We’re a mere 10 days from kickoff of the 2019 Texas high school football season, and the Lone Star State is buzzing with anticipation. More than 1,400 teams are set to take the field with their eyes set on the same prizes — district championships, deep playoff runs, state titles, and relative immortality.
We here at Dave Campbell’s Texas Football are certainly not exempt from the fervor, which has us talking about the what-ifs that could arise during the 2019 season. We make a lot of predictions here at Texas Football — and our 2019 summer edition of the magazine is chock-full of them — but what if we got a little…crazy?
The DCTF staff put their heads together and came up with 10 absolutely crazy Texas high school football predictions that could actually come true. Keep in mind — we’re not saying these are all going to happen in 2019. But in Texas high school football, you never say never.
10 INSANE TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PREDICTIONS (THAT COULD ACTUALLY HAPPEN)
Duncanville and Galena Park North Shore will both miss out on the 6A Division I state title game.
The 6A Division I playoffs can be described as a “six-week death march,” where only the fittest survive and often need a little luck to play at AT&T Stadium. Although favored to repeat, both Duncanville and North Shore have roads filled with plenty of pitfalls. Duncanville faces a much-improved Region I bracket that includes Southlake Carroll, Euless Trinity, resurgent DeSoto and Dallas Skyline, and possibly a hungry Midland Lee squad from West Texas. If Duncanville escapes Region I, a tough semifinal with Allen or The Woodlands potentially awaits. North Shore’s run in Region III can only be described as insane, with the likes of Pearland, Dickinson, Humble Atascocita, Fort Bend Ridge Point, Cy-Fair and Katy all licking their chops for a chance to take out the defending champions. If North Shore survives the gauntlet in Region III, they could have to go on the road to take on Lake Travis in the semifinals, since last year LTHS played North Shore at NRG Stadium. Duncanville and North Shore may feel like they’re on a collision course again, but not so fast.
Newton will not win Region III in 2019.
Forget whether they’ll have get the three-peat. Forget whether they’ll even play for it. What if the Eagles don’t even win their region? A year ago, getting an opposing coach on the record to even remotely entertain the thought was tantamount to jinx baiting. But what if the whole state underestimated the superhuman efforts of running back and defensive back Darwin Barlow, now at TCU, and Newton struggles to replace his production and leadership? Daingerfield has the makings of an excellent squad this year. Yes, they lost 79-12 to Newton in last year’s playoffs, and that’s a big gap to make up, but you never know. Harmony and Elysian Fields have quietly been very solid in recent years despite being overshadowed by Newton’s dominance. Waskom isn’t that far removed from two state titles. Crazier things have happened, and if we’ve learned anything about East Texas and Region III, is that you can expect a scrum if there’s blood in the water.
An 11-man rusher will top 2,700 yards on the season.
Now, no one’s saying that we’ll have a second Daimarqua Foster on our hands this season, but the state produced tons of breakout running backs last year that topped the 2,000-yard mark and those same players look poised for more. Whether it’s junior San Antonio Wagner running back L.J. Butler (2,028 as a sophomore), junior El Paso Americas running back Aaron Dumas out west (2,332 yards as a sophomore) or Evadale’s senior workhorse Will Farr (2,337 yards as a junior), there are numerous candidates that we wouldn’t be shocked to see break the 2,700-yard mark in 2019.
San Antonio will break its state championship drought.
Quick: when’s the last time a team from San Antonio won a state championship? We’re not talking about outposts like Cuero…we mean actual, real-live, no-doubt-about-It San Antonio? The answer: 2010, when Cibolo Steele took down Denton Guyer to win the 5A Division II title. It’s been eight seasons since the Alamo City hoisted some hardware, but maybe — just maybe — 2019 is the year the drought ends. Alamo Heights and Southside look like sleepers in what could be a tricky 5A Division II. San Antonio Wagner got the closest last year and figures to be a contender again in 5A Division I, alongside newcomers like Northside Harlan and San Antonio Veterans Memorial. In 6A Division II, maybe this is the year that San Antonio Brandeis puts it all together, or San Antonio Brennan makes it back to the big stage…or Cibolo Steele reclaims its crown. And while all eyes will be on Lake Travis in Region IV of 6A Division I, there is no shortage of Alamo City contenders, including Converse Judson, San Antonio O’Connor and San Antonio Reagan. The streak’s gotta end sometime — why not now?
The 2A Division I state champion will not come from Region IV.
