Seven straight Class 2A schools have found homes in the Class 2A/Private Schools Preseason Poll. That streak ends today.

Tyler Grace, the first East Texas private school to crack the list, checks in at No. 3.

There's a lot to like about the Cougars. The program has 12 players with experience from last season's playoff team and has 16 lettermen returning for duty under head coach Mike Maddox.

Chandler Nutt, a senior, is one of the top quarterback prospects in the region. He averaged out as the second-best signal caller at the Recruiting Combine at the Accelerated Performance Enhancement Center in June and looks poised for a big year.

He's a natural athlete with experience at other positions. At quarterback, he'll have the ball in his hands and the ability to make plays both throwing and running.

Receiver Jonny Spitzer should be a nice target with a 6-foot, 160-pound frame and good speed and outstanding agility. He can hurt defenses up the field as well as on screens and sweeps.

The offense as a whole consists of seven returning starters, and the ground game could be equally as potent.

Zach Tatman is a bruising running back at 6 feet and just about 200 pounds. The offensive line will be headlined by Chris McLeod (6-0, 195) and Hayes Daugherty (6-2, 240).

Grace's defense has five players with experience prior to the start of the season.

The defensive backfield will be formidable with Mason Dacus and Layton Sizemore patrolling the skies. Defensive lineman Call Florence has an edge against most anyone he will face on the offensive side of the ball.

Spitzer was a second-team all-state selection at defensive back last year.

District II in TAPPS Division II is a rough road headlined by Bullard Brook Hill and a Dallas Christian program that generally feeds a recruit or two to FBS programs on a yearly basis. Frisco Legacy Christian and Bishop Gorman are other rough spots on the district schedule.

The Cougars have a tough task right off the bat against Canton on the very first night of the official football season. New Diana and Harleton wrap up non-district and are nothing to sneeze at.

Grace should be ready for battle once it enters district play.


Tyler Grace's 2014 Football Schedule

Aug. 28vs. Canton (at Tyler All Saints)L 49-28
Sept. 5New DianaW 62-20
Sept. 12HarletonW 21-7
Sept. 19OPEN
Sept. 26*at Frisco Legacy ChristianW 49-35
Oct. 3*Dallas ChristianL 49-35
Oct. 10*Bullard Brook HillW 55-14
Oct. 17*at Tyler All SaintsW 58-14
Oct. 24*Carrollton Prince of PeaceW 44-12
Oct. 31*at Dallas SheltonW 51-6
Nov. 7*at Tyler Bishop GormanL 28-14
Nov. 14at Houston Lutheran SouthL 43-36 Class 2A/Private Schools Preseason Poll