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2021 District 9-5A Div II Football Thread


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A little late to the discussion for the upcoming 2021 season but here to throw out a couple of initial thoughts  on the Pine Tree Pirates.

The Pirates are coming off a 9-2-1 season that will return 3 Offensive & 6 Defensive starters along with a total of 19 lettermen.

Obviously, replacing DJ Freeman and 7 starters  on that side of the ball are big concerns.

However, the Defense that was much maligned for many years and rightfully so...was vastly  improved in 2020. 

The Defense held 4 opponents to one single Offensive score with both Marshall and Nacogdoches included in back-to-back District opening wins (24-7) & (34-7).

So this season will open up as a total flip from years past...with the Pine Tree Defense leading the way.

The Pirates have an impressive array of talent in both size & speed returning on Defense in 2021.

I'll go more indepth on a future post.

RJ

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Still got a lot of work to do on the Mav webpage before the season starts....but it's all underway.  I've received some outstanding input over the summer.  Very excited about some things to come.

There wasnt any questionable  covid precautions  from Arkansas High! They cancelled  every sport event last week! Heck the whole volleyball  team was quarantined  last week had tomget that rumor squas

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Not a knock against PT…..but holding Marshall to one score last season was no great accomplishment. 

Our offensive ineptitude was our opponent’s best defense. 

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2 hours ago, Mavchamp said:

Not a knock against PT…..but holding Marshall to one score last season was no great accomplishment. 

Our offensive ineptitude was our opponent’s best defense. 

 

Hmmmm...very first District 9-5A game as I recall and it was definitely the "shock" of the night not only within the  league but all over East Texas.

The "timing" of that game as well as the way the Pirates beat the Mavericks especially on the LOS was certainly surprising !

A 10-7 halftime PT lead would widen not because of the likes of DJ Freeman as the Marshall defense came to play but Pine Tree's defense limiting Marshall to around 100 yards that night.

So give credit where it's credit is due...PIne Tree's defense that will return a solid group this Fall as well.

 

RJ

 

 

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21 hours ago, RandyJohnson said:

 

Hmmmm...very first District 9-5A game as I recall and it was definitely the "shock" of the night not only within the  league but all over East Texas.

The "timing" of that game as well as the way the Pirates beat the Mavericks especially on the LOS was certainly surprising !

A 10-7 halftime PT lead would widen not because of the likes of DJ Freeman as the Marshall defense came to play but Pine Tree's defense limiting Marshall to around 100 yards that night.

So give credit where it's credit is due...PIne Tree's defense that will return a solid group this Fall as well.

 

RJ

 

 

I’m not taking anything away from PT’s defense.  They were much improved last season.  

But Marshall’s offense struggled against the likes of Jacksonville and Mount Pleasant last season too.  Both of those games were close at halftime too and neither of those teams had any defense at all.  

Were those games close at the half because they coincidentally had good defenses those nights…. Or because Marshall’s offense was horrendous?

Our offense squatted several times last season.  Sometimes for the entire game (Longview, PT Texas High, Nac)… some times for just a half (Jax, WH, MP). 

Worst Marshall offense since 2012. 

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5 hours ago, Mavchamp said:

I’m not taking anything away from PT’s defense.  They were much improved last season.  

But Marshall’s offense struggled against the likes of Jacksonville and Mount Pleasant last season too.  Both of those games were close at halftime too and neither of those teams had any defense at all.  

 

 

 

Let's see...

Marshall 42 Jacksonville 21...

Marshall 26 Mt. Pleasant  7...

Looks like your Mavericks scored plenty on those two afterall AND won rather comfortably while "struggling " offensively at that !! 

There's no reason to continue go round & round with you on this point !

Pine Tree's defense "clearly" won the game at Marshall !

RJ

 

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Why?  Because you’re right and I’m wrong? 

That’s not how opinions work.  They aren’t fact.  Each is equally valid  

My opinion: Marshall struggled offensively against some of the worst defenses in the district. 

IMHO….PT didn’t win that game because of a stellar defense.  They won because they had the best offensive player in the district.  He shredded a pretty good defense with his smart decisions between his strong arm and shifty legs.

All PT’s defense  had to do was show up and they were ahead of the game because they were playing a totally inept offensive team.  

