2AD2 – Path to the 2019 State Title Game

2AD2 Preseason Top 10

(with Week 1 pairings)

  1. Mart at Bosqueville
  2. Falls City, Three Rivers
  3. Wellington, Hollis OK
  4. Gruver, Texhoma OK
  5. Hamlin at Anson
  6. Stratford at Sunray
  7. Muenster, Whitesboro
  8. Grapeland at Milano
  9. Iraan at Crane
  10. Albany at Colorado

Region I

Favorites

  1. Stratford
  2. Gruver
  3. Vega
  4. Tahoka

District 1 - Iraan, McCamey, Van Horn, Wink

Iraan and Wink to battle for distirict #1

District 2 - Bovina, Farwell, Plains, Seagraves, Springlake-Earth, Sudan

Farwell or Sudan

District 3 - Booker, Clarendon, Gruver, Stratford, Vega

Stratford and Gruver in fiere competition

District 4 - Crosbyton, Lockney, New Home, Ralls, Smyer, Tahoka

Tahoka the favorite

 

Region II

Favorites

  1. Hamlin
  2. Albany
  3. Wellington
  4. Wheeler

District 5 - Memphis, Munday, Quanah, Shamrock, Wellington, Wheeler

Wellington in dog fight with Wheeler

District 6 - Archer City, Electra, Petrolia, Ranger, Santo, Windthorst

Santo should be district champ

District 7 - Albany, Baird, Cross Plains, Hamlin, Haskell, Roscoe

Hamlin, best in the Region

District 8 - Christoval, Eldorado, Menard, Miles, Rocksprings

Christoval or Eldorado #1

 

Projected

State Semi-final

Stratford vs. Hamlin

Region III

Favorites

  1. Mart
  2. Grapeland
  3. Muenster
  4. Lovelady

District 9 Cumby, Era, Muenster, Tioga

Muenster, Cumby, 1-2

District 10 - Clarksville, Detroit, Maud, Mount Enterprise, Overton, Simms-Bowie

Clarksville to win

District 11 - Dawson, Frost, Hubbard, Mart, Meridian, Wortham

Mart, without a serious challenger

District 12 - Burkeville, Colmesneil, Evadale, Grapeland, Lovelady, West Hardin

Grapeland and Lovelady, wi edge to Grapeland

 

Region IV

Favorites

  1. Falls City
  2. Burton
  3. Bremond
  4. Snook

District 13 - Bartlett, Bremond, Chilton, Granger, Iola

Bremond

District 14 - Burton, Flatonia, Louise, Snook, Somerville

Pretty strong district, with Burton projected winner

District 15 - Charlotte, D'Hanis, Falls City, La Pryor, Pettus, Runge

Falls City easily

District 16 - Agua Dulce, Benavides, Bruni, La Villa, Premont, Woodsboro

Woodsboro, but under new Head Coach

 

Projected

State Semi-final

Mart vs. Falls City

Projected

State Final

Mart vs. Hamlin

Football, Fame and Misfortune

Can a 'fallen' coach be 'born again' on the playing fields of a small Texas high school?

By Longhorn Putt

AUGUST 19, 2019—I'd been thinking about putting on a page a few words about former Baylor Head Football Coach Art Briles for some time, but kept putting it off until this morning, when I awoke to read of the untimely death of former UT Longhorn star running back Cedric Benson in West Austin, the victim of a motorcycle accident.

How tragic, at such a young age (36), for any human being, regardless, fame or no fame—were my first thoughts.

Pressing those reflections in my mind, I realized that misfortune seems to me to follow famous athletes more than it does ordinary folks, like myself.  Maybe not.  Maybe it just seems that way.  Anyway, I decided to do a little research and see if I might come up with some observations worth sharing.

First off, I needed to re-inform myself about when and why Art Briles lost his job with Baylor.  As is widely known in Texas. he was hired by the Waco university after his having had an illustrious high school coaching career, particularly in Stephenville, which he coached to 4A state titles in 93, 94, 98 and 99.  He was dismissed by Baylor in 2015 following a sexual assault scandal, concerning which it was alleged he helped to cover up.

Since 2015, Briles has authored a book and in 2018 was hired to coach the Estra Guelfi, a Frenzie American football team located in Florence Italy. In May of 2019 he was hired by the Mount Vernon ISD (Texas) to be the high school head football coach.  And in June he started work in his new position. (Population of Mount Vernon: 2,890; its location, a few miles off I-30 about 100 miles east of Dallas.)

