As we enter the 2009 season West Orange-Stark and Silsbee are the clear cut favorites in this District. The rest of the group will be fightning it out for the final playoff spot. WO-S is the favorite with Silsbee a close 2nd with the likes of D1 Athlete Jeremy Johnson. The 3rd place spot is a tough one this year as Bridge City will be much improved with HC Chris Stump returning, Hardin Jefferson returns 16 starters and Orangefield has a new leader and great HC in Brian Huckaby.
TOC Picks To Finish
WO-S Mustangs: The Mustangs will look to stay undefeated in District since their drop to 3A several years ago. The Stangs return D1 Players in Trey Franks and James Haynes. "I like the heart of this years team" said Hc Dan Hooks, "The kids have worked hard this offseason and with the return of Defensive backs coach Mark Foreman i like our chances to go along way" said Hooks. Other guys that will make a huge impact are DE Steven Cook and DB Justin Thomas. The Mustangs for the first time in several years have a big Offensive Line, something that has hurt them in recent years in the big games in December. If the Mustangs stay healthy this year and with the likes of Haynes and Franks and an always strong Defense look for WO-S to make a run at the 3A title.
Silsbee Tigers: The Tigers want more than anything to win the District title this season. Coach McGallion returns 10 starters led bt D1 QB Jeremy Johnson. Johnson could be the best dual QB in the State and if he stays healthy the Tigers could walk away with the District crown. The Tigers will have to replace some Offensive and Defensive Linemen but Coach McGallion says we have some guys that have done a great job and are ready to step up. RB Chris Barnes will also be a threat for defenses this season. The Tigers look strong at the LB position as well with the likes of Leroy Simmons.
Bridge City Cardinals: With 10 returning starters this should be the year that the Cards get back to the Postseason under HC Chris Stump. QB Josh Lemoine will lead the Offense along with WR Caleb Kellog. The Cardinals will be much more experienced this year with Coach Stump's spread Offense. "There's no reason why we shouldn't make the playoffs" said Stump. "We take care of our business and we'll be ok". The key for Bridge City this year will be to stay healthy.
Orangefield Bobcats: The Bobcats should be much improved as well under new Head Coach Brian Huckaby who recently came from Hull Diasetta, his record speaks for itself. Experience should help the Bobcats make a run at the 3rd place spot this eason with the likes of RB Quinton Evans and LB . Coach Huckaby has installed the Slot-T Offense and the kids have responded well from what i've seen. One thing that will hurt the Bobcats id DB [db]Jace Statum who has decided to skip Football and focus on Baseball. Avoid Turnovers and injuries and the Bobcats may surprise some folks.
Hardin Jefferson Hawks: The Hawks also return alot of starters from last year's 4-6 Bi-District Playoff team. As mentioned in the Notes HJ is another team like Orangefield and Bridge City that will make a push for that 3rd playoff spot. The playing field is so even between the Hawks, Cardinals and Bobcats it will probably come down to who is the healthiest in the end. The Hawks are lead by RB Jacoby Turner and QB Blake Venable. "One thing i'm really happy about is the return of some Lineman" said Martel. HJ has 3 big games to start off District that are must win before they play WO-S and Silsbee.
Hamshire-Fannett Longhorns: The Longhorns lose several key players to Graduation last season. Another blow was a season ending Shoulder injury to QB Jake Minaldi. The Horns must find a QB and with only 3 returning starters it could be a long season for the Horns. The Horns top man on Offense will be RB Justin Scully. If the Horns can find a QB and not lose anyone else to injury they themselves will have a shot at the postseason.