By Angel Verdejo
Harker Heights Herald
In 1975, Lampasas head coach Joey McQueen was one of many high school football players to have his photo grace the pages of Dave Campbell's Texas Football.
"You wouldn't recognize me - I had long hair back then where I don't have any hair now," McQueen said.
Like his coach, new Badgers quarterback Brandon Scott had his face in the recent 2011 edition of Texas Football, released two weeks ago.
But wasn't the lone area athlete to be recognized, with Copperas Cove quarterback Orlando Thomas and Harker Heights offensive lineman Camrhon Hughes - both of whom have verbally committed to the University of Texas - were second-team selections on the all-classification Super Team. Hughes, a rising senior left tackle for the Knights, and Thomas were also listed in the Texas Top 300. Two of Hughes' teammates - one being his brother - were listed among the Top 100 juniors. Darius James is noted as a top defensive lineman, while Naashon Hughes - Camrhon's younger brother - is one of 11 defensive backs.
Despite the trio of notables, Texas Football projects the Knights to miss the postseason. Looking at the area, most of the projections look similar to last season's final standings.
A&M Consolidated, Belton, Bryan and Copperas Cove were 12-5A's playoffs teams. Those four are again picked to move on, with Cove slated as the winner ahead of A&M Consolidated (the Tigers won 12-5A last year ahead of Cove). Bryan and Belton are picked to finish third and fourth ahead of Ellison, Harker Heights, Temple and Shoemaker.
In its 12-5A overview, Texas Football says "Harker Heights and Ellison are capable darkhorses in the playoff race," while adding "Belton and Bryan have no margin for error."
Cove's opener at Southlake Carroll is the 5A Week 0 game to watch, as the Bulldawgs look to beat the seven-time state champions for the second straight year.
Aledo running back Johnathan Gray was named the Offensive Player of the Year, while defensive honors went to Denton Ryan defensive lineman Mario Edwards.
The changes from 2010 come in the 3A ranks, where Gatesville isn't picked to make its third straight playoff appearance. Picked second last year, the Hornets rallied after an 0-2 start to force a three-team tie behind first-place Lorena.
In 25-3A, Liberty Hill and Burnet lead the way, while, again, Lampasas is projected to reach the postseason. The Badgers were picked second a year ago and to even claim the Region IV, Division I crown, but finished fifth in the district as the season played out.
Salado is picked fourth after going winless in district in 2010, the Eagles' first year in 3A. Florence is picked sixth in 12-2A Division I, which features 2010 state runner-up Cameron Yoe.
Killeen is a projected playoff team in 8-4A, though the Kangaroos are slated to finish fourth behind Waco. The two finished the other way around last year behind 8-4A champion Waco Midway, picked this year behind Stephenville. Midway and Stephenville are ranked 10th and 8th, respectively, in the magazine's preseason 4A poll.