Three teams finished the 2012 District 12-2A Division II race with 4-1 records and are once again the likely combatants for the league crown this fall.

Corrigan-Camden leads the pack with 16 returning starters, but Deweyville and New Waverly also return the majority of last season's starters.

The good news for all six teams in the district is the addition of a fourth playoff berth, which should make the 12-2A D-II race even more intriguing.

District 12-2A Division II Preview

Groveton QB Brandon Kemper. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

PLAYMAKERS

  • Ryan Collins, Sr., RB, Deweyville
  • Cody Dupuy, Sr., QB, Deweyville
  • Carlos Inguanzo, Sr., FB/LB, Corrigan-Camden
  • Brandon Kemper, Jr., QB, Groveton
  • Keegan Mitchell, Jr., RB, Corrigan-Camden
  • R.C. Wilkerson, Sr., CB, New Waverly
  • Kevin Woods, Sr., LB, Anderson-Shiro

 

TOP GAMES

  • Oct. 11 -- Corrigan-Camden at Deweyville
  • Oct. 11 -- Groveton at New Waverly
  • Oct. 18 -- New Waverly at Corrigan-Camden
  • Oct. 25 -- Corrigan-Camden at Groveton
  • Nov. 1 -- New Waverly at Deweyville

 

1. Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs

Coach: Seven Armstrong

2012 finish: 6-5 (Class 2A Division II Region III bi-district finalist)

Returning starters: 8 offensive, 8 defensive

Players to watch

  • RB/S Keegan Mitchell, Jr., 5-6, 165 (1,100 rushing yards)
  • FB/LB Carlos Inguanzo, Sr., 5-10, 230
  • QB/K Haden Armstrong, Sr., 5-10, 195
  • TE/ILB Kade Moore, Sr., 6-3, 235
  • ATH Raheim Jones, Sr.
  • FB/LB Addison Kirkland, Sr.
  • DL Calvin Burks, Sr.

 

Offense: Veteran head coach Seven Armstrong enters his 11th season leading the Bulldogs with his backfield returning intact.

Keegan Mitchell had a breakout 1,100-yard season as a sophomore and is primed for an even bigger performance this fall. Quarterback Haden Armstrong and the physical Carlos Inguanzo join Mitchell in that group of backs, who helped Corrigan-Camden average 30.4 points per game during last season's six-win campaign.

Coach Armstrong said the offensive line must develop for the Bulldogs to reach their full offensive potential. The skill-position players are there for a big year.

Courtesy Corrigan-Camden ISD

Defense: The Bulldogs' boss said the same thing about about the defense, which needs to come together quickly for Corrigan-Camden to improve on the 26.6 points per game the 'Dogs allowed in 2012.

Having a trio of two proven linebackers behind that defensive front will help. Kade Moore, Addison Kirkland, and Inguanzo are back and give Armstrong a pair of 230-pounders in the middle of the defense.

Corrigan-Camden opens the District 12-2A Division II schedule with what will likely be the Bulldogs' toughest three league contests: at Deweyville, vs. New Waverly, and at Groveton. In 2012, Corrigan-Camden yielded 33.0 points per game in that stretch (2-1), so the Bulldogs will likely need to improve on that number if they hope to win the 2013 league crown.

2013 Outlook: Corrigan-Camden's 16 starters are the most of any of the three teams -- C-C, Deweyville, and New Waverly -- that each went 4-1 in 12-2A D-II play a season ago. That gives the Bulldogs an obvious advantage in their quest for an outright district title. Corrigan-Camden must play Deweyville and Groveton on the road, but New Waverly -- the only team to beat C-C in district play last season -- must travel to Corrigan for this year's matchup.

If Corrigan-Camden stays healthy, the offense could post big numbers. Mitchell, Haden Armstrong, and Inguanzo are poised to have big seasons. If the line play can match what Corrigan-Camden will have at the skill spots and defensive back seven, the Bulldogs could lift the gold ball the night of Nov. 8.

