ETSN.fm Class 2A/Private Schools Poll: No. 1, Tenaha Tigers
Have the stars aligned for Tenaha? This looks like a state championship kind of year.
Bremond, which won three consecutive championships, took a huge graduation hit in star quarterback and new Texas A&M receiver Roshauud Paul. That leaves Bremond's second-to-last playoff victim in the first breath of the Class 2A Division II state championship predictions.
Tenaha is our top-ranked team in the Class 2A/Private Schools Poll. It brings back a poll-best 19 starters from its most recent regional championship appearance and only graduated nine of 31 players from the 2016 roster.
You name a star player, he's back.
Trai Gardner is fighting for a chance at the major college level on the heels of a 1,410-yard junior season at receiver. C.J. Horn, head coach Craig Horn's son, will be under center for a third consecutive season.
Riches on offense don't end there. Another eight starters are back, including second-leading receiver Jay Lloyd.
Tenaha isn't much worse for wear on the defensive side.
Nine defenders are back from the regional championship game team and held opponents to 87 points in a 14-game season. Bremond scored 31 of those points against the Tigers' defense.
A particular strength is within the front seven. Tavoris Giles made 150 tackles at linebacker and Juarmez Brock recorded 116 tackles at defensive line positions, including 17 for loss.
No. 10 Overton could feasibly challenge Tenaha. The district championship could very well come down to that Week 10 game the first week of November.
The Tigers will get ready for the district schedule with a rivalry game at home against Joaquin and then face a strong Kerens program in Week 2. West Sabine will be another decent test in Week 5.
Tenaha has not missed the regional championship round of competition since the 2010 season, won the 2011 title and made a second consecutive championship game appearance in 2012.