From 2001-04, there weren't too many programs on par with Jasper, which produced s record of 47-11 during those four seasons. Ever since, the Bulldogs have been trying to recapture the magic.

Jasper's had quality seasons in the intervening years, including the last two under third-year coach Darrell Barbay. With the departure of 13 starters off last year's regional semifinalist, it's now up to a new group of players in Jasper to continue the standard of excellence.

Jasper ATH Randy Spikes. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

That's not to say the starters Jasper does have returning won't have anything to do with 2014's accomplishments. There are a couple of heralded playmakers from 2013 back on the field, including a pair of Spikes.

Senior receiver Chris Spikes (6-3, 175), who's committed to Lamar but also holds an FBS offer from Houston, is a matchup nightmare for most defensive backs. Meanwhile, Randy Spikes put up gaudy numbers in a limited role. Randy rushed for 926 yards and 14 touchdowns, averaging better than 11 yards per carry, playing in the shadow of 1,700-yard rusher Terrance "Tiki" Cuney.

The defense should be solid with six starters returning, one of which is defensive back Dan Adams (6-0, 180), who racked up 97 tackles and had four interceptions a season ago.

Jasper got a momentary reprieve from the UIL during realignment when the Bulldogs were moved into a district separate from state power Carthage. However, the defending state champs are in the neighboring district, as are reigning state runner-up Kilgore, Chapel Hill, Palestine and Henderson, which could present Jasper a problem in the first round of the playoffs.

The Bulldogs' new district features perennial playoff participant Silsbee along with other quality programs Little Cypress-Mauriceville, Cleveland, Huffman-Hargrave and Bridge City. Jasper also faces state power West Orange-Stark in non-district, which should offer a quality test for what it might face early on in the playoffs.

2014 Jasper Bulldogs Schedule

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ETSN.fm Preseason Class 4A Poll