Dave Campbell’s Football Magazine picks seven 3A Big Country schools to make playoffs

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Nine teams in the Big Country are slated to compete at the class 3A level with 4 teams in district three Div. I, two in district two Div. II and three in district five Div. II.

In district 3-3A Div. I, the Jim Ned Indians, led by head coach Matt Fanning are coming off a 7-4 record in 2019. They return six starters on offense and five on defense. One starter on the offensive side includes Xavier Wishert who was named preseason offensive MVP by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine. Wishert rushed for 859 yards and six touchdowns last year, while also making 93 tackles, 1.5 sacks and an interception on the defensive side of the ball.

Jim Ned is predicted to finish second behind a tough Wall team that finished 12-1 last year and return 14 starters this year. Clyde and Breckenridge are expected to earn playoff spots in 2020. Early and San Angelo TLCA fall out of postseason play at the five and six spot.

Ballinger looks to make a statement in district 2-3A Div. II with nine offensive starters and eight defensive starters returning in 2020. Head coach Chuck Lipsey led the Bearcats to an 8-3 record with a 5-2 finish in district last year. Dave Campbell gives Adam Winn preseason all-state honors as an offensive lineman, while also awarding him district preseason defensive MVP as a defensive end. Winn was named defensive lineman of the year after making 94 tackles and three sacks in 2019.

The Bearcats are expected to finish at the top of district 2-3A Div. II. Sonora follows in second with Bangs in the third. The Dragons return quarterback Brayton Wedeman who threw for 748 yards and 10 touchdowns while running for 685 yards and 11 scores. Brady takes the last playoff spot. Ingram Moore and Grape Creek miss the postseason.

You might have heard the name Behren Morton a few times before. The Eastland quarterback looks to lead the Mavericks in district 5-3A Div.II alongside his dad, head coach James Morton. Morton is honored with being preseason offensive MVP of the district. The 2021 Texas Tech commit threw for an impressive 2,754 yards and 29 touchdowns in 2019 while also rushing for nine more scores. He returns with four other starters on offense and six on the defensive side. One of those offensive starters includes running back Brandon Fielding who rushed for 1,115 yards and 14 touchdowns last year.

Eastland is projected to finish first in the district. After making the playoffs last year, Comanche is predicted to make the postseason again following Jacksboro in third. Dublin follows Comanche in fourth. Millsap and Merkel take the fifth and sixth spots to miss the playoffs.

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