The dynamics in Region III have changed with some big names moving up to Division I and some capable teams dropping in from Division I. The region once again starts with an expansive East Texas district 9-5A Division II that stretches from Texarkana all the way down into Nacogdoches. Texas High, after a trip to the area playoffs in Division I immediately takes on the role as district favorite with thirteen returning starters back. Marshall struggled early on last year, but the Mavericks got it rolling as they won their second straight district title. They won’t go quietly and both of these teams will be regional contenders come playoff time. The real intriguing battle is a four-team race for the last two spots, Whitehouse and Pine Tree get the nod, but Mount Pleasant and Nacogdoches bring back loads of experience from competitive teams.
There are questions abound in 10-5A Division II as the teams who had the most success a year ago all were hit hard by graduation. Last year’s champion A&M Consolidated lost a load of skill talent but there’s good experience up front and that will give them the edge over Huntsville. The Hornets defense will again be among the best in in the region, but the Hornets offense has some key talent to replace. It’ll be a four-team race for the last two spots, Montgomery was beset by injuries and off the field issues a year ago they get the early edge for third behind a strong junior class. Rudder made massive strides a year ago and the Rangers may be in line for their first ever playoff appearance. Lamar Consolidated was hit hard by graduation losses and the loss of their coach, but they were an area round playoff team. Lake Creek has more experience back than anyone in the district and in year three of varsity football, the Lions are a real sleeper.
Expect the two Fort Bend ISD teams to control 11-5A Division II, Fort Bend Marshall has played for a state title in back to back seasons and despite the loss of a decorated senior class, the Buffaloes are loaded once again for another deep playoff push. Willowridge is a couple of steps behind Marshall, but the Eagles are the clear number two. The waters are a bit muddier after that, but Galena Park could be a big beneficiary from UIL Realignment as the ‘Jackets could be in line for a trip to the playoffs. Houston ISD will fight it out for the last playoff spot with Northside edging out Sterling and Austin.
Barbers Hill after a sensational 2019 season in which they went 11-2 gets the nod in 12-5A Division II, but they’ll get pushed by a tough Crosby side that made massive strides late in the 2019 season. Port Neches-Groves is flying a bit under the radar, but the Indians are still a dangerous side, a real sleeper is Kingwood Park who drops down from Division I. KPHS was a playoff team in a tough D1 loop and dropping to Division II should help from a depth standpoint, but always tough Nederland lurks.
District 9-5A Division II
- Texarkana Texas
- Longview Pine Tree
- Mount Pleasant
District 10-5A Division II
- College Station A&M Consolidated
- Bryan Rudder
- Rosenberg Lamar Consolidated
- Montgomery Lake Creek
District 11-5A Division II
- Fort Bend Marshall
- Fort Bend Willowridge
- Galena Park
- Houston Northside
- Houston Sterling
- Houston Austin
- Houston Waltrip
- Houston Madison
- Houston Sharpstown
District 12-5A Division II
- Barbers Hill
- Port Neches-Groves
- Humble Kingwood Park
- Santa Fe
- Texas City
Predicted Playoff Matchups
W9 Texarkana Texas vs F10 Bryan Rudder
R12 Crosby vs T11 Galena Park
W10 College Station A&M Consolidated vs F9 Longview Pine Tree
R11 Fort Bend Willowridge vs T12 Port Neches-Groves
W11 Fort Bend Marshall vs F12 Humble Kingwood Park
R10 Huntsville vs T9 Whitehouse
W12 Barbers Hill vs F11 Houston Northside
R9 Marshall vs T10 Montgomery
Marshall: The Mavericks lose some key still talent, but this is a team that always has plenty of talent, what makes this team a sleeper is the experience they have in the trenches as the entire offensive line is intact. If Marshall’s young secondary can step up this is a team that could easily play past Thanksgiving.
Texarkana Texas over Fort Bend Marshall: Newcomer to Division II Texas High has just enough to hold off one of the state’s most explosive teams in Fort Bend Marshall and get their first regional title since 2003. Last year’s experience of winning a playoff game in Lufkin will pay massive dividends for this experience squad as they look to take down a Buffs squad that’s won back to back regional titles.
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