ETSN.fm 2013 Preseason Class 3A Poll: No. 7 Henderson
A lot of uncertainty surrounds the Henderson Lions entering the 2013 high school football season.
Henderson not only lost 14 of 22 starters, but a head coach and key members of the coaching staff that led the Lions to three consecutive seasons of at least 14 games. Veteran coach Dickey Meeks guided Henderson to the 2010 Class 3A Division I state crown, the 2011 3A D-I state semifinals, and the 2012 3A Division II state quarterfinals during a 33-10 run.
But he left in January for Pittsburg, and in came Phil Castles as the Lions' new coach. Castles spent the last four seasons leading Corsicana to a 30-19 record, including a 13-2 campaign in 2011 that ended in the Class 4A Division I state semifinals.
Castles, who has been a head coach at Elysian Fields and Chapel Hill, faces a tough task retooling the Lions' roster after the graduation losses, especially in a district as strong as District 16-3A, the "District of Doom."
But the cupboard isn't bare, especially defensively. Tackle Brandon Armstrong and end Jake Staneart give the Lions a strong duo in the trenches, while Dalton Goode, Tre Hollins, Randy Davis, and Connor Dotson gained valuable experience in the back seven a season ago.
Jordan Dickeson, a varsity player since his sophomore year, and Davis could give the Lions some backfield punch, along with newcomer Zedrick Lister. The quarterback position may go to 6-foot-6, 200-pound junior Zane Boles.
After losing a 2013 class that featured players such as Patrick "Monsta" Brown and Jamaal Kind, Henderson fans cannot expect the Lions to continue their state quarterfinal-or-better run this year. But ETSN.fm thinks the Lions can reach the postseason for the fourth consecutive year, even if they must fight with Chapel Hill and potentially Gladewater for the third or fourth spot from 16-3A.