ETSN.fm Preseason Class 6A/5A Poll: No. 10, Hallsville Bobcats
Hallsville came within two minutes of capturing its first playoff win since 2003 last November, and the Bobcats are hopeful that the 2014 season brings another opportunity to close the door on more than a decade of close calls.
It won't be easy, however. Longview is the newest member of District 15-5A, and in order for Hallsville to put itself in position for playoff glory, there is work to be done.
The Bobcats were 6-5 a season ago, their 3-2 league mark good enough for third place in the district standings behind Texas High and Sulphur Springs. Hallsville led its playoff opener with Lucas Lovejoy by 22 points in the second half, but ultimately fell short in a wild 55-51 defeat.
It's been 14 years since neither Longview, Texas High and Sulphur Springs made the postseason, so if history is any indication, Hallsville will likely be fighting it out with Marshall, Mount Pleasant, Pine Tree and Greenville for the final playoff berth from 15-5A.
But there is reason to be optimistic about Hallsville's playoff chances this fall.
Last season, Hallsville averaged 37.7 points per game and the Bobcats return eight starters from that unit. Gone is dual-threat quarterback Macailyn Wilder, who put up 3,279 yards and 38 touchdowns of total offense, but 10-year head coach David Plunk has plenty of offensive firepower returning.
Running back Kha'lil Sneed and receiver Jamil Young are back, and both were instrumental in the Bobcats' success on offense in 2013. Hallsville also has all five starting offensive linemen from last year at its disposal.
If Hallsville can find a replacement at QB, and the defense can show marked improvement from 2013's scoring average of 33.5 points per game, the Bobcats just might get their chance at their first postseason win in more than a decade.
2014 Hallsville Bobcats Schedule
|Aug. 29||Carthage||W 52-20|
|Sept. 5||Nacogdoches||L 37-36|
|Sept. 12||at Athens||W 41-21|
|Sept. 26||*Marshall||W 21-19|
|Oct. 3||*at Texas High||L 24-17|
|Oct. 10||*Mount Pleasant||W 21-9|
|Oct. 17||*at Sulphur Springs||L 49-42|
|Oct. 24||*Greenville||W 26-14|
|Oct. 31||*Pine Tree||W 56-14|
|Nov. 7||*at Longview||L 42-28|