ETSN.fm Preseason Class 4A Poll: No. 3, Gilmer Buckeyes
The Gilmer Buckeyes should be state championship contenders. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Several factors are at play when projecting a potentially great team. First, who are their players? Second, who is their coach? And lastly, who is on the their schedule? All three answers favorably point to the Buckeyes.
Senior running back and cornerback Kris Boyd is one of the top college prospects in the country, and it's easy to understand why.
When Boyd has the ball in hands, watching him move in the open field can be something to behold. He has lightning-quick feet, sharp vision, unmatched acceleration and extremely rare breakaway speed. Defensively, he sticks to receivers from the line of scrimmage until the whistle blows. And if he's zeroing in on a tackle, the offensive player better keep his head on a swivel.
But Gilmer has other tremendous athletes as well, including Kris Boyd's younger brother Demarco, who is a pass-rushing beast from his outside linebacker spot and a tough, hard-nosed runner as a running back.
The Buckeyes also have depth at receiver, like always. Gilmer welcomes former Troup quarterback Blake Lynch -- a Baylor commit -- to the program, complimenting the talented duo of Chase Tate and Quinn Fluellen.
Gilmer's defense has a few holes to fill following the departure of linebacker Josh Walker -- a Texas A&M signee -- and defensive back and Texas State signee Devondrick Dixon.
Head coach Jeff Traylor is entering his 15th season as the Buckeyes' leader. During his tenure, Gilmer has won two state championships (2004, 2009), played for two others (2007, 2012) and compiled a staggering overall record of 159-26. Traylor-coached teams have only dropped two district games since 2001, and Gilmer is 34-10 in the playoffs under Traylor.
The schedule sets up favorably for Gilmer in 2014. The Buckeyes will face a few challenging teams in non-district, but should have their way in 5-4A D-II where only two out of six teams had winning records in 2013.
In the playoffs, Gilmer's biggest threats out of Region II would be defending 3A D-II regional finalist Gladewater, last year's 3A D-II runner-up Fairfield and Coldspring-Oakhurst, which is no stranger to deep postseason runs. The Buckeyes would have to be considered favorites against one of those three teams, so the odds of at least reaching the state semifinals are high.
Celina and Dallas Lincoln are two of the favorites out of Region I, while the bottom half of the bracket will feature solid programs like La Marque, West Orange-Stark, La Grange, Sinton and Cuero.
2014 Gilmer Buckeyes Schedule
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ETSN.fm Preseason Class 4A Poll
- No. 3: Gilmer Buckeyes
- No. 4: Chapel Hill Bulldogs
- No. 5: Gladewater Bears
- No. 6: Athens Hornets
- No. 7: Tatum Eagles
- No. 8: Jasper Bulldogs
- No. 9: Palestine Wildcats
- No. 10: Liberty-Eylau Leopards