Hooks graduated half of its starters from last season's district championship team. But the players the Hornets have returning have Hooks thinking big in 2016.

The Hornets check in at No. 8 in ETSN.fm Preseason Class 3A Poll.

Senior receiver/defensive back Montrell Estell, a Texas commit, is one of East Texas' best overall athletes, and senior defensive back Malik Estell is back after averaging more than 15 tackles per game in 2015.

Quarterback Jordan Johnson, an Air Force, is yet another next-level athlete head coach Chris Birdwell has at his disposal.

Hooks went on a nine-game winning streak after dropping its season opener to Harmony last season, but fell to eventual state quarterfinalist Arp in the bi-district round of the playoffs.

As fate would have it, the UIL aligned the Arp-Waskom district into Region III, giving Region II Hooks the potential for a long postseason run this fall.

2016 Hooks Hornets Schedule

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ETSN.fm Preseason Class 3A Poll