The move from an eight-team district to a six-team league should only help Hallsville in its quest to secure its first back-to-back playoff berths since 2005-06.

Hallsville shifts its district attention east and north as East Texas’ old Class 4A district was cut in half by realignment. The Bobcats, who went 5-6 a year ago and reached the playoffs after surging latefor a 4-3 league

record, have a solid senior class in place that features experienced players on both lines and in the linebacker corps. Left tackle Hayden Wall is among the best in East Texas at his position and will block for a promising backfield featuring running back Thaddeus Fagan and quarterback Austin Toney. Defensive end Coby Bradford and linebacker Cayden Ferrill will be key cogs on a defense that held its final three district opponents to 17 points per game as the Bobcats won their last three 14-4A games to qualify for the playoffs.

Reaching the postseason again this season is a definite possibility. Hallsville opens 14-4A play with a pair of road games, but the Bobcats beat both opponents (Marshall, Pine Tree) in 2011 and will probably be favored against both this season. If Hallsville wins both games, the Bobcats may need to win only one of their final three regular-season games to qualify once again for the postseason. Two of their final three contests are at home (Sulphur Springs, Texas High), while they travel to Mount Pleasant on Nov. 2.

5A/4A Countdown

No. 10: Lindale