The final scores against Jacksonville and MP are irrelevant, really.  Several of those scores in those games were via the defense; not the offense. The truth of the matter is…. Our offense was horrendous in those games too.  Look at the halftime scores.  The defense won those games in spite of horrific offensive play. 

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On 6/7/2021 at 3:24 PM, RandyJohnson said:

 

Hmmmm...very first District 9-5A game as I recall and it was definitely the "shock" of the night not only within the  league but all over East Texas.

The "timing" of that game as well as the way the Pirates beat the Mavericks especially on the LOS was certainly surprising !

A 10-7 halftime PT lead would widen not because of the likes of DJ Freeman as the Marshall defense came to play but Pine Tree's defense limiting Marshall to around 100 yards that night.

So give credit where it's credit is due...PIne Tree's defense that will return a solid group this Fall as well.

 

RJ

 

 

THIS ENTIRE QUOTE that I tried to explain definitely went right over your head !?!

Marshall entered this very game as the favorite...they were 2-1 PT was 2-0-1 and it was a Marshall HOME game as well.

Marshall’s Offensive "ineptitude " (your very words) had yet to be actually EXPOSED. I mean they had already scored 34, 21 & 43 points in their first three non-district games certainly nothing glaring as a true negative what with a 33 point average thus far.

It was the Pirates Defense that chased QB Brent Burris around making life difficult for him and it was THIS game that "signaled" that there was to be an issue with the Mavericks Offense.

As for DJ Freeman he was merely efficient on this night where his totals did NOT jump out because he didn't have to have this type of performance. 

Perhaps your memory is referencing his dazzling performance that ended District play in 2019 in Marshall’s 38-33 win whereby DJ Freeman rushed for over 100 yards and passed for 200 yards as Pine Tree turned a 38-19 deficit into a close game in large part with two successful onside kicks. I have my game notes from both broadcasts & they're quite accurate.

So in summary it was definitely the Pine Tree defense that actually laid the "blueprint" for the season "ineptitude" that would portend the remainder of Marshall’s season ! 

This will be all I have to forward on the subject of this topic.

RJ

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Nothing went over my head.  I simply disagree with what your saying.   The difference is I respect your opinion and you flat out think mine is wrong.  It’s that green in you I guess. 

DJ may not have put up spectacular numbers in that game…… but there is no way he wasn’t a field general that completely took over the game.  He made smart decisions all night.   Never put PT in a bad situation. 

Burris running for his life was nothing new. He did it all season. Even in those wins… all of which came against non playoff teams. New Caney, McNorth, Jax, MP. 

Go look at the old Twitter feed. You’ll see complaints about the O line getting gobbled up in every. Single. Game.   Even the wins. 

It was exposed LONG before the PT game.  You’re looking at final scores instead of how games were actually going down. The OLine was a problem from snap #1.  It just got progressively worse.  Yes.  It got worse even after the PT game… even tho most of those defenses were mediocre to poor. 

Shutting down that offense wasn’t that hard.  Not when Jax and Mp were hanging. Nacogdoches’ defense wasn’t spectacular and it shut us down too.

PT didn’t need a great defense to win that game. They just had to show up and they were going to win. And they did.  Convincingly.

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2 hours ago, RandyJohnson said:

I mean they had already scored 34, 21 & 43 points in their first three non-district games certainly nothing glaring as a true negative what with a 33 point average thus far.

To be fair, 14 of those 21 points against Longview were against our 2nd and 3rd stringers.

The 43 points against McKinney North turned out to be a complete outlier for the Mavericks for the entire season.

At that stage of the season, I think most Mav fans still felt like their offense was pretty solid...but as the year (and reality set in) went on, it was pretty freakin obvious the offense was the downfall of their squad.

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3 minutes ago, LoboFan07 said:

To be fair, 14 of those 21 points against Longview were against our 2nd and 3rd stringers.

Dude, that game was painful.

In my life I've seldom felt true pity for an opposing team. But man, I felt bad for Marshall. We could've beat them by 100 points that night. 

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Moving forward...here's the Pine Tree Pirate returning breakdown for the 2021 season.

The Pirate defense will be lead by SIX starters which include the following: Headliner & Third year starter Sr. MLB Dallas Dixon (6'0" 210).

