Two of East Texas' best Class A programs clash Oct. 18 in what could be the de facto District 10-A Division I championship game.

Alto got the better of last year's meeting in a 40-26 road victory in Pineland on Oct. 19. The game was a key matchup in the district race, but did not decide the league championship since San Augustine ran the table.

San Augustine will once again be solid, but considering the Wolves' losses to graduation, Alto and West Sabine could very well be playing for the 10-A D-I crown Oct. 18 in Alto.

Alto welcomes back 5,000-plus yards of total offense in running back Jacolby Whitaker and quarterback Zac Sturns, along with seven more returning offensive starters. Add another seven returning defensive starters -- including a serious playmaker in junior JaVie'Ontae Mumphrey -- and first-year coach Paul Gould has the personnel to keep the Yellow Jackets among the state's elite after the retirement of veteran head coach Keith Gardner, who led Alto to back-to-back state titles in 2006-07.

West Sabine will counter with 17 returning starters of its own, including nine on defense, where linebacker Hunter Cabral leads the charge. Tailback Nick Williams, quarterback Reshod Williams, and lineman Jeremy Williams hope to give the Jackets' defense fits after the former two combined for 1,500 total yards in 2012.

West Sabine RB Nick Williams. (Christopher Vinn, 2013 Preseason Top 25 Games of the Year