ETSN.fm Preseason Class 4A Poll: No. 9, Palestine Wildcats
The Palestine Wildcats lost quite a bit of talent off last year's team, not to mention their head coach. But first-year coach Jay Brown, an East Texas coaching veteran, takes over a roster still plush with playmakers.
Defensive standout Jarrell Owens signed with Oklahoma State last February, while running back Ben Luckett and offensive lineman Brian Thlang took their talents to ULM, leaving a few glaring holes Palestine must fill in order to get back on track.
One area where Palestine won't be lacking in experience is at the most important position on the field. Senior Fabian "Gee" Clark is entering his third season as the starting quarterback, hoping to improve on his solid numbers from a year ago. As a junior, Clark passed for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns and ran for 290 yards and seven more scores.
Finding other playmakers on offense will be a top priority leading up to the season opener.
The offensive line figures to be in good shape despite Thalng's departure. Palestine received help when Palestine Westwood O-lineman and 2016 prospect Korbin Boles (6-2, 320) transferred crosstown.
Palestine's defense will be anchored by end Dakendrick McMorris (6-1, 275) and linebacker Chris Weaver (5-9, 170).
Realignment shipped Palestine away from defending state finalist Fairfield, but placed the Wildcats in arguably the toughest Class 4A district in the state. Palestine will compete against reigning 3A D-I state champion Carthage, defending state runner-up Kilgore, and Chapel Hill and Henderson -- who each have won state titles since 2010.
There will be one good team left out of the playoffs.
2014 Palestine Wildcats Schedule
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ETSN.fm Class 4A Preseason Poll
- No. 9: Palestine Wildcats
- No. 10: Liberty-Eylau Leopards