With the most comprehensive and thorough preview of high school football in East Texas complete, we thought it prudent to allow our readers an opportunity to catch up on what they may have missed over the course of this month.
2014 ETSN.fm Football Preview
Expectations are always high at programs like Longview, but they seem more elevated than usual this season. For the first time since 2009, the Lobos will be competing at the second-highest classification.
Tyler Lee caught a tough break as the only school in East Texas to move into the UIL's new Class 6A format, the largest classification in the state of Texas, while potential district mate Longview moved down in enrollment to the new Class 5A with a group of local former 4A programs.
Head coach Darrell Piske's group fell into a district centered around Garland. The Dallas suburb has seen great high school ball in the past, but its booming population has the Garland school district operating seven high schools in its jurisdiction. To say Garland's talent pool has been diluted is an understatement.
There are a few power players in District 11-6A to contend with though.
Since 2008, there has been no more accomplished program in all of East Texas than Carthage, which captured its fourth state title in six years last December with a 34-23 victory over new district rival Kilgore in the Class 3A Division I final.
It's not often that two state championship game participants find themselves placed in the very same district the following year. But as fate would have it, that's exactly what transpired back in February when the UIL made Kilgore and Carthage district mates once again.
A brutal District 16-4A has morphed into an even tougher District 16-5A with the additions of Lufkin and Ennis.
The league championship title race should make the early rounds of the playoffs look like a cakewalk.
Ennis is fresh off a run to the Class 4A Division II state
When the new classifications and districts were announced by the UIL last February, there were probably quite a few that uttered the phrase "Longview and everybody else" when discussing the new District 15-5A.
John Tyler carried an uncomfortable and unusual weight into the offseason. For the first time since 2008, the Lions failed to reach at least the state quarterfinals and lost their first opening-round playoff game since 2006.
Following a two-year hiatus, old East Texas rivals John Tyler and Longview resume the series with one another on Sept. 5 at Longview's Lobo Stadium.
Kilgore came within 48 minutes of winning its second state championship. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, fellow East Texas powerhouse Carthage stood in their way.
Turning the page to this season, Kilgore has the chance to right two wrongs: exact revenge on defending state champion Carthage in District 9-4A Division I play, and then get back to AT&T Stadium in Arlington for the state title game and finish the job this time.