Clarksville receiver Gary Moore would be a man among boys at any level, but in Class 2A, the 6-6, 215-pound receiver really stands out.

Moore, who is being recruited by several major colleges, and his Blue Tiger teammates should have no trouble in District 8-2A Division II despite moving up from 1A.

The rest of the league combined for 27-37 record in 2011.

One school to watch this season is Alba-Golden, which surprised the region by winning a playoff game for the first time since 1984.

 

1. Clarksville Blue Tigers

Coach: Dewaski Davis (fifth season, 25-21; 36-40 overall)

2011 Record: 10-2 (1A Division I Region II semifinalist; lost 33-28 to Mart)

Returning starters: 7 offensive (multiple I), 8 defensive (odd-front stack)

Players to watch

  • WR Gary Moore, Sr., 6-6, 215 (48 catches, 695 yards, 10 TDs; 84 tackles, 2 INTs; 26 punts, 34.2 average, 56 long)
  • WR Kelton Scales, Sr., 5-9, 160 (504 receiving yards, 9 TDs; 26 carries, 350 yards, 5 TDs; 39 tackles, 4 INTs)
  • QB/OLB Lonnie Hobbs, Sr., 5-9, 170 (16 of 30, 295 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs)
  • DE Stephen McPeters, Sr., 6-6, 200 (98 tackles, 15 for loss, 4 FF, 2 FR)
  • WR/DB Gemack Woodberry, Jr., 6-2, 190 (225 receiving yards, 4 TDs; 35 tackles)
  • DL Shakeim Woodberry, Jr., 5-8, 295
  • DE Michael Turner, Sr., 5-10, 210
  • OL Jermaine Emmers, Jr., 6-0, 254
  • FB Kendrick Barksdale, Sr., 5-9, 155
  • OL Jordan Limon, Soph., 5-10, 230
  • WR Karyeis Hayes, Sr., 6-0,165
  • OL Geremy Williams, Sr., 5-10, 235
  • OLB Devontray Forte', Sr., 5-9, 155
  • CB Devon Sanders, Jr., 6-3, 175

2012 Outlook: Even though Clarksville is making the jump up to Class 2A, the Blue Tigers appear head-and-shoulders above their district competition. Clarksville may have the top 1-2 wide receiver combo among 2A schools in the area with blue-chipper Gary Moore and Kelton Sacles, who teamed for 1,200 yards and 19 TDs as juniors. Clarksville, which returns 15 starters, will also welcome back defensive end Stephen McPeters, whose size alone will make him a nightmare to block. Assuming the Blue Tigers take district and receive a first-round bye, Clarksville should at least advance to the third round where likely opponents Corsicana Mildred or Gunter will be waiting. If Clarksville can reach the regional final, a matchup with Whitewright and University of Texas-bound quarterback Tyrone Swoopes.

 

2. Cooper Bulldogs

Coach: Ronnie Green (sixth season, 24-30)

2011 Record: 6-6 (2A Division II Region II area finalist; lost 21-14 to Gunter)

Returning starters: 7 offensive (multiple wing), 6 defensive (3-4)

Players to watch

  • OL Conner Arthur, Sr., 6-1, 225
  • RB Demetrius Wilkins, Sr., 5-8, 160 (100 carries, 711 yards, 12 TDs; 46 tackles at CB)
  • QB Kasey Leatherwood (15-for-22, 271 yards, 5 TDs)
  • FS Quile Wady, Sr., 5-11, 150 (117 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 FR, 5 PBU)

2012 Outlook: Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine picked Cooper to finish second in the district with 13 starters returning from last season’s 6-6 team. With a quick glance at the league, there does not appear to be that much separating the Bulldogs from the rest of the pack. Clarksville appears to be the odds-on favorite to win the district, but Cooper, Alba-Golden, Edgewood and Como-Pickton should all battle it out for the final two playoff spots.

 

3. Alba-Golden Panthers

Coach: Gary Schultz (fourth season, 11-21)

2011 Record: 7-5 (2A Division II Region II area finalist; lost 61-12 to Hughes Springs)

Returning starters: 7 offensive (power I, pro I), 5 defensive (3-3)

Players to watch

  • RB Thomas Weissert, Sr., 6-0, 180 (230 carries, 1,500 yards, 15 TDs)
  • FB Will Ayers, Sr., 5-8, 200 (110 carries, 725 yards, 6 TDs)
  • OG Cody Brinson, Sr, 6-2, 200
  • FB Jacob Stone, Jr., 5-9, 165 (15 carries, 200 yards)
  • LB Caleb Taylor, Sr., 6-1, 200
  • OLB Gavin Murrow, Sr., 6-1, 190
  • LB Ryan Ellis, Jr., 5-10, 190
  • CB Austin Reece, Sr., 5-9, 170
  • LB Brett Chrapowicki, Jr., 6-0, 175
  • OT Austin Kennedy, Jr., 6-5, 265
  • OT Brian Reichel, Jr., 6-2, 240
  • C Garrett Driskill, Sr., 5-10, 235
  • TE Seth Bickerstaff, Sr., 5-10, 200

