensively, Christian Brice returns. He had seven interceptions, returning three for TDs. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Buffalo; Sept. 6 – Garrison; Sept. 13 – at Grapeland; Sept. 20 – open; Sept. 27 – at Trinity*; Oct. 4 – Diboll*; Oct. 11 – at Tomball Christian; Oct. 18 – at Coldspring-Oakhurst*; Oct. 25 – Elkhart*; Nov. 1 – at Palestine Westwood*; Nov. 8 – Franklin* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.) The Zone | East Texas Football Preview

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ELKHARTELKS

COACH: Jason Fiacco (2nd year, 3-7; Overall: 17 years, 8-12) ALL-TIME RECORD: 420-439-27 STADIUM: Jerry Ives Memorial Stadium, Sheridan St., Elkhart, Texas 75839 (Capacity: 1,500) 2018 RESULT: 3-7 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 16/13 LETTERMEN LOST: 6 OFFENSE: Pro OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: OL Weldon Brooks, Sr., 6-0, 275 ... RB RJ Moore, Jr., 6-0, 170 ... QB Cade Starr, Sr., 5-11, 175 ... OL Jacob Nugent, Jr., 5-10, 235 ... WR JJ Casal, Sr., 5-9, 155 ... RB Camden Sellars, Jr., 5-10, 170 ... OL Tristan Mays, Sr., 6-0, 170 OFFENSE: Split DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DE Ky Thomas, Sr., 6-4, 250 ... LB Holden Bush, Sr., 6-0, 175 ... DL Connor Duncan, Jr., 6-0, 220 ... LB Chase Walker, 6-0, 175 ... DB John Ashford, Sr., 5-6, 155 ... DL Collin Edwards, Soph., 6-1, 225 ... Zane Quick, Soph., 5-9, 160 2019 OUTLOOK: RJ Moore returns at running back where he gained some 570 yards and scored three touchdowns a year ago. ... Leading tackler Ky Thomas is back. He had 79 tackles, four sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss, forced two fumbles, recovered a fumble and had a safety. ... Meissah Birdow had two interceptions. ... Coach Jason Fiacco enters his second year at the helm and expects a strong season for the Elks and for the team to be in playoff contention. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Centerville; Sept. 6 – Frankston; Sept. 13 – at Troup; Sept. 20 – Sabine; Sept. 27 – at Palestine Westwood*; Oct. 4 – Franklin*; Oct. 11 – at Trinity*; Oct. 18 – Diboll*; Oct. 25 – at Crockett*; Nov. 1 – Coldspring-Oakhurst* Nov. 8 – open (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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COLDSPRING-OAKHURST

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TROJANS

COACH: Ken Stanley (1st year; Overall: 6-14) ALL-TIME RECORD: 387-264-11 STADIUM: Trojan Field, 14100 Texas 150, Coldspring, Texas 77331 (Capacity: 1,365) 2018 RESULT: 3-8 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 12/9 LETTERMEN LOST: 27 OFFENSE: 2-3 Back OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Contavious Parker-Harden, Jr., 5-11, 230 ... QB Jeromy Harden, Sr., 5-9, 170 ... OL Hayden Richardson, Soph., 5-10, 273 DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Jaden Whitten, Sr., 6-5, 290 ... CB Taydrean Shaw-Rucker, Sr., 5-5, 145 ... DL Cameron Burleson, Jr., 6-0, 225 2019 OUTLOOK: The Trojans will try to get back to the playoffs for the 14th straight year. Jim Bird was head coach last year, but is now the defensive coordinator as Ken Stanley takes over the program. Stanley was last head coach at Hemphill in 2012 and has been on the Liberty staff for the last few years. ... The Trojans were 3-3 in district in 2018. Offensively, C-O will be depending on junior running back Contavious Parker-Harden, who rushed for 1,024 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is also a standout linebacker. ... The Trojans are a run-oriented offense as QB Jeromy Harden threw for only 223 yards a year ago. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Hardin-Jefferson, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6 – at Shepherd, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13 – Buna, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20 – Mexia; Sept. 27 – at Franklin*; Oct. 11 – at Diboll*; Oct. 18 – Crockett*; Oct. 25 – open; Nov. 1 – at Elkhart*; Nov. 8 – Palestine Westwood* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m unless noted)


