Alto is looking to build off of a playoff appearance in 2017.

The Yellowjackets return several key contributors from this past season, including running back Fred Thacker. At 6-3 and well over 200 pounds, Thacker is a physical back not afraid of contact. He finished the year with 1,414 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns, good enough to make the East Texas leaderboard.

Thacker will be the heart of the offense and also contribute defensively as a lineman.

Alto RB/DL Fred Thacker. (© Clint Buckley,
Alto RB/DL Fred Thacker. (© Clint Buckley,

Alto also returns linebacker Harmon West, who finished 2017 with 102 tackles. He will be to the defense what Thacker is to the offense.

Running back Vi'Darious High could be a name that emerges this season. He complements Thacker's size with his speed and will be the No. 2 in the backfield. The backs will have a couple of experienced linemen to run behind in Todd Duplichain and Foster Hall.

Expect Alto to improve a 4-7 record from a season ago. The Yellowjackets lose six starters on offense and five on defense, but they return enough of their core to compete and earn a playoff spot. Playing in a district with Carlisle and Big Sandy will be tough, but don't be surprised the see the Yellowjackets again find success. Preseason Class 2A Poll

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