While some of East Texas' district races could turn out quite different from what was expected in the preseason, one thing remains unchanged.

Newton (3-0) is a heavy favorite once again to win the District 10-2A Division I crown for a second consecutive year after rolling through the league with virtually no resistance a year ago.

The Eagles, ranked No. 2 in the latest Class 2A Associated Press poll, outscored 10-2A D-I foes 384-54 during their 7-0 road to league domination in 2012. With Texas-committed tailback Kevin Shorter and a deep, talented supporting cast, there's no reason to believe that Newton shouldn't dominate its district again during the next seven weeks.

Newton RB Kevin Shorter. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

The question is ... how does the rest of the league shake out?

Kirbyville (2-1) notched a three-point non-district win against Jasper for what may be the most impressive win to date of the remaining seven teams in the district. The Wildcats should battle with Winnie East Chambers (2-1) and Kountze (2-1) for the next few spots after Newton.

Woodville (1-2), Anahuac (0-3), Warren (2-0), and Hardin (2-0) appear to be a notch below those three teams, but could slip into the fight for the fourth and final playoff spot if one gets a few bounces.

The bottom line: Newton should roll through the league again and enter the 2A D-I postseason undefeated for the second consecutive season as a state championship contender.

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* -- denotes playoff berth

Friday's District 10-2A Division I Openers

  • Warren at Newton
  • Woodville at Winnie East Chambers
  • Kirbyville at Anahuac
  • Hardin at Kountze