PANTHERS

PALESTINE WESTWOOD

COACH: Richard Bishop (2nd year, 1-9) ALL-TIME RECORD: 220-355-9 STADIUM: Westwood Panther Stadium, 1820 Chism Dr., Palestine, Texas 75801 (Capacity: 3,500; year opened: 2009) 2018 RESULT: 1-9 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 20/12 LETTERMEN LOST: 5 OFFENSE: Gun-4/5 Wide OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Dalton Books, Sr., 6-2, 175 ... WR Aeneas Page, Sr., 5-6, 145 ... C Jaden Crutcher, Jr., 5-8, 220 ... WR/RB Jordan Owens, Jr., 5-8, 165 ... RB Tremelle Rhodes, Soph., 5-10, 185 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Kadonte Watkins, Sr., 6-0, 165 ... DE Brendan Gabler, Sr., 5-10, 210 ... LB JT Herndon, Sr., 5-10, 190 ... LB DeAnthony Thomas, Jr., 5-8, 175 2019 OUTLOOK: The Panthers hope to rebound from the one-win season and there is reason for optimism as Westwood has 12 starters back including quarterback Dalton Books, who threw for more than 1,500 yards. Also, Aeneas Page had 400-plus yards receiving. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Alto; Sept. 6 – at Buffalo; Sept. 13 – Eustace; Sept. 20 – West Rusk; Sept. 27 – Elkhart*; Oct. 4 – open; Oct. 11 – at Franklin*; Oct. 18 – Trinity*; Oct. 25 – at Diboll*; Nov. 1 – Crockett*; Nov. 8 – at Coldspring-Oakhurst* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

ALL-TIME RECORD: 368-519-28 STADIUM: Tiger Stadium, Highway 94, Trinity, Texas 75862 (Capacity: 3,000; year opened: 1999) 2018 RESULT: 2-8 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 12/11 LETTERMEN LOST: 7 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Grisham Vaught, Sr., 5-11, 170 ... WR Jace Stout, Sr., 6-0, 175 ... OL Hunter Smith, Jr., 6-0, 220 ... WR Brice Smith, Sr., 6-0, 155 DEFENSE: 50 Defense DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DE Andrew Crabtree, Sr., 5-10, 210 ... S Jamarian Hall, Jr., 6-0, 165 ... DT Colton Smith, Soph., 6-0, 220 ... LB Bryce Smith, Fr., 5-10, 180 2019 OUTLOOK: The Tigers have experience at QB as Grisham Vaught will be starting for the third-straight year. He threw for more than 600 yards last year with five TDs and six interceptions. ... At running back, Treylin Goodman rushed for moe than 1,100 yards last season. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Corrigan-Camden; Sept. 6 – at Groveton; Sept. 13 – Centerville; Sept. 20 – at New Waverly; Sept. 27 – Crockett*; Oct. 4 – at Coldspring-Oakhurst*; Oct. 11 – at Elkhart*; Oct. 18 – at Palestine Westwood*; Oct. 25 – Franklin*; Nov. 1 – open; Nov. 8 – at Diboll* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

TRINITYTIGERS

COACH: Patrick Goodman (2nd year, 2-8; Overall: 10-22)

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DISTRICT 9-2A DII OUR PICKS 1. CENTERVILLE 2. CAYUGA 3. JEWETT LEON 4. NORMANGEE 5. KERENS 6. CROSS ROADS 136

