All in all, 2016 was a decent year for the teams of District 11-3A Division I as three of the four playoff teams reached the second round.

Woodville was the best of the bunch, winning 10 games for the first time since 1983, and easily running away with the district championship.

The Eagles' 13 returning starters put them in a good position to repeat as league champs, but challenges from Kirbyville, Coldspring-Oakhurst, and Buna are expected.

For district predictions and more, continue to scroll.

District 11-3A Division I Preview

PLAYMAKERS
  • RB Keyshawn Adams, Jr., Kountze
  • LB Dawson Askew, Sr., Buna
  • RB/DL Treyvaun Crawford, Sr., Trinity
  • DB Chandler Dickerson, Sr., Buna
  • RB David Fulcher, Jr., Coldspring-Oakhurst
  • WR/DB Marcus Hafford, Sr., Kountze
  • WR Nolan Hodge, Sr., Trinity
  • QB/WR Tadarius Jackson, Sr., Kirbyville
  • RB/DB Zack Martin, Jr., Woodville
  • RB/DB Michael Mouton, Soph., Warren
  • LB Jesse Odom, Sr., Warren
  • OL/DL Zeke Olavarietta, Sr., Kirbyville
  • DL Michael Unger Sr., Coldspring-Oakhurst
  • RB/DB C.J. Wooten, Sr., Woodville
TOP GAMES
  • Sept. 1 -- Woodville at Corrigan-Camden
  • Oct. 6 -- Woodville at Kirbyville
  • Oct. 13 -- Buna at Kountze
  • Oct. 13 -- Kirbyville at Coldspring-Oakhurst
  • Nov. 10 -- Woodville at Coldspring-Oakhurst

1. Woodville Eagles

  • Coach: Ty Robinson
  • 2016 finish: 10-2 (3A Division I area finalist)
  • Returning starters: 7 offensive, 6 defensive

Players to watch

  • RB/DB Zack Martin, Jr., 5-10, 191
  • RB/DB C.J. Wooten, Sr., 6-0, 170
  • WR/DB Christian Williams, Sr., 6-3, 200
  • ATH Marcos Broom, Jr., 5-8, 190
  • OL Cade Bass, Sr., 6-3, 290
  • QB/LB David Whitehead, Sr., 6-0, 175
  • OL Seth Fabela, Jr., 6-1, 330
  • LB Ty Bryant, Sr., 6-0, 170

 

Offense: Eagles coach Ty Robinson has to be ecstatic that of the seven offensive starters he has returning, one of them is junior running back Zack Martin.

Last season, Martin burst onto the scene as a sophomore with more than 1,400 rushing yards. He helped Woodville finish the year averaging almost 40 points per game.

If Martin's return wasn't enough, the best parts of the Eagles' offensive line is coming back as well. Cade Bass (6-3, 290) and Seth Fabela (6-1, 330) are both massive protectors up front.

Woodville also has a few other potential game-changers on offense, including C.J. Wooten, Christian Williams, and Marcos Broom.

Defense: While the offense certainly did its thing in 2016, the Woodville defense was no slouch, either.

The Eagles limited opponents to a meager 14.3 points per game on the year, and pitched three shutouts.

With more than half of last seasons's defensive starters returning, the Woodville defense should once again be one of, if not the best, unit in the district.

Wooten, Williams, and Broom will be utilized in a variety of roles on the defensive side of the ball. Keep an eye on senior linebacker Ty Bryant, whose play could put the Eagles' "D" over the top.

2017 outlook: Woodville put together its best year since 1983 last season by winning 10 games and reaching the second round of the playoffs.

Prior to 2016, Woodville's highest win total was eight, which occurred in both 1989 and 1990.

Robinson, who took over for Mike Waldie (now at Daingerfield) prior to last season, has now set the bar higher than it's been in a long time for Woodville.

The 13 total returning starters make the Eagles, who averaged a 30-point margin of victory over their league counterparts a year ago, district favorites once again.

 

2. Kirbyville Wildcats

  • Coach: Todd Doughty
  • 2016 finish: 8-4 (3A Division I area finalist)
  • Returning starters: 6 offensive, 4 defensive

Players to watch

  • QB/WR Tadarius Jackson, Sr., 5-8, 145
  • OL/DL Zeke Olavarietta, Sr., 6-4, 215
  • QB/WR Dilyn Bishop, Soph.
  • LB Luke Wallis, Sr.
  • OL Cody Merka, Sr., 6-3, 280
  • LB Nadarius Jackson, Sr.
  • RB Cam Smith, Jr., 5-9, 160
  • OL Brennon Davis, Sr.

 

2017 outlook: There are few programs in Class 3A as consistently successful as Kirbyville. The Wildcats have reached at least the second round of the playoffs in 11 of the last 13 seasons.

Last season, Kirbyville finished with eight wins -- its fewest since 2012 -- and ended up in a three-way tie with Buna and Coldspring-Oakhurst for second place in the district.

But first-year head coach Todd Doughty is hopeful that the return of 10 starters, including dynamic athlete Tadarius Johnson, can lead to even greener pastures this season.

The offensive line should be a strength with Zeke Olavarietta, Cody Merka, and Brennon Davis leading the way.

