ETSN.fm 2013 Preseason Class 2A Poll: No. 8 Arp
Very few Class 2A programs in East Texas have been as consistently productive as Arp, which has advanced to at least the second round of the playoffs every year since 2007.
Arp, the reigning District 10-2A Division II champion, reached the third round of the postseason a season ago with an explosive trio of ball carriers -- Mikechell Potts, Michael Roberson and Marcalas Johnson. The three of them combined for just less than 3,000 rushing yards on the year.
The Tigers return just one of those backs in Johnson (5-10, 180), who eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in 2012 and figures to carry the load for Arp this season. Quarterback Chase Bonner is also back after a strong sophomore campaign, but where Arp's real strength lies is within its linebacking corps.
Kalik Hines (5-10, 222) and John Hawkins, who had 60 tackles and 5 sacks a season ago, anchor one of the fastest and most physical mid-levels in East Texas in 2A.
Arp only brings back eight starters from last year's squad, so finding new players to step in and fill the voids will be priority No. 1 for head coach Dale Irwin, especially at season's outset. But as we've seen in the past, a program as consistently successful as Arp seems to re-load year-in and year-out.