One of the toughest districts in the Henderson County area could once again be District 8-3A, Division 1.
The Malakoff Tigers, Eustace Bulldogs and Kemp Yellowjackets look to make some noise and bring the challenge to rivals Fairfield Eagles, Groesbeck Goats and Teague Lions in 2021.
The Tigers under veteran head coach Jamie Driskell are picked as the district champions once again by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine. Malakoff is ranked No. 5 in the state according to the publication, but returns only four offensive and defensive starters from last year.
Malakoff finished 10-3 last year as a regional finalist losing to Mt. Vernon as they went undefeated in district play.
The publication has Groesbeck second, followed by Fairfield, Teague, Kemp and Eustace.
The Tigers will be led by quarterback and defensive back Judd Driskell, the Preseason Defensive Most Valuable Player in DK Rose at linebacker, running back and linebacker Duce Hart, lineman Lance Robertson, running back and linebacker Kannon Poteete, lineman Quinton Fulton, wide receiver and defensive back Karter Fuller and linebacker Zack Standley.
Other players to watch are lineman Ryder Rogers, defensive back Davion Tolliver, K’Vionne Davis, Jaiden Trevino, Fernando Contreras, Damion Jackson, Austin Massingill, Jose Morales and Corey Phillips.
In Kemp, first year coach Justin Stephens looks to prove prognosticators wrong returning 13 lettermen and nine offensive and seven defensive starters.
Quarterback Deacon Thompson returns along with wide receiver Collin Boyle, tight end Nathan Pringle, lineman Jared Minzenmayer and running back Dustin Tutle.
Other players to watch are Clayton Brown, Brayden Gibbons, Hayden Stevenson, Zach Dunn, Tenilee Anthony, Chandler Smith, Laramie Greathouse, Jose Villanueva, Aaron Quezada and Blake Peyton.
Third-year coach Monty Leaf and Eustace look to improve on the sixth place predicted finish as they return 12 letterman and six starters on both sides of the ball.
The Bulldogs are led by Christian Case, Jake Haney, David French, Jacob Chandler, Jordan Grant, Kasen Carter, Ish Maltos and Cannon Kilcrease according to the publication.
For more on the Tigers, Yellowjackets and Bulldogs, check out Fanfare on Aug. 27 to get you ready for the upcoming football season.
NOTE: The summer edition of Texas Football, featuring players from the Texas A&M defense, is on sale at book stores, mass merchandisers and supermarkets throughout the state.