 

2. Deweyville Pirates

Coach: Chris Babin

2012 finish: 8-3 (Class 2A Division II Region III area finalist)

Returning starters: 7 offensive, 6 defensive

Players to watch

  • RB Ryan Collins, Sr., 6-0, 180 (1,764 rushing yards, 30 TDs)
  • QB Cody Dupuy, Sr., 5-7, 160 (486 passing yards, 5 TDs; 1,054 rushing yards, 8 TDs)
  • ATH Brendan Waldrup, Jr., 5-7, 165 (500 rushing yards; 57 tackles)
  • FB Joey Greer, Sr.
  • TE Damien Craig, Sr.
  • OL Mitchell Brown, Sr., 6-5, 285
  • OL/DL Cole Nelms, Sr., 6-2, 270
  • OL John Carpenter, Jr., 6-2, 270
  • LB Thomas Henson, Soph., 5-9, 165

 

2013 Outlook: Deweyville doesn't return the most starters, but has perhaps the most offensive firepower returning to the fold of any of District 12-2A Division II's contenders. Ryan Collins and Cody Dupuy are poised for a monster season after combining for more than 2,800 rushing yards and almost 40 rushing touchdowns in 2012. Having three offensive linemen who are at least 6-foot-2, 270 pounds each will help them aim for 3,000-and-50 totals in those rushing categories.

Deweyville has the most favorable schedule of the district contenders. The Pirates host New Waverly and Corrigan-Camden, which was the only team to beat the Bucs last season. Entering the 2013 season, there doesn't appear to be much separating Deweyville and Corrigan-Camden, so don't be surprised if they separate themselves from the rest of the districdt.

 

3. New Waverly Bulldogs

Coach: M.K. Hamilton

2012 finish: 8-3 (Class 2A Division II Region III bi-district finalist)

Returning starters: 8 offensive, 7 defensive

Players to watch

  • WR R.C. Wilkerson, Sr., 5-10, 150 (75 tackles, 9 INTs)
  • QB Clayton Swor, Sr., 6-1, 175 (74 of 118, 1,250 yards, 10 TDs, 6 INTs)
  • OL Billy Wilke, Sr., 6-4, 215
  • RB Cedrick Cunningham, Soph., 6-2, 208
  • RB Domonique Humphrey, Jr., 5-6, 160
  • OL O'Shea Williams, Sr.

 

2013 Outlook: New Waverly returns 15 starters, including eight from an offense that averaged 28.1 points per game in 2012. There's no reason the Bulldogs shouldn't be able to improve on that number.

While R.C. Wilkerson, who led New Waverly in receptions as a junior, and Clayton Swor return as familiar faces, watch out for Cedrick Cunningham, who has the size and speed to become a star with three seasons of high school ball ahead of him. He'll have an experienced offensive line blocking for him.

New Waverly has the toughest schedule in the district considering the 'Dogs must travel to Corringan-Camden and Deweyville. They can't overlook Groveton, either, which lost by only a touchdown to New Waverly last season. Nevertheless, New Waverly has the personnel to find its way in the 12-2A D-II driver's seat by early November if it meets its potential and gets a couple of breaks.

 

4. Groveton Indians

Groveton WR/DB Kelvin James. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Coach: Kevin Parker

2012 finish: 5-5

Returning starters: 7 offensive, 7 defensive

Players to watch

  • QB Brandon Kemper, Jr., 6-0, 180 (852 passing yards, 9 TD passes; 500 rushing yards, 7 TDs)
  • OL Kolton Thompson, Sr., 6-1, 250
  • LB Chance Moser, Sr. (133 tackles)
  • LB Colton Parten, Soph., 6-2, 220
  • WR/DB Kelvin James, Jr.
  • OL/DL Mason Moore, Sr.
  • TE/LB Delvin Whitaker, Sr.
  • OL Weston Due, Sr.

 

Offense: Groveton did not struggle to score in 2012. The Indians averaged 35.9 points per game, a number that includes an eye-opening 46.7 points per game in their final six contests (3-3).

Head coach Kevin Parker has seven offensive starters back for his fifth season at Groveton. A veteran offensive line headed by 6-foot-1, 250-pound Kolton Thompson should keep defenders off Brandon Kemper, who will be a third-year starting quarterback after accounting for more than 1,300 total yards and 16 total touchdowns as a sophomore.