Additional returning starters are Jr. DT Brycelen Phillips (5'10" 285), Sr. DE Amahd Washington (6'2" 230), Sr. DT Cameron Turner (6'2" 207), Sr DB/WR Jeremiah Blinks (6'1" 175) & Sr. CB Tylur Neal (5'10" 165).

A few other contributors on Defense from 2020 are Sr. LB Tyrese Jones (5'8" 175), Soph. DE/TE Dealyn Evans (6'5" 255), Sr. LB Joseph Fisher (6'0" 190) and Sr. WS/WR Lukas Branson (6'0" 170).

Offensively the Pirates return THREE Starters which include Sr. RB Ethan Morgan (5'8" 155), Jr. Center Brode Hodges (5'11" 230) and Sr. OT Jacob Hall (6'3" 245).

The list of potential starters for Coach Lane on Offense also include the following: Sr. QB Hunter Gleason (6'2" 165), Jr. RB Devonta Davis (5'9" 190), Sr. FB Mark Daniels Jr. (5'7" 200), Sr. OL Connor Carrell (6'2" 260), Jr. OG Jaden Jones (6'0" 270), Jr. WR Tyrrell Sparkman (6'1" 175) Jr. WR Jonathan Fuller (6'3" 170), Sr. WB/WLB Hercules Tarver (5'11" 190), Sr. SE/DB Cody Janner (5'9" 175) and Soph. TE Dealyn Evans (6'5" 255). Evans will start at TE as well as play DE situationally.

The Offense will clearly be a work in progress while the Defense should be leaned on to provide the early guide for the Pirates in the Fall.

RJ

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5 hours ago, LOL said:

Dude, that game was painful.

In my life I've seldom felt true pity for an opposing team. But man, I felt bad for Marshall. We could've beat them by 100 points that night. 

We could put 100 on a lot of teams, but JK ain't the type to run up the score.

We get up by 35, in comes the FB dives....no matter how many are in the box lol

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After perusing my DCTF magazine.... here are my thoughts.....

1.  Texas High will be (or SHOULD BE) head and shoulders much better than anyone else in the district.  It's their district championship to lose.  Their defense should be pretty dang good.  They carried the team last season in games in which the offense struggled.  They have the best quarterback in the district.... and a platoon of offensive players to make him look even better.  They should be sharing the ball with all sorts of playmakers.  They will be running and passing and mixing it up as well as anyone.  The Tigers will be causing a lot of headaches for DC's this fall.  Prolific offense.... stingy defense.  Texarkana just looks stacked with no GLARING issues.  I just can't imagine them losing a district game this season.  It would be an upset whoever pulls it off.

2.  Not sold on PT at the #2 position.  Last season was a historical run for he Pirates.....and reproducing their success in 2021 is going to be a tall order.  No question about it... I think Pine Tree's defense will be their strength this season.  It's gonna have to be early in the season especially.  The offensive losses have got to be troubling to Pirate fans.  Obviously.....losing an ATH like DJ is huge...he's a generational player.  So rare.  So special.  He made the offense GO.  He was smart and rarely put the Pirates in bad situations.  But even with him gone....it has to be equally troubling that they lost so many OTHER important offensive peices that made their offense so good last season.  All that youth on offense probably has DC's in Texarkana and Marshall salivating with their stacked defensive units.  If the Pirates can find their QB and other offensive tools, LOOK OUT.  Otherwise... it may look like a lot of other PT squads the last decade, "close but no cigar".

3.  Whitehouse at #3 (and #25 in the state) is a little head-scratching for me.  They lost their entire offensive line.... but they do have a solid QB in the pocket (#2 QB in the district IMHO).  But will he be running for his life all game long?  WH has never been known as a defensive squad.... so a struggling offense could put a lot of pressure on an already questionable defense.  Toss in the fact that WH will have an entirely new coaching staff.  Will they stick to the schemes already in place?  Or do they overhaul Offensive and defensive schemes.... which could possibly spell a long season for the Wildcats IMHO.  They have lots of key peices and talent returning...but they have a lot of nuts and bolts to replace..... and a new staff can go one of two directions.  Makes WH fuzzy IMHO.

