2017 Region Outlooks: 2A DI Region III — Will a state-worthy regional champion emerge?
AS WE LOOK AHEAD TO THE 2017 TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SEASON, DCTF'S BRADY KEANE TAKES A LOOK AT HOW EACH REGION SHOULD SHAKE OUT WHEN FALL ROLLS AROUND.
The 2017 Texas high school football season will be here before you know it, and in a year without UIL realignment, we have a grasp on who should challenge for region — and state — titles across the state. We’ll take a closer look at the frontrunners in each region throughout the spring doldrums.
Class 6A: Region I / Region II / Region III / Region IV
Class 5A: Region I / Region II / Region III / Region IV
Class 4A DI: Region I / Region II / Region III / Region IV
Class 4A DII: Region I / Region II / Region III / Region IV
Class 3A DI: Region I / Region II / Region III / Region IV
Class 3A DII: Region I / Region II / Region III / Region IV
Class 2A DI: Region I / Region II
Today’s spotlight: Class 2A DI Region III
Centerville’s ground-and-pound attack pummeled through Region III last year as the Tigers advanced all the way to the state semifinals before falling to Refugio. Even so, Centerville isn’t necessarily the odds-on favorite entering 2017. Groveton was upset in the first round of the playoffs, but will be out for revenge in 2017 while San Augustine and Carlisle look to build on runs to the regional semifinals. Districts 11 and 12 are extremely deep, and will likely decide the race for the regional championship again this season.
The Tigers have advanced to at least the regional semifinals in each of the last four seasons and finally claimed the regional championship last year before falling to Refugio in the state semifinals. The District 12 schedule is a tough one with both Groveton and Lovelady competing for the top spots, but Centerville has its top weapon back in the run game to headline 12 returning starters.
RB Brandon Madison (2,253 yards, 28 TDs) is the focus in the backfield, and for good reason. He has two returning starters on the offensive line in Jose Hernandez and Connor Cox, and QB Hunter Free (785 yards, 7 TDs) is back, as well. DT Daniel Byrd (77 tackles) is back to lead the way on defense while DB Cade Pate (76 tackles, 4 INTs) will anchor the secondary. Centerville should be just as competitive this season as the Tigers look for another deep playoff run.
Groveton broke through in coach Brandon Craus’ third season, winning nine games and claiming a District 12 championship. The Indians won more games last year (9) than the previous two combined (7), but saw their season end early after a one-point loss to San Augustine in the first round.
With six starters returning on both sides of the ball, Groveton will be poised for a bounce-back year and a playoff run. WR/DB Chavez (1,384 total yards, 19 TDs) was the district’s MVP and returns along with RB/DL Ethan Cathey (930 total yards, 14 TDs, 79 tackles, 23 TFL), who will have a huge year on both sides of the ball. QB Hayden Terry accounted for more than 1,100 yards and 16 TDs in just two games filling in for Glenn Thornton last year and will take over the offense full-time.
The Indians have won at least 10 games in each of the last three seasons and advanced to the regional final last year before falling to Centerville 23-17. Carlisle allowed less than 14 points per game to opponents, and has five starters back on both sides of the ball looking for another big year.
QB Tristen Craig (2,483 total yards, 31 TDs) returns after taking home District 11 Offensive MVP honors last season and will likely turn to WR Jay Price (650 yards, 4 TDs) as his top weapon in the passing game. FS Max Johnson (139 tackles) was an all-state selection in the secondary and DB Gerald Turner (4 INTs) is back after a strong sophomore campaign. But even with a talented group of skill players returning, Carlisle lost almost its entire offensive line and will have to overcome a lot of inexperience in the trenches.
The Wolves struggled in the regular season last year in one of the toughest districts in Class 2A and advanced into the playoffs as the fourth seed from District 11. But the team caught fire in coach Marty Murr’s second year, knocking off Groveton and Big Sandy before falling to Carlisle in the regional semifinals. With eight starters back on both sides of the ball, the team enters 2017 with an experienced roster.
QB Gavin Murr (3,593 total yards, 33 TDs) and WR/FS QuenTyvian Borders (1,396 yards, 16 TDs, 93 tackles, 4 INTs) are back as team captains and RB KJ Davis (1878 yards, 28 TDs) joins them as another explosive weapon in the backfield. WR/LB Quay Johnson (623 yards, 7 TDs, 56 tackles, 4 INTs) is a reliable playmaker late in the game and DB Tajay Thomas (53 tackles, 3 INTs) is coming off an all-district year in the secondary as a freshman. The well-seasoned senior class will give San Augustine a real chance to make a lot of noise.
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Brady Keane is a Contributing Writer for Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. Follow him on Twitter: @BradyKeane.