Only one Class 3A team in the Big Country starts the season ranked in the Texas Football Top 25. That team is Jim Ned, and they are picked to win another Class 3A Division I state championship. The Indians stunned most with their run to the title. 14 positions are filled with returning starters from that team. Class 3A cover boy Xavier Wishert is back, and that’s huge. He rushed for over 23-hundred yards and 33 touchdowns and came up with 109 tackles in 2020. He’s not alone on the field, though. Quarterback Tate Yardley, receiver and defensive back Braden Lewis, and offensive and defensive lineman Noah Powell are back, just to name a few. In short, the Indians are stacked. Jim Ned is the district favorite. Wall is second, and Early is picked third.
The Longhorns returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2008 last season. Head coach Daniel Price has 16 positions filled with returners from that team. The playoff experience of 2020 was good, but now they want more. Price telling us it’s time for the Longhorns to start winning gold balls.
Clyde is picked to claim the final playoff berth behind new head coach Danny Dudgeon. Breckenridge is probably the most underrated team in the Big Country, and TLCA is picked 6th.
The Ballinger Bearcats lead the charge in Class 3A Division II. Head coach Chuck Lipsey’s Bearcats won a district title for the first time since 2008 last season. Only three positions are filled with returners on both sides of the ball, but a big, senior heavy roster will help the Bearcats repeat as district champs.
Sonora is expected to take second and the Bangs Dragons are picked third.
The Dragons came within a game of claiming a district title in 2020, and Kyle Maxfield’s team is going to have a different look with less than half of the starters coming back, but the playoffs are definitely a realistic goal in 2021.
Brady is picked to take the fourth and final playoff spot. Grape Creek and Ingram Moore are picked 5th and 6th.
Who is going to replace Behren Morton at quarterback in Eastland? That’s the question being asked by Mavericks fans. Cooper Wright and Keaton Hicks are the candidates, but Texas Football says no matter who takes the snaps, they will be surrounded by a strong cast of skilled players this season.
Eastland is expected to win the District 5-3A championship. They are followed by Jacksboro, Millsap, and Comanche and new head coach Joaquin Escobar are picked to finish 4th. Dublin and Merkel come in at fifth and sixth.