Texas High doesn’t have the high-profile names on offense that it’s had in the past, such as Ryan Mallett, Cobi Hamilton, Nathan Sorenson, Kody Sutton, and John Michael McGee.

But defense could be the calling card of the 2012 Tigers, who enter the season with a lot of question marks on both sides of the ball, but especially offense. Jonathan Hunt (6-0, 285) and Joseph Meredith (5-10, 190) give veteran coach Barry Norton two veteran defensive linemen, while junior linebacker Anthony Rhone had a big season in 2011, recording 99 tackles as a sophomore. Rhone could become the face of the Tigers this season and next as recruiters are likely to flock to Texarkana to inquire of him.

Only one offensive starter returns -- tight end Harold Stoker (6-3, 210) -- so Texas High will have to navigate its non-district schedule while auditioning a ton of new players in important roles. The good news for the Tigers is they play 3 of 5 District 14-4A contests at Tiger Stadium. The bad news is the two road games are against Sulphur Springs and Hallsville (regular-season finale), two teams that could be Texas High’s toughest competition in the district championship race.

Texas High should make its 12th consecutive playoff appearance, but the Tigers’ chances of sticking around longer than one round hinge on their ability to find a completely new offense -- and most of a defense -- during the course of the regular season.


5A/4A Countdown

No. 7: Jacksonville

No. 8: Whitehouse

No. 9: Hallsville

No. 10: Lindale