Once again, there appears to be very little separation between the perennial powers in District 9-3A Division II.

So when West Rusk travels to Arp on Oct. 20, there could major playoff and/or district championship implications involved.

Last season, Arp and West Rusk finished second and third, respectively, in the league standings behind Elysian Fields.

West Rusk DL/LB Tyree Wilson. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

West Rusk will have the edge in experience coming into the year as the Raiders are welcoming back a total of 16 starters from last year's 7-5 bi-district finalist.

Arp, on the other hand, is replacing 15 players with starting experience from the Tigers' 2016 state semifinalist squad.

Each team possesses a major Division I recruit.

West Rusk features defensive end/linebacker and Texas A&M commit Tyree Wilson, while Arp counters with receiver/safety and Texas Longhorns pledge DeMarvion Overshown.

Arp narrowly escaped New London with a 21-20 win over West Rusk last season.

Expect another tightly contested clash of regional heavyweights this year.

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