Realignment brought some welcome news for Colmesneil and its four classic district mates that will continue on as District 12-2A Division II. Normangee is out of the picture and now competing on the Division I level.

Only three teams have playoff experience from last season, so at least one new team will have the opportunity to build on a postseason experience for future campaigns.

Colmesneil is one of the three teams that made it last year, joined by Evadale and Iola.

But could this be a year for Hull-Daisetta, which dropped from the Division I level and replaced Normangee? Will that team bounce back from a 2-8 record?

Iola, hands down, is the best remaining district team Colmesneil faced last season. Is it ready to take the next step after going two rounds deep?

How about Evadale?

Colmesneil has a lot of room for improvement, but it does have some star power. Will the experience factor work in their favor for another playoff berth?

ETSN.fm's District 12-2A Division II picks are just a scroll away.

District 12-2A Division II Preview

PLAYMAKERS

  • RB Tyler Dykes, Jr., Iola
  • DL Marcell Green, Sr., Burkeville
  • WR/DB Brady Griffin, Sr., Evadale
  • RB/DL Brodrick Jenkins, Sr., Colmesneil
  • ATH Kameron Lindsey, Jr., Colmesneil
  • DL/TE Joseph Rayon, Sr., Hull-Daisetta
  • LB Colton Renick, Jr., Iola
  • WR/LB  Glenndell Walker, Sr., Sabine Pass
  • RB/DB Coy Williams, Jr., Evadale
  • LB/TE Mason Williams, Sr., Colmesneil

TOP GAMES

  • Burkeville at Sabine Pass, Oct. 7
  • Hull-Daisetta at Colmesneil, Oct. 14
  • Colmesneil at Sabine Pass, Oct. 28
  • Evadale at Iola, Oct. 28
  • Burkeville at Colmesneil, Nov. 4

1. Iola Bulldogs

  • Coach: Pete Martinez
  • 2015 finish: 9-3 (2A D-II area finalist)
  • Returning starters: 7 offensive, 7 defensive
Players to watch
  • RB/DB Tyler Dykes, Jr., 5-9, 150 (820 yards, 18 TDs)
  • LB Colton Renick, Jr., 5-11, 175 (131 tackles, 22 TFL, 5 sacks, 2 INTs)
  • QB/LB Cam Darby, Sr.
  • OL Harley Stabler, Sr.

2016 outlook: Iola is the biggest winner of Normangee's departure to the Division I level of Class 2A. Normangee served as the team's only district loss last season.

Iola returns 14 starters in total, seven on each side of the ball.

Tyler Dykes is Iola's best offensive threat out of the Slot-T formation, but a handful of other backs will get a fair share of touches. Dykes recorded 18 touchdowns last season while the offense as a whole averaged 49.8 points per district game a year ago.

Any team would love to have a two-time all-state selection returning for a third season. Iola has that in linebacker Colton Renick, who recorded 131 tackles last season. Twenty-seven of Renick's takedowns were for loss. Six other experienced defenders join him from a unit that allowed 15.4 points against per game last year in league contests.

Iola was one of just three teams in the freshly aligned district to qualify for the playoffs last season and was easily the most successful. With 14 starters back, it should be a good year.

2. Evadale Rebels

  • Coach: Mark Williams
  • 2015 finish: 6-5 (2A D-II bi-district finalist)
  • Returning starters: 9 offensive, 7 defensive
Players to watch
  • RB/DB Coy Williams, Jr., 6-0, 180 (988 yards, 15 TDs)
  • WR/DB Brady Griffin, Sr., 5-11, 150 (645, 10 TDs)
  • QB Tyler Torres, Jr., 6-4, 210
  • RB/LB Ty Frazier, Sr., 5-5, 175

2016 outlook: Evadale played great defense against the league's bottom three teams last season -- Colmesneil, Burkeville and Sabine Pass in order. It allowed a combined seven points in total. Don't expect the defense to take much of a step back this year with seven starters returning.

However, with nine starters returning on the other side of the ball, the squad has advertised itself through the preseason as an even bigger offensive threat. Running back Coy Williams and receiver Brady Griffin had good campaigns last year, and the unit should enjoy much more continuity under second-year starting quarterback Tyler Torres. The team averaged about five touchdowns in 2015 per district game.

Evadale reached the bi-district round of the playoffs last season and brings back 16 starters in total, so bigger things should be on the team's mind this time around.

