Liberty-Eylau was a few plays away from a very different season this past year.

The Leopards lost by one point to Gilmer in the season opener. They lost by 10 to Carthage. Kaufman, the team that eliminated them from the playoffs, beat them by just three points. They were right on the fringe of being a top tier team all season long.

Liberty-Eylau QB/WR Isaiah Cross. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.dm)

They'll get a chance at renewal this season. Although they graduate quarterback Decorian Phillips, they return a core group of players. Isaiah Cross, who played receiver in 2017, will take Phillips' place at QB. He'll have Dazawion Cooper and El-Amin Greer as reliable targets back from this past season. They have some inexperience on defense and in other spots on offense, but should still compete.

Liberty-Eylau is in a tough district with Gilmer, Pleasant Grove and Pittsburg. However, the Leopards have the tools needed to compete and make it back to the playoffs in 2018.

ETSN.fm Preseason Class 4A Poll

  • No. 8: Liberty-Eylau Leopards
  • No. 9: Jasper Bulldogs
  • No. 10: Rusk Eagles