One of East Texas' three eight-team districts could be perhaps the region's most tightly-contested playoff race.

The 2013 season started with District 9-2A Division II as a frontrunner for most intriguing. Following the first few weeks of the season, that outlook hasn't changed. Four teams -- Hughes Springs, New Diana, Waskom, and Paul Pewitt -- appear to have separated themselves and likely have the best chances to reach the postseason after solid non-district performances.

Defending champion Hughes Springs is 1 of 3 teams in the district with a 3-0 record through the non-district portion of the schedule. The Mustangs play Saturday night at Longview's Lobo Stadium against Ore City (0-3) in their 9-2A D-II opener.

The other two 3-0 teams -- New Diana and Waskom -- meet Friday night in Waskom in what is one of the most intriguing matchups in East Texas this week. Friday's game should be a good measuring stick for both teams and give fans an idea of the Eagles' and Wildcats' chances of sneaking up on Hughes Springs in the district title race.

But don't sleep on Paul Pewitt (2-1), which opens district Friday night at DeKalb (0-3). The Brahmas' lone loss is to Class 3A Liberty-Eylau in the season opener. During the last two weeks, Pewitt has recorded one-point victories against Arp and Jefferson. The Brahmas are another team that should have a significant impact on the playoff race.

The remaining four teams -- Linden-Kildare, DeKalb, Elysian Fields, and Ore City -- are a combined 1-11. Linden-Kildare supplied the lone win in 35-34 season-opening victory against Hooks. These four squads face uphill battles to reach the level of the top four, which are a combined 11-1 entering Friday's action. Preseason Updated Prediction
First*Hughes SpringsHughes Springs
Third*Elysian FieldsNew Diana
Fourth*Paul PewittPaul Pewitt
FifthNew DianaLinden-Kildare
SixthDeKalbElysian Fields
SeventhOre CityDeKalb
EighthLinden-KildareOre City

* -- denotes playoff berth

District 9-2A Division II Openers

  • Linden-Kildare at Elysian Fields
  • New Diana at Waskom
  • Paul Pewitt at DeKalb
  • Hughes Springs vs. Ore City (7 p.m. Saturday, Longview's Lobo Stadium)