ETSN.fm Class 6A/5A Preseason Poll: No. 4 John Tyler Lions
For the first time in a decade, John Tyler went into an offseason without experiencing the playoffs. From 2008-16, the Lions were the definition of consistency, compiling an overall record of 92-29.
But last season, the Lions stumbled to a 5-5 finish, and for the first time in Ricklan Holmes' six-year tenure as head coach, failed to reach the playoffs.
However, enrollment figures pushed John Tyler down to Class 5A Division I, which should make it easier for the Lions to not only compete in district but also the postseason.
John Tyler is No. 4 in ETSN.fm's Preseason Class 6A/5A Poll.
The Lions bring back 14 starters, including a handful of weapons on offense, beginning with senior dual-threat quarterback Devlen Woods. Ke'Andre Street, a Houston commit, is back at receiver, and the running back position is as deep as it's been in years.
Seniors Cam Grant, Rod Hawkins, and Ka'Darian Asbell, and junior Kitan Crawford give Holmes plenty of options in the running game.
They'll be running behind an offensive line anchored by Louisiana-Monroe commit Chance Billington.
Defensively, the strengths will be up front. Lineman Ja'Bralen Yarber, and linebacker Kameron Mayfield and Jerrius Lane won't be easy for opposing offenses to solve.
JT's new district features Texas High and DFW-area programs McKinney North, Mesquite Poteet, West Mesquite, and Wylie East, along with Sherman from the Texoma region.
The field in Region II is a daunting one. Frisco Lone Star, Highland Park, Mansfield Legacy, Lancaster, Lufkin, and College Station are all potential playoff opponents for John Tyler.
But a strong non-district schedule featuring Cedar Hill, Tyler Lee, Longview, and Euless Trinity should be great preparation for what's to come.