Class 6A Division I
Klein Collins: In Division I and especially Region II, most of the talk is going to center around state title favorite Duncanville (and rightfully so), but Klein Collins is a tricky team looming in Region II. The Tigers combine good talent with a physical and gritty style that makes them a difficult team to prepare for in a short turnaround time.
Class 6A Division II
San Antonio Harlan: Austin dominates the discussion in Region IV but keep an eye on unbeaten Harlan who has quietly developed into one of the most consistent teams in the Alamo City. This is the Hawks best team they’ve ever had as they combine a deep group of skill players along with above average front-play. A tough third round-game awaits potentially, but this is a team to keep your eyes on.
Class 5A Division I
Edinburg Vela: It’s hard to say a 9-1 team who most considered the second-best team in the Valley as a sleeper, but Vela is talented enough to do some damage and make a deep run and challenge district rival PSJA North. But the Sabercats will have to get past a tough second round matchup with Corpus Christi Miller.
Class 5A Division II
Wichita Falls Rider: Rider’s playing for a lot this postseason as this is their final season in existence, so that makes them a very dangerous team. They are relatively young at the skill positions and the Raiders appear to be maturing at the right time.
Class 4A Division I
Waco La Vega: The Pirates play in one of the state’s toughest districts with the likes of Stephenville and China Spring. La Vega’s offense is as dynamic as any in the state, if the Pirates can get consistent play from their defense, they will be a tough out.
Class 4A Division II
Jasper: Region III is absolutely loaded, and Jasper plays in the state’s toughest district. The Bulldogs have the kind of shutdown defense that can keep them in most games. The offense is inconsistent, but when they are playing well, they are tough, and they’ve unleashed LB TyAnthony Smith in a wildcat package that is a bear to prepare for. The bracket potentially lines up favorably for the Bulldogs to make a playoff push as well.
Class 3A Division I
Universal City Randolph: With Edna’s late season struggles knocking them off from being the odds-on favorite to win the region, why not the Ro-Hawks? Randolph has a dynamic offense with some fantastic skill talent and the defense most of the season has been lights out. Their unique position as a school on a military installation makes them an easy team to root for as well, but they lack the experience of making a deep playoff run.
Class 3A Division II
De Kalb: The Bears have proven to be dangerous despite being overlooked in their corner of Northeast Texas. Region III doesn’t have a clear-cut favorite and the teams who do have playoff pedigree aren’t at elite levels this year. Winky Williams is the kind of player a fan of the underdog can certainly get behind.
Class 2A Division I
Marlin: After winning Region II in 2021, the Bulldogs stumbled in 2022 but have quietly put together a fantastic 2023 season in which they have just one loss on the field. The bracket lines up for them to be opposite regional favorite Tolar, so Marlin could be a team that plays a long time in 2023.
Class 2A Division II
Clarendon: The Broncos got off to a slow start under first-year head coach Aaron Wampler while learning a new offensive system, but they are starting to round into form. They’ve got a favorable draw and could be a team that plays past Thanksgiving.
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