ETSN.fm Class 6A/5A Preseason Poll: No. 5, Texas High Tigers
There's definitely a fresh look to the 2017 Texas High Tigers, from their brand-new uniforms to the man in charge of the program.
Following the departure of longtime head coach Barry Norton, who roamed the Tigers' sidelines for 18 seasons, Texas High brought in a replacement that's spent the past three years leading a Class 6A program in the DFW Metroplex but has strong ties to East Texas.
Gerry Stanford was hired as Norton's predecessor after posting a 20-12 record at Flower Mound Marcus. Stanford was previously the head coach at White Oak, a 3A power in East Texas that went 27-10 under Stanford's tutelage and reached the state semifinals in 2013 -- the school's first trip that far in the playoffs since 1970.
The new coach inherits a Texas High team that is coming off its first 10-0 regular season in 10 years, but also a stunning first-round playoff loss to West Mesquite.
The Tigers have 12 total starters back, but just four on offense.
Texas High graduated two Division I signees in quarterback Cade Pearson (North Texas) and receiver Quan Hampton (Kansas).
Stanford, however, is looking forward to new quarterback Coltin Clark, a 2019 prospect with major college interest, and senior receiver Tevailance Hunt -- a recent TCU commit.
The Tigers have the potential to be great defensively. Among the eight returning starters is end Leonard Parks, an SMU pledge.
Texas High allowed just 14.5 points per game last season.
The District 16-5A championship could ultimately be decided Sept. 29 when Texas High plays host to No. 6 Marshall in the league opener.
Beyond the regular season, a challenging first-round playoff opponent from a loaded 15-5A will await.