4.  Calling 2020 a disappointing season for Marshall is an understatement.  Headed into the season,  the QB spot was the biggest worry.  He proved to be better than expected.... but the offensive line was atrocious.  And the defense was probably as good as 2018's region semis team.  The 2021 defense will be even better.  The offensive line should be MUCH improved thanks to the return of Lottinger.  The QB situation is similar to last season and the biggest question mark for Marshall.  A couple of move-ins (Elysian Fields, Hallsville, and Tennessee) over the summer could have an immediate impacts.  (0-3) start isn't out of the question with all three non-district games Vs. 5A Div I teams (New Caney, Longview, and McKinney North).  But they will be battle tested by the time they open district on the road Vs. Pine Tree.  Key games for Marshall this season?  Whitehouse and Nacogdoches.  

5.  TBH.... I was a little shocked to see Nac picked out of the playoffs.  I'm not so sure given the uncertainty of so much at WH.  However....that being said..... Nac has some glaring peices to replace from last season.  Obviously, losing their 1400 yard QB to graduation is HUGE.  Replacing him will be a top priority.  Finding someone to tote the rock will be another priority.  DCTF thinks they will put that responsibility at the feet of a sophomore.  He will need some help.  Nac will have a top notch WR coming back from last season with more than 500 yards.  BUT the rest of their WR corps graduated.  They will need more hands.  The OL will need to be rebuilt and Nac's defense was shaky last season at times.... and they have nearly half of that squad to replace.   Nac's season hangs in the balance of two games IMHO:  Whitehouse and Marshall.

6.  Mount Pleasant annually has athletes on the field..... they just don't have enough of them.  Depth has been their traitor for years.  The Tigers always seem to have a pretty good offense.... they move the ball and always seem to be loaded with speed.  Their defense has been the achilles heel.  And with so many players playing both ways... coupled with injuries...... MP always seems to see close games at the intermission melt away in to a blowout loss.  The Tigers probably have more returning starters than any squad in the district..... but unless some depth is found on the bench.... I see their current trend continuing.  

7.  Hallsville being put ahead of Jacksonville was a little surprising to me.  The Bobcats have had a tumultuous offseason.  After a Covid-riddled season last year, Hallsville never seemed to put things together.  A late departure of their HC has to be concerning.  No spring ball with the new coach.... dwindling numbers.... community lethargy concerning football.  It all seems to be a lot of doom and gloom in Bobcat land.  All that being said.... Hallsville has athletes on the field.  It's a matter of pulling it all together.  But the Bobcats have historically struggled against the likes of Texas High, Marshall, Whitehouse... and a new losing trend Vs. Pine Tree.  I honestly see them finishing last.... but we shall see.

8.  Jacksonville being in last place was surprising to me..... I honestly think they should be better than Hallsville.... and possibly MP.  The Indians have athletes.... particularly on offense.  Defense is usually an afterthought for the Tribe.   I think Jax will again have a flashy offense.... they have one of the top WR's in the district coming back.  QB's seem to grow on trees in Jacksonville.... no matter how good or bad the program seems to be.  The tribe will score some points..... problem is.... they usually give up more.  

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The race for 2-4 should be a good one.  After Texas High.... I think it's going to be a free-for-all between Pine Tree, Whitehouse, Marshall, and Nac.  Who will be the odd man out?  It was Marshall in 2020.  WIll it be again?  Or will it be someone else?

My prediction:

1.  Texas High
2.  Pine Tree/Marshall
3.  Marshall/Pine Tree
4.  Nacogdoches
5.  Whitehouse
6.  Jacksonville
7.  Mount Pleasant
8.  Hallsville

Obviously.... WH is my darkhorse pick.  If things transition smoothly with the new staff.... they easily could jump up to that #2 slot, knocking PT/Marshall down to #3. 

THS wins out....mostly uncontested.

The winner of the PT/Marshall game will take the runner up slot, the loser will take third.  A huge loss, forcing the loser on the road in the first round, while the winner would host a playoff game

Nac will get in when they beat WH.

WH settles for 5th.  But like I said above..... things could go better than I expect.  

Jacksonville will be better than Hallsville and MP..... but their defense will keep them out of the playoff conversation.

MP could prove me wrong.....but their depth is troubling.  Has been for a while now.