 

Strengths: The Alba-Golden Panthers enjoyed a most unusual offseason following the school’s first playoff victory since 1984. For a long time considered one of the area’s worst programs, head coach Gary Schultz guided Alba-Golden to its best season in over a quarter-century. And there is plenty more to be excited about in 2012. The Panthers bring back 12 starters, including all-district running back Thomas Weissert, who was the driving force behind the breakthrough season. Also back are fullbacks Will Ayers and Jacob Stone, who combined with Weissert to rush for more than 1,400 yards.

Weaknesses: The defense lost seven starters to graduation and until the replacements gain experience, that side of the ball may endure some growing pains during the early portion of the season. Another potential problematic issue will be the extra attention paid Alba-Golden by its opponents. No longer will the Panthers be an unknown; every team in that district now knows Alba-Golden has transformed from the down-trodden to a program on the rise.

2012 Outlook: The good news for the Panthers young defense is that the three toughest district foes -- Cooper, Edgewood and Clarksville -- constitute Alba-Golden’s final three games of the regular season. Assuming Alba-Golden takes care of business leading up that point, just one win in the final three may be enough for consecutive playoff appearances for Alba-Golden.

 

4. Edgewood Bulldogs

Coach: Ryan Simmons (sixth season, 29-23)

2011 Record: 5-5

Returning starters: 6 offensive (spread), 9 defensive (multiple)

Players to watch

  • ATH Jacob Sharff, Sr., 5-10, 165 (21 carries, 128 yards, 1 TD; 42 catches, 635 yards, 4 TDs)
  • WR Kaven Deloach, Sr., 5-9, 160 (5 INTs)LB Daniel Sharff, Sr., 6-0, 185 (69 tackles)
  • DL Chandler Travis, Sr., 5-11, 180
  • OL Keaton Simmons, Sr., 6-0, 190
  • OL Willie Fitzgerald, Sr., 6-0, 240
  • OL Dylan Wheeler, Sr., 6-0, 205
  • ATH Joe Blazio, Sr., 5-11, 175
  • WR Tyler Germany, Jr., 6-3, 180
  • RB Carlos Bolton, Soph., 6-1, 190
  • DL Skylar Oldfield, Sr., 6-0, 190
  • DB Ethan Rumsey, Sr., 5-8, 150
  • LB Eugene Dillard, Sr., 6-2, 175
  • DB Jaylen Mumphrey, Sr., 5-10, 165
  • LB Tristen Sherwood, Sr., 5-6, 190
  • DL Randy Ruschmann, Sr., 5-10, 250
  • DB Jakeb Hunter, Jr., 5-9, 160

 

Strengths: Edgewood missed out on the playoffs last season, but the Bulldogs didn’t start very many seniors on a defense that allowed almost 30 points per game a year ago. Expect the defensive side of the ball to be much better with nine starters returning. The top playmaker on ‘D’ is expected to be linebacker Daniel Sharff, who posted 69 tackles in 2011.

Weaknesses: The last few years have been marked by good quarterback play, including Ethan Rutter who passed for more than 2,000 yards last year as a senior. Edgewood will be breaking in a new quarterback, so until that position is settled the offense may experience some inconsistencies.

2012 Outlook: The Bulldogs are banking on experience on defense and the versatile Jacob Sharff on offense to return Edgewood to the playoffs. With Clarksville clearly ahead of the 8-2A field, the postseason hopes of Edgewood will likely come down to games against Alba-Golden, Cooper and Como-Pickton.

 

5. Como-Pickton Eagles

Coach: Conley Bland (first season)

2011 Record: 5-5

Returning starters: 6 offensive (multiple), 7 defensive (multiple)

Players to watch

  • RB Bryce Steele, Sr., 6-1, 215 (201 carries, 1,465 yards, 20 TDs)
  • FS Hank Tullis, Sr., 5-8, 165 (10 catches, 181 yards, 1 TD; 150 tackles)
  • RB Matthew Sharp, Sr., 5-10, 200 (1 INT)
  • OG Heath Howard, Sr., 6-3, 245
  • OT Deion McGill, Jr., 6-0, 256
  • TE Emilio Ramirez, Soph., 5-10, 180
  • SS Justin Radney, Sr., 5-8, 155

2012 Outlook: There was a change at the top when Paul Tullis resigned after five years as head football coach, and was replaced by offensive coordinator Conley Bland. While there is a new man in charge on the sidelines, senior running back Bryce Steele mans the backfield after a big junior season. The Eagles, who missed out on the playoffs by one game last year, return 13 starters and should feel confident in challenging for a postseason spot in 2012. Games against Cooper, Alba-Golden and Edgewood will ultimately decide Como-Pickton’s fate.

