Del Rio: The Rams were a surprise playoff team a year ago in District 30-6A and with twelve starters returning and getting a couple of key players back who missed most of 2021 with injuries, Roderick Taylor’s squad is primed for a major step forward. Keep an eye on junior QB Zachary Taylor, one of the most dynamic playmakers in all of South Texas and a legitimate FBS prospect there in Del Rio.
Others to Watch: Mesquite Horn, Klein Forest, San Antonio Stevens
Class 5A-Division I
Lake Belton: It’s rare a first year program comes into the season with a lot of hype, but if there’s a program that may deserve some hype before they play a district game, it’s the Lake Belton Broncos. Lake Belton rolled to an unbeaten record a year ago and they’ve got some high-end talent that’s being heavily recruited. Add in a very manageable district in UIL Realignment and you’ve got the makings of a real sleeper out of the Super CenTex.
Others to Watch: Amarillo, Angleton, PSJA North
Class 5A-Division II
Frisco Memorial: After posting a 4-6 record as a Division I school, the Warriors make the move down to Division II and into a district where they should be able to challenge for their first playoff spot in school history. The Warriors bring back 28 lettermen and if they can stay healthy and develop a quarterback they could be in the playoff mix.
Others to Watch: El Paso Chapin, Mount Pleasant, Pflugerville
Class 4A-Division I
Brownwood: No team may benefit more from UIL Realignment that Sammy Burnett’s Lions who move from a meat grinder of a Region II district that would have featured two state champions along with Waco La Vega over to Region I. Yes, there is much more travel for Brownwood who faces road trips to Big Spring, Andrews and Lubbock, but Brownwood is in a spot where they have to travel no matter what. The Lions were 4-7 a year ago and slipped into the playoffs, but they return seventeen total starters and they’ve got help from a 10-0 JV squad, don’t be surprised if Brownwood is a real contender in Region I in 2022.
Others to Watch: Decatur, Lindale, Alice
Class 4A-Division II
Fort Stockton: The Panthers drop back down to Division II after back-to-back trips to the area playoffs in Division I, they return nineteen letterman and thirteen total starters as well. If they can adapt to new coach Jeremy Hickman (a Fort Stockton alum) the Panthers could be a real sleeper to make noise in Region I.
Others to Watch: Pittsburg, Jasper, Lago Vista
Class 3A-Division I
Mexia: Don’t be surprised if the Black Cats really make a big move in 3A-Divison I, stability is the key for Mexia as Aaron Nowell settles in for his second season after taking over the program literally one week before the season started in 2021. Mexia returns seventeen total starters from a team that was able to sneak into the playoffs late last season and could be a real factor come playoff time.
Others to Watch: Breckenridge, Little River-Academy, Hitchcock
Class 3A-Division II
Comfort: The Bobcats really struggled a year ago winning just a single game in a tough Division I district, Coach Easterly’s squad could be among the most improved teams in the state with nine returning starters on both sides of the ball. Add that experience in with being placed in a wide open Region IV and Comfort will be a team to watch in 2022.
Others to Watch: Wall, Cedar Hill TLC, New Waverly
Class 2A-Division I
Tioga: Year two of the Chad Rogers-era in Tioga could yield some big results as Tioga welcomes back sixteen total starters from a team that posted a 5-6 record in 2021. Tioga will be among the deepest teams in Class 2A-Division I with an impressive 30 returning lettermen.
Others to Watch: Sonora, Corrigan-Camden, Flatonia
Class 2A-Division II
Granger: The Lions, who return eight starters on bothsides of the ball from an 11-1 team are picked by most to finish third in their district behind Chilton and Bremond and even if they do finish third, they'll be a tough out come playoff time in a tough Region IV bracket.
Others to Watch: Boys Ranch, Roscoe, Snook
This article is available to our Digital Subscribers.
Click "Subscribe Now" to see a list of subscription offers.
Already a Subscriber? Sign In to access this content.