You’re probably tired of hearing about Refugio, Mason and Shiner, but there’s plenty of candidates primed to take out the “Big Three in Region IV,” namely a possible challengers from Region III who could keep Region IV from even making a title game. Last year’s regional champion San Augustine brings back the house (literally every starter!) from a team that most in the Piney Woods thought was a year away in 2018. Nearby Garrison has what many think is the best player in 2A Division I in Sebastion Porter and the Bulldogs are primed for a deep run. Region I has last year’s regional champion New Deal returning along with Hawley, who looks to be a contender. Region II is led by last year’s champion San Saba who returns an impressive cast from last year’s 14-1 squad, the Armadillos are led by an FBS commit at QB and they have a stout defense as well. Region IV is the power nexus of 2A Division I, but don’t count out everyone else.
Allen will lose a regular season game for the first time since 2012.
Often overlooked by outsiders when considering Allen’s dominance is the fact that the Eagles’ regular seasons are borderline foregone conclusions. Crush everyone for 10 weeks, and then enter the real season and see where the chips fall. You have to go back seven years to 2012 for Allen’s last regular season loss, a 27-24 overtime capitulation at the hands of Coppell (the Eagles would go on to win a state championship anyway). Allen will be favored, likely by double digits, in every regular season contest this year, but if you’re looking for worthy opponents, this year’s schedule has a couple more than usual. Cedar Hill is a strong opener, even if the Longhorns are still trying to recapture their glory days. Dickinson is an immensely underrated Houston program that will be fired up to take it to the Eagles in their stadium. District play doesn’t offer much hope for a strong challenge, even if former Eagle Marcus Shavers is a rising star who will undoubtedly build something strong at McKinney, but maybe the Lions arrive early?
Two teams from the Rio Grande Valley will advance to the regional final.
Last year, it was Brownsville Hanna and Mission Veterans Memorial carrying the banner for the RGV deep in the playoffs, with Vets making that all-important leap into the regional final. This year, a slew of programs could get past the Region IV hurdle and make it to a regional final. In 6A Region IV, it’s as wide open as it’s ever been. The brand names like Westlake and Steele could be in for reload seasons, could that finally make room for the Sabercats led by QB A.J. Sotelo? What about Raymondville in 4A DII? The Bearkats fell by one score to the Region IV runner-ups in Navarro. Don’t let a bi-district exit make you turn your head to Sharyland Pioneer either. The Diamondbacks’ loss came after a back-and-forth 56-55 shootout with eventual Region IV finalist Port Lavaca Calhoun and they return 14 total starters. Don’t sleep on La Feria who went three rounds deep a year ago or Sharyland with 34 returning lettermen.
The record for single-season passing yards will be broken.
It’s been a couple of years since Levelland’s Nick Gerber took a sledgehammer to the Texas high school football record books, throwing for an astonishing 5,617 yards…in just 14 games (Gerber beat the previous record, held by Travis Quintanilla of Refugio, by 60 yards, but did it in two fewer games). Even in the era of the wide-open spread offenses, 5,000-yard passers are still a relative rarity — it’s only happened four times in Texas high school football history — but this feels like a moment when someone’s going to blow the roof off the joint. Maybe it’ll be Decatur’s Roman Fuller, who came closest (4,652 yards) among those who are back this year. Or Longview’s Haynes King, who may take on an even larger role in the Lobos’ offense this year. Or Highland Park’s Chandler Morris, or Lubbock Coronado’s Sawyer Robertson, or Lake Travis’ Hudson Card, or Dallas Parish Episcopal’s Preston Stone, all of whom topped the 3,500-yard mark last year. Or maybe it’s someone we haven’t even thought of. Whoever it is, Gerber’s record may not be long for this world.
There will be a first-time champion in Class 4A Division I.
The blue bloods have dominated 4A Division I the past few seasons — the likes of Carthage and Waco La Vega since 2013 have had a stranglehold on state titles. Is it time for some new blood in 4A Division I? Quite possibly, Midlothian Heritage — if they can settle on a new QB — could be ready to wrestle the Region III crown from Carthage after agonizing losses in the regional semifinals the past three seasons (by a combined five points). Lampasas, after a surprise 8-4 season a year ago, could be ready to make noise with one of the state’s most dynamic offensive units, while Decatur returns a good portion of their Region I title squad from a year ago as well.
There will be no repeat state champions in 2019.
Now this would be quite something. The last time we had no repeat state champions in the 11-man ranks in Texas high school football was 2012, when every champion was new. If you include six-man, it hasn’t happened since 2004. And considering we at Dave Campbell’s Texas Football are predicting a bunch of repeat state champions — seven, to be exact — we’d have to be pretty off the mark in a lot of different ways. But Texas high school football has never seemed deeper, never seemed harder to predict. So why not? Let’s get some chaos come December.