You won't have to wait much longer for this barometer game between two new head coaches with very talented rosters.

Tyler Lee hits the road Sept. 1 to face Marshall in what we think is the 16th-best game of 2017. It will be the debut for both Red Raiders coach Kurt Traylor and Mavericks leader Claude Mathis.

Lee won last season's meeting, 34-7, but that was about the only thing that went right for the squad. Former coach Clayton George left the program right after the 2017 spring game, and Tyler Independent School District had to find a new coach at the 11th hour.

Traylor, a Gilmer disciple, promised to restore Lee's pride at his hiring ceremony. The program hasn't been to the postseason since 2014 and, even then, wasn't very good.

Tyler Lee QB Chance Amie. (© Rob Graham,
Tyler Lee QB Chance Amie. (© Rob Graham,

Marshall made the biggest coaching hire of the offseason in contrast. It hired Mathis away from SMU on the pitch he could rediscover his love for coaching high school ball.

Mathis was a widely respected coach at the powerhouse DeSoto program before leaving for the college game. This is his first opportunity to make a statement, and it would be a big statement with the Longview rivalry game coming right afterward.

Both teams are very talented.

Lee boasts Houston quarterback commitment Chance Amie while junior running back Ladarius Wickware will try to make a name for himself with the colleges after a 1,000-yard sophomore year.

LSU offensive tackle commitment Chasen Hines leads Marshall and left guard Khameron King isn't far behind as a North Texas pledge, but Baylor defensive line commitment Marje Smith will be the biggest threat to Amie and Wickware on this night. Defensive back Corteze Hurd will be another challenge over the top.

Big talent will be on display. So will big name coaches.

Don't miss this game.’s Top 25 Games of 2017

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