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Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
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Area teams picked for playoffs
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football taps Mabank, Eustace, Malakoff, Trinidad in ’10
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Mabank, Eustace, Malakoff and Trinidad are all seen as playoff contenders in the upcoming 2010 football season, according to the 51st annual edition of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine.
With February’s 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 year’s 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, I’m not looking forward to having to keep up with the district changes when basketball starts. I still don’t 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 that’s why copies of the magazine quickly disappear from the store shelves they appeared on this week.
Okay, let’s 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 year’s 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, Mabank’s Panthers don’t have many returnees from last year’s 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 haven’t had for a couple of years now.
Crandall, with four offensive and three defensive returnees from last year’s 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 year’s 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 year’s 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 it’s 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 year’s 9-2 squad, which advanced to the area round.
Maypearl’s Panthers, with seven starters returning on both sides of the ball from last year’s 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, Sunnyvale’s 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 year’s 6-4 team.
Palmer’s Bulldogs have struggled for several years, but return six offensive and five defensive starters from last year’s 0-9 team.
Having returned to the playoffs last year, Malakoff’s 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.
Crockett’s Bulldogs have almost everybody back from last year’s 1-9 squad, while Teague’s Lions also have almost everybody back from a 1-9 squad.
Trinity, Troup and Elkhart are expected to round out the district.
Trinity’s Tigers have eight starters on both sides of the ball returning from last year’s 2-8 team, while Troup’s Tigers have just four offensive and three defensive returnees from a 2-8 squad. Elkhart’s 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 year’s 6-4 playoff team.
Mart’s Panthers have projected seven offensive and nine defensive returnees from last year’s 9-5 squad, which advanced to the Division II regional finals.
Cayuga’s 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.
Reisel’s Indians have three offensive and six defensive starters back from last year’s 8-4 Division II regional finalist squad.
Rice’s 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 year’s 7-4 playoff team.
Milford’s Bulldogs are the loop favorite, with five starters each way returning from last year’s 9-2 playoff team.
Rounding out the district are Fannindel and Karnack. Fannindel’s Falcons have four starters returning each way from a 7-3 Division II regional finalist squad, while Karnack’s Indians are returning for their first varsity football season after many years of playing only basketball.

 

Just a bit too tall
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
BaseballHiThrow.jpg (282574 bytes)
Cardinals second baseman Devin Greathouse (00) tries to get a cutoff throw that's far too high as Cruisers baserunner Ely Doss (24) reaches second base during their U8 (machine pitch) baseball contest at Mabank's George Watts Park June 4. Doss managed to score on the overthrow.

 

It’s all in the tongue
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
SoftballPitch.jpg (388067 bytes)
Mabank Dynamite pitcher Jill Odom fires one in during her team's Mabank Baseball Softball Association U10 softball contest against the Eustace Battitude May 28.

 

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