Two familiar programs remain atop the expected District 8-2A Division I hierarchy, but the rest of the standings should be a fight to the finish.

Preseason favorites Daingerfield and New Boston cut their non-district teeth against Class 3A opponents with varying results. Daingerfield,'s preseason pick to win the district, went 0-3 against stiff higher-class competition -- Gladewater, Atlanta, and Gilmer -- but annihilated its lone Class 2A opponent, Clarksville, 61-0.

New Boston enters district as the only 8-2A D-I team with an undefeated record. Three of the Lions' wins came by at least 30 points as they've accumulated an average victory margin of 28.8 points per game.

Despite Daingerfield's non-district schedules, we expect the Tigers to turn around their season during the league slate. After all, they did it last year after going 2-2 outside of the district and wound up in the 2A Division I state championship game.

Mount Vernon QB Sam Alston. (Christopher Vinn,

New Boston visits Daingerfield on Oct. 4 in what could again be the de facto 8-2A D-I title game. New Boston beat Daingerfield 38-37 in last year's regular-season meeting before the Tigers avenged the loss in the D-I Region II championship game, 35-28.

Beyond New Boston and Daingerfield, the 8-2A D-I race should be very interesting. None of the other five teams has separated itself from the pack, which will likely make for a wild finish for the final two playoff spots.

Mount Vernon (2-2) and Queen City (3-1) have shown the most promise so far, but Redwater (1-2) has played a tough schedule that included lopsided losses to strong teams in White Oak and Hughes Springs. Pattonville Prairiland (3-1) started the year strong, and while Hooks has struggled in September, the Hornets have the talent to have their say in the playoff race. Preseason Updated Prediction
First*DaingerfieldNew Boston (4-0)
Second*New BostonDaingerfield (1-3)
Third*RedwaterMount Vernon (2-2)
Fourth*HooksQueen City (3-1)
FifthMount VernonRedwater (1-2)
SixthQueen CityHooks (1-3)
SeventhPattonville PrairilandPattonville Prairiland (3-1)

* -- denotes playoff berth

Friday's District 8-2A Division I Openers

  • Queen City at New Boston
  • Daingerfield at Redwater
  • Mount Vernon at Hooks
  • Pattonville Prairiland: idle


Daingerfield's Keenan Whetstone scores on a 55-yard touchdown run during the first quarter of Gladewater's 16-14 win over the Tigers on Aug. 30 at Jack V. Murphy-Bear Stadium in Gladewater. (Christopher Vinn,