Sports and Outdoors
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teams picked for playoffs
Dave Campbells Texas Football taps Mabank, Eustace, Malakoff, Trinidad in 10
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
CEDAR CREEK LAKEMabank, Eustace, Malakoff and Trinidad are all seen as playoff contenders in the upcoming 2010 football season, according to the 51st annual edition of Dave Campbells Texas Football magazine.
With Februarys biennial UIL realignment, Mabank dropped down from 4A back to a 3A district very similar (even in name) to the one the Panthers vacated in the previous realignment, joining with Kemp, Kaufman, Crandall, Ferris and North Forney to form 13-3A.
Similarly, Eustace (which had been in the previous 13-3A) finally dropped to 2A even though they were competitive in the 3A ranks with 2A enrollment while Kerens also went from being a very small 2A to a big 1A school.
This years realignment had some different kinks to it, as many 2A and 1A basketball districts will be completely different than the football districts.
For example, Eustace and Malakoff, two close lake-area neighbors, will be in different football districts Eustace in Division 1 6-2A and Malakoff in Division I 11-2A but will be in the same basketball district.
(As a reporter, Im not looking forward to having to keep up with the district changes when basketball starts. I still dont know the district alignments for spring sports primarily baseball, softball and track.)
Fortunately, Texas Football has all the skinny on who is going where, with season prognostications and listings of all the new schools (North Forney, for example), and thats why copies of the magazine quickly disappear from the store shelves they appeared on this week.
Okay, lets get to it.
In the revived District 13-3A, the usual suspects Kaufman, Mabank and Crandall are seen as the playoff teams, with Kaufman getting the nod as the loop favorite.
Ferris, Kemp and the North Forney Falcons, who are making their first varsity appearance this coming season, round out the district picks.
Kaufman is projected to have six offensive and four defensive starters returning from last years 5-5 playoff team, which struggled early (including a memorable 24-23 double-overtime loss to visiting Mabank in the season opener) but came to life in district play.
Although they are dropping from 4A, Mabanks Panthers dont have many returnees from last years 4-5 squad, with three offensive and five defensive starters projected to be back.
Veteran head coach Jimmy Cantrell will be looking for a quarterback to run the Panther spread and (if possible) a running back to keep defenses honest, something the Panthers havent had for a couple of years now.
Crandall, with four offensive and three defensive returnees from last years 5-5 team, also will be looking for a quarterback to run its version of the spread.
At Kemp, head coach Greg Anderson should have a solid defense to count on with eight starters returning from last years 2-7 team, but Anderson will be needing to fill a lot of holes on offense quarterback, running back, slotback and top receiver.
Ferris returns four offensive and seven defensive starters from last years 5-5 team, but is primarily a running team (a wing-bone offense) with an excellent triple-option quarterback in Ryan Kidwell.
In their first varsity season, North Forney will be starting a group of juniors, with a few talented sophomores. The Falcons are expected to join Forney in the 4A ranks in the 2012 realignment.
Turning to Eustace, the Bulldogs lost their entire offensive backfield to graduation, but return most of the offensive line and the linebacker corps.
If head coach Doug Wendel can find players to fill the skill positions and its going to be pretty tough to fill shoes vacated by three-year starters the Bulldogs are seen as finishing second behind 6-2A favorite Grandview Zebras.
The Zebras have projected six offensive and five defensive returnees from last years 9-2 squad, which advanced to the area round.
Maypearls Panthers, with seven starters returning on both sides of the ball from last years 7-4 playoff team, are picked to take the third-place playoff berth.
Sunnyvale, Dallas Life Oak Cliff and Palmer are expected to round out the district.
Like North Forney, Sunnyvales Raiders will be mounting their first varsity campaign. DLOC and Eustace have battled for the last two years, and the Lions return three offensive and four defensive starters from last years 6-4 team.
Palmers Bulldogs have struggled for several years, but return six offensive and five defensive starters from last years 0-9 team.
Having returned to the playoffs last year, Malakoffs Tigers are picked to finish second behind 11-2A favorite Crockett and ahead of Teague.
The Tigers broke a 19-game losing streak last year, eventually finishing at 8-3, and head coach Jamie Driskill is projecting four returnees on each side of the ball.
Crocketts Bulldogs have almost everybody back from last years 1-9 squad, while Teagues Lions also have almost everybody back from a 1-9 squad.
Trinity, Troup and Elkhart are expected to round out the district.
Trinitys Tigers have eight starters on both sides of the ball returning from last years 2-8 team, while Troups Tigers have just four offensive and three defensive returnees from a 2-8 squad. Elkharts Elks have eight starters returning both ways from a 1-9 team.
Kerens Bobcats dropped to Division I District 8-1A, and also are picked as the loop runner-up behind favorite Mart.
The Bobcats have almost everybody back (eight offensive and 10 defensive starters) from last years 6-4 playoff team.
Marts Panthers have projected seven offensive and nine defensive returnees from last years 9-5 squad, which advanced to the Division II regional finals.
Cayugas Wildcats, which won the Class 1A Division II state championship last year with a 15-1 record, return five starters both ways, and are projected as the third-place team.
Riesel, Rice and Cross Roads are expected to round out the district.
Reisels Indians have three offensive and six defensive starters back from last years 8-4 Division II regional finalist squad.
Rices Bulldogs have six offensive and 10 defensive starters back from a 1-9 team, while Cross Roads Bobcats have five offensive and six defensive starters back from a 1-9 team.
Dropping down to six-man ranks, Trinidad remains a playoff favorite in a four team district Division II District 2.
The Trojans have two offensive and three defensive starters back from last years 7-4 playoff team.
Milfords Bulldogs are the loop favorite, with five starters each way returning from last years 9-2 playoff team.
Rounding out the district are Fannindel and Karnack. Fannindels Falcons have four starters returning each way from a 7-3 Division II regional finalist squad, while Karnacks Indians are returning for their first varsity football season after many years of playing only basketball.
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