ETSN.fm’s Class 6A/5A East Texas Preseason Poll begins with Whitehouse in the No. 10 spot.

The Wildcats program has taken several steps back since the departure of current Texas Tech star quarterback Patrick Mahomes II. It has not reached the playoffs since 2013 and its record has declined each season since the Heisman hopeful departed.

Is this the year things turn around? We think it can be.

Whitehouse should enjoy quarterback continuity for the first time since Mahomes left.

Tanner Roach got some good experience last season while rotating in and out of the starting spot with the now-graduated Collin Bullard. This season, Roach should be uncontested in the starting role after throwing for 1,183 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior.

The Wildcats' district also is much more favorable. John Tyler and Lufkin got bumped up to 6A and the University Interscholastic League did not replace those two teams.

Corsicana, Ennis, Jacksonville, Lindale and Nacogdoches make up the rest of the league and are all familiar opponents. The top four finishers among the group will make the playoffs, giving Whitehouse a 66.6 percent chance of dancing right off the bat.

Aside from quarterback continuity, district parity and high odds of automatically reaching the postseason, the Wildcats will enjoy the services of 16 returning starters.

Nine of the experienced players will play on the defensive side of the ball and should be able to lower the average of 42.7 points surrendered per game a year ago.

Seven players, including Roach, are back on offense. And Whitehouse always has an explosive offense.

Good non-district games against Carthage, Chapel Hill, Hallsville, Sulphur Springs and Kennedale provide a nice mix of challenges and winnable games for the Wildcats.

The team should be in a good spot when district play rolls around Oct. 7 against Ennis.

2016 Whitehouse Wildcats Football Schedule

[table id=1324 /]

ETSN.fm Preseason Class 6A/5A Poll

  • No. 10: Whitehouse