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


CENTERVILLETIGERS

COACH: Kyle Hardee (15th year, 98-66) ALL-TIME RECORD: 385-437-20 STADIUM: Tiger Stadium, 600 S. Commerce St., Centerville, Texas 75833 (Capacity: 2,500; opened: 1993) 2018 RESULT: 8-4, area finalist RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 11/10 LETTERMEN LOST: 10 OFFENSE: Multiple wing OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Caidenn Boss, Sr., 6-0, 160 ... OL BJ Kelly, Soph., 5-10, 265 ... OL Dillan Brent, Sr., 6-1, 285 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DE Brian Rutledge, Sr., 6-0, 200 ... Alan Skipworth, Sr., 5-10, 150 ... S Dillon Denman, Jr., 155 2019 OUTLOOK: The Tigers are seeking their ninth straight playoff berth and their third consecutive district championship. Kyle Hardee is entering his 15th year as a head coach, all at Centerville. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Elkhart; Sept. 6 – Corrigan-Camden; Sept. 13 – at Trinity; Sept. 20 – open; Sept. 27 – Groveton*; Oct. 4 – San Augustine*; Oct. 11 – at Cayuga*; Oct. 18 – at Cross Roads*; Oct. 25 – Normangee*; Nov. 1 – at Kerens*; Nov. 8 – Jewett Leon* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

ALL-TIME RECORD: 187-250-5 STADIUM: Scarborough Stadium, 17750 US-287, Cayuga, Texas 75832 (Capacity: 2,000; year opened: 1977) 2018 RESULT: 5-6 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 10/12 LETTERMEN LOST: 11 OFFENSE: Wing T OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: OL Dalton Fitzpatrick, Sr., 5-10, 220 ... OL BJ Scruggs, Jr., 6-2, 230 ... QB Caden Mullican, Jr., 5-10, 130 ... WR Colten Stephens, Jr., 6-3, 170 ... TE Austin Jenkins, Soph., 6-2, 165 DEFENSE: 4-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DE Casen Grasch, Sr., 6-0, 180 ... LB Kaden Joyce, Jr., 5-10, 185 ... LB Cater Grasch, Sr., 5-10, 160 ... LB Logan Vaughn, Jr., 5-11, 165 ... DL Matthew Barber, Sr., 6-3, 250 2019 OUTLOOK: Coach Cody Mohan has taken the Wildcats to the postseason in three of his four years at the helm. He expects the Wildcats to contend for another playoff berth. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Frost; Sept. 6 – Grapeland; Sept. 13 – at Mount Enterprise; Sept. 20 – Wortham; Sept. 27 – at Hubbard; Oct. 4 – open; Oct. 11 – Centerville*; Oct. 18 – at Normangee*; Oct. 25– Kerens*; Nov. 1 – at Jewett Leon*; Nov. 8 – Cross Roads* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

CAYUGAWILDCATS

COACH: Cody Mohan (5th year, 16-28)

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COUGARS

JEWETT LEON

COACH: Jeremy Colvert (4th year, 19-15) ALL-TIME: 262-295-11 STADIUM: Cougar Field, 12168 Hwy 79 W, Jewett, Texas 75846 (Capacity: 1000) 2018 RESULT: 8-4 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 8/8 LETTERMEN LOST: 14 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Harris Sherrod, Sr., 5-6, 150 ... RB Walter Beltran, Sr., 6-0, 205 DEFENSE: 3-4 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Curtis Stanford, Sr., 6-0, 205 ... S Tyson Cornett, Jr., 5-11, 155 2019 OUTLOOK: Curtis Stanford is a returning all-state linebacker. ... Harris Sherrod, who plays WR, RB and DB, is an all-state powerlifter. ... SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Corsicana Mildred; Sept. 6 –Anderson-Shiro; Sept. 13 – at New Waverly; Sept. 20 – at Lovelady; Sept. 27 – at Bremond; Oct. 4 – open; Oct. 11 – Normangee*; Oct. 18 – at Kerens*; Oct. 25 – Cross Roads*; Nov. 1 – Cayuga*; Nov. 8 – at Centerville* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone

