The Como-Pickton Eagles have not reached the playoffs since 2004. George W. Bush had just been re-elected President for a second term, and the first iPhone was still three years away.

Yes, a lot has changed in the last 14 years.

Como-Pickton got close to the postseason last year, finishing with a 6-4 record, its most wins since it went 8-3 in 2004.

Not do the Eagles bring back 18 starters from last year's squad, they are also dropping in classification from Class 3A. Moreover, there are only five teams in Como-Pickton's new home, District 6-2A Division I, which means the odds are overwhelmingly in the Eagles' favor to snap their playoff drought.

Where Como-Pickton finishes in this district is another story.

District 6-2A Division I Preview

PLAYMAKERS

  • WR/DB Devin Fulbright, Sr., Honey Grove
  • RB Kyle Green, Sr., Quinlan Boles
  • RB/LB Cody Greenway, Sr., Wolfe City
  • DL Clay Holt, Sr., Bogata Rivercrest
  • QB Josh Martin, Sr., Como-Pickton
  • RB Javard McGill, Sr., Como-Pickton
  • RB/DB Trel Pruitt, Jr., Honey Grove
  • QB/LB Santi Sajanis, Soph., Quinlan Boles
  • RB/DB Dylan Wilson, Jr., Wolfe City
  • QB/LB Devon Womack, Jr., Bogata Rivercrest

 

TOP GAMES

  • Bogata Rivercrest at Big Sandy, Oct. 5
  • Honey Grove at Quinlan Boles, Oct. 19
  • Bogata Rivercrest at Como-Pickton, Nov. 2

 

1. Bogata Rivercrest Rebels

  • Coach: Lance Connot
  • 2017 finish: 12-1 (2A Division I regional semifinalist)
  • Returning starters: 4 offensive, 7 defensive

Players to watch

  • QB/LB Devon Womack, Jr., 6-0, 180
  • DL Clay Holt, Sr., 6-2, 250
  • OL/DE Reese Jesse, Sr., 5-8, 193
  • DL/OL Cole Carson, Jr.
  • RB Will Grider, Soph., 6-0, 176

2018 outlook: The Rebels are in the midst of the best two-year run in school history, having posted a 22-2 record since 2016. Rivercrest won a school-record 12 games last season, reaching the third round of the playoffs. And with half of last year's starters returning, fifth-year head coach Lance Connot should feel confident his team can keep the positive run going for at least another year. Devon Womack, who rushed for almost 2,000 yards in 2017, will move to quarterback to help soften the loss of seven offensive starters. Womack will also be a key contributor at linebacker, coming off a season in which he collected more than 180 tackles. Rivercrest will need a few newcomers to step up but there are enough pieces from last year in place to keep the Rebels in position to win another district championship.

 

2. Como-Pickton Eagles

  • Coach: Charles Swann
  • 2017 finish: 6-4
  • Returning starters: 10 offensive, 8 defensive

Players to watch

  • QB Josh Martin, Sr.
  • RB Javard McGill, Sr., 5-11, 202
  • WR/DB Cameron Wilburn, Jr., 5-8, 160
  • DL Landon Lambrich, Sr., 5-9, 157
  • OL/DL Daniel Galvan, Sr.
  • DB Ernesto Murillo, Sr., 5-6, 150
  • RB Cameron Ray, Soph., 6-2, 160
  • DE Dylan Wiggins, Sr., 5-9, 150

Offense: All but one offensive starter from 2017 returns for Como-Pickton, which averaged 25.3 points per game. Senior Josh Martin is a rock behind center at quarterback and will be the key to the Eagles' chances at taking the next step in their program. Running backs Javard McGill and Cameron Ray will be a tough combination for most opposing defenses to handle, while receiver Cameron Wilburn has the ability to stretch the field vertically.

Defense: Como-Pickton may not be quite as experienced on the defensive side of the ball, but only four starters from last season need to be replaced. The defensive line could be the best in the district with Landon Lambrich, Daniel Galvan, and Dylan Wiggins leading the way. There are a few question marks at linebacker, but he secondary should be in good shape with the return of Wilburn and Ernest Murillo.

2018 outlook: It's been 14 years since Como-Pickton made the playoffs, but after the Eagles dropped down from 3A and the wealth of experience returning from last year's six-win team, 2018 could be a historic season. All but one of 6-2A Division I's teams will make the postseason, so the odds are in the Eagles' favor anyway. District favorite Rivercrest probably deserves the preseason nod, but don't discount Como-Pickton's chances of challenging for league supremacy. The Eagles will need a few lucky bounces here and there, but if everything falls into place, finishing first in this district isn't entirely out of the question.

 

3. Wolfe City Wolves

  • Coach: Darren Anderson
  • 2017 finish: 9-3 (2A Division I area finalist)
  • Returning starters: 5 offensive, 5 defensive

Players to watch

  • RB/LB Cody Greenway, Sr., 6-1, 200
  • RB/DB Dylan Wilson, Jr., 5-10, 160
  • OL/DL Eric Fisk, Sr., 5-8, 205
  • WR Cody Belleville, Jr., 5-6, 125
  • QB Logan Green, Sr., 6-3, 185

2018 outlook: The Wolves will once again be a challenger for the playoffs as 10 starters come back from last season's area finalist squad. Running backs Cody Greenway and Dylan Wilson might be the league's best one-two punch out of the backfield, and senior quarterback Logan Green has the tools to make Wolfe City's offense multi-dimensional. The Wolves should receive stiff challenges from two-time defending district champion Rivercrest and newcomer Como-Pickton, not to mention a scrappy Honey Grove team.

 

4. Honey Grove Warriors

  • Coach: Glen Schuelke
  • 2017 finish: 6-5 (2A Division I bi-district finalist)
  • Returning starters: 10 offensive, 8 defensive

Players to watch

  • WR/DB Devin Fulbright, Sr., 6-0, 170
  • RB/DB Trel Pruitt, Jr., 5-9, 150
  • DE/OG Sean Bowman, Sr., 6-2, 215
  • QB Ben Patrick, Soph., 6-1, 175
  • RB/DE Jake Caffee, Jr., 6-2, 210

2018 outlook: Honey Grove is tied with Como-Pickton for most returning starters in the district, and that nucleus is hungry not only for getting back to the playoffs but doing damage when they get there. First thing's first, however; the Warriors will be in a dogfight with Rivercrest, Como-Pickton, and Wolfe City for playoff positioning. Senior defensive end Sean Bowman is arguably the district's best defender, while the offensive grouping of sophomore quarterback Ben Patrick, running backs Trel Pruitt and Jake Caffee, and receiver Devin Fulbright have the potential to be explosive.

 

5. Quinlan Boles Hornets

  • Coach: Kim Kanaman
  • 2017 finish: 1-9
  • Returning starters: 5 offensive, 5 defensive

Players to watch

  • RB Kyle Green, Sr., 6-0, 150
  • QB/LB Santi Sajanis, Soph., 5-10, 165
  • TE Evan Bain, Sr., 6-4, 230
  • RB/LB Brian Hinijos, Sr., 5-8, 175

2018 outlook: Last season wasn't much fun for Quinlan Boles, which stumbled to an ugly 1-9 finish after reaching the playoffs a year earlier. The Hornets lost their five district games by an average of more than 33 points, and three of those foes -- Rivercrest, Wolfe City, and Honey Grove -- are league foes of Boles once again. Linden-Kildare, the league's other playoff team from 2017, moved to a different district, but it was replaced by Como-Picktpn, which went 6-4 at the 3A level and has 18 starters returning. Despite all of that, it will likely take just one win in district for Honey Grove to get back to the postseason out of his five-team league.