With the opening of the Texas high school football season now 47 days away and teams hitting the practice fields for the first time 22 days from now, avid football fans are beginning to get into high gear as they begin thinking and planning for the upcoming grid season.
The 2019 edition of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine has been delivered to subscribers and are across the state and region in stores as it gives fans in-depth information on the upcoming season, from high schools, to colleges and professional teams.
A number of teams from the Nacogdoches vicinity have once again been mentioned as playoff favorites. Here’s a taste of what Campbell believes to be ahead for squads as they go through summer workouts.
In Class 5A, the Nacogdoches Dragons are getting plenty of respect in District 9-5A DII with first-year head coach Darren Allman at the helm. The Dragons (5-6) earned the fourth and final playoff spot from the league last season with a 4-3 district mark and return six starters on both sides of the football.
Nacogdoches will receive an early test when it battles Class 4A Division II Jasper in its only scrimmage on Aug. 23 at Dragon Stadium. The Bulldogs are a preseason No. 2 in the state, according to Campbell’s magazine, and is picked to play in the DII state championship game in Arlington in December. Jasper was 12-1 a year ago and returns 8/9 starters this year.
Marshall (10-3), which won the District 9-5A DII championship last season, is ranked No. 4 by Campbell before training camps open. The Mavs return seven offensive and nine defensive starters from a year ago. Huntsville (12-2), the team that knocked the Dragons out of the playoffs, is ranked No. 5 by the magazine.
In Class 5A DI, John Tyler (10-3) is ranked No. 6 in the preseason poll, while Lufkin (10-2) has earned a No. 7 status by Campbell.
In Class 4A DI, Carthage (14-1) returns 6/8 starters and is picked to play for the state title this season. The Bulldogs are ranked a preseason No. 2, with Henderson (9-5) sitting at No. 8 and Kilgore (3-8) getting some respect with a No. 16 ranking by the publication.
There are five teams in the Nacogdoches vicinity that are ranked in Class 2A DI. San Augustine (12-3), which advanced to the state semifinals a year ago, comes into 2019 ranked No. 5 in the state by Campbell, returning 11 offensive and six defensive starters.
Garrison (10-3) advanced three rounds into the postseason a year ago and will be led by senior running back Sabastion Porter, who finished last season with a school-record 2,461 and 43 touchdowns, while tallying 149 tackles, including 13 for losses to lead the talented team. The ’Dogs return 6/6 starters and are ranked No. 8 in 2A DI.
Right behind Garrison is Tenaha (10-4), which advanced to the fourth round of the playoffs last year and returns five offensive and seven defensive starters. The Tigers are picked to play San Augustine for the Region III title again and are ranked No. 9 by Campbell’s magazine.
Alto (8-4), which was eliminated from the postseason by Garrison a year ago, has 8/7 starters coming back and has earned the No. 17 ranking heading into fall drills. Joaquin (9-3) sits at No. 18, with 7/7 starters back.
Players have been working out during the summer and set to begin fall drills on Monday, Aug. 5, with scrimmages coming up on Aug. 15-16 and 22-23. The high school season openers will be played on Friday, Aug. 30.