NORMANGEE

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PANTHERS

COACH: Keith Sitton (1st year, 21-22; Overall: 4855) ALL-TIME RECORD: 295-392-15 STADIUM: Panther Stadium, 200 Church St., Normangee, Texas 77871 (Capacity: 450) 2018 RESULT: 5-6 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 20/14 LETTERMEN LOST: 11 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Luke Yellott, Sr., 5-9, 180 ... OL Brady Harris, Sr., 5-10, 210 ... QB Mason Hardy, Jr., 5-9, 170 OFFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Clifton Boatright, Sr., 6-0, 225 ... S Izaha Jones, Soph., 6-2, 170 ... Denton Young, Jr., 5-9, 150 2019 OUTLOOK: Normangee begin playing football in 1914. ... The Panthers have made the playoffs 17 times. They have been in the playoffs four of the last five years. ... Keith Sitton was head coach at Jewett Leon for 10 years from 2006 to 2015. After spending time on the Madisonville staff from 2016 to 2018, he returns to the head coaching ranks at Normangee. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Bremond; Sept. 6 – at Iola; Sept. 13 – Lovelady; Sept. 20 – at Grapeland; Sept. 27 – New Waverly; Oct. 4 – open; Oct. 11 – at Jewett Leon*; Oct. 18 – Cayuga*; Oct. 25 – at Centerville*; Nov. 1 – at Cross Roads*; Nov. 8 – Kerens* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)


KERENSBOBCATS

COACH: Terrell Harris (5th year, 17-27) ALL-TIME RECORD: 558-373-39 STADIUM: A.G. Godley Field, Bobcat Lane, Kerens, Texas 75144 (Capacity: 800) 2018 RESULT: 2-8 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 7/4 LETTERMEN LOST: 10 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Devin Graves, Soph., 6-1, 180 DEFENSE: 3-3 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: S Jason Burleson, Jr., 5-10, 165 ... DL Koby Phelps, Sr., 5-7, 175 2019 OUTLOOK: The Bobcats have not won a district championship since 2006, but hope to contend this year despite limited experience returing. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Waco Reicher; Sept. 6 – at Blooming Grove; Sept. 13 – Corsicana Mildred; Sept. 20 – Groveton; Sept. 27 – at Rio Vista; Oct. 4 – open; Oct. 11 – Cross Roads*; Oct. 18 – Jewett Leon*; Oct. 25 – at Cayuga*; Nov. 1 – at Centerville*; Nov. 8 – at Normangee* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

STADIUM: Rock Tower Stadium, 14434 Hwy 59, Cross Roads, Texas 75148 (Capacity: 750) 2018 RESULT: 0-10 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 14/17 LETTERMEN LOST: 4 OFFENSE: Wing T OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: OL Kaden Mattingly, Sr., 5-8 ... RB Alex Marsten, Sr. ... Rb Josh Gray, Jr. ... OL Tervor Marquez, Soph. DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Eli Wilson, Sr. ... DL Ethan Martin, Jr. ... DL John Castillo, Sr. ... LB Haydon Cook, Jr. ... DB Soloman Brown, Soph. ... LB Blaine Hendry, Sr. 2019 OUTLOOK: With 17 returning starters (eight on offense and nine on defense), the Bobcats look for better days this season. ... Alex Marsten rushed for 374 yards on 83 carries in 2019 with Soloman Brown grabbing three interceptions. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Blooming Grove; Sept. 6 – Axtell; Sept. 13 – at Hubbard; Sept. 20 – at Frost; Sept. 27 – Wortham*; Oct. 4 – open; Oct. 11 – at Kerens*; Oct. 18 – Centerville*; Oct. 25 – at Jewett Leon*; Nov. 1 – Normangee*; Nov. 8 – at Cayuga* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

CROSS ROADS

ALL-TIME RECORD: 87-298-4

BOBCATS

COACH: Daniel Pierce (3rd year, 1-19)

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DISTRICT 10-2A DI

Harleton vs. Union Grove Thursday, September 20, 2018. (Les Hassell/News-Journal Photo)

