’s preseason East Texas Class 3A poll starts at No. 10 with Hughes Springs, a team coming off a very good 2013 season with a several key pieces left over.

The program returns nine starters from a team that went 10-2 last season and lost to teams  that went at least four rounds deep into the playoffs.

Hughes Springs brings back tight end Hunter Smith from a great junior campaign. At 6-2 and 215 pounds, he's going to be a load to bring down for any defender. The running game also will be a strength with the duo of senior Fred Hopkins and sophomore Gabe Dubose. Hopkins broke the 1,000-yard barrier in just 12 games and scored 17 touchdowns along the way.

The Mustangs defense, which shut out three straight district opponents last season, will be anchored by junior defensive back Malik Chism and junior linebacker Austin Watkins. Five starters return to the unit.

High-profile games against Arp, Waskom and Jefferson should prep the team in non-district while the league presents challenges in the form of Paul Pewitt, Hooks and Queen City.

Hughes Springs should be a contender in the district, and it's not out of the question this team will make a run in Region II in the playoffs.


Hughes Springs 2014 Schedule

Aug. 29at ClarksvilleW 37-17
Sept. 5ArpL 16-14
Sept. 12at WaskomL 49-29
Sept. 20vs. Jefferson (at Lobo Stadium, Longview)L 29-27
Sept. 26Spring HillW 45-29
Oct. 3OPEN
Oct. 10*Queen CityW 65-28
Oct. 17*at HooksW 48-34
Oct. 24*Paul PewittW 28-13
Oct. 31*at DeKalbW 48-7
Nov. 7*Linden-KildareW 47-14
Nov. 14vs. New Diana (at New Boston)W 49-18
Nov. 21vs. Howe (at Van)L 50-32