ETSN.fm Class 6A/5A Preseason Poll: No. 8 Jacksonville Indians
The Jacksonville Indians have reached the playoffs in each of the last two seasons, finishing with identical 6-5 records. Head coach Wayne Coleman hopes even more is in store for his team in 2018.
With a strong group of returning impact players in place, Jacksonville is ranked No. 8 in ETSN.fm's Preseason Class 6A/5A Poll.
Jacksonville hasn't won a playoff game since 2004, but there is legitimate reason to expect the Indians to change that this season.
The Indians have a couple of Division I recruits that star on both sides of the ball.
Deshawn McCuin, who is committed to TCU as a cornerback, is one of the top overall athletes in all of East Texas and will play a vital role on offense as well. Fellow senior Braelyn Riden, who is pledged to Texas Southern, had six interceptions as a junior and will be one of the featured receivers on the other side of the ball.
Running back T.J. Ratliffe will challenge for a 1,000-yard regular season, running behind standout lineman Jermichael Calhoun.
Talented junior Tristen Shewmake will take over the reins at quarterback.
The strength of Jacksonville's defense will be its secondary with the return of both McCuin and Riden.
With the historic Tomato Bowl undergoing massive renovations, Jacksonville's home games will be played at Rose Stadium in Tyler and Bullard's Panther Stadium in 2018.
Marshall and Whitehouse will be big challenges for Jacksonville in District 9-5A Division II, and a tough bi-district opponent from the neighboring 10-5A will await in the playoffs.