Union Grove has been on a roll lately, but 2015 is a big transition year the team will have to succeed in to stay near the top in East Texas' Class 2A Division I sphere.

We think the program has what it takes. The Lions check in at No. 9 in the ETSN.fm Class 2A/Private Schools Preseason Poll on the heels of a perfect 10-0 record through the regular season and an area round playoff appearance.

A big hangup is the loss of quarterback and defensive back Tristen Thompson to graduation. As a senior, he was one of the biggest playmakers in the region in productivity.

It's not the end of the world for Union Grove, however. The team managed to retain half its starting roster from last season -- five offensive and six defensive returners.

Among the key players are defensive lineman Brennan Daughtry, a 6-foot-4 and 265-pound end, and the athletic Hayden Gray at linebacker. They headline a unit which only allowed 16.75 points per game last season.

With three returning offensive linemen, running back Coleson Klein is someone the Lions can lean on while head coach Rogers Adams brings along his next quarterback.

There are some big challenges awaiting the Lions in District 9-2A Division I. Big Sandy, Harleton, Hawkins and Ore City also are in positions to win immediately with only four playoff spots available.

Union Grove has its work cut out. It also has the tools it needs to reach the playoffs a third consecutive time following a 45-year playoff drought.

2015 Union Grove Football Schedule

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ETSN.fm Preseason Class 2A/Private Schools Poll

  • No. 9: Union Grove
  • No. 10: Joaquin