So it was that until three months ago the best known sports name in Mount Vernon was that of Don Meredith, a native son, who starred for both SMU and the Dallas Cowboys before moving on to become a popular sports announcer on ABC's Monday Night Football.

Meredith died suddenly on December 5, 2010, in Santa Fe, NM, from the consequences of a brain hemorrhage.  The football field on which Briles will coach his first 2019 home game for his 3A Division 1 Tigers on September 13, against Canton-is , yes indeed, appropriately named the Don Meredith Stadium. The first two games of the 2019 season will be at Bonham and Farmersville.

Somewhere along his way, Meredith was given the nickname of "Dandy Don," which fit him to a T.

Whether Art Briles can become "Born Again" Briles, that is the question his friends and allies are asking now.  Does he have a chance to regain a measure of the "grace" that has so unceremoniously gone from him?

Texas tradition tells me that he does, definitely.  For around the Lone Star we sports nuts love nothing more than a "comeback" or having our "underdog" team pull of the big upset, not to mention that beautiful sight we glory in when a "lesser" star, perhaps of smaller size or possessing only modest ability, pulls off an amazing athletic feat.

Whatever the Briles comeback might be, it'll not be easy.

O.J. Simpson's sins, known or unknown to the larger public, were so gross,  almost forgotten entirely is the fact that he once was regarded by many as the greatest running back in the history of the sport.  Gambler Pete Rose's chances of being selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame are next to none, despite his having the stats and credentials far better than many already n the Hall.

For her involvement in the BALCO steroids scandals, after becoming the first woman to win five Olympic medals, Marian Jones was stripped of her medals in 2007, banned from competing in the Beijing Olympics and sentenced to six months in prison and two years of probation.

There are many other "fallen" sports idols I could name.

But my point here is:  Maybe Briles is lucky.  He has a job.  He has a chance to regain a measure of both self-respect and of deserved admiration from around the sporting world.

Does his team have to win 90% of its games or a state title or two?  Would that do the trick?

It might help, but would certainly not be the "proof in the pudding."

The proof will be in the impact Art Briles will have upon the lives of the Mount Vernon youth he will be coaching and teaching, for however long that may be.

Will they know he has done his job honestly, truthfully, responsibly and to the very best of his ability? And will he have taught them, by precept and example, how to relate to their peers and others, older and younger, male and female, with decency and respect?

Excepting perhaps his family members and friends who know and love him dearly, I don't believe anybody wants Art Briles to succeed more than I do.

Go, Art!  Go!

 

First Practice

Dandy Don and The Coach

Happier times?

Don Meredith Stadium

McLane Stadium Baylor

2AD1—Path to the 2019 State Title Game

2A1 Preseason Top 10

(with Week 1 pairings)

  1. Mason, Wall, 8/29
  2. Shiner at Hallettsville
  3. Refugio at Tidehaven
  4. San Saba at Johnson City
  5. San Augustine, Big Sandy
  6. New Deal, Lubbock Roosevelt
  7. Panhandle, Tulia
  8. De Leon at Clyde
  9. Stinnett West Texas, Canadian
  10. Tenaha at Troup

As readers familiar with my past musings know, in preseason projections I usually stick with the defending champions, like Mason in this division of 2A and Mart in 2AD2.  But obviously,  there will be surprises and disappointments.  Still, by making projections we do share a good bit of reliable information plus our anticipations are made all the more interesting, I trust.  Enjoy.

Region I

Favorites:

  1. New Deal
  2. West Texas
  3. Panhandle
  4. Hawley

District 1 - Amarillo Hyde Park, Boys Ranch, Panhandle, Sanford-Fritch, Stinnett West Texas, Sunray.

Should be a tough district race between Panhandle and West Texas, which opens against 3AD2 #1 Canadian.  If West Texas holds Canadian to a 21 point win or fewer, a sure sign they're strong enough to challenge Panhandle.

District 2 -Floydada, Hale Center, New Deal, Olton, Post, Sundown

New Deal had its best year ever in 2018, losing in the state final to Mason, 44-6.

District 3 - Forsan, Hawley, Ozona, Stamford, Winters

Hawley was 10-2 in 2018, losing to Sundown in the Area round, 37-36 (OT)

District 4 - Alvord, Chico, Lindsay, Olney, Seymour

Seymour (10-2) is the defending district champion

Region II

Favorites:

  1. San Saba
  2. De Leon
  3. Riesel
  4. Wolfe City

District 5 - Celeste, Collinsville, Tom Bean, Trenton, Valley View

Collinsville is picked to take the district.

