ETSN.fm Class 6A/5A Preseason Poll: No. 7, Whitehouse Wildcats
Whitehouse waited three years to get back to the playoffs, and once the Wildcats got there last season, the ride was over just as soon as it began with a blowout first-round loss to College Station.
But now, armed with a District 17-5A-best 17 returning starters, Whitehouse sees greener pastures on the horizon.
Whitehouse is ranked No. 7 in ETSN.fm's Preseason Class 6A/5A Poll.
The Wildcats finished fourth in 17-5A a year ago, but a ton of underclassmen got valuable experience.
Offensively, Whitehouse has nine starters back, including quarterback Jake Clemons, most of its receiving corps, and its entire offensive line.
Fifth-year head coach Adam Cook is hoping the seasoning on the offensive side of the ball will improve a unit that averaged a modest 24.4 points per game in 2016.
The defense carried Whitehouse last year, and all but three starters return.
Trevor Lawrence (Texas State commit) and Christian Owens anchor a physical defensive line, KJ McDade patrols the middle of the defense at linebacker, while athletic cornerback Javier Neal is back after pulling down seven interceptions a season ago.
Whitehouse's three 2016 district losses came by a total of 15 points, so the Wildcats weren't very far from challenging for the district title.
With a few more big plays, Whitehouse could find itself in serious contention for the league crown this fall.
Non-district games against Carthage (4A Division I champion), arch-rival Sulphur Springs, and Kennedale (4A Division I semifinalist) should be more than enough preparation for district play.