OUR PICKS 1. ALTO 2. BIG SANDY 3. CARLISLE 4. CUSHING 5. UNION GROVE 6. HAWKINS 140

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


YELLOWJACKETS

ALTO

COACH: Rickey Meeks (2nd year, 8-4) ALL-TIME: 579-369-34 .590% STADIUM: Cam’Ron Matthews Field, Jacket Road, Alto, Texas, 75925 2018 RESULT: 8-4, 2A DI Area finalist RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 17/15 LETTERMEN LOST: 8 OFFENSE: Multiple OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: WR Skyler Atkins, Sr., 6-0, 170 … OL Foster Hall, Sr., 6-3, 195 … OL Josh Castillo, Sr., 6-1, 310 … WR Jay Poe, Jr., 6-0, 155 … QB Will Dixon, Soph., 6-0, 155 … FB Todd Duplichain, Sr., 6-0, 185 … RB Aaron Skinner, Sr., 6-0, 193 … TE Jordan Skinner, Sr., 5-10, 225 DEFENSE: Odd stack DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Harmon West, Sr., 6-1, 192 … LB Cayle Irvin, Sr., 6-0, 219 … DB Skyler Atkins, Sr., 6-0, 170 … DB Clayton Terry, Sr., 6-2, 160 … DL Todd Duplichain, Sr., 6-0, 185 … DL Jordan Skinner, Sr., 5-10, 225 … LB Keithen Jenkins, Sr., 5-10, 155 2019 OUTLOOK: The last time the Alto Yellowjackets weren’t participating in playoff football, members of the current team hadn’t started school yet. Alto has reached the postseason in 15 consecutive seasons, including state titles in 2006 and 2007. The Yellowjackets not only want to keep their postseason streak alive, but they also want to try to make another run at a state title. There is plenty of experience returning with eight starters back on offense and seven returning starers on defense. It all starts with linebackers Harmon West and Cayle Irvin. West had 115 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, five sacks and six forced fumbles last season, while Irvin had 132 tackles, 30 tackles for loss, seven sacks and four fumble recoveries. Skyler Atkins is the top returner on offense after catching 62 passes for 797 yards and four touchdowns. West also had a big hand in the offense last season, throwing for 1,373 yards with 11 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Sophomore Will Dixon will likely step in at quarterback, but West gives the Yellowjackets multiple options. Aaron Skinner rushed for 512 yards and seven touchdowns in 2018. Look for the Yellowjackets to once again be a threat in November and possibly even December. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Palestine Westwood; Sept. 6 – at Timpson; Sept. 13 – New Diana; Sept. 20 – at Garrison; Sept. 27 – at Corrigan-Camden; Oct. 11 – at Big Sandy*; Oct. 18 – Carlisle*; Oct. 25 – at Cushing*; Nov. 1 – Hawkins*; Nov. 8 – Union Grove* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

CUSHING

BEARKATS

COACH: Josh Moore (2nd year, 6-4) ALL-TIME: 243-455-9 .344% STADIUM: J F Whitaker Stadium, #1 Bearkat Drive, Cushing, Texas, 75760 2018 RESULT: 6-4, 2A DI Bi-District RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 15/15 LETTERMEN LOST: 8 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Thomas Wallace, Sr., 5-11, 190 … QB Deuce Garrett, Jr., 5-10, 150 … OL Cade Willis, Jr., 6-1, 215 … WR CJ Mays, Sr., 6-1, 185 … FB Reid Allen, Sr., 5-11,175 … WR Thadd Turner, Sr., 5-10, 165 … WR Joseph Humphries, Jr., 6-2, 190 DEFENSE: 50 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB Thomas Wallace, Sr., 5-11, 190 … DB Deuce Garrett, Jr., 5-10, 150 … LB Cade Willis, Jr., 6-1, 215 … DB CJ Mays, Sr., 6-1, 185 … DB Reid Allen, Sr., 5-11,175 … LB Thadd Turner, Sr., 5-10, 165 … LB Joseph Humphries, Jr., 6-2, 190 2019 OUTLOOK: Cushing reached the postseason in 2018 for the first time in 1997. Josh Moore, in his second season at the helm, is looking to make it two for two. Cushing has never made consecutive playoff trips in postseason history. The Bearkats also haven’t had a head coach for more than two years since 1998 when Ronnie Pat Durham — also a legendary East Texas basketball coach — completed his fourth season with the Bearkats. Moore and the Bearkats have nine starters returning on defense, led by linebackers Thomas Whitaker and Cade Willis. Deuce Garrett is a key player in the secondary, and he is also the team’s returning quarterback. As a sophomore, Garrett threw for 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns with just four interceptions. Wallace rushed for 1,000 yards last season. Cushing has enough returning experience and a strong sophomore class that should help it compete for another postseason berth. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Chilton, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6 – Mount Enterprise; Sept. 13 – at Burkeville; Sept. 20 – at Hull-Daisetta, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4 – All Saints; Oct. 11 – at Carlisle*; Oct. 18 – Hawkins*; Oct. 25 – Alto*; Nov. 1 – at Union Grove* Nov. 8 – Big Sandy* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

