It's hard to believe it's been 12 years since Texas High's state championship season, the highlight of longtime coach Barry Norton's illustrious career with the Tigers. As Norton prepares for his 17th season in charge, Texas High ranks No. 7 in's preseason Class 6A/5A poll.

Texas High has made the playoffs in all but one of Norton's years as head coach, making him one of East Texas' most successful all-time coaches.

The Tigers, however, are hoping to return to the level Norton set in motion during the first half of his tenure. Since 2007, Texas High has not won more than 10 games in any one campaign, and has only two playoff wins in eight years.

Texas High has aspirations of changing the recent pattern in 2015, but it will have to do so without two of its best offensive players and two of the Tigers' impact performers on the defensive side, who are now playing college football -- running back Javon Thomas and receiver Jarion Anderson (Tulsa), defensive tackle William Brown (Liberty), and linebacker K.J. Reid (Arkansas Tech).

Cade Pearson, who enjoyed a solid debut season at quarterback as a sophomore, is one of Texas High's six returning starters on offense. He'll be breaking in some new starters at running back and receiver, but the Tigers' line play should stand out with the return of seniors Matthew Davis and James Murphy.

Defensively, Texas High brings back five starters, including senior ends Corey Hawkins and Jacoryon Larry, senior linebacker Mitchell Butler, and senior defensive backs Chaz Davis and Dee Jones.

2015 Texas High Tigers Football Schedule

Aug. 28at WhitehouseW 48-20
Sept. 4at Arkansas HighW 28-14
Sept. 11OPEN
Sept. 18at KilgoreL 21-17
Sept. 25*Sulphur SpringsW 55-21
Oct. 2*at HallsvilleW 21-10
Oct. 9*Pine TreeW 38-16
Oct. 16*at LongviewL 35-14
Oct. 23*MarshallW 27-7
Oct. 30*GreenvilleW 45-21
Nov. 6*at Mount PleasantW 35-3
Nov. 14(BI-DISTRICT): vs. John TylerL 48-21 Preseason Class 6A/5A Poll