The Joaquin program does not need much of an introduction around East Texas. It's known for playing the higher-level teams in its classification remarkably tough and has a few nice playoff runs under its belt.

There's a lot to like about the Rams this season, starting with tailbacks Nate Belrose and Jonathan Rico returning the lineup. Each player ran for well over 1,000 yards last season. The duo will be part of five returning starters on the offensive side of the ball to supplement six defensive players with experience.

Joaquin has a good early season vibe and a strong non-district schedule to prep it for the very tough trip around District 10-2A Division I, but it will have to get the best of some of the top Class 2A schools in the sate to punch a ticket to the playoffs before the regular season finale.

West Sabine, San Augustine, Shelbyville and Beckville all put up solid records last season. San Augustine and West Sabine joining the Rams in the playoff chase.

There are no easy wins on Joaquin's schedule, but this is a team that could quickly climb in the regular season polls.

Aug. 29TenahaL 39-8
Sept. 5WoodvilleL 32-14
Sept. 12OPEN
Sept. 19at CayugaW 30-28
Sept. 26GrovetonW 36-6
Oct. 3at TimpsonW 36-12
Oct. 10*at ShelbyvilleL 42-12
Oct. 17*West SabineL 24-14
Oct. 24*at San AugustineW 54-44
Oct. 31*at CushingW 46-6
Nov. 7*BeckvilleL 28-24 Class 2A/Private Schools Preseason Poll
  • No. 9 -- Joaquin
  • No. 10 -- Cayuga