Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine finally arrived on newsstands recently and just one Wood County football program is picked to make the playoffs.
In Class 3A Division I, Mineola is picked for a fourth place finish and a playoff spot behind West Rusk, Tatum and Gladewater in District 8 3A DI which also includes White Oak, Winnsboro and Sabine.. The Yellowjackets return five offensive and six defensive starters to this year’s team from a squad who went 5-6 last year, losing in the bi-district round to Hughes Springs 27-0.
The ‘Jackets are led by quarterback Shaw Franklin and sensational sophomore running back Trevion Sneed. That’s not all the men in orange have going for them. Veteran lineman and four year starter Cameron Wise anchors a line with help from Seth Kirk, Wylie Franks and Mark Burrell. Receivers Cole Castleberry and Dalton Rogers will be on the receiving end of Franklin’s passing arm.
Winnsboro was tabbed for sixth place in the seven team district. The Red Raiders have six offensive and five defensive returning starters from a team that went 4-6. Running back Landry Deaton ran for 700 yards last year and hopes for an even better season behind linemen John McCurdy and Fernando Garcia.
The Quitman Bulldogs enter new territory with the wide ranging District 10—3A DII. The eight team district features the Bulldogs, Winona, Arp, Troup, Grand Saline, Frankston, Alba-Golden and Harmony. Harmony is the pick for first place followed by Troup, Arp, Winona, Grand Saline, Alba-Golden, Frankston and Quitman by the magazine.
Coach Bryan Oakes has seven returning starters on both sides of the ball. The Bulldogs have returning quarterback Josh Medlin and stellar running back Trey Berry. Incoming sophomore Ty Holland saw varsity action last year at quarterback and on defense and special teams. The Bulldogs have a talented receiving core with Gavin Derryberry, Dylan Coe and Rylie Flanagan each having big play talent. Hunter Gilbreath and Hunter Huggins anchor the line.
Alba-Golden finished at 3-7 last year and have one of the area’s top signal callers in Zane Smith who passed for over 1,200 yards last year and scored 14 rushing touchdowns. The Panthers are solid on defense led by linebackers Tom Mitchell and Dylan Arenas along with defensive back Jon Michael Chadwick. The magazine picks the Panthers to finish sixth.
Over at Hawkins, the Hawks will have 10 offensive and nine defensive starters coming back. The Hawks are picked to finish fifth in the six team District 10-2A DI with Price Carlisle, Alto, Big Sandy, Union Grove and Cushing. Running back Chris Jackson and wide receiver Camron Taylor have explosive talent and should give defenses trouble trying to defend them.
In pre-season state rankings, Brock is the number one team in the state in Class 3A DI. East Texas teams in the Top 20 are Atlanta at number four, Kemp eight, Malakoff ninth, Mt. Vernon 18 and Jefferson 20. In 3A DII, Newton sits at number one while Daingerfield is at ninth and Harmony 11 as the only East Texas teams in the top 20 in DII.