3. Hull-Daisetta Bobcats

  • Coach: Stan Hodges
  • 2015 finish: 2-8
  • Returning starters: 11 offensive, 10 defensive
Players to watch
  • DL/TE Joseph Rayon, Sr. (101 tackles)
  • QB Bryce Fregia, Jr., 6-1, 166 (600 yards, 4 TDs)
  • RB/LB Brandon Maughan, Sr., 5-8, 175 (650 yards, 10 TDs)

2016 outlook: Hull-Daisetta had a rough year in 2015, but there are lots of reasons to be optimistic about this season. Twenty-one to be exact.

A newcomer to the district from District 12-2A Division I due to a small population decline, Hull-Daisetta brings back 21 returning starters and 24 letter winners. Only one player, a starter, graduated from the program in May versus the 24 returners.

Not a lot pops out about Hull-Daisetta with exception to defensive lineman Joseph Rayon's numbers. He racked up an impressive 101 tackles.

This is a team with a ridiculous amount of experience, and that counts for something, but it has to improve upon the minus-155 point differential it gave up in Division I. Hull-Daisetta managed just 38 points and one win in five district games last season.

4. Colmesneil Bulldogs

  • Coach: Ross McMurry
  • 2015 finish: 3-8 (2A D-II bi-district finalist)
  • Returning starters: N/A
Players to watch
  • ATH Kameron Lindsey, Soph.
  • RB/DL Brodrick Jenkins, Sr., 5-10, 170
  • LB/TE Mason Williams, Sr.
  • OL Joey Adaway, Jr., 6-2, 275
  • OL Kevin Trunnell, Sr.

Offense: The Bulldogs are searching for a quarterback ahead of the 2016 season, preferably someone who can someone who can eat into the severe point disparity the team suffered last season. Universal athlete Kameron Lindsey, a sophomore, might fit the bill. Lindsey garnered all-district defensive back honors last year.

Colmesneil is in an OK starting position offensive line wise. Returning starter Joey Adaway is the biggest lineman at 6-foot-2 and 275 pounds and Kevin Trunnell also started on last year's team.

But this is an offense that must improve drastically to become competitive in and outside the district. The Bulldogs suffered a 306-point disparity through their 11 games a season ago.

Defense: Obviously, Colmesneil must improve on the defensive side. The team surrendered an average of five touchdowns in district games, and that number jumped to 44.7 points per game when factoring in all 11 contests.

Kameron Lindsey, an all-district defensive back pick as a freshman, could be a nice starting point for the unit. But only if he is not summoned to play quarterback.

Defensive lineman Mason Williams, a senior, also earned an all-district selection last year. He should help make Colmesneil competitive in the trenches.

2016 outlook: Ross McMurry, a Colmesneil graduate, replaced former head coach Edd Trotter in the offseason. McMurry joined the team from Warren High School, which has endured its own losing seasons the past two years.

The 2016 season will be McMurry's first season as a head coach, and there's a lot of work to do.

Fortunately, most of the teams in the district are at similar points. Colmesneil is one of three teams in the league that reached the playoffs last season, so an additional team will get in this year. Reaching the playoffs once again could be the right medicine for the Bulldogs to do bigger things in future seasons.

5. Burkeville Mustangs

  • Coach: Kenneth Thomas
  • 2015 finish: 2-8
  • Returning starters: 6 offensive, 6 defensive
Players to watch
  • DL Marcell Green, Jr., 6-3, 225
  • OL/LB Andy Miles, Jr., 5-7, 205

2016 outlook: Credit Burkeville for sticking with 11-man football despite a student enrollment of just 87 pupils. That's well below the Class 2A cutoff, and the school is 29 percent smaller than the second smallest school in the district -- Colmesneil and its 121 students. Burkeville has petitioned the UIL to remain as an 11-man football school multiple times in recent years.

Head coach Kenneth Thomas' team won two games last year, which now has Burkeville averaging one win per season the past four years.

Unfortunately, depth is a major issue at Burkeville. It cannot afford to lose any of its 12 returning starters.

6. Sabine Pass Sharks

  • Coach: Trey Harvey
  • 2015 finish: 0-10
  • Returning starters: 6 offensive, 7 defensive
Players to watch
  • WR/LB Glenndell Walker, Sr., 5-8, 141
  • QB/DB Dominique Wilson, Sr., 6-0, 165

2016 outlook: Sabine Pass improved last season defensively, dropping from enduring eight shutouts in 2014 to three in 2015. At the same time, its record dropped from 1-9 to 0-10 and it still has not strung together more than three wins in a season since 2006.

Thirteen starters return, highlighted by the receiver-quarterback duo of Glenndell Walker and Dominique Wilson. Both players are very dangerous in space.

Sabine Pass was outscored 237-29 last year in district games last year. That has to change if the team is going to reverse its fortune.