By Angel Verdejo
The Cove Herald
Last summer was a first in a long time for Texas High School football fans.
Making its debut as a preview magazine was The Old Coach Friday Night Football Texas, or FNF for short. It became the second such publication to preview high school football across the entire state.
Dave Campbell's Texas Football, which is referred to as the "Bible of Texas Football," has been previewing the sport across the state since 1960.
With its release late last week, FNF showed it wasn't just a one-year wonder in terms of getting fans ready for the fall.
Both magazines preview nearly every high school in Texas, also highlighting players, coaches and teams. Unlike its older counterpart, FNF is a magazine solely dedicated to high school football whereas Texas Football also highlights the state's colleges and professional teams as well.
Like most start-up endeavors, the magazine is not without its faults.
Under its Harker Heights capsule, it lists Mike Myers as the Knights head coach instead of Mike Mullins and also has quarterback C.J. Rodriguez with more touchdown passes last season than former Belton quarterback David Ash (Ash had 41 TD passes to Rodriguez's 6).
However, the postseason projections for the area's Class 5A district (12-5A) are nearly identical in both magazines.
FNF predicts Copperas Cove to claim the 12-5A title, which would be the Bulldawgs first since 2008. They finished second last season at 6-1 in district play behind A&M Consolidated, who went 7-0 including a 24-10 win over the Bulldawgs in College Station.
A&M Consolidated, which features a new head coach in David Raffield and new spread offense, is picked to finish second.
Rounding out the four playoff picks are Belton and Bryan.
That's the order of finish they were in 2010, when the Tigers went 5-2 and Bryan went 4-3.
Should the projections come to fruition, it would mark the third straight year A&M Consolidated, Belton, Bryan and Cove represented 12-5A in the playoffs. In 2008, Cove and A&M Consolidated were joined by Temple and Shoemaker.
Ellison, who finished fifth last season at 3-4, is picked to finish in the same spot. The Eagles are ahead of Harker Heights, Temple and Shoemaker.
Cove and A&M Consolidated are both ranked in FNF's Top 50 Class 5A teams. The Bulldawgs are No. 22, while the Tigers are No. 37. Cove's season-opening opponent - Southlake Carroll - is ninth.
Cove quarterback Orlando Thomas and Heights offensive linemen Camrhon Hughes were named to the FNF's Team Texas. The future University of Texas teammates are second teammers.
Thomas is the area's top-rated player among theoldcoach.com's Top 100 seniors. He's ranked 28th, while Hughes is No. 45. The two are also on the 5A All-state team.
Heights' Darius James, Cove's Darius McClinton and a pair of Killeen Kangaroos - Rasheed Dashiell and Akeem Harrison - are listed among the "Best of the Class of 2013."