They may not play by the same rules as everyone else, but six-man football in Texas has a certain charm to it. There are web sites, message boards and even documentaries about the state's smallest classification of high school football.

There are a few six-man storylines to keep tabs on this season.

Fruitvale, which competed in 11-man earlier in the decade and has been operating as an independent the last few years, makes its return to UIL competition.

Leverett's Chapel has hopes of making a deep run in the playoffs, and Tyler King's Academy has its sights set on reclaiming the state title it claimed a few years back.

 

Fruitvale Bobcats

Coach: Paul Johnston (first season)

2011 Record: 5-5

Returning starters: N/A

Players to watch

  • Chance Earl
  • Connor Westbrook
  • Colton Harman
  • Wade Johnson
  • Eliseo Hernandez

2012 Outlook: After a hiatus from UIL competition, the Fruitvale Bobcats return to a district with a new head coach in Paul Johnston. The new coach will have a few pieces returning from an independent 5-5 team a season ago, but it may take a while for Fruitvale to become a consistent force in the six-man ranks. Fruitvale will likely be staring up at District 15-Six-Man Division I favorites Leverett’s Chapel and Fannindel. The other district schools are Campbell, a first-year varsity program, and Bloomburg, which is still searching for the first win in school history.

 

Karnack Indians

Coach: Lawrence Gullette

2011 Record: 2-8

Returning starters: N/A

2012 Outlook: After going without football for almost a half-century, Karnack hopes to take some positive steps toward building a six-man program. Guillette, in his second year on the job, hopes improve upon the two wins the Indians managed in 2011. District 16-Six-Man Division II will be formidable, however, with perennial playoff teams Calvert, Milford and Trinidad standing in the way.

 

Leverett’s Chapel Lions

Coach: Matt Everett (sixth season, 33-15)

2011 Record: 8-3 (Six-man Division I bi-district finalist; lost 78-30 to Abbott)

Returning starters: 5 offensive, 6 defensive

Players to watch

  • QB Clay White, 5-6, 130 (1,550 rushing yards, 30 TDs; 1,194 passing yards, 25 TDs)
  • K J.R. Rodgers, 5-10, 170
  • DT Mark Overman, 6-2, 180
  • C Jessie Harris, 6-2, 225
  • LB Matthew Morris
  • LB Felipe Amaro
  • WR Chris Pierce

2012 Outlook: With all but one starter returning, things look pretty nice for head coach Matt Everett and his Leverett’s Chapel Lions. Headlining the list of returnees is quarterback Clay White, who combined for more than 2,700 yards both passing and receiving. He threw for 1,550 yards and 30 TDs, while running for 1,194 yards and 25 TDs. With White behind center once again, expect big things from the Lions in 2012.

 

Longview Trinity Titans

Coach: Thomas Emerson

2011 Record: 5-3

Returning starters: 5 offensive, 4 defensive

Players to watch

  • RB Keelan Pryor, 5-10, 205 (850 rushing yards, 17 TDs)
  • FB John Bowers
  • LB Kentrell Brazzell
  • QB Caelan Freeman (560 passing yards, 9 TDs)
  • WR Joe Caruso
  • C Travis Klotz
  • WR Forest Houston
  • DB Darseth Sin
  • DT Mungol Pol

2012 Outlook: Head coach Thomas Emerson brings back the majority of his team that finished 5-3 a year ago. A player to keep an eye on for the Titans will be running back Keelan Pryor (5-10, 205), who ran for 850 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2011. The quarterback will be Caelan Freeman, who passed for nine TDs as a freshman. With big seasons from Pryor and Freeman, Longview Trinity can make a serious push at the district title.

 

Tyler King’s Academy Royal Knights

Coach: Dodie Wilson (first season)

2011 Record: 7-3 (TCAL Six-Man Division II quarterfinalist; lost 82-44 to Marshall Christian)

Returning starters: 4 offensive, 3 defensive

Players to watch

  • LB David Eichelberger, 5-10, 205
  • TE/DE Brock Kenyon
  • TE Nick Thomason
  • QB Jonathan Boggs
  • C John Roberson

2012 Outlook: It’s been a few years since King’s Academy TCAL state championship, but things look to be on an upswing entering the 2012 season. Dodie Wilson, in his second stint as head coach after serving as an assistant, will have seven returning starters at his disposal including linebacker David Eichelberger (5-10 205), whose size sets him apart at the six-man level.