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BIG SANDY WILDCATS 142

COACH: Larry Minter (11th year, 6350) ALL-TIME: 434-458-19 .476% STADIUM: Wildcat Stadium, N. Wildcat Drive, Big Sandy, Texas, 75755 2018 RESULT: 5-6, 2A DI Bi-District RETURNING LETTERMEN/ STARTERS: 16/9 LETTERMEN LOST: 8 OFFENSE: Slot T OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Kedron Brown, Sr., 6-0, 180 … QB Caden Minter, Sr., 6-2, 215 … WR Josh Shipman, Sr., 6-4, 195 … OL Malachi Arps, Sr., 5-11, 263 … TE Ashton Brown, Sr. 6-4, 215 … QB David Fonteno, Soph., 6-0, 145 … OL David Brown, Sr., 6-3, 285 … RB Dakarai Menefee, Sr., 5-8, 145 DEFENSE: 50 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DL Cain Martinez, Sr., 5-6, 195 … DB Elijah Beard, Jr., 6-0, 150 … LB James Briscoe, Sr., 6-0, 165 … LB Lane Carlson, Sr., 6-0, 180 2019 OUTLOOK: Graduation hit a lot of the teams in this district hard, including Big Sandy. But the Wildcats do have their quarterback returning as Cade Minter is back after throwing for 1,567 yards with 15 touchdowns and three interceptions last season. Minter lost most of his receiving targets, but he will have 6-4 Josh Shipman back. Shipman had 13 grabs for 121 yards and three touchdowns. Kedron Brown, who had 50 carries for 415 yards and three touchdowns as a junior, is expected to be a workhorse in the backfield. Brown also compiled 85 tackles and three interceptions last season. Cain Martinez had 64 tackles and four sacks and will join Brown as two of the leaders on the defense. Malachi Arps and David Brown will be key players on the offensive line, and Elijah Beard can be a gamechanger in the secondary. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at San Augustine; Sept. 6 – Alba-Golden; Sept. 13 – at Timpson; Sept. 20 – Mineola; Oct. 4 – at Rivercrest; Oct. 11 – Alto*; Oct. 17 – at Union Grove*; Oct. 25 – at Hawkins*; Nov. 1 – Carlisle*; Nov. 8 – at Cushing* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

Big Sandy's Dakarai Menefee poses for a photo at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

East Texas Football Preview | The Zone


Carlisle High Schoo'sl Alex Garza (52), Jason Winfrey (53), Carlos DeLeon (4) and Louie Garza (13). (Cara Campbell/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

