Tyler Bishop Gorman didn't just break through its own ceiling last season. It shattered the thing.

The Crusaders are the No. 2 team in ETSN.fm's Class 2A/Private Schools Preseason Poll. High praise for team that was not even in the top 10 at this time last season.

What changed our perception of head coach Coby Gipson's program through the past 12 months?

For starters, quarterback Michael Goodwin.

The senior signal caller leads all returning East Texas passers after going off for 3,356 yards and 26 touchdowns to just eight interceptions in a 13-game season that ended in the TAPPS Division II state semifinals. Only Gilmer's McLane Carter beat him, and Carter had three extra games to put up about 600 more yards.

Goodwin also can punish teams on the ground. He ran for more than 1,200 yards and 14 additional scores.

But if it was just Goodwin, Bishop Gorman would be in a lot of trouble within District II. Tyler Grace Community opens the year in the No. 4 spot and Bullard Brook Hill is No. 3.

No, the Crusaders have a few more weapons.

Junior receiver Judah Bell has freaky size for any level. He's 6-foot-4, 184 pounds and used his frame for a 1,000-yard sophomore campaign.

Senior Martin Guzman also returns after averaging 12.8 yards per reception last season.

With seven starters back, Bishop Gorman ought to boast one of the area's top defenses as well. It allowed more than 21 points only three times last season and never gave up more than 36 points.

Linebacker Tyler Bate, now a senior, made 114 tackles for the Crusaders in 2014. Defensive lineman Jordan Morales racked up 10 tackles for loss and six sacks as part of 64 total tackles during his junior year.

The Crusaders should be ready to roll by the time district play begins on Sept. 25. Eustace, Quitman and Troup are the team's non-district opponents.

In District II play, Bishop Gorman is going to have the chance to get ahead of its tougher competition by opening league play against the weakest two teams. But it will have to fend off Tyler All Saints, Brook Hill, state finalist Dallas Christian and Grace in four of its final five games to hang onto the No. 2 spot or jump to No. 1.

2015 Tyler Bishop Gorman Crusaders Football Schedule

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ETSN.fm Preseason Class 2A/Private Schools Poll