 

3. Coldspring-Oakhurst Trojans

  • Coach: Mark Byrd
  • 2016 finish: 5-6 (3A Division I bi-district finalist)
  • Returning starters: 6 offensive, 4 defensive

Players to watch

  • DL Michael Unger, Sr., 6-5, 265
  • RB David Fulcher, Jr., 5-9, 175
  • DL Sam Olivo, Sr., 6-0, 220
  • ATH Ethan Benestante, Jr., 6-0, 195
  • WR Kobe McKinney, Soph., 5-10, 170
  • LB Ed Levi, Jr.
  • QB Richard Higgins, Sr., 6-1, 163

 

2017 outlook: Coldspring-Oakhurst has had better seasons than the one it experienced last year. The Trojans' losing record was their first sine 2005.

From 2009-13, Coldspring-Oakhurst averaged 11 wins, and played for a state championship in 2010.

Getting back to that level of success will be the objective for head coach Mark Byrd, who will have 10 returning starters at his disposal.

The defensive line, anchored by Michael Unger and Sam Olivo, will be the Trojans' primary strength this fall.

 

4. Buna Cougars

  • Coach: Bradley Morgan
  • 2016 finish: 7-5 (3A Division I area finalist)
  • Returning starters: 4 offensive, 4 defensive

Players to watch

  • LB Dawson Askew, Sr.
  • DB Chandler Dickerson, Sr., 6-0, 165
  • QB Alex Connell, Jr.
  • OL Justin Miller, Sr., 6-0, 240
  • RB Trace Crumpton, Sr., 5-9, 160
  • DL Jalen Call

 

2017 outlook: Buna managed a winning record and secured a playoff victory last season, so the focus now is on taking the next step.

Cougars head coach Bradley Morgan must replace 14 starters from last year's area finalist, but should take comfort in the fact that a handful of 2016's playmakers are coming back.

Senior linebacker Dawson Askew, defensive back Chandler Dickerson, and lineman Jalen Call give Buna experience at all three levels of its defense.

The offense will be a work in progress. The Cougars will need big seasons from quarterback Alex Connell and running back Trace Crumpton.

 

5. Kountze Lions

  • Coach: Duane Joubert
  • 2016 finish: 3-7
  • Returning starters: 7 offensive, 7 defensive

Players to watch

  • RB Keyshawn Adams, Jr., 5-7, 165
  • WR/DB Marcus Hafford, Sr., 6-2, 170
  • OL/DL Montreal Jones, Jr., 5-10, 270
  • ATH Jeremiah Barker, Sr., 6-2, 193
  • QB/DB Dallion Edwards, Sr., 6-1, 160
  • RB/LB Brad Barry, Sr., 5-11, 190
  • DL Cayson Beal, Jr., 6-1, 200
  • LB Caleb Walters, Jr., 5-7, 155

 

2017 outlook: Kountze returns more starters than any team in the district, which should give head coach Duane Joubert reason for optimism heading into the new season.

The Lions will have to improve, however, on both sides of the ball. Kountze scored an average of just 22 points per game, while the defense yielded 41.5 per contest.

Running back Keyshawn Adams, receiver Marcus Hafford, and athlete Jeremiah Barker can affect the game in a number of ways, and must be key contributors if Kountze is to challenge for a playoff spot.

 

6. Trinity Tigers

  • Coach: Eric Droddy
  • 2016 finish: 3-7
  • Returning starters: 5 offensive, 5 defensive

Players to watch

  • RB/DL Treyvaun Crawford, Sr., 6-0, 191
  • WR Nolan Hodge, Sr., 6-4, 161
  • LB Marquinn Goodall, Sr., 5-10, 210
  • WR/DB Kallup Rolling, Jr., 5-7, 140
  • RB/DB Holden Hodge, Soph., 5-7, 158
  • OL/DL Brandon Phillips, Sr., 6-0, 270
  • OL/LB Parker Hay, Sr.
  • OL/DL Garrett King, Sr.

 

2017 outlook: Eric Droddy's first season at the helm in Trinity may not have resulted in a playoff berth, but there were signs of improvement along the way.

Following an 0-2 start to last season, Trinity earned a big win over Centerville (a 2A Division II state semifinalist) during non-district. And even though the run through district was full of bumps, the Tigers finished the regular season with a hard-fought, one-point loss to Kirbyville.

The offense must drastically improve after it managed less than 19 points per game on average in 2016. The defense held its own at times, and kept opponents under 30 points per contest.

Senior running back/defensive lineman Treyvaun Crawford might be Trinity's most important player this season.

 

7. Warren Warriors

  • Coach: Jay Buckner
  • 2016 finish: 1-9
  • Returning starters: 5 offensive, 4 defensive

Players to watch

  • RB/DB Michael Moulton, Soph., 5-8, 140
  • LB Jesse Odom, Sr., 6-3, 210
  • OL Kole Leger, Sr., 6-1, 215
  • QB Cameron Kojak, Sr., 6-1, 195
  • OL Chandler Tanton, Sr.
  • TE/DB Brody Brockman, Jr.
  • WR/DB Devon Hadnot, Jr.

 

2017 outlook: The good news for Warren is that it can only go up after last year's disappointing 1-9 campaign.

Just nine total starters return, which could be a good thing if the newcomers collectively outperform that graduated departures.

Warren scored just 78 points all last season, so fixing the offensive woes is priority No. 1 for head coach Jay Buckner.