ETSN.fm Preseason Class 6A/5A Poll: No. 1, Longview Lobos
Expectations are always high at programs like Longview, but they seem more elevated than usual this season. For the first time since 2009, the Lobos will be competing at the second-highest classification.
And with several key returning starters to last season's 11-win 5A regional semifinalist, Longview is penciled in as one of the favorites in the new Class 5A, which is essentially a reincarnation of 4A.
When Longview competed as a 4A in 2008 and 2009, the Lobos reached consecutive state championship games, while outscoring district opponents by an average of 37 points.
There is a lot to like about this year's Lobos team, beginning with an offense that returns two of its biggest weapons from a season ago -- running back JaMycal Hasty and quarterback Dezmond Chumley.
Hasty, a Baylor commit and one of the fastest players in all of East Texas, rushed for more than 1,400 yards in 2013 and will once again be the featured back in the Lobos' run-oriented offensive attack. Expect to see a ton of senior fullback Marquies Hunter and junior tailback Tylan Miller in the backfield rotation as well.
Chumley, who has an offer from FCS Central Arkansas, returns after a solid junior season that included nearly 2,200 passing yards with 33 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
The receiving corps will be completely brand new after the graduation of Texas signee Dorian Leonard, Chris Pellum and tight end Jordan Whitaker -- Longview's top three pass catchers from a season ago.
Longview's offensive line, annually among East Texas' best, will be anchored by senior Broderick Washington, who holds multiple Division I FBS offers.
The Lobos' defense was hit hard by graduation, especially in the secondary, where Longview must replace its talented trio of safeties -- TCU signee Travin Howard, Laurent Johnson and Stephan Maxey. Longview also loses defensive tackle Zaycoven Henderson, who signed with Texas A&M last February.
Senior defensive end Omar French highlights the new-look D-line, while senior Jaylon Jackson returns at linebacker after a solid 2013 season.
Longview's new district features four playoff teams from a season ago -- Texas High, Sulphur Springs, Hallsville and Marshall -- but only one of them won a playoff game in 2013. The Region II bracket in 5A Division I looks to be set up in Longview's favor as well, however, a potential state semifinal date with defending champion Aledo out of Region I could be looming.
2014 Longview Lobos Schedule
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ETSN.fm Preseason Class 6A/5A Poll
- No. 1: Longview Lobos
- No. 2: John Tyler Lions
- No. 3: Tyler Lee Red Raiders
- No. 4: Texas High Tigers
- No. 5: Lufkin Panthers
- No. 6: Whitehouse Wildcats
- No. 7: Nacogdoches Dragons
- No. 8: Sulphur Springs Wildcats
- No. 9: Marshall Mavericks
- No. 10: Hallsville Bobcats