The toughest district in 2A
Our countdown to the start of high school football seasons continues with a look at the toughest district in Class 2A: District 1-2A DI.
By Dennis Hall / Texas Football
You know, sometimes life just isn’t fair. It’s a lesson we teach our kids all the time, yet we still can’t help but complain when we see blatant examples of unfair situations.
Out in West Texas, the teams in District 1-2A DI can certainly make a case that they were treated unfairly in the UIL’s biennial realignment.
It starts with the fact that the district has eight teams competing for three playoff spots. Only three other districts in 2A have as many as eight teams, and there are some 1A districts that only have 4-5 teams vying for three spots.
But that’s not the worst of it. What’s really unfair is that 1-2A DI is packed full of quality teams. Five of the eight teams in the district made the playoffs last year; only three will earn that opportunity in 2010.
And none of those five teams sneaked into the playoffs. Bushland posted a 15-1 record and played for the Class 2A DII state title. Even with only seven returning starters, the Falcons have to be a playoff lock, right? Maybe, maybe not.
Our summer magazine tabbed Littlefield as the district favorite. The Wildcats were 10-2 last year and have a whopping 17 starters and 20 lettermen returning, including standout TE Zach White. Surely, they’ll make the playoffs, right? Right?
Then there’s Muleshoe, which had a 10-0 regular season in 2009 after winning a 2008 state title. The Mules should be good again in 2010 with 10 returning starters, including one of the state’s top two-way players in tight end-defensive end Cooper Washington. And they’ll be motivated to avenge a 2009 first-round playoff loss that ranked among the state’s biggest upsets.
Of course, the team that pulled off that upset, Amarillo River Road, is now a district rival. And River Road also figures into the playoff hunt with 11 starters back from a 9-4 team. Running back Chris Perez (1,586 yards, 21 touchdowns) figures to be the best offensive player in the district.
The fifth 2009 playoff team is Friona, and the Chieftains are essentially a playoff long shot this year despite last year’s success (an 8-4 record). Running back Zack Fair (1,307 yards) is one of nine returning starters for a team that might make the playoffs in any other 2A district but will have to pull off at least two upsets to advance from this one.
The predicted bottom three in this district, Lubbock Roosevelt, Childress and Slaton, will be fighting for their lives trying to survive district play against this Murderer’s Row of talent. And like everyone in the district, they’ll be counting down the days until the UIL’s 2012 realignment. Until then, they’ll just have to remember that life’s not fair.
District 7-2A DI: There should be four quality teams fighting for three playoff spots in this district. Three teams won at least one playoff game in 2009 – Melissa, Caddo Mills and Winnsboro. Plus, Mineola figures into the mix as it drops down from Class 3A after posting a 4-6 record last year. Any of those four could win the district title, and any of those four could be left out of the playoffs at season’s end.
District 10-2A DI: This is another eight-team district, and five of its teams made the playoffs last year. Newton is the clear favorite, but the rest of the race is anybody’s guess. East Chambers, Anahuac, Buna and Woodville are the other teams looking to return to the playoffs, but at least two of them will be staying home.
District 4-2A DII: Five of the seven teams in this district posted winning records last year, but that will be hard to replicate with all of the head-to-head games these teams will face in 2010. Cisco and Crawford look to be the district’s top two teams, with Millsap, Hico and Tolar all battling to stay in the playoff mix. And the two teams that return the most starters are the predicted cellar dwellars: Hamilton (5 offense, 6 defense) and Rio Vista (8 offense, 7 defense).
District 12-2A DII: You know, it’s a good thing the UIL went to three playoff qualifiers per district in 2A and 1A because here’s yet another district where five of the seven teams made the playoffs a year ago. It will be hard enough to leave two teams out from a group that includes Lexington (6-5), Franklin (8-3), Rogers (9-3), Rosebud-Lott (5-6) and Thorndale (8-3).
District 13-2A DII: Of course, just making the playoffs is one thing. Winning in the playoffs is even more impressive. And three teams in this district won playoff games last year. San Saba (9-3), Harper (8-4) and Junction (8-5) all made it past the first round in ’09 and will be trying to repeat that in 2010. Of course, that doesn’t even account for district favorite Sonora, which was 7-4 and returns one of the state’s top quarterbacks in Ethan Morriss (1,397 rushing, 1,534 passing).