It's been a while since the Texas High Tigers have been a force deep in the playoffs. In fact, they only have two postseason wins since 2007.

But from 2002-06, Texas High was considered one of the most elite programs in the state. The Tigers were 58-8 during that five-year span, which included a state championship in '02. After a 9-2 season that featured an undefeated district campaign, 2014 could be the year Texas High re-emerges as a true contender in Class 5A.

Texas High WR Jarion Anderson. (Christopher R. Vinn,

Head coach Barry Norton, now in his 16th season at the helm, has nine starters back off last season's team. And some of the returnees that didn't start games a year ago figure to have major impacts this fall.

It all starts with running back Javon Thomas (6-2, 211), who has committed to Tulsa. Thomas played behind Tre Walker, who signed with Navy, so his sample size was fairly small as a junior. Thomas finished 2013 with 308 yards and two touchdowns on 51 carries.

Coaches are also excited about the return of wide receiver Jarion Anderson (5-11, 170), who will also have the opportunity to play football at the FBS level beyond high school. WR/DB Dale Williamson (5-9, 165), a recent South Dakota commit, is another skill-position standout receiving interest from college programs.

The defense will be led by senior defensive tackle William Brown (6-3, 260), who is drawing interest from the world of college football as well. Meanwhile, linebacker K.J. Reid (6-1, 200) is about as physical as they come. Both men will be contributors to a defense hoping to duplicate its performance from a season ago. Texas High's defense allowed a pedestrian 11.3 points per game in 2013.

Prior to play in District 15-5A, where new 5A member Longview represents the biggest threat to Texas High's quest for a league title, the Tigers will face Whitehouse, Arkansas High and Kilgore.

2014 Texas High Tigers Schedule

Aug. 29WhitehouseL 38-35
Sept. 5Arkansas HighL 20-14 (OT)
Sept. 12OPEN
Sept. 19KilgoreW 19-13 (3OT)
Sept. 26*at Sulphur SpringsW 42-29
Oct. 3*HallsvilleW 24-17
Oct. 10*at Pine TreeW 31-21
Oct. 17*LongviewL 38-20
Oct. 24*at MarshallW 41-14
Oct. 31*at GreenvilleW 28-13
Nov. 7*Mount PleasantW 30-7
Nov. 14vs. John Tyler (at Longview)L 58-23 Preseason Class 6A/5A Poll