As another exciting race in District 16-3A, a.k.a. "The District of Doom," gets underway Friday night, the teams tabbed as preseason favorites are right on schedule.

Gilmer, Kilgore and Chapel Hill were the top three teams before the season started, and that trio has done nothing that would make us believe otherwise.

Chapel Hill quarterback Andrew Black (10) delivers a stiff-arm to a Whitehouse defender during their game Sept. 5 in Tyler. (© Christopher R. Vinn,

Defending 16-3A champion Gilmer (4-0) has used an unstoppable offense to wreak havoc upon opponents through the first four weeks. The Buckeyes, ranked No. 2 in 3A by the Associated Press, have outscored the opposition 237-86.

Kilgore's ground-and-pound offense and suffocating defense has picked up right where it left off last season. In three games, the fifth-ranked Bulldogs (3-0) are averaging well over 300 rushing yards per game while the defense has limited opponents to just 34 total points.

Chapel Hill survived a brutal non-district schedule to enter 16-3A with an even 2-2 record. The Bulldogs' two losses came courtesy of 3A's top-ranked team Carthage and Whitehouse, the No. 3 team in 4A. Chapel Hill has featured one of the top ground games in the area, averaging 373 rushing yards per week.

The remaining four teams will fight it out for the final playoff spot from the district. Henderson and Spring Hill enter Friday's action with 1-3 records, but each picked up solid wins last week against Jacksonville and Bullard Brook Hill, respectively.

Bullard, which finished fourth last year, is 2-1 but has not faced a team the caliber of what it'll face in 16-3A. Gladewater (2-2), 2012's last-place finisher, has had an up-and-down start to the season. The teams responsible for the Bears' two losses are a combined 6-1. Preseason Updated Prediction
First*GilmerGilmer (4-0)
Second*KilgoreKilgore (3-0)
Third*Chapel HillChapel Hill (2-2)
Fourth*HendersonHenderson (1-3)
FifthGladewaterGladewater (2-2)
SixthBullardSpring Hill (2-2)
SeventhSpring HillBullard (2-1)

* -- denotes playoff berth

Friday's District 16-3A Openers

  • Gladewater at Gilmer
  • Chapel Hill at Henderson
  • Kilgore at Spring Hill


Kilgore's Benny Colbert prepares to hand the ball off during the Bulldogs' 56-7 win over Pine Tree on Sept. 13 in Longview. (Jeff Stapleton,