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District 9-2A Division I Preview

PLAYMAKERS

  • RB/DB Roland Davis, 5-7, 155
  • OL/DL Korey Grisham
  • DB Travier Langley
  • WR T.K. Davis
  • RB/LB Dylan Pedigo, Sr., 5-10, 180
  • WR/DB Justin Massey, Sr.
  • LB/RB Ryder Sparkman
  • WR/DB Cody Hearrell, 5-10, 170
  • RB Tyler Vaught, Sr., 5-9, 160
  • WR/DB Luke Yellott, Jr., 6-0, 140
  • ATH Karson Fletcher, Sr., 5-9, 185
  • OL/DL Kaden Mattingly, Jr.

TOP GAMES

  • Cayuga at Grapeland, Sept. 7
  • Cayuga at Cross Roads, Nov. 9
  • Centerville at San Augustine, Oct. 5
  • Kerens at Centerville, Nov. 2

1. Centerville Tigers

  • Coach: Kyle Hardee
  • 2017 finish: 10-4 (2A D-I regional finalist)
  • Returning starters: 3 offensive, 3 defensive

Players to watch

  • RB/DB Roland Davis, 5-7, 155
  • OL/DL Korey Grisham
  • TE/DE Tristan Rudell
  • RB/LB Calvin Gunselman
  • OL/DL Justin Bowen

2018 outlook: Centerville's playoff run extended to the regional final this past season. However, the Tigers must replace eight offensive and defensive starters, no easy task even for the best of teams. Calvin Gunselman racked up 715 rushing yards to go with eight touchdowns in 2017 and will likely take the reigns of the offense. Roland Davis will get some time as well, and the duo will run behind an offensive line led by Korey Grisham and Justin Bowen. Since 2012, the Tigers have only one season without double digit wins. It's hard to bet against that track record. Expect Centerville to again be at the top of its district.

2. Kerens Bobcats

  • Coach: Terrell Harris
  • 2017 finish: 7-5 (2A D-I area finalist)
  • Returning starters: 3 offensive, 3 defensive

Players to watch

  • DB Travier Langley
  • WR T.K. Davis
  • OL Tate Engel
  • OL Da'Michael Harvey
  • K Ceasar Solis

 

2018 outlook: Like Centerville, Kerens must replace key starters. The Bobcats bring back a couple of experienced lineman in Tate Engel and Da'Michael Harvey. Receiver T.K. Davis will also play a big role. Kerens might not have the track record of Centerville, but expect the Bobcats to be in the thick of the district race.

3. Jewett Leon Cougars

  • Coach: Jeremy Colvert
  • 2017 finish: 2-8
  • Returning starters: 9 offensive, 9 defensive

Players to watch

  • RB/LB Dylan Pedigo, Sr., 5-10, 180
  • WR/DB Justin Massey, Sr.
  • OL/DL Nick Ucci, Sr.
  • OL/DL Donnie Alexander, Sr., 5-11
  • ATH Harris Sherrod, Jr., 5-6, 145

2018 outlook: The Cougars left much to be desired a season ago, finishing just 2-8. Luckily, they return all but four starters and hopefully learned a few lessons from their struggles. Dylan Pedigo will likely take a leading role on defense as well as in the backfield. Justin Massey and Harris Sherrod should also be reliable offensive weapons. Expect Jewett Leon to finish well above its record from a year ago.

4. Cayuga Wildcats

  • Coach: Cody Mohan
  • 2017 finish: 1-9
  • Returning starters: 10 offensive, 9 defensive

Players to watch

  • LB/RB Ryder Sparkman
  • WR/DB Cody Hearrell, 5-10, 170
  • DL/TE Chase Cooper
  • OL/DL Dalton Fitzpatrick
  • WR/DB Eli Lust
  • QB/DE Robert Buckley, 5-10, 150

Offense: Dalton Fitzpatrick and Eli Lust were all-district performers a season ago. They will again pace an offense that scored 13.4 points per game in 2017. They'll get help from tight end Chase Cooper, and receiver Cody Hearrell. Robert Buckey will orchestrate it all as the quarterback.

Defense: Ryder Sparkman, who earned all-district honors this past season, is perhaps the Wildcats' best returning player. He will be the leader of not only the defense, but the team as well. Buckley will try not to get too banged up playing defensive end and Hearrell and Lust will take their turns guarding receivers in the secondary. This unit will hope to improve after allowing 45.5 points per contest last year.

2018 outlook: Cayuga's 2017 season was nothing to write home about. The Wildcats finished a meager 1-9. However, all but one starter is back on offense and all but two on defense. The improvement might not be drastic, but it could be enough to give Cayuga a playoff berth.

5. Normangee Panthers

  • Coach: Nelson Kortis
  • 2017 finish: 2-8
  • Returning starters: 5 offensive, 5 defensive

Players to watch

  • RB Tyler Vaught, Sr., 5-9, 160
  • WR/DB Luke Yellott, Jr., 6-0, 140
  • LB Brady Harris, Jr., 6-0, 180
  • WR/DB Logan Andrews, Sr.
  • OL/DL Quinshaun Mayes, Sr.

2018 outlook: Vaught will lead the offense. He's joined by receivers Luke Yellott and Logan Andrews. Normangee will need Brady Harris and Quinshaun Mayes to step up on defense if it hopes to surpass its lackluster record from a season ago.

6. Cross Roads Bobcats

  • Coach: Daniel Pierce
  • 2017 finish: 1-9
  • Returning starters: 5 offensive, 5 defensive

Players to watch

  • ATH Karson Fletcher, Sr., 5-9, 185
  • OL/DL Kaden Mattingly, Jr.
  • RB/DL Eli Wilson, 5-11, 205
  • TE/LB Alex Marston, Jr., 5-7, 180
  • OL/DL Johnathan Castillo, Jr., 5-9, 255

Offense: The offensive line will be strong. Kaden Mattingly and Johnathan Castillo are both back and will anchor the crew up front. Eli Wilson will likely see plenty of holes with those two leading the way. Karson Fletcher will play QB for the Bobcats and also play a key role on offense.

Defense: Fletcher had 78 tackles and four sacks a season ago and will look to lead the defense again. He's joined by Mattingly, Castillo, Wilson and linebacker Alex Marston.

2018 outlook: Cross Roads finished 1-9 a season ago and loses a good amount of starters. Perhaps the fresh start could be a good thing for the Bobcats. However, at this point, there is too much unknown to warrant predicting them to finish too high in this district.