Despite making the playoffs, 2015 was a disappointing season for the Gladewater Bears, who finished with a losing record and was defeated in the postseason's opening round.

With 16 starters returning, the Bears are hoping for a major turnaround in 2016.

Gladewater checks in at No. 9 in the Preseason Class 4A Poll.

Following consecutive seasons of reaching at least the third round of the playoffs, Gladewater took a step backward last year. Injuries took a toll for head coach John Berry's squad.

If Gladewater can remain healthy this season, the Bears could once again make a deep run following the regular season.

Offensively, the Bears bring back talented senior running back Darnell McKnight and speedy receiver Cameron Callaway Jr. On defense, Gladewater will be led by a couple of next-level defenders in the secondary -- senior Austin Hawley and junior Isaiah Davis.

2016 Gladewater Bears Schedule

Aug. 26Carthagecanceled
Sept. 2at KilgoreW 29-27
Sept. 9CenterW 56-15
Sept. 16Chapel HillW 30-0
Sept. 23at LindaleW 38-10
Sept. 30OPEN
Oct. 7*at Spring HillW 62-7
Oct. 14*at GilmerL 35-28
Oct. 21*AtlantaW 22-7
Oct. 28*at PittsburgW 26-15
Nov. 4*Pleasant GroveL 40-23
Nov. 11(BI-DISTRICT): vs. TatumW 35-7
Nov. 18(AREA): vs. CelinaL 44-41 Preseason Class 4A Poll