SO many variables going into this season. Anything can happen.
Texas High is losing a LOT this season....but they have the best staff in the district and a top 3 staff in all of East Texas for ALL classifications. There's no substituting for the stability that THS has had since Norton left. The new staff had a rough start when they got there in Division I....but they have been on an upward trajectory for years. It looks like THS settled on their QB last season....so the Tigers, as always, should be potent on offense in both passing and running. They always have talented running backs. Their big question mark this coming season is defense..... their defense was nasty last season. Going to be hard to replicate that...but their staff has shown great ability in reloading instead of rebuilding.
Marshall probably has the most returning starters in the district....good news for a team that went 6-1 in district play in spite of never really getting an offensive identity. The QB situation was too flux due to injuries and youth to get things in any sort of rhythm. Lots of OL issues due to injuries and personnel issues. The defense saved the day in several games that the offense was struggling (Mount Pleasant, Pine Tree, first half of Hallsville). If the offense gels this season.... and the defense picks up where they left off..... we could have a special year brewing (a' la 2009, 2015, 2018). For what it's worth... it sounds like Coach Alvarez is putting together a fantastic staff.
Mount Pleasant- This is the team I have the most question marks about. The Tigers were a MUCH better team than their record showed last season..... three games they lost last year were lost in the final min of the game. At (5-5), they easily could have been 8-2 or even (9-1). Turnovers plagued them all season long.....giving away those games. They have some talent returning....but they also are losing several of their playmakers from their pesky team too. Numbers are always an issue at MP. They just don't have the depth that you would expect at a 5A school their size. Although.... I'm hearing it's getting better. A new coaching staff is always a point of consternation. It will be interesting to see if MP can keep their momentum going from last season.
Whitehouse- The Wildcats, like Pine Tree sort of unexpectedly fell off a cliff last season. Their defense had moments...but couldn't overcome their offensive woes. They flip-flopped between Green and Conflitti at quarterback last season. Conflitti started the first four games, but his INT rate made him share duties with Green the remainder of the season. Conflitti has since transferred to IMG. That leaves Green as the heir apparent. Not sure where this leaves the WH offense. Not to mention they also lost their #1 WR and several of their offensive linemen. WH's defense was pretty good last season.....but they lost several of their playmakers to graduation as well. Lots of work for the Wildcats in 2022 if they plan to get back into the playoff discussion.
Nacogdoches, like Marshall, appears to have good numbers coming back from last season. While last season was hardly a banner year for the Dragons given that they back into the playoffs in spite of being blown out by Marshall in the regular season finale.... they still won the games they needed to in order to get in. It may prove to be a little tougher this year with Hallsville on the rise. The Bobcats IMHO are the team Nac should be most wary of. If Nac and Hallsville try to get into a track meet with offensive fireworks.... Nac could be in trouble. But if Nac can play keep away.... the Dragon defense SHOULD be good enough to get the win. Hallsville hasn't had much in the way of defense in several years.
Hallsville- The Bobcats were greatly improved last season.... bragging a potent offense all season. In fact... it was one one of the best in the district. However... their defense was historically bad. They gave up AT LEAST 35 points in SEVEN of their 10 games last season. Over 45 three times. That's hard to overcome. If their defense can come around JUST A BIT, they could challenge for a playoff berth. They played Nac to a 30-24 game last season... flip that script and they could snatch a playoff game. Their battle with Texas High was almost one of the biggest upsets of the season. The Tigers pulled away late for a 37-24 win. The Bobcats can cause some trouble this season. Pine Tree- Seeing their coach step down to take the AD role (and then leave for Gilmer) was a curious move for me. PT had been trending upwards the last few seasons....making a historical run in 2020. Granted... their success was mostly on the legs of their QB, DJ Freeman. I think everyone thought they would take a step back in 2021 (other than their radio guy). I don't think anyone expected them to fall off a cliff like they did. Their defense was suppose to be what carried them. But their offense betrayed them too often with costly turnovers and ineffective sustained drives. Honestly.... loss of the coach is BIG. Did they find their QB last season? He was inconsistent at best. They lost their stud RB. Lots of holes. Right now... they look like the PT of old instead of the new PT.
1. Texas High 2. Marshall 3. Nacogdoches 4. Hallsville 5. Mount Pleasant 6. Pine Tree 7. Whitehouse
Honestly.... Nac and Hallsville could flip flop. And PT could shock me....but....I dunno.
Post by Marshallite on Apr 16, 2022 12:53:12 GMT -6
I hope and pray we have a good season. New coach that is building a great staff should be exciting to watch. I agree that we probably won't win district but I think we have a chance to bring that title home if Texas High isn't as good as we think they'll be. Other than Texas High I think we should win every district game we just have to keep our heads on straight and play some good ball.
Week 1: Vs. Tyler W (I think it'll be a good game but one where we pull away towards the end)
Week 2: @ Longview L (It's Longview, we honestly shouldn't even play this game anymore)
Week 3: Vs. Henderson W (I hope it'll be a good game but we'll probably have it in the bag by halftime)
Week 4: Vs. Carthage L (I hope I'm wrong but I think Coach Surratt will prove too much for our boys)
Week 5: Vs. Pine Tree W (Pine Tree will improve from last season but so will we)
Week 6: @ Hallsville W (It's Hallsville, I don't think I'll ever pick them to win)
Week 7: Vs. Mount Pleasant W (Another Hallsville type situation, I'll never pick them to win over Marshall)
Week 8: @ Texas High L (Best coaching staff in the district if not ETX, They're my pick for district champions)
Week 9: OFF
Week 10: Vs. Nacogdoches W ( Not sure how much they'll improve but if we play good ball we'll have this one easy)
Overall Record: 6-3 (4-1 District) District Runner-ups
ANYTHING less than a (7-3) season will be a major disappointment in my mind. Texas High is the only district game we should lose. I'll give the nod to Longview and Carthage in non district. There isn't anyone in our district we should be losing to. The only iffy game is Tyler since we really have no idea how good or bad they are coming into this season. Being at home I'd like to think we win that game.