Hallsville just looks like they could be in disarray.  I hope I'm wrong.  But I'm hearing some pretty discouraging news coming out of Bobcat land.  

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Predicted First round playoff match-ups

Lake Creek at Texas High
Montgomery at Marshall
Pine Tree at A&M Consolidated
Nacogdoches Vs. Huntsville

Texas High should win this game handily.  The rest of them are tough match-ups for 9-5A.  PT at AMC could be HUGE.  Think the Tigers want some revenge AT HOME no less???  Nac's return to Huntsville will likely be a repeat of 2020.  Montgomery will likely be a favorite over Marshall....even if they are the road team.  Marshall has got to prove they can win a first round playoff game.  They haven't since 2018, the last time they advanced to the region semi-finals.  

---------------

Thoughts?  

 

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Other random thoughts on what I've seen so far:

1.  Nice Seeing Royse City surging.  When we were playing them in 2015 and 2016..... you could tell they were headed in the right direction.  Looks like they are still plugging after it.  But it's hard to flex too much muscle when Ennis is in your district.  

2.  It's crazy to see how Sulphur Springs has completely fallen off a cliff after being as good as they were for as long as they were.  Picked to finish 7th this season.  How long since the Wildcats have had a winning season?  Seems like it's been a while......

3.  Copy/Paste the same thing with Corsicana. 

4.  Greenville picked to make the playoffs in the preseason?  The Lions have really come a long way.  Congrats to them.  Glad to see them winning.

5.  Lufkin picked to finish third in their 5A Division I district behind College Station and Magnolia.  I can't even remember the last time I've seen LP predicted that low.

6.  Carthage and Gilmer on the state stage..... again.  They are THE flagship programs of East Texas. 

7.  Lindale gave 5A programs fits (Lufkin, Ennis, Tyler, Marshall) for years.  Now they have become a powerhouse in 4A Div I.  State finalist last season.  They are preseason #8 in 2021.  Fans may have been sad to see their team drop a class..... but it seems to be worth it.

8.  ETBU has been picked to finish #3 in the American Southwest Conference.  That's likely not good enough to make the NCAA Div III playoffs unless they win all of their non-conference games.  Still may not be enough.  But with blue-bloods Mary-Hardin Baylor and Hardin Simmons in the ASC.... the TIgers will need an upset of one of them to guarantee themselves a return to the playoffs.  A little side note about the Tigers.....ETBU has the fastest growing enrollment in the conference.  Enrollment is up 24% in the last decade.

9.  Texas A&M Commerce is predicted to win the Lone Star Conference championship.

10.  Kilgore is picked for the #2 slot for the SWJC.

11.  Is there any reason to even talk about the Southland Conference anymore?  Only 2 Texas schools remain and IMHO Houston Baptist's days in FCS are numbered.  I think they likely drop to D2 in the future.  

12.  Anyone remember those wacky midnight-1AM WAC games back in the day?  Football is back for the WAC with a distinct Texas flavor thanks to Sam Houston, SFA, Tarleton, ACU, and Lamar.  Crazy.

13.  A&M #2 in the SEC West?  I'm not buying it.  LSU and Auburn may have other ideas.

14.  Big 12 needs flex some muscle.  OU needs to win a playoff game (vomit).  UT officially has the longest rebuilding phase ever.  TCU needs a return to the top.  Baylor.... paying for your sins it seems.

 

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8 hours ago, Mavchamp said:

Other random thoughts on what I've seen so far:

1.  Nice Seeing Royse City surging.  When we were playing them in 2015 and 2016..... you could tell they were headed in the right direction.  Looks like they are still plugging after it.  But it's hard to flex too much muscle when Ennis is in your district. 

I'll be interested to see how they do this season for sure. They're going to move up to 5A D1 next season, and almost certainly will be placed into our district (assuming we stay 5A D1 which I think we will).

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42 minutes ago, LoboFan07 said:

I'll be interested to see how they do this season for sure. They're going to move up to 5A D1 next season, and almost certainly will be placed into our district (assuming we stay 5A D1 which I think we will).

Can’t see RC thriving with HP and Longview in their backyard.  Almost seems unfair given all the strides they’ve made in the last 5 years.  They need to borrow some of the Scot’s enrollment counters. 