CARLISLEINDIANS

COACH: Clay Baker (2nd year, 12-1) ALL-TIME: 460-380-27 .531% STADIUM: Arrowhead Stadium, 8960 FM 13, Price, Texas, 75687 2018 RESULT: 12-1, 2A DI Regional semifinalist RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 10/10 LETTERMEN LOST: 13 OFFENSE: Spread OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: QB Carlos DeLeon, Jr., 5-6, 150 … OL Alex Garze, Sr., 6-0, 210 … OL Alexis Saenz, Sr., 5-8, 175 … WR/K Aaron Gallegos, Soph., 5-10,1 60 … RB Chris Mendez, Jr., 5-8, 155 … QB/WR Brett Roland, Jr., 5-10, 140 … OL Jaden Jordan, Jr., 5-9, 260 … OL Cristobal Hernandez, Soph., 5-6, 195 … OL Casey Yoquelet, Sr., 5-11, 195 … OL Jason Winfrey, Sr., 5-11, 170 … RB Cory Roe, Jr., 5-9, 185 … OL Andrew Parrott, Sr., 5-8, 195 DEFENSE: Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Carlos DeLeon, Jr., 5-6, 150 … LB Alex Garze, Sr., 6-0, 210 … DL Louis Garza, Sr., 5-8, 165 … DL Alexis Saenz, Sr., 5-8, 175 … DB Aaron Gallegos, Soph., 5-10,1 60 … DB Chris Mendez, Jr., 5-8, 155 … DB Brett Roland, Jr., 5-10, 140 … DL Jaden Jordan, Jr., 5-9, 260 … DL Cristobal Hernandez, Soph., 5-6, 195 … LB Casey Yoquelet, Sr., 5-11, 195 … DL Jason Winfrey, Sr., 5-11, 170 … LB Cory Roe, Jr., 5-9, 185 … DL Andrew Parrott, Sr., 5-8, 195 2019 OUTLOOK: It was a dominant 2018 for the Carlisle Indians. The Indians started the season 12-0 before falling to perennial state power Tenaha in the regional semifinals. The Indians averaged 49.2 points per game and surrendered just 11.1 points per contest. However, the Indians graduated some key players from that squad and will rely on a lot of new faces in 2019. Carlos DeLeon saw action last year at receiver and is the team’s leading returning rusher (194 yards and four touchdowns) and receiver (12 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown), but this year will compete with Brett Roland for the starting quarterback position. Both players will be important pieces to the offense — one at quarterback and one at receiver. Alex Garza, Louie Garza and Alex Sainz will play both sides and are returning leaders of the defense. Louie Garza had 86 tackles, 28 tackles for loss, 10 sackes and five fumble recoveries last season. Sainz had 49 tackles and 16 tackles for loss. Gallegos will also start on both sides of the ball, and he was an All-State kicker as a freshman last season. Gallegos made five of his six field goal tries last season with a long of 45 yards. The Indians will likely take a step back in 2019, but don’t be surprised if they are still challenging for not only a playoff spot, but also in the mix for the district title. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – at Sabine; Sept. 6 – Troup; Sept. 13 – Overton; Sept. 20 – at New Boston; Sept. 27 – James Bowie; Oct. 11 – Cushing*; Oct. 18 – at Alto*; Oct. 25 – Union Grove*; Nov. 1 – at Big Sandy*; Nov. 8 – at Hawkins* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.)

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UNION GROVE LIONS

Union Grove Lions' Cannon Cowan at the East Texas Oil Museum. (Les Hassell/News-Journal Photo)

COACH: Scotty Laymance (1st year) ALL-TIME: 373-442-23 .445% STADIUM: Glyn Johnston Stadium, 11377 Union Grove Road, Union Grove, Texas, 75647 2018 RESULT: 6-4 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 17/12 LETTERMEN LOST: 7 OFFENSE: Multiple OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB Matthew Bower, Jr., 5-11, 160 … OL Conner Ferguson, Sr., 6-1, 220 … OL Nathan Ferrell, Sr., 6-1, 235 … RB Grayson Barnett, Jr., 6-1, 170 … OL Dylan Bell, Sr., 6-0, 200 … WR Cannon Cowan, Jr., 6-3, 175 … OL Austin Procell, Jr., 5-9, 195 … WR Chase Mead, Jr., 5-11, 160 … RB Carter Smith, Soph., 5-10, 155 … OL Brendon Pullen, Sr., 5-11, 180 … WR Davis Hairston, Sr., 5-10, 155 … OL Dillan Arden, Sr., 5-11, 230 … OL Josh Rhodes, Jr., 5-10, 205 …OL Kenneth Johnson, Jr., 6-3, 260 DEFENSE: Multiple DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: DB Matthew Bower, Jr., 5-11, 160 … DL Conner Ferguson, Sr., 6-1, 220 … DL Nathan Ferrell, Sr., 6-1, 235 … DB Grayson Barnett, Jr., 6-1, 170 … LB Dylan Bell, Sr., 6-0, 200 … DL Cannon Cowan, Jr., 6-3, 175 … DL Austin Procell, Jr., 5-9, 195 … DB Chase Mead, Jr., 5-11, 160 … LB Carter Smith, Soph., 5-10, 155 … LB Brendon Pullen, Sr., 5-11, 180 … DB Davis Hairston, Sr., 5-10, 155 … DL Dillan Arden, Sr., 5-11, 230 … DL Josh Rhodes, Jr., 5-10, 205 …DL Kenneth Johnson, Jr., 6-3, 260 2019 OUTLOOK: In 2013, Roger Adams led Union Grove to the playoffs for the first time since 1968. The Lions ended up making five consecutive trips to the postseason before falling just short in 2018. Adams retired following the 2018 season, and Scotty Laymance, who was on Adams’ staff, is the new head coach of the Lions. Laymance welcomes back 17 lettermen, including eight starters on defense. Matthew Bower had 56 tackles a season ago and is expected to take on a big role in the backfield. The Lions have a lot to work with on both lines, including Conner Ferguson, Nathan Ferrell, Austin Procell and more. Ferguson had 57 tackles and four sacks a season ago. Grayson Barnett had 50 tackles from the safety position and will also see time at running back. Sophomore Carter Smith made contributions as a freshman and will likely be called upon even more this season. Chase Mead is the team’s leading returner in interceptions. The playoff spots in this district are up for grabs. The Lions’ ability to secure one of those spots will come down to the performance of the seven new starters on offense. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Bowie; Sept. 6 – Overton; Sept. 13 – at Quitman; Sept. 19 – at Harleton; Sept. 28 – at Mount Enterprise, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11 – Hawkins*; Oct. 17 – Big Sandy*; Oct. 25 – at Carlisle*; Nov. 1 ¬– Cushing*; Nov. 8 – at Alto* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m unless noted)

