Waskom won consecutive state championships in 2014 and 2015, and after stumbling in the first round of the 2016 playoffs, the Wildcats re-emerged as a regional power by reaching the state quarterfinals last season.

And with 15 starters returning from last year's regional finalist, Waskom is ranked No. 4 in ETSN.fm's Preseason Class 3A Poll.

Waskom, which was just 6-4 during the regular season in 2017, caught fire in the playoffs and didn't lose until bowing out to eventual state champion Newton.

Senior running back T.K. Hamilton, who owns multiple Division I scholarship offers, is back after running for more than 1,800 yards and accounting for 29 touchdowns as a junior.

His backfield mate, senior fullback Jacob Reeves, added almost 800 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground a season ago as well.

Waskom brings back all but two of its defensive starters from last year, including defensive lineman Chris Pacheo, and linebackers Tristan McDonald and Chris Stafford. All three are all-state candidates on defense.

The Wildcats are in good shape to win the District 11-3A Division II championship, but Region III will once again be a challenge in the playoffs. Aside from Newton, Waskom could have to contend with the likes of Harmony, Winona, and Daingerfield.

ETSN.fm Preseason Class 3A Poll