Absolutely fantastic football stadium.  One of my favorites.  Visitors side is a little small.  But there should still be plenty for most games. 

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24 minutes ago, Mavchamp said:

Absolutely fantastic football stadium.  One of my favorites.  Visitors side is a little small.  But there should still be plenty for most games. 

They've recently passed a bond to expand it from what I remember. They're fully preparing to be 6A within the next decade.

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On 7/10/2021 at 12:11 AM, Mavchamp said:

After perusing my DCTF magazine.... here are my thoughts.....

1.  Texas High will be (or SHOULD BE) head and shoulders much better than anyone else in the district.  It's their district championship to lose.  Their defense should be pretty dang good.  They carried the team last season in games in which the offense struggled.  They have the best quarterback in the district.... and a platoon of offensive players to make him look even better.  They should be sharing the ball with all sorts of playmakers.  They will be running and passing and mixing it up as well as anyone.  The Tigers will be causing a lot of headaches for DC's this fall.  Prolific offense.... stingy defense.  Texarkana just looks stacked with no GLARING issues.  I just can't imagine them losing a district game this season.  It would be an upset whoever pulls it off.

2.  Not sold on PT at the #2 position.  Last season was a historical run for he Pirates.....and reproducing their success in 2021 is going to be a tall order.  No question about it... I think Pine Tree's defense will be their strength this season.  It's gonna have to be early in the season especially.  The offensive losses have got to be troubling to Pirate fans.  Obviously.....losing an ATH like DJ is huge...he's a generational player.  So rare.  So special.  He made the offense GO.  He was smart and rarely put the Pirates in bad situations.  But even with him gone....it has to be equally troubling that they lost so many OTHER important offensive peices that made their offense so good last season.  All that youth on offense probably has DC's in Texarkana and Marshall salivating with their stacked defensive units.  If the Pirates can find their QB and other offensive tools, LOOK OUT.  Otherwise... it may look like a lot of other PT squads the last decade, "close but no cigar".

3.  Whitehouse at #3 (and #25 in the state) is a little head-scratching for me.  They lost their entire offensive line.... but they do have a solid QB in the pocket (#2 QB in the district IMHO).  But will he be running for his life all game long?  WH has never been known as a defensive squad.... so a struggling offense could put a lot of pressure on an already questionable defense.  Toss in the fact that WH will have an entirely new coaching staff.  Will they stick to the schemes already in place?  Or do they overhaul Offensive and defensive schemes.... which could possibly spell a long season for the Wildcats IMHO.  They have lots of key peices and talent returning...but they have a lot of nuts and bolts to replace..... and a new staff can go one of two directions.  Makes WH fuzzy IMHO.

4.  Calling 2020 a disappointing season for Marshall is an understatement.  Headed into the season,  the QB spot was the biggest worry.  He proved to be better than expected.... but the offensive line was atrocious.  And the defense was probably as good as 2018's region semis team.  The 2021 defense will be even better.  The offensive line should be MUCH improved thanks to the return of Lottinger.  The QB situation is similar to last season and the biggest question mark for Marshall.  A couple of move-ins (Elysian Fields, Hallsville, and Tennessee) over the summer could have an immediate impacts.  (0-3) start isn't out of the question with all three non-district games Vs. 5A Div I teams (New Caney, Longview, and McKinney North).  But they will be battle tested by the time they open district on the road Vs. Pine Tree.  Key games for Marshall this season?  Whitehouse and Nacogdoches.  

5.  TBH.... I was a little shocked to see Nac picked out of the playoffs.  I'm not so sure given the uncertainty of so much at WH.  However....that being said..... Nac has some glaring peices to replace from last season.  Obviously, losing their 1400 yard QB to graduation is HUGE.  Replacing him will be a top priority.  Finding someone to tote the rock will be another priority.  DCTF thinks they will put that responsibility at the feet of a sophomore.  He will need some help.  Nac will have a top notch WR coming back from last season with more than 500 yards.  BUT the rest of their WR corps graduated.  They will need more hands.  The OL will need to be rebuilt and Nac's defense was shaky last season at times.... and they have nearly half of that squad to replace.   Nac's season hangs in the balance of two games IMHO:  Whitehouse and Marshall.

