Exploring the Top 25: 2A
At some point, we here at TexasFootball.com realized we were going to have to let go of the fact that 2A, once upon a time, could be previewed in one convenient story.
That day, apparently, is today.
We're very much aware of the fact that 2A (and 1A) is now no different than six-man, where the separate divisions might as well be separate classes, so we're going to handle this like a bad breakup — a clean split. This will be a two part story — today will be the DI ranks, and tomorrow DII. This breakdown has been a while in coming, so let's get right to it.
2A — Division I
Now obviously Texas Football didn't provide a Top 25 for each division in the summer preview magazine, but we can offer that here — surprise! We'll get to the extra 15 for each divisions after we look at the top tens.
Unfortunately, unlike most of the other classes, there's no drama in the 2A DI ranks — Daingerfield is as unanimous a choice as they come. The Tigers are just loaded beyond belief, with arguably the top defensive player in any class, LB Steve Edmond. A UT pledge, Edmond is a terror against the run, but his biggest impact might be felt in his frightening ability to shed blocks and get into the backfield. He's just so much more physically gifted than most athletic 18-year olds. Of course, he's not alone — OL Shayvion Hatten, a TCU-turned-A&M pledge, is back with QB Tyler Boyd and Tulsa pledge Keyarris Garrett, while DE/LB Donald Bryant is verbaled out to Baylor. College recruits doth not a champion make ... but c'mon. Four kids off to college from one 2A program that's won two straight titles? Yeah. Seems pretty safe. The Tigers are going to have to play several kids both ways for the first time in years, but that shouldn't slow them much.
Things get far more debatable outside of the No. 1 slot. Can anyone say that any team in the top six is better or worse than the others? Newton starts at No. 2, which is pretty justified — Curtis Barbay returns at coach (advantage A), the Eagles have a strong running game (B), and the defense looks stout (C). And even though at first blush it seems impossible to have Daingerfield and Newton — two traditional Region III teams — play each other in a title game, the newly realigned districts make it a distinct possibility.
District mates Littlefield and Bushland represent the Panhandle's best chance for a 2A title — and they continue on in a string of recent strong play from the region as a whole. Bushland's '09 title appearance ended badly, yes, but being there at all spoke strongly for the young school. Muleshoe won a title in 2008. Littlefield played for one several years back. And Canadian and Stratford have both hoisted championship trophies of their own. So if recent history is any indication — after all, a Panhandle team has played for a title in every year since 2005 — then one of the two should be knocking at the door. The bad news? In order to get there, one would have to topple Daingerfield in the state semifinals. Good luck!
Godley, in at No. 5, is an extremely trendy choice — and RB Landry Martinez is rapidly becoming a household name in the small school ranks. A year after rushing for nearly 2,000 yards and 29 TDs, Martinez is back alongside four other offensive returnees and a stout defense. Daingerfield has the defense to run with anyone in 2A — but Godley could end up being the offensive counter. After all, that Wildcat squad came within a miracle field goal of downing eventual DI champ Pilot Point in 2009. Again, though, Godley is stuck in Region I. So here we are, halfway through our magazine's preseason ranked teams, and only one hails from Regions III or IV. That's going to be an absolute war from Week 11 on.
Of course, right after that break point, Region III and IV teams start falling out of the sky. Tatum, still searching for its title form of years past, returns RB B.J. Allen and a man who knows how to use him: Coach Andy Evans. The Eagles are the favorites for 9-2ADI and one of the top teams in R-III — Cameron Yoe (No. 8) is the next best bet. No. 7 Blanco is our top Region IV team, while Rice Consolidated (9) and Edna (10) share a very competitive district 14-2ADI.
And, as promised, the next 15 teams in the DI standings: a true top 25 for 2A DI, then. Enjoy!
|11.||2A - 3||Brady|
|12.||2A - 1||Muleshoe|
|13.||2A - 6||Grandview|
|14.||2A - 9||Jefferson|
|15.||2A - 13||Comfort|
|16.||2A - 5||Callisburg|
|17.||2A - 12||McGregor|
|18.||2A - 15||George West|
|19.||2A - 5||Boyd|
|20.||2A - 1||Amarillo River Road|
|21.||2A - 3||Bangs|
|22.||2A - 11||Crockett|
|23.||2A - 2||Crane|
|24.||2A - 7||Melissa|
|25.||2A - 14||Vanderbilt Industrial|