One of the toughest District in the Henderson County area could be District 8-3A, Division 1.
With two top 25 ranked teams in the Malakoff Tigers at No. 4 and Fairfield Eagles at No. 24, the other remaining teams are the Eustace Bulldogs, Kemp Yellowjackets, Groesbeck Goats and Teague Lions.
“It is still going to be tough because those are tough teams. I appreciate Dave Campbell for giving us a fourth-place finish,” Kemp coach Lee Wilkins said.
“Each week is going to be a battle and nothing against our district the last two years. With Fairfield coming down, they lose a lot, but Fairfield is Fairfield. Groesbeck and Teague any given season can put a run together. At Malakoff, obviously Jamie does a great job and Eustace with Coach Leaf is going to be a battle each week. I am just glad that we have a ton of kids coming back that have been through it already.”
The Yellowjackets, under the direction of Wilkins, is led by brothers Tanner and Alec Mullins on the offensive and defensive line and linebacker Trent McBride. Quarterback Collin Boyle returns under center this year.
The district favorite in the Malakoff Tigers are returning a lot of talent this year led by quarterback Darion Peace. Peace is picked as the preseason district Offensive Most Valuable Player.
Peace finished the 2019 season with 2,700 yards passing and 30 touchdowns for the regional semifinalist.
“Darion will play a huge role and we need to try and keep him healthy,” Malakoff coach Jamie Driskell said. “He has had a great time during this Covid deal. He sees the big picture, and is the leader of this group. He is a heck of a talent and we look forward to getting back with him on a regular basis.”
Defensive tackle Zamir Ruiz is another player to watch after recording 65 tackles, 22 for loss and seven sacks.
At Eustace, the Bulldogs have a new head coach in Monty Leaf, who looks to prove the prognosticators wrong with a sixth-place prediction according to the magazine.
The Bulldogs are led on defense by linebacker Stefen Brooks, who led the team in tackles last season. Luis Garcia and Cameron Englehart are the top returners on the offensive and defensive line.
Another team to watch is the Fairfield Eagles, who dropped down to Class 3A for the next two years.
The Eagles finished last season at 7-5 in Class 4A, Division II play.
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 61st edition of Texas Football, featuring SMU quarterback Shane Buechele, is on sale at book stores, mass merchandisers and supermarkets throughout the state.