One thing every East Texas football fan can bet on is Hughes Springs being ready for the district schedule.

Last season, the Mustangs ran the league table for the second consecutive year before reaching the Class 2A Division II Region III semifinals and finishing with a 6-6 record.

Don’t be surprised if the Mustangs repeat that performance in 2012. Hughes Springs welcomes back the majority of its starters, especially on defense, where Kadarrian Chism and Cameron Brewer head up a solid line. Hughes Springs yielded only 14.8 points per game in five district contests and could be even better on defense this year.

The Mustangs’ big District 9-2A Division II matchup will be against an Elysian Fields team that won eight games a year ago and returns almost its entire starting lineup. Hughes Springs travels to EF on Oct. 26 for what we expect to be the de facto 9-2A D-II championship game. Hughes Springs has beaten Elysian Fields each of the last two seasons, including a 28-7 win at Mustang Stadium in 2011.

Regardless of which playoff seed the Mustangs secure, they will probably have to go through Arp to win the Region III championship. The Tigers are the preseason favorites to win the regional title.

The 2A & Below Countdown

No. 9: San Augustine

No. 10: Tenaha