Groveton LB Chance Moser. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Defense: Groveton struggled at times last season to find the defensive consistency it needed to cash in on that five-touchdowns-per-game average the offense produced. The Tribe allowed 25.9 points per game, but at least 34 points in five District 12-2A Division II contests. During those games, Groveton surrendered 39.2 points per game, including 48 in a 14-point loss to Corrigan-Camden and 66 in a 38-point loss to Deweyville in the season finale, which kept the Indians out of the postseason.

But seven starters return from that unit and should give Groveton more experience entering the 2013 season. Chance Moser led the team in tackles a season ago from his linebacker spot, while Colten Parton's 6-foot-2, 220-pound frame is enormous for a linebacker entering his sophomore season. They will likely form the backbone of Groveton's defense.

2013 Outlook: Groveton could possibly be considered the darkhorse in the 12-2A D-II race. The Indians were close to a playoff spot last year, but with the UIL adding a fourth playoff berth to each district in Class 2A, the Tribe are a likely postseason participant in 2013.

The question is where will Groveton finish in the district standings and how will that affect the Indians' playoff seeding? The Tribe opens league play at New Waverly, but Groveton hosts Corrigan-Camden and Deweyville later in the district schedule. Perhaps home-field advantage could give the Indians the boost they need to finish higher than expected.

 

5. Hemphill Hornets

Coach: John Launius

2012 finish: 1-9

Returning starters: 7 offensive, 6 offensive

Players to watch

  • RB/SS Rudy Weaver, Jr., 5-9, 170 (56 tackles)
  • WR/DB Hunter Phillips, Jr., 5-11, 175 (10 catches, 210 yards; 25 tackles)
  • ATH Luke Byley, Sr.
  • RB Jontavion Simmons, Jr.
  • WR Cade Procell, Jr.
  • LB/DL Roy Joe Harris, Sr.

 

Offense: The biggest blow to Hemphill's offense is Justin Twine moving to Falls City. Twine, a TCU baseball commit who holds a Baylor football offer, accounted for almost 3,000 total yards as a sophomore in 2011, but missed the 2012 season with an injury.

In that sense, Hemphill already knows what life is like without Twine. But it's obviously not easy if you consider the Hornets' 1-9 record -- which included a 19.3 points per game scoring average -- in 2012. Rudy Weaver and Jontavion Simmons could be the primary ball-carriers this fall, while Luke Byley may wind up running the offense, which returns seven starters.

Defense: Statistically the defense wasn't much better last fall. Hemphill yielded 47.9 points per game, including totals of 51, 56, 56, and 63 in the Hornets' final four games of the season.

But six starters are back to help improve on that number, including Weaver, who had a solid season from the secondary. Roy Joe Harris is a veteran at linebacker and should help the Hornets combat strong rushing attacks in District 12-2A Division II play from the likes of Corrigan-Camden and Deweyville.

2013 Outlook: A new coaching staff headed by former LaMarque offensive coordinator John Launius has a tough task ahead of it, but there are experienced players back who will no doubt be ready to improve on last year's one-win season.

A playoff berth isn't likely, but one thing is for sure: with a non-district schedule that includes Garrison, West Sabine, Joaquin, and San Augustine, the Hornets will be more than ready for 12-2A D-II competition.

 

6. Anderson-Shiro Fighting Owls

Coach: Dwayne Ross

2012 finish: 1-9

Returning starters: 9 offensive, 9 defensive

Players to watch

  • RB Daylan Williams, Soph., 5-10, 175 (82 carries, 678 yards, 8 TDs)
  • DE Artreal Ostiguin, Jr., 6-3, 220
  • WR Derreck Sicola, Sr., 6-2, 185 (7 catches, 181 yards, 2 TDs)
  • QB/LB John McDonald, Sr.
  • DL/LB Kevin Woods, Sr., 5-10, 190
  • DE Dylan Bohnert, Sr., 6-3, 190
  • OL Brady Derrett, Sr., 6-0, 220

 

2013 Outlook: Anderson-Shiro finished at the bottom of the 2012 district standings, suffering a 35-14 league-opening loss to Hemphill in what ultimately decided the fifth and sixth spots.

The Owls have hope, though. They return more starters than anyone in the district -- nine on each side of the ball -- and Daylan Williams appears poised for a big year after a breakout freshman campaign.

Anderson-Shiro will need significant defensive improvement from its returning nine starters after allowing 42.6 points per game last season.