Even the state’s most trusted source can be wrong, and several area teams hope that is the case this fall.
To the delight of die-hard fans across the state, the 2014 edition of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football recently hit the shelves, and while countless people rushed to get a copy, not everybody was pleased with what they read.
In fact, numerous fans are hoping the publication’s predications for the upcoming season are flat-out wrong, and if they were, it would not be the first time.
Killeen, Shoemaker, Copperas Cove and Midway are picked to emerge from the newly formed District 12-6A and reach the playoffs this year, leaving the trio of Ellison, Harker Heights and Belton out of the postseason for a second consecutive year.
In 2013, DCTF correctly selected three of the four teams to make the playoffs from District 8-5A, but like many, missed by a mile on the Grey Wolves.
Coming off a 2-8, 1-6 season, Shoemaker was picked to finish seventh, but shocked the district by going 7-3, 5-2 to finish third.
This year, the Grey Wolves are predicted to duplicate the showing, finishing third behind the Panthers, who are picked to repeat as district champions, and Copperas Cove.
While Shoemaker exceeded expectations last season, the Bulldawgs did not live up to theirs. After being picked to finish second, Copperas Cove barely made the postseason for a 10th consecutive season after going 6-4, 4-3.
Now, with senior quarterback Manny Harris, who is DCTF’s choice as the district’s preseason offensive MVP, leading the way, the Bulldawgs look to win their first district championship since 2011, but they will have to survive an intense nondistrict schedule.
Copperas Cove opens the season against A&M Consolidated, Lake Travis and Round Rock. The teams are ranked No. 2 (5A), No. 9 (6A) and No. 35 (6A) in DCTF’s rankings.
The Kangaroos are predicted to finish fourth this season after missing the postseason last year. Killeen was also picked to reach the postseason in 2013, but a 3-7, 3-4 showing was not enough to do the trick.
The Tigers, Knights and Eagles will each be looking to prove the DCTF staff wrong.
All three programs were correctly picked to miss the playoffs last season, when the teams combined to produce four victories.
With the district shrinking by one team due to Temple’s drop in classification — the Wildcats are placed sixth in the magazine’s Class 5A rankings — Belton is expected to finish fifth under first-year head coach Bob Shipley.
The Knights follow in the expected finishing order. The magazine states another offseason under head coach Jerry Edwards “should pay dividends,” but warns the team’s offense, which is returning only three starters, could be its downfall.
Ellison is once again picked to finish last in the district after losing 30 consecutive games.