Contact Us 2013 Preseason Class 3A Poll: No. 8 Center

Center, the No. 8 team in the preseason East Texas Class 3A poll, returns plenty of talent from last year’s 8-3 team, but replacing graduated standout running back K.J. Garrett (14) will be a top priority for veteran head coach Kevin Goodwin’s squad. (

Kevin Goodwin has turned around Center’s fortunes.

The Center alumnus has led the Roughriders to playoff trips in each of his four seasons at the helm, which is Center’s first string of four consecutive playoff appearances since 1993-96.

The Roughriders return six starters on each side of the ball from last year’s 8-3 team, which finished third in District 20-3A and lost in the first round of the Class 3A Division II Region III playoffs.

Quarterback Dalton Horton is back after a breakout sophomore season, while DeJalen Preston should be a playmaking athlete on both sides of the ball. Kiounis Williams led the Roughriders in tackles and will again man the middle of the Center defense from his linebacker spot.

Perhaps the biggest hole Goodwin must fill is the void left by K.J. Garrett’s graduation. The Texas A&M-Commerce signee ran for almost 1,800 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior and leaves big shoes to fill in the running game.

Nevertheless, expects Center to be even better in 2013. The problem is 20-3A foes Carthage and Jasper will probably also be better than they were a year ago. Carthage is the clear favorite in the district and opens the season as 3A No. 2 by the Associated Press and No. 1 by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football and’s Friday Night Football.

Center’s Nov. 8 trip to Jasper for the regular-season finale could decide second place in 20-3A if neither team knocks off Carthage in October. 2013 Preseason Class 3A Poll

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