6.  Mount Pleasant annually has athletes on the field..... they just don't have enough of them.  Depth has been their traitor for years.  The Tigers always seem to have a pretty good offense.... they move the ball and always seem to be loaded with speed.  Their defense has been the achilles heel.  And with so many players playing both ways... coupled with injuries...... MP always seems to see close games at the intermission melt away in to a blowout loss.  The Tigers probably have more returning starters than any squad in the district..... but unless some depth is found on the bench.... I see their current trend continuing.  

7.  Hallsville being put ahead of Jacksonville was a little surprising to me.  The Bobcats have had a tumultuous offseason.  After a Covid-riddled season last year, Hallsville never seemed to put things together.  A late departure of their HC has to be concerning.  No spring ball with the new coach.... dwindling numbers.... community lethargy concerning football.  It all seems to be a lot of doom and gloom in Bobcat land.  All that being said.... Hallsville has athletes on the field.  It's a matter of pulling it all together.  But the Bobcats have historically struggled against the likes of Texas High, Marshall, Whitehouse... and a new losing trend Vs. Pine Tree.  I honestly see them finishing last.... but we shall see.

8.  Jacksonville being in last place was surprising to me..... I honestly think they should be better than Hallsville.... and possibly MP.  The Indians have athletes.... particularly on offense.  Defense is usually an afterthought for the Tribe.   I think Jax will again have a flashy offense.... they have one of the top WR's in the district coming back.  QB's seem to grow on trees in Jacksonville.... no matter how good or bad the program seems to be.  The tribe will score some points..... problem is.... they usually give up more.  

--------------

The race for 2-4 should be a good one.  After Texas High.... I think it's going to be a free-for-all between Pine Tree, Whitehouse, Marshall, and Nac.  Who will be the odd man out?  It was Marshall in 2020.  WIll it be again?  Or will it be someone else?

My prediction:

1.  Texas High
2.  Pine Tree/Marshall
3.  Marshall/Pine Tree
4.  Nacogdoches
5.  Whitehouse
6.  Jacksonville
7.  Mount Pleasant
8.  Hallsville

 

 

I was surprised Nac. was picked out of the top 4 as well with the changes at WH. It is true Nac is replacing their QB but they have 2 that looked really good during the spring and 7 on 7. Nac is deep and fast at WR and they have 4 RB's that will split time. The O-line will have some work to do. The defense was the strength of the team last year, stats don't tell the story, the Nac offense making mistakes put the defense in some really bad spots especially against PT. PT beat us in every way, but our offense didn't do our defense any favors for sure.  Drop passes and turnovers on our side of the 50 killed us. Nac's defense hit their stride in the last half of the year, shutting down Jax, Marshall and took TX High to the wire. Nac played TX High closer than anyone else in the district last year and had the ball around the TX High 30 in the last few minutes of the game when they turned it over on downs. 

This will be the first full year the coaching staff has been able to have their spring and offseason program since being hired. I think Nac will be better this year vs last. Nac also did not play home game until their first district game last year. Having to play replacement games against Boswell and Rudder. Being able to stay close to home or play at home their 1st 3 games is also going to help this team. I think Nac fights for 2-4 this year.

 

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On 7/10/2021 at 10:03 AM, LoboFan07 said:

I'll be interested to see how they do this season for sure. They're going to move up to 5A D1 next season, and almost certainly will be placed into our district (assuming we stay 5A D1 which I think we will).

The word is Royce City and North Forney will skip over 5a Div1 and move to 6a.  Both of those teams were div1 before the uil adjusted the numbers last realignment.

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9 hours ago, OlineAlpha said:

The word is Royce City and North Forney will skip over 5a Div1 and move to 6a.  Both of those teams were div1 before the uil adjusted the numbers last realignment.

That’d be a nightmare for both squads imo. 

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Pre-season Scrimmages:

Aug 19- Nacogdoches Vs. Henderson (4A D1)
Aug 19- Jacksonville Vs. Bullard (4A D2)
Aug 20- Tyler Legacy (6A D2) Vs. Marshall
Aug 20- Longview (5A D1) Vs. Texas High
Aug 20- Whitehouse Vs. Melissa (4A D1)
Aug ??- Mount Pleasant Vs. Sulphur Springs 

Pine Tree ???
Hallsville ???

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