 

6. Rivercrest Rebels

Coach: Allen Cross (third season, 9-12; 24-22 overall)

2011 Record: 3-7Returning starters: 7 offensive (spread), 8 defensive (odd front)

Players to watch

  • QB Erik Richards, Jr., 6-0, 185 (106 of 209, 1,500 yards, 15 TDs; 88 carries, 290 yards, 4 TDs)
  • K Blake Hollingsworth, Sr., 5-10, 165 (4-for-5 FGs over 40 yards, 19-for-19 PATs)
  • OL Heath Holt, Sr., 6-3, 285
  • OL Daniel Kasal, Sr., 6-1, 190
  • WR K.D. Fields, Sr., 5-8, 160 (27 catches, 364 yards, 4 TDs)
  • RB Aaron Whitney, Sr., 5-9, 145 (130 carries, 590 yards, 2 TDs)
  • WR Johnathan Moore, Sr., 6-1, 160 (10 catches, 160 yards, 3 TDs; 45 tackles)
  • WR Drew Meals, Sr., 6-0, 160 (5 catches, 85 yards, 1 TD)
  • LB Rob Ward, Sr., 5-10, 175
  • DB Doyle Brooks, Sr., 5-10, 165 (3 INTs)
  • LB Cawyer Curry, Sr., 5-8, 150 (57 tackles)
  • DB Wesley Davidson, Sr., 5-10, 160 (24 tackles, 1 INT)
  • DL Layne Linderman, Sr., 5-11, 180
  • DL Martin Pina, Sr., 5-10, 180
  • OL Josh Werline, Jr., 5-10, 185
  • WR Markievious Traylor, Jr., 6-2, 180
  • RB Croix Parrott, Soph., 5-10, 175

2012 Outlook: The Rebels are hoping to turn things around after a winless district campaign last season. Among the bright spots last year was quarterback Erik Richards, who totaled almost 1,800 yards and 19 touchdowns as a sophomore. K.D. Fields and Johnathan Moore should be Richards’ main targets at receiver. However, until Rivercrest proves it can put together a successful district season, it is difficult to forecast a playoff appearance for 2012.

 

7. Paris Chisum Mustangs

 

Coach: Don Hasley (eighth season, 32-40; 62-62 overall)

2011 Record: 1-9

Returning starters: 6 offensive (spread), 7 defensive (3-4)

Players to watch

  • QB Pecos Hurley, Sr., 6-4, 205 (28 of 55, 491 yards, 5 TDs, 3 INTs; 68 carries, 307 yards, 3 TDs; 9 catches, 97 yards, 1 TD)
  • FB Jon Boehler, Sr., 5-11, 205 (27 carries, 142 yards, 2 TDs)TE Corey Shuggart, Sr., 5-11, 165
  • WR Brandon Jones, Sr., 5-10, 155
  • RB Sam Pitts, Sr., 5-9, 165
  • OL Will McKenzie, Sr., 5-10, 290
  • WR Zac Gillen, Sr., 5-7, 130 (10 catches, 115 yards)
  • WR Geron Hicks, Jr., 6-2, 165
  • OL Brandon Butler, Soph., 5-10, 185
  • K Jose Resendiz, Jr., 5-9, 150 (4-for-7 FGs, 9-for-12 PATs, 47 FG long; 42 yards per punt)
  • DE Mytchel Naylor, Jr., 5-10, 240 (20 tackles)
  • DT Kolton Hasley, Soph., 6-1, 235 (30 tackles)
  • DL Qawi Ar-raheem, Sr., 6-0, 275
  • FS Dakota Flippen, Sr., 5-10, 150

2012 Outlook: It was a rough 2011 season for head coach Don Hasley and his Paris Chisum Mustangs, who finished with a 1-9 record. On the bright side, Chisum put a ton of sophomores and freshmen on the field a season ago. A full offseason knowing what will be expected from them this year should only help the Mustangs improve in the win-loss column. Senior quarterback Pecos Hurley, who didn’t begin starting until halfway through the season, should increase his production from a season ago. Even still, it does not appear that Chisum can compete for a playoff spot just yet.