District 6 - Bogata Rivercrest, Como-Pickton, Honey Grove, Quinlan Boles, Wolfe City

Wolfe City was eliminated in the 2018 area round by De Leon, 31-20

District 7 - Crawford, De Leon, Goldthwaite, Hico, San Saba, Valley Mills

Through the 2018 season San Saba mostly sailed smoothly along, had a close OT win over Celeste in sub-regional round, before losing to New Deal in the state semis, 31-20. But the Armadillos must regroup, having lost HC Jerod Fikac to Georgetown East View.

District 8 - Axtell, Bosqueville, Bruceville-Eddy, Italy, Itasca, Moody, Riesel

Bosqueville is the district favorite, but Riesel may be the big surprise.

 

Projected Semi-final

New Deal vs. San Saba

Region III

Favorites:

  1. San Augustine
  2. Tenaha
  3. Garrison
  4. Centerville

District 9 - Cayuga, Centerville, Jewett Leon, Kerens, Malakoff Cross Roads, Normangee

As it usually does, Centerville is expected to make a late season run, win the district and advance another round or two

District 10 - Alto, Big Sandy, Cushing, Gladewater Union Grove, Hawkins, Price Carlisle

Alto returns 15 starters (8/7) from its 8-4 team of 2018 and should be much stronger to face the likes of Garrison, which defeated the Yellow Jackets 43-13 in last year's Area round.

District 11 - Beckville, Garrison, Harleton, Joaquin, Linden-Kildare, Tenaha, Timpson

The Copano picks Tenaha to take the district though it'll be close all the way.

District 12 - Deweyville, Groveton, Hull-Daisetta, Pineland West Sabine, San Augustine, Shelbyville

San Augustine led by Tijay Thomas-Davis could make it all the way.   All the wolves need is a measure of tightening by their defense.  They will score.

 

Region IV

Favorites:

  1. Mason
  2. Shiner
  3. Refugio
  4. Weimar

District 13 - Hearne, Holland, Marlin, Milano, Rosebud-Lott, Thorndale, Thrall

Holland will have exceptional experience on both sides of the line.

District 14 - Bracketville, Center Point, Harper, Junction, Mason, Sabinal

Mason is the defending champ, and until it's shown otherwise, should remain the favorite.

District 15 - Kenedy, Shiner, Wallis Brazos, Weimar, Yorktown

With a new head coach and a new spurt of energy, the Comanches of Shiner appear ready to compete for the top position in the region.

District 16 - Ben Bolt, Freer, Refugio, Riviera-Kaufer, Santa Maria, Three Rivers

Refugio, a title favorite in many corners, must recover from what, for it, was a lackluster 2018 (11-3).  HC Jason Herring is placing his hopes on key returnees and especially on senior quarterback Austin Ochoa.

Projected Semi-final

San Augustine vs. Mason

Projected Final

New Deal vs. Mason

Sentimental Projected Final

Panhandle vs. Refugio

2A/3A Featured 2019 Openers

Week 1 Featured Games

2A & 3A

Albany vs. Colorado

Canadian vs. West Texas

Falls City Vs. Three Rivers

Gunter vs. Daingerfield

Mason vs. Wall

Yoakum vs. Boerne

 

2A1 Top 10
  1. Mason, Wall, 8/29
  2. Shiner at Hallettsville
  3. Refugio at Tidehaven
  4. San Saba at Johnson City
  5. San Augustine, Big Sandy
  6. New Deal, Lubbock Roosevelt
  7. Panhandle, Tulia
  8. De Leon at Clyde
  9. Stinnett West Texas, Canadian
  10. Tenaha at Troup
2A2 Top 10
  1. Mart at Bosqueville
  2. Falls City, Three Rivers
  3. Wellington, Hollis OK
  4. Gruver, Texhoma OK
  5. Hamlin at Anson
  6. Stratford at Sunray
  7. Muenster, Whitesboro
  8. Grapeland at Milano
  9. Iraan at Crane
  10. Albany at Colorado
3A1 Top 10
  1. Grandview, Glen Rose
  2. Brock, Brownwood
  3. Cameron Yoe, Mexia
  4. Yoakum, Boerne
  5. Malakoff at Teague
  6. East Chambers, Kountze
  7. Goliad at Columbus
  8. Franklin, Hearne
  9. Wall at Mason
  10. Gladewater, Spring Hill
3A2 Top 10
  1. Canadian at Stinnett West Texas
  2. Gunter at Daingerfield
  3. Newton at Kirbyville
  4. Buffalo at Crockett
  5. Gilmer Harmony at New Diana
  6. Blanco. Lago Vista
  7. Daingerfield, Gunter
  8. East Bernard at Rice Consolidated
  9. Childress, Bushland
  10. Cisco at Sweetwater

