It's going to be hard for any East Texas school to catch up to Tenaha this decade.

The Tigers' boys athletics program already has five straight trips to the regional championship game or better in football and three total trips to the regional championship game or better in basketball.

Just when Tenaha seemed ripe for a letdown with massive senior losses in May of 2015 plus the losses of both teams' head coaches, a new cast of incredible athletes arrived on scene.

The Tigers' football team will begin the upcoming season ranked first in ETSN.fm's Class 2A/Private Schools Poll. We're expecting the program to hold its ranking wire to wire.

Tenaha will begin the season ranked ahead of No. 2 Alto, No. 3 Tyler Grace Community, No. 4 Bullard Brook Hill, No. 5 Tyler Bishop Gorman, No. 6 San Augustine, No. 7 Shelbyville, No. 8 Groveton, No. 9 Joaquin and No. 10 Big Sandy.

A forced youth movement last season ended in a fairly surprising place. Led by a bunch of sophomores, the Tigers rallied back from an 0-5 start to reach the Class 2A Division II, Region III title game.

Many of the same guys then guided the basketball team to a regional championship game appearance despite a delayed start to the season due to the football team's playoff run.

Then-sophomore quarterback C.J. Horn ended up passing for 2,488 yards through the 13-game season with 30 touchdowns to nine interceptions.

Sophomores Jay Lloyd and Trai Gardner caught for no less than 562 yards apiece to finish second and third in receiving behind rare senior Colton Goeke.

Sophomore Onterio Thompson ran for a team-best 936 yards and sophomore Ladarrius Garrett put up a team second-best 677 rushing yards.

Leading tacklers? Behind senior Tyler Muckelroy's 112 takedowns were Lloyd with 99, junior Thomas Gardner with 96 and Trai Gardner with 81.

Put two and two together. Another offseason is in the books with almost every leading or at least second-leading performer back.

Tenaha is staring not only the next two football state championships but also the next two basketball state championships in the face.

The only question is, will the Tigers take advantage?

2016 Tenaha Tigers Football Schedule

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ETSN.fm Preseason Class 2A/Private Schools Poll