Schools selected for postseason competition
By David Jenkins
Big things are expected out of Princeton, Farmersville, Community and Blue Ridge in the coming 2015 season.
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine picked each program to qualify for the postseason.
Below is a breakdown of how each team is expected to do.
The Panthers were tabbed for third place in District 7-4A Div. I.
They took second last season to Texarkana Liberty-Eylau, who was tabbed to finish in the top location.
Paris came in second and Pittsburg earned the final spot in the Class 4A Region II playoffs.
Missing the cut were Paris North Lamar (fifth) and Quinlan Ford (sixth).
Paris’ Quez Allen was tagged as the preseason Most Valuable Player and Liberty-Eylau’s Lagaryon Carson earned defensive honors.
In Texas Football 4A Div. I Top 20, Liberty-Eylau was seventh and in 16th was Paris.
Defending state champion Navasota led the way and state finalist Argyle came in second.
According to the publication, Princeton head coach Lee Wilkins returns 33 lettermen after losing 15 to graduation.
That comes out to nine on the offensive side and seven defensively.
Players to watch are George Flores, Brandon Talley, Colt Collins, Sadavion Matthews and Dylan Templeman.
Top juniors are Regan Wilkins and Broderick Hampton and Philip Mayfield was the top sophomore.
Daniel Hernandez, Keelan Lechner, Mike Grimes, Cody Morrow, Dylan Price, Keylynn Rushing, River Carey, Cristian Garcia, Wyatt Abbot and Nate Calderon were listed as other prospects.
Dave Campbell’s magazine said this about the 2015 group, “Flores, Talley, Collins and Matthews give the Panthers plenty of offensive firepower. Price returns to head up the defense and Julio Vasquez is a weapon on special teams.”
The Farmers in 5-3A Div. I, were predicted to end up third, after taking second one year ago.
Above them were defending champion Pottsboro and Pilot Point, with Whitesboro earning the fourth seed.
Out of the top four were Van Alstyne (fifth) and Callisburg (sixth).
Pilot Point’s DaCoven Bailey was the preseason offensive MVP and defensively was Pottsboro’s Patton Lyons.
Pottsboro was seventh in the Texas Football 3A Div. I Top 20.
State champion Cameron Yoe was in the lead spot and state runner-up Mineola came in second.
Pottsboro’s Zane Pritchett was named offensive preseason All-state and Pilot Point’s Bailey was on the defensive side.
The publication stated that Farmersville head coach Sammy Burnett brings back 11 lettermen, after losing 13 to graduation in June.
They have six back on the offensive side and five from the defensive starting 11.
Players to watch are Caleb Twyford, Chase Hacker and Lyle Hibbits.
Kobie Sheriff was the top sophomore, with Marvin Smith, Josiah Davis and Emmanuel Castillo listed as other prospects.
The magazine said about this coming seasons team, “Hacker is back under center after a breakout sophomore campaign. He will look to Twyford, one of the most talented small-school pass-catchers in the state. Hibbits, Smith and Castillo will form a wall up front. Keep an eye on Sheriff and Davis.”
The Braves were tabbed for fourth in a very tough 5-4A Div. I.
Above them were defending district champ Gilmer, Bullard and Melissa.
Outside of the postseason picture were Canton and Emory Rains.
Preseason offensive MVP honors went to Bullard’s Major Tennison and defensive honors were garnered by DeMarco Boyd from Gilmer.
State champion Gilmer came in second in the Texas Football 4A Div. II Top 20 and state finalist West-Orange Stark earned the top seed.
Named preseason All-state were Gilmer’s Johnny Perez (offense) and Boyd (defense).
Dave Campbell’s stated that Community head coach Bryan O’Neal brings back 18 lettermen, after losing 13 to graduation.
Both sides of the ball return seven players.
Tommy Heard was selected as a player to watch.
Top juniors were Roger Norton and Connor McClendon, with Alex Escandon being the top sophomore.
Other prospects were Dillon McCormick and Justin Wilson.
The magazine said about 2015, “McCormick and Heard turned in solid seasons on offense, but the Braves must find a quarterback to direct the spread offense.”
After barely missing the playoffs one year ago, the Tigers were selected for fourth in 5-2A Div. I.
Above them were district runner-up Bells and district champion Alvord, with Chico earning the final spot in fourth.
Below them were Valley View (fifth) and Trenton (sixth).
Blue Ridge’s Cameron Armstrong was tabbed as the preseason defensive MVP and Bells’ Derrick Ponder was the offensive selection
Bells came at 19th in the Texas Football 2A Div. I Top 20.
Defending state champ Canadian took first and in second was Refugio.
Bells’ Ethan Stanford was named preseason All-state offensively.
The publication said that Blue Ridge head coach Kevin Wiggins returns 25 lettermen, after losing just five to graduation.
Eight are back on both sides of the ball.
Players to watch are Brevin Wiggins and Tay Agan.
Armstrong and Max Gafford were top juniors, with top sophomore being Joel Linn.
Listed as other prospects were Dalton Eaves, Konner Walker, Hunter McCarley, Michael Genzel, Billy Meserole and Clayten Patton.
Dave Campbell’s said about the 2015 group, “The Tigers just missed out on the postseason a year ago, but the return of Agan and Wiggins on offense, and Patton on defense could be enough to get the team over the hump in 2015.”