Openers for 2019 Copano Football

From the first kickoff, title hopes are on the line

Longhorn Putt

First, a look at the Big Three in 2AD1 Region IV

The Mason Punchers, defending 2AD1 champs, will send out the first signal:  they open on Thursday, August 29th, hosting the Wall Hawks.   The Punchers have a new coach (DC Michael McLeod has been promoted to HC, replacing Kade Burns ) and this game will say a lot about how well the much praised Mason defense can meld with its offense under McLeod's direction.  DT Slone Stultz, defensive MVP in the 2018 title game, returns as does RB Klay Klaerner

Not to be outdone, Shiner also has a new HC in Daniel Boedeker, formerly the Comanche DC.  Offensively, RB Donyai Taylor will carry the big load behind a still-to-be-tested offensive line.  The Comanches have one of the toughest pre-district 2A schedules in the state.  They open at Hallettsville on August 30th; then, in Weeks 5 and 6 host Goliad and Lexington, in that order.

The Refugio Bobcats must forget about their 35-0 opening 2018 win over Tidehaven.  This year, they'll be travelling into El Maton to take on a team that was a much-improved  squad at the close of 2018.  Senior QB Blake Garcia is at the helm of a team that Texas Football gave a preseason 3AD2 ranking of #10.   Last summer, Garcia led his 7x7-ers into the state Division III quarterfinals in College Station.  Late news out of the Mission city says Austin Ochoa will be the Bobcat starter at quarterback. OL Daeton Wills and LB Ysidro Mascarro are pre-season 1st Team all-state selections.  HC Jason Herring no doubt hopes his team will not be looking past one bunch of Tigers to another bunch much tougher, Goliad.  The Bobcats travel 25 miles northward on September 6 seeking revenge for the 35-0 pounding that Goliad inflicted upon them in 2018, their first shutout in 17 years.

Next, Around the Copano. . .

Joe Richard "JR" Castellano begins his first head coaching job for Taft (was DC for Beeville) leading his Greyhounds against John Paul II, in Taft.   The Greyhounds won 3 and lost 7 in 2018, and did not qualify for the playoffs.   They play in 3AD2 District 16, where Odem is the preseason favorite.  Castellano is a native of Refugio.

Woodsboro Eagles, under new HC Gary Carpenter, open at home against Brackett

Sinton Pirates, La Vernia.

Bonus for Refugio Bobcat Fans, re noteworthy opponents of years past and their first games:

Cameron Yoe (3AD1), Mexia

Canadian (3AD2), at West Texas - Canadian is The Copano's #1 in its division

Idalou (3AD1), Shallowater

Cisco (3AD2), at Sweetwater

Openers for Copano Area ranked teams (Texas Football)

Note:  The Copano's preseason rankings vary from TF in 2A and 3A. (To see the differences, go to our "featured games" tab above.)

CC Calallen (#3 5AD2), at San Benito.

CC Flour Bluff (#25 5AD1), at Pharr San Juan Alamo, 8/29

Port Lavaca Calhoun (#18 5AD2), at Victoria West

Cuero (#4, 4A D2), at Bay City

Rockport-Fulton (#22, 4AD2),  Aransas Pass

Yoakum (#5, 3AD1),  Boerne

Goliad (#8, 3AD1), at Columbus

Edna (#11, 3AD1), at Caldwell

East Bernard (#3, 3AD2), at Rice Consolidated

Tidehaven (#10, 3A D2),  Refugio

Odem (#22, 3AD2), at West Oso

Refugio (#1, 2AD1), at Tidehaven

Mason (#2, 2AD1), Wall, 8/29

Shiner (#3, 2AD, at Hallettsville

Weimar (#14, 2AD1), at Manor New Tech

Mart (#1, 2AD2), at Bosqueville

Falls City (#2, 2AD2), Three Rivers

Flatonia (#25, 2AD2), at Runge

 

 

 

Refugio Vows to Come Back from (Football) Disaster

Sports-wise, Hurricane Harvey (late August 2017) was but a blip on the weather screen for the citizens of Refugio, Texas, although it inflicted the worst storm damage ever on the south Texas community with a population of about 2,800.

Far worse for the locals, at least for their pride, was the 2018 RHS Bobcat football record of 11 wins and 3 losses.

Jordan Kelley

Refugians are known to be tough Texans who can coolly handle bad times, weather-wise or other-wise, except if "the bad" has to do with losing football games.

One loss in a season is terrible.  Two losses are horrible.  Three are total disaster.

