Harker Heights fans will like what they read.
Every year, countless enthusiasts look forward to the day when Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine hits the shelves, and recently, it did.
Considered the bible of the state’s most treasured sport, it is filled with hundreds of pages of analysis, feature stories and previews.
Perhaps no aspect of the publication is more anticipated than the predictions, though, and the staff prognosticates a strong showing for the Knights.
Harker Heights is picked to finish fourth in the District 8-6A standings, sending the program back to the playoffs for a second consecutive season.
With six returning starters on offense and three on defense, the magazine identifies defensive lineman Joseph Evans, receivers Jaquan Tillis and Marcel Ramirez, running back Jameel Hodges, offensive linemen Sam Pinkney and Taunty Motu, defensive back Daebrian White and quarterback Stacy Brown as “players to watch.”
The staff also lists running back Markel Reo, defensive lineman Jaeshon Jackson and linebacker Andre Gebhardt as other potential prospects.
Defending district champion Waco Midway is predicted to claim the title once again. The Panthers are also considered the 21 st best Class 6A team.
Belton follows Midway in projections with Killeen expected to finish third. Copperas Cove, Ellison and Shoemaker are picked to miss the playoffs, tabbed fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.
The Knights are coming off a 6-5 season, including a 3-3 record in district competition highlighted by a 34-28 victory at Belton. The showing gave Harker Heights a fourth-place finish in the district race, propelling the Knights into the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
While the magazine’s forecast is positive for Harker Heights, there are obstacles to overcome.
Among others, the Knights must replace nine starters on defense, three of five offensive linemen and their starting quarterback.
Harker Heights opens the upcoming season on Sept. 1 at Elgin and district play begins against Belton on Sept. 28.