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HAWKINSHAWKS

COACH: Scott Evans (3rd year, 4-17, 14-38 overall) ALL-TIME: 412-357-24 .520% STADIUM: Lowrance Field, Price at Hawk Drive, Hawkins, Texas, 75765 2018 RESULT: 2-8 RETURNING LETTERMEN/STARTERS: 16/13 LETTERMEN LOST: 7 OFFENSE: Wing T OFFENSIVE NOTABLES: RB JD McGowen, Sr., 6-1, 230 … QB Zach Conde, Jr., 5-10, 190 … OL Matthrew Ivy, Sr., 6-0, 245 DEFENSE: 4-2-5 DEFENSIVE NOTABLES: LB JD McGowen, Sr., 6-1, 230 … DB Paeyton Smith, Jr., 5-9, 165 … LB Zach Conde, Jr., 5-10, 190 … DT Ibory “Teddy” Taylor, Sr., 6-0, 335 … LB Jeramy Torres, Soph., 6-1, 175 2019 OUTLOOK: Hawkins is looking for a big turnaround from 2018 after going 0-5 in district play. With seven starters back on offense and six returning starters on defense, the Hawks will have the experience in place. Hawkins also gets the return of JD McGowen, who was injured in 2018. McGowen is expected to be a key piece of the Hawk offense and defense at running back and linebacker. Caden Upchurch is the team’s leading returning rusher with 435 yards last season. Jayden Dacus is the top returning receiver. Zach Conde will handle the quarterback duties, and he will also contribute at linebacker. Sophomore Jayden Torres, who had 48 tackles last season, is another linebacker in the mix. Ibory “Teddy” Taylor is a big defensive tackle who also made 48 stops in 2017. Paeton Smith is a playmaker in the secondary with 46 tackles and three interceptions a season ago. The Hawks will need to improve on their 14.2 scoring average from last season in order to challenge for a playoff spot in a tough district. Hawkins will get the luxury of starting the season with three straight home games. SCHEDULE: Aug. 30 – Alba-Golden; Sept. 6 – All Saints; Sept. 13 – Beckville; Sept. 20 – at LindenKildare; Sept. 27 – at Como-Pickton*; Oct. 11 – at Union Grove*; Oct. 18 – at Cushing*; Oct. 25 – Big Sandy*; Nov. 1 – at Alto*; Nov. 8 – Carlisle* (* Indicates district game; All games start at 7:30 p.m.) Hawkins Hawks' Jayden Dacus at the East Texas Oil Museum. (Les Hassell/News-Journal Photo)

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The Zone 2019  

East Texas' premier High School football magazine for the 2019-2020 season.

The Zone 2019  

East Texas' premier High School football magazine for the 2019-2020 season.