Maud, Overton, and Detroit each went 3-1 during the 2012 District 10-A Division II race. Those three teams should again battle for the league championship.

Here's ETSN.fm's breakdown of what to expect in what should be one of the more competitive district races in East Texas this season.

District 10-A Division II Preview

Overton RB/LB Jamal Kelly. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

PLAYMAKERS

  • Lane Allen, OL, Sr., Detroit
  • Richard Conkleton, RB, Sr., Maud
  • Damion Dennis, WR/DB, Sr., Overton
  • Julian Herndon, TE/DE, Soph., Overton
  • Jamal Kelly, RB/LB, Sr., Overton
  • Trevor Reger, QB, Sr., Detroit
  • Kyran Richardson, WR, Sr., Maud

 

TOP GAMES

  • Oct. 25 -- Overton at Detroit
  • Nov. 1 -- Maud at Overton
  • Nov. 8 -- Detroit at Maud

 

1. Maud Cardinals

Coach: Nelson Kortis

2012 finish: 5-6 (Class A Division II Region III area finalist)

Returning starters: 6 offensive, 6 defensive

Players to watch

  • RB Richard Conkleton, Sr., 6-0, 175
  • WR Kyran Richardson, Sr., 6-0, 170
  • OL Kendall Mathis, Soph., 6-4, 270
  • WR/DB Tim McClendon, Jr., 5-8, 160
  • DE Caleb Collins, Sr., 5-10, 180
  • QB/DB Trenton Miner, Jr., 6-0, 140

 

2013 Outlook:  The Cardinals return more than half their starters on each side of the ball and have last year's 60-14 rout of Overton to boost them mentally as they enter this year's District 10-A Division II race.

But Maud lost key players to graduation in Jared Miller, Caleb Herring, and Brody Jennings, and those spots won't be easy to fill. Kendall Mathis has potential as a young and large offensive line prospect. Expect Richard Conkleton to take an increased role in the offense.

 

2. Overton Mustangs

Overton TE/DE Julian Herndon. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Coach: Josh Barton

2012 finish: 7-5 (Class A Division II Region III area finalist)

Returning starters: 5 offensive, 5 defensive

Players to watch

  • RB/LB Jamal Kelly, Sr., 6-1, 218 (46 carries, 513 yards; 129 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
  • ATH Damion Dennis, Sr., 6-0, 185 (21 catches, 469 yards, 6 TDs; 4 INTs)
  • TE/DE Julian Herndon, Soph., 6-0, 195 (12 catches, 213 yards, 2 TDs; 44 tackles, 5 for loss, 6 QB pressures)
  • RB Eric Hatton, Jr. (80 carries, 394 yards, 1 TD)
  • QB Brayton Pierce, Jr.
  • DL Delsin Garner, Jr.
  • OL/DL Aden Williams, Sr.

 

Overton RB Eric Hatton. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Offense: Jamal Kelly rushed for his 500-plus yards in only three games as a tailback last season thanks to a hand injury that forced him to wear a cast for a large portion of the schedule. Mustang head coach Josh Barton said with Kelly healthy entering 2013, expect the 218-pounder who ran a 4.71-second laser-timed 40-yard dash at the May 19 ETSN.fm Football Recruiting Combine to carry a much larger offensive load.

Kelly should help the Mustangs replace graduated playmakers K.J. Luster and Jesse Roach, who played huge roles in helping Overton reach the playoffs in 2012 for the third time in 18 seasons.

But it's more than just Kelly. Damion Dennis, Eric Hatton, and Julian Herndon are all proven weapons that the Mustangs will have in their quest to replace Luster an Roach.

Overton ATH Damion Dennis. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Defense: Roach played as important a role on defense as he did on offense, so he will be difficult to replace at linebacker. Again, Kelly should help ease the transition after his 129-tackle performance a year ago.

Herndon and Dennis will also go both ways and should give the Mustangs a lot of athleticism.

2013 Outlook: If Overton gets solid play on both lines, which appear to be question marks entering the season, the Mustangs could win the 10-A D-II championship.

Barton and company will have the skill players on both sides to make plays. Kelly, Dennis, Hatton, and Herndon will make the Mustangs an entertaining team to watch in Class A competition this fall.

 

3. Detroit Eagles

Coach: Lance Connot

2012 finish: 9-2 (Class A Division II Region III bi-district finalist)

Returning starters: 5 offensive, 5 defensive

Players to watch

  • QB Trevor Reger, Sr., 5-9, 170
  • OL Lane Allen, Sr., 6-2, 285
  • LB Daniel Waldrip, Soph., 5-11, 175
  • OL Blake Westbrook, Sr., 5-9, 205
  • OL Trevor Cato, Sr., 5-8, 240
  • RB/LB Toby Moss, Sr.

 

2013 Outlook: Detroit won seven games in 2011 and nine games a year ago, and with a veteran presence on the offensive line, the Eagles could have a similar season in 2013. Detroit's offensive front appears to be the biggest in the district, which is good news for veteran quarterback Trevor Reger, who's been the starter during those winning seasons the last two years.

Detroit figures to be in another three-team race with Overton and Maud for the top spot in the district. Last season, the teams all beat each other -- Overton beat Detroit, Detroit beat Maud, and Maud beat Overton. That's not out of the question to happen again in 2013.

 

4. Cumby Trojans

Coach: Ed Perez

2012 finish: 4-6

Players to watch

  • RB/LB Cody Anderson, Jr.
  • QB Travis Taylor, Soph.
  • ATH Dustin Heer, Sr.
  • DL Jaden Duck, Sr.
  • LB Tristan Clayton, Sr.
  • LB Nick Folse, Jr.

 

2013 Outlook: Cumby's lone district win in 2012 came against Union Hill, and don't be surprised if that happens again in 2013.

The Trojans have promising younger players all over the roster, but are probably another year away from contending with Maud, Overton, and Detroit for the league title. Look for big seasons from Travis Taylor and Cody Anderson out of the backfield and an improved front seven with veterans in Jaden Duck, Tristan Clayton, and Nick Folse.

 

5. Union Hill Bulldogs

Coach: Nathanael Carter

2012 finish: 0-9

Players to watch

  • ATH Datravion Duffey, Jr.
  • RB/LB Darin Lewis, Sr.
  • RB/DB Daylon Brewster, Soph.
  • OL/LB Austin Wade, Sr.
  • WR/DB Dakota Dudley, Sr.
  • OL/DL Adam Davis, Soph.
  • ATH/K Fermin Martinez, Sr.

 

Offense: Datravion Duffey and Darin Lewis were Union Hill's top options in 2012 and should fill those roles again in 2013. Watch for Austin Wade as a player who could emerge into a key role along the offensive line as only a sophomore.

Union Hill must improve on its 10.7 points per game from a season ago. The Bulldogs were held to 10 or fewer points five times in nine games, including three shutouts.

Defense: The defensive stats weren't much better. Union Hill allowed 51.6 points per game in 2012, including 54 or more five times.

The Bulldogs will depend on Lewis, Wade, and two-way starting lineman Adam Davis to help improve those numbers in 2013.

2013 Outlook: Establishing momentum from year to year has been difficult at Union Hill, which has gone through six coaching changes in seven years, according to TheOldCoach.com's Friday Night Football magazine.

Buddy Blair led Union Hill to four playoff berths from 2000-07, but the Bulldogs haven't returned since. In that span, Union Hill has gone 8-39. The Bulldogs are once again a long shot for the postseason.