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2017 Football Preview: Harmony, Winona + Edgewood Return To Loaded District 8-3A D-II

Harmony OL Conner Henson. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)
Harmony OL Conner Henson. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

This was a good district last year and there's no reason to believe it won't be just as good in 2017.

At least 12 starters are back for each District 8-3A Division II squad, and this league produced three teams that went to the area round or better last season.

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Top 25 Games Of 2017: No. 16, Tyler Lee At Marshall

Marshall's Christian Hood (left), Chasen Hiens (center) and Kameron King. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)
Marshall's Christian Hood (left), Chasen Hiens (center) and Kameron King. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

You won't have to wait much longer for this barometer game between two new head coaches with very talented rosters.

Tyler Lee hits the road Sept. 1 to face Marshall in what we think is the 16th-best game of 2017. It will be the debut for both Red Raiders coach Kurt Traylor and Mavericks leader Claude Mathis.

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ETSN.fm Class 3A Preseason Poll: No. 6, Winona Wildcats

Winona's La'Darion Jefferson (left) and Zach Francis. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)
Winona's La'Darion Jefferson (left) and Zach Francis. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

No one knew quite what to expect from Winona once the 2016 playoffs arrived. The Wildcats had lost three of their first four games, and dropped back-to-back contests in district.

But once the postseason got going, Winona morphed into a different team, journeying all the way to the state quarterfinals...

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ETSN.fm Class 2A/Private Schools Poll: No. 6, Union Grove Lions

Union Grove's J.D. Kessler.(© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)
Union Grove's J.D. Kessler.(© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

There's not much doubt here in the preseason Union Grove will contest for the District 10-2A Division I crown.

Sixteen returning starters and head coach Roger Adams' track record at a historically downtrodden school will put those kinds of expectations on a program. We think the Lions are in for a pretty good season, so they will begin the year ranked sixth in the Class 2A/Private Schools poll.

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2017 Football Preview: District 9-3A D-II As Deep As It Gets

(@ ETSN.fm)
(@ ETSN.fm)

District 9-3A Division II is a microcosm of Region III at large -- very deep and very talented.

This district is home to two major Division I commits -- Arp's DeMarvion Overshown (Texas) and West Rusk's Tyree Wilson (Texas A&M).

...

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Top 25 Games of 2017: No. 17, West Rusk At Arp

Arp RB Demontrae Wade. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)
Arp RB Demontrae Wade. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Once again, there appears to be very little separation between the perennial powers in District 9-3A Division II.

So when West Rusk travels to Arp on Oct. 20, there could major playoff and/or district championship implications involved...

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ETSN.fm Class 3A Preseason Poll: No. 7, Elysian Fields Yellowjackets

Elysian Fields OL/DL Malik Johnson. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)
Elysian Fields OL/DL Malik Johnson. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

It had been a few years since Elysian Fields experienced a season like the one it had in 2016.

The Yellowjackets breezed through the regular season unbeaten before ultimately falling to Newton in the regional semifinals...

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ETSN.fm Class 2A/Private Schools Poll: No. 7, Bullard Brook Hill Guard

Bullard Brook Hill's Greyson Priestner (left), Hood Taylor (center) and Jeremiah McGowen. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)
Bullard Brook Hill's Greyson Priestner (left), Hood Taylor (center) and Jeremiah McGowen. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

The Guard made a decent turnaround last season under head coach Scott Ryle and the team is tied for the most returning starters with Tyler Bishop Gorman among the four TAPPS Division II, District 2 squads that made the postseason in 2016.

Those factors could be big this season.

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To 25 Games Of 2017: No. 18, Hallsville At Pine Tree

Pine Tree QB Keshon Williams. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)
Pine Tree QB Keshon Williams. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Let's be honest. District 16-5A was not very strong last season.

We think that's going to change this year with all the coaching transitions the past two years and a more defined set of middle-tier teams.

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ETSN.fm Class 3A Preseason Poll: No. 8, Arp Tigers

Arp's DeMarvion Overshown (left), Kennard Williams (center) and Tren Jones. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)
Arp's DeMarvion Overshown (left), Kennard Williams (center) and Tren Jones. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

In a region full of state-title contenders, it was the Arp Tigers who ultimately came out on top in Region III of Class 3A Division II.

Arp, after knocking off previously unbeaten and regional favorite Newton in the Region III championship game, succumbed to Boling in the state semifinals...

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