And what made 2018 so bitterly disastrous was the 35-0 loss to the Goliad Tigers in Week 2, the first shutout of the Bobcats since 2001 (7-0, to Ganado in the playoffs).

Texas Football has predicted that the 2019 Bobcats will return to normal, which means 1 loss or none, meaning too that they are worthy of the #1 2A D1 preseason ranking.

But there are obstacles, big ones.

Take the opener, in Tidehaven, where the El Maton High Tigers will field an experienced team that was greatly improved at the close of the 2018 season (Regional finals) from the team that began its schedule losing to Refugio, 35-0.

Blake Garcia

El Maton returns 16 starters (8/8), including QB Blake Garcia, who, in June, carried his team to the Texas State 7 on 7 (D3) quarterfinals in College Station. The Tigers are #10 in Texas Football's 3AD2 preseason rankings.

Then comes a really big test on September 6th, against #8 3AD1 (preseason) Goliad on the Tigers' home turf.

After that, the Bobcats will host Aransas Pass, travel to Hebbronville, then on September 27th welcome the Mart Panthers into their Jack Sportsman Stadium

Mart's big guns from 2017 (2AD1) and 2018 (2AD2) state titles, have graduated.  But 1st team all-staters, OL Cameron Atkins and DL Roddrell Freeman,  are back to cause headaches for the Bobcats on both sides of the ball.

If the Bobcats hold to the "success" forecasts through September, they should not be seriously challenged again until the playoffs, where Mason and Shiner will, as usual, likely loom large as worthy opponents in Region IV.

Refugio started slowly in 2018, experimenting with new additions to its offense under a freshman quarterback.  Their start this year has to be better if they are to fulfill their dream of earning another state title for their school and community, which seriously needs a boost from the pressures it's citizens have lived under since August 26, 2017.

Coach Herring knows how

QB/FS Jordan Kelley has a full year of experience behind him and showed late in the 2018 season that he is capable of being a huge stopper on defense, as should be DE Austin Ochoa, who will backup at QB.

In addition, OL Dareon Wills and LB Ysidro Mascorro are both pre-season 1st team All-State choices (Texas Football} backing up the notion that the Bobcats should be greatly improved in 2019, offensively and defensively.

Texas Football also picked Refugio head coach Jason Herring as its pre-season Coach of the Year.

Please text corrections to 512-426-2427

December Crown Jewels in August

31 Days hath August and all the rest are a 'must'

Putt Notes

July 2019 was the longest month in my long and short-term memories, and one of the worst ever for sports nuts like me.  You simply can't push a Grandstanding 'King from the Queens' off the headlines.  No way.

But I'm recovering.  How do I know?

I'm picking up on a lot of the hidden goodies, of  which I'll here list a few.

No one in Texas has previously followed the Kansas Jayhawks very closely.  But this year they may get the yearning to do so.  Former Rockdale QB Torry Locklin, redhirted in 2018, is now on the active roster for the Jayhawks, who also have a new head coach, Les Miles, who, in turn,  has hired a new offensive coordinator,  the experienced Lee Koenning, known to be a developer of quarterbacks.

Miles was fired at LSU in 2016 despite his Tigers having won a national championship in 2007, two SEC titles, and 77% of their games.  Why was he fired?  Because of his "stubbornness," he would not change his offense to a more creative, wide-open attack—reliable sources have told us.

Copano hopes Locklin and Koenning will be able to give Miles all the flexibility he will ever need.

And speaking further of the same:  Has Jason Herring been able to make the adjustments

 

 

 

 

 

needed for his Refugio Bobcats to recover in 2019 from their losses to both of the 2018 2A champions, Mason and Mart?

We should have a pretty good answer by the morning after the Bobcats have played 3A D1 Goliad, which inflicted upon them their third loss in 2018, 0-35 (Week 2), the first Bobcat shutout in 17 years.  The two rivals clash in Goliad on September 6th.

QB Jordan Kelley being initiated in 2018. Goliad dominated.

If that's not enough, we should know for sure about the Bobcats  late on September 27th, after they have hosted the Mart Panthers in a revenge game.  Mart won 41-8 last year.

Back to the Jayhawks.

Let's not feel sorry for Les Miles having been fired at LSU.  Between that firing and his Kansas hiring, he found lucrative work in the movies. His latest role was in The Challenger Disaster, as Nelson, released in January of this year.  His annual salary heading the Jayhawk football program is said to be $2.8 million.

The Big 12 Jayhawks meet TCU in Fort Worth, September 28th, and the UT Longhorns in Austin on October 19th.  They host Baylor on November 30th.