Here's a formula for earning preseason recognition. Go to the regional championship round and bring back 12 starters.

Atlanta is back for more in 2015 and will begin the year as the No. 8 team in's Class 4A Preseason Poll.

There's a lot to like about the Rabbits, and it all starts with its defense. Eight starting defenders are back from last year's Class 4A Division II regional finalist team.

The largely underclassmen unit averaged 24.4 points against per game despite a season-ending, 39-point loss to a legendary Gilmer team that finished its run as the second-highest scoring team in Texas history.

The defensive line should be particularly excellent with ends Keyuntea Kinney and Tristan Allen back for more. The two combined for 53 tackles for loss and 20 sacks last season.

Even better, Allen is only a junior.

Atlanta's offense does need some retooling. Quarterbacks like Chase Musgrove don't just grow on trees.

However, there are some starting building blocks for a new signal caller to begin his varsity career with. Receiver Jeremy Smith almost reached 1,000 yards last season while running back Tyrell Phillips went for more than 700 yards as a No. 2.

The Rabbits' District 7-4A Division II is tough, but it is also winnable.

Gladewater is undergoing a more major overhaul project and no one is absolutely sure of what to make of No. 10 Tatum just yet. Throw in Center, Spring Hill and Pleasant Grove for good measure that a district title will have to be earned.

Atlanta's non-district finale against Liberty-Eylau and other games against No. 9 Henderson, Pittsburg, New Boston and Daingerfield should have the guys ready to go.

2015 Atlanta Rabbits Football Schedule

Aug. 28at New BostonW 55-7
Sept. 4HendersonL 39-38
Sept. 11at DaingerfieldW 48-21
Sept. 18PittsburgL 40-14
Sept. 25at Liberty-EylauL 44-43
Oct. 2OPEN
Oct. 9*Pleasant GroveW 53-31
Oct. 16*at GladewaterW 35-28
Oct. 23*CenterL 30-7
Oct. 30*at TatumW 49-13
Nov. 6*Spring HillW 62-25
Nov. 14(BI-DISTRICT): vs. BullardW 44-22
Nov. 21(AREA): vs. Coldspring-OakhurstW 41-0
Nov. 27(REGIONAL): vs. LorenaW 42-0
Dec. 4(QUARTERFINAL): vs. GilmerL 24-15 Class 4A Preseason Poll