Following consecutive playoff berths in 2013 and 2014, the Nacogdoches Dragons have missed out on the postseason in each of the last two years.

Sixth-year head coach Bobby Reyes is hoping this is the season he can get his program back on track.

Nacogdoches will begin the season ranked No. 9 in our Class 6A/5A poll.

Only nine starters return from last season's 4-6 team, but a few of those are high-impact players.

Leading the way is senior linebacker DaRyan Williams, a special athlete that has the attention of Division I FBS programs. Fellow linebacker Stephon Adams gives the Dragons one of the best LB duos in District 17-5A.

Nacogdoches must find new playmakers on offense, where it saw the graduation of quarterback Noah Hildebrand and running back Phillip Jones, who ran for more than 1,800 yards a season ago.

Receiver Jed Morgan is one of the few experienced skill-position players Reyes has at his disposal.

A challenging non-district schedule featuring Kilgore, Lufkin, Tyler Lee, Hallsville, and Gilmer should get Nacogdoches prepared for the rugged 17-5A.

The Dragons lost four of five league games a year ago, but the average margin of defeat in those contests was just seven points. So, Nacogdoches isn't too far away from jumping back into the playoff discussion. Preseason Class 6A/5A Poll

More From East Texas Sports Network