Mabank gets nod in new district
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–The bible of sportswriters, Dave Campbell’s Texas
Football, names the Mabank Panthers as the team to beat in the new
Veteran Waco sportswriter Dave Campbell (who is a very nice guy, by the
way – this reporter met him while visiting the Texas Sports Hall of Fame
in Waco several years ago) has developed a nearly sure-fire way of
picking winners since starting the magazine in 1960, and his Texas
Football magazine is required reading for anyone covering a football
beat in Texas.
Last year’s magazine, for example, correctly picked Mabank to finish
fourth in a very tough District 14-4A behind Lancaster – although it
didn’t say the Panthers would fall one point short in double overtime to
Lancaster in the final regular-season game to finish fourth and miss the
Even though the Panthers graduated most of their skill people, including
wide receiver/placekicker Stephen Gulledge (the only player picked to
two first-team all-district positions) and first-team quarterback Tyler
Hamilton, they return most of a massive offensive line, including
first-team all-district pick Alan Ott.
Also, the Panthers dropped from 4A competition back to 3A, and that
gives them an edge, according to coaches contacted by Texas Football.
The Kaufman Lions, who won the District 12-3A title last year (as
predicted by Texas Football), is picked to finish second in the new
district, followed by Crandall, Ferris, Eustace and Kemp.
Kaufman finished 9-2 last year, including a 5-0 district mark, but
returns under a new coach, Todd York, and also graduated much of a very
talented team, so that pick carries a big question mark.
Crandall’s Pirates, who qualified for the playoffs last year with a
losing record (4-6) after going 2-2 in District 12-3A play, return most
of their starting backfield – including quarterback Kolton Kvapil and
running back Antuan Aaron, both all-district picks – but lost heavily on
It’s a question why Eustace is picked to finish fifth, as injuries
decimated the Bulldogs last year, leaving them winless in district play.
The Bulldogs are projected to return eight starters on offense
(including quarterback Mike Cook) and nine starters on defense. If they
can stay healthy – and unfortunately, that’s a big if, given their
recent history – they should do better than projected.
Ferris is picked to finish fourth after finishing 3-6 last year,
including 0-3 in a five-team district schedule. The Yellowjackets are
projected to have five offensive and six defensive starters returning.
Kemp’s Yellowjackets are picked to finish last, although they return
five starters on offense (including senior running back Leif Skierski)
and seven starters on defense.
The ’Jackets also may be picking up some other athletes who previously
chose to bypass football for basketball – namely unanimous district MVP
Jacarri Culberson, who should provide a big target (with great hands and
leaping ability) for whoever steps in at quarterback.
Again, injuries will play a big part in determining if either Kemp or
Eustace can do better than the Texas Football projections.
Turning to other area teams, the Athens Hornets, who have struggled to
win single games in recent seasons, are picked to finish in the middle
of the pack (which would actually be an improvement) in District 14-3A,
behind loop favorite Van, Brownsboro and Canton, and ahead of Tyler
Chapel Hill and Bullard.
Canton, with the loss of all-everything quarterback G.J. Kinne – who
transferred to Gilmer – and his dad, coach Gary Joe Kinne (who went to
Baylor University as a linebacker coach) faces a major rebuilding task
under new coach Lance Angel, who comes to Canton from Cooper.
Speaking of G.J. Kinne, the senior graces the cover of this year’s Texas
Football, along with other top passers, who surround legendary Tyler
running back Earl Campbell.
Malakoff’s Tigers are picked to finish in the middle of the District
20-2A pack, which includes familiar foes Kerens and Frankston, as well
as newcomers Italy, Corsicana Mildred, Rice and Blooming Grove.
Kerens’ Bobcats are picked as the 20-2A winner, followed by Italy and
Trinidad, coming off an 11-1 state quarterfinalist season (losing only
to state champion Throckmorton), and with five projected starters back
on both sides of the ball, is picked to win Division 1 District 11 in
The Trojans, who were unbeaten in district play last year, are picked
ahead of Cooledge, Penelope, Avalon and Dallas Gateway in their new
Gateway’s Gators, although listed in Trinidad’s district last year, did
not field a varsity team, although they did play a junior varsity
Cooledge’s Yellowjackets finished last year as Division II state
champions with a 15-0 record. They return all their starters, but will
have a new coach.
June 27 @ Eustace
Kemp vs Mabank
Eustace vs Kaufman
Wills Point vs Malakoff
CC Christian Softball League
Saturday, June 24 (make-up games)
CC Bible Bearers of Light vs CC Church of God
Prairieville Armadillos vs FBC Mabank Puddle Monkeys
St. Jude Saints vs Aley Mustangs
CLC Flame Kickers vs Aley Mustangs
Legendary Baptist vs CLC Flame Kickers
FBC Mabank Sea Donkeys vs Hillcrest Red
FBC Eustace Disciples vs CLC Crushers
FBC-GBC Halos vs CLC Frogs
Providence Baptist vs FBC Kemp
First team listed is home team