White Oak feels as if it has something to prove in 2017.

The Roughnecks roared to an 8-0 start last year thanks in part to the play of their dynamic quarterback Heath Hood, who was well on his way to an all-state campaign. But a broken collarbone ended his, and ultimately White Oak's, season prematurely.

Hood is back in 2017, and so are nine other starters, as the Roughnecks begin the year ranked No. 3 in our preseason Class 3A poll.

Before the injury, Hood put up video game numbers. He passed for 2,990 yards and 32 touchdowns, while rushing for an additional 657 yards and 13 TD's in only eight games.

White Oak did lose last year's leading receiver Max Kutch to graduation, so expect to see much more from Kason Kienzle and Elijah Trest in the passing game.

On the defensive side of the ball, Trest will lead the way after posting 12 sacks and 24 tackles for loss in 2016.

White Oak's main competition for the 9-3A Division I title will be Jefferson, the defending league champs. Jefferson is bringing back several elite playmakers, especially on offense, this season.

ETSN.fm Preseason Class 3A Poll

More From East Texas Sports Network