Six-Man Spotlight — Honorable mentions for the Class 1A Team of the Year
Balmorhea may have taken home Dave Campbell's Texas Football's highest award, but what other six-man teams deserve recognition for the 2016 season?
After every season, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football picks its Team of the Year for each classification. Balmorhea received this season’s honor in Class 1A for reaching its first state title game and posting a school-best 14-1 record. Every season, there are several teams in the mix for this honor; 2016 was no different. Here are ten teams that had great seasons that warrant an honorable mention for Class 1A Team of the Year:
Panther Creek (12-1, DII Regional Finalist)
The Panthers, once a six-man powerhouse, had some tough seasons, but their 2016 season was one of the greatest turnarounds in all of Texas high school football. Panther Creek went from 2-8 in 2015 to 12-1 in 2016, advancing all the way to the state quarterfinals. They posted their first 10-win season since 2002, and secured their first playoff win since 2009.
Jonesboro (14-1, DI State Finalist)
Jonesboro is a perennial playoff team, but 2016 was the first time the Eagles made the charge to the title game. Entering the playoffs, Jonesboro battled through key injuries to survive a near-upset by Lometa and beat highly ranked district foe Zephyr for the second time. But the coup de grace was in the state semifinals, when the Eagles took down Union Hill in a memorable come-from-behind semifinal victory by scoring the winning touchdown with 20 seconds remaining. It may have been the 1A game of the year.
Union Hill (12-2, DI State Semifinalist)
In its third year of six-man ball, Union Hill posted its best record since 2006 and deepest playoff run since 1984 when they lost to Munday in the 1A state championship game. In its three seasons of six-man play, Union Hill posted a 21-12 record with back-to-back playoff berths. In their last three seasons of 11-man football, the Bulldogs had just a 1-24 record. Safe to say, this was a great move for them!
Tioga (7-6, DI Regional Finalist)
Tioga put together its best season since starting back up as a school in 2012. The Bulldogs won their first-ever district title and playoff game, and advanced to the third round of the DI playoffs.
Marfa (7-5, DI Regional Semifinalist)
The Shorthorns won their first playoff game since 1949 as they defeated Santa Anna ,94-79, for the bi-district crown. Their seven wins match a school-best since they won eight back in 2004.
Medina (6-5, District 9-1A DI Champions)
In just its third season back in the six-man game, Medina was picked to finish third in their district in the preseason. Instead, the Bobcats won their first district championship since 2001 (when they were still 11-man) and posted a winning record for the first time in at least as long.
Veribest (4-5, District 8-1A DI Runner-Up)
The Falcons were their district’s runner-up, earning their first-ever playoff berth. Veribest began its football program in 1996 as a JV squad, and entered UIL district play in 1997.
Prairie Lea (7-3)
Prairie Lea came within a win of making the playoffs for the first time since 1944. Though they came up short, the Indians did post their first winning season since at least the 1950s, and since resurrecting their football program in 2002.
Borden County (14-1, 1A DI State Champion)
The Coyotes won the school’s fourth state title — and its third since 2008 — battling injuries in the playoffs and putting up dominant performances in the semifinal and championship games.
Richland Springs (14-0, 1A DII State Champion)
Richland Springs won its second straight state title — its eighth in school history — and dominated a tough playoff schedule. You can’t mention Team of the Year without bringing up Richland Springs.
Leman Saunders is a six-man football contributor to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.