2017 Region Outlooks: 3A DI Region IV — Yoakum will have to fight off a tough crowd
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
Today’s spotlight: Class 3A DI Region IV
After moving down from Class 4A DII, Yoakum made its presence felt in Region IV with a run all the way to the state championship game. The Bulldogs finished third in a loaded District 14, but caught fire in the playoffs and look to be one of the favorites again in 2017. Their district counterparts, Edna and Hallettsville, will both compete at the top of the region while Goliad and Rice Consolidated look to replicate deep runs.
The Bulldogs lost four games in the regular season, but three of those losses came by a combined 16 points. Yoakum rattled off nine straight wins at the end of the season, getting revenge on Hallettsville along the way, before falling to Mineola. WR Josh Moore departed for the IMG Academy, but his twin – Texas A&M commit ATH Jordan Moore – headlines a deep group of returning players.
QB Holden Lauer (809 yards, 8 TDs), RB Tyron Brooks (624 yards, 7 TDs) and RB Montreal Jones (202 yards, 2 TDs) return in the backfield while Moore (1,054 total yards, 13 TDs) will see time all over the field. Moore and Brooks were both first-team all-district players in the secondary, while the offensive line will be one of the toughest in the state behind Silas Robinson, Joey Dominguez and Conner Brandt. District 14 is a gauntlet, but after the long playoff run, Yoakum enters the year as one of the favorites.
Hallettsville won its first 13 games last season, coasting through District 14 over both Edna and Yoakum before falling to the Bulldogs in the regional final game. The Brahmas have had a lot of success under coach Tommy Psencik over the last few years and will look to their impact players like ATH Scooter Adams and QB DJ Taylor to make a run at a third straight district championship.
Taylor was a first-team all-district selection as a junior and returns to lead the offense with another first-team honoree in WR Jackson Taylor. Adams will make a big impact on both sides of the ball after earning all-state honors last season while LB Jaxon Reeves (second-team all-state) and DL Cullen Mikes (first-team all-district) bring some more firepower to the defense. The Brahmas will enter 2017 looking to claim their first regional championship under Psencik.
After falling to Shiner and Refugio in the season’s first two games, Goliad bounced back to win nine of its next 11 games – and two additional losses came by a combined five points to Mathis and Yoakum. Coach Bobby Nicholson led the team to just its second nine-win season this decade and has enough talent back to build on that this year.
QB Rocky Morris was a first-team all-district selection as a sophomore and he gets back the District 15 offensive MVP in RB Logan Bland. WR Trevor Parr and WR Trey Ingram are back to lead the way in the passing game. LB Angel Hernandez, another first-team all-district selection as a sophomore, returns to lead the defense alongside S Nathan Oliver and Hayden Reitz, who was a terror on both the offensive line and at linebacker. Goliad is a favorite in District 15, which isn’t as deep as District 14 – but George West will be looking to build off a 10-win campaign and Mathis will be tough as well in district play.
The Cowboys’ overall record (6-6) last season doesn’t jump off the page, but Edna had a big win over Yoakum in district play and advanced to the second round of the playoffs before falling in a tight 22-17 game to Goliad. While the team will have a new quarterback under center this year and ushers in new coach Jerry Long, the high-powered running game gets its top weapons back to lead the charge.
RB Kenny Haynes (987 yards, 8 TDs) and RB Deion Callis (709 yards, 10 TDs) are back after big sophomore seasons and will look for an even bigger year in 2017 with Ryan Hessong and Irvin Boston back on the offensive line. The secondary returns first-team all-district DB Brad Kucera, who will lead a strong unit while DL Ricky Ramirez, DL Kobee Barnes, LB Wesley Boone and FS Tristen Pruitt bring experience, as well. Edna has high hopes for a big season, but will have to survive the District 14 schedule before advancing through the playoffs.
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Brady Keane is a Contributing Writer for Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. Follow him on Twitter: @BradyKeane.