Another preseason publication, another district championship prediction for the Brownwood Lions.
The Old Coach.com’s fourth annual Friday Night Football magazine was recently released and several area teams are projected to reach the playoffs.
The Lions, under new head coach Chuck Howard, are coming off a 6-5 campaign and their fourth consecutive postseason appearance. Brownwood was also picked to capture the District 8-3A title by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.
Brownwood, the 8-3A runner-up a year ago, is ranked No. 42 among Class 3A teams in the ‘FNF’ preseason Top 50. The Lions are expected to return six starters on each side of the ball from last year’s squad.
Among the key returnees for Brownwood are quarterback Chris Keesee, who threw for 1,640 yards and 15 touchdowns last season. The ground game is expected to be anchored by returning tailback Braxton Kilgo, who tallied 650 rushing yards and 10 scores in 2012.
Howard was quoted in the publication as saying, “We have a chance to be a pretty good football team. There are a lot of good teams in our district so it will be a battle to make the playoffs.”
Behind the Lions in the preseason picks are Burnet, Liberty Hill, Gatesville, Llano and Lampasas. The top four teams qualify for the playoffs.
Burnet and Gatesville were postseason participants a year ago, with the Hornets shocking 8-3A and capturing the district championship.
The ‘FNF’ Class 3A Top 10 features Carthage at No. 1 followed by No. 2 Gilmer, No. 3 Stephenville, No. 4 Navasota, No. 5 Argyle, No. 6 Kilgore, No. 7 Bellville, No. 8 Graham, No. 9 La Marque and No. 10 El Campo.
The Lions will visit Graham (Sept. 6) and No. 11 Abilene Wylie (Sept. 20) and host No. 44 Burnet (Oct. 11) during the regular season.
A classification lower in Class 2A Division I, the Bangs Dragons — as they were in Dave Campbell’s Texas Football — are tabbed to finish second to the Wall Hawks in the District 3 race.
The Dragons are coming off a 9-4 campaign and their lengthiest postseason push since head coach Chuck Lipsey took the reins of the program.
Bangs returns quarterback J.T. Newton, who amassed more than 3,000 total yards and 37 touchdowns a season ago. Keegan Hall, at receiver and defensive back, has also proven to be a valuable asset during 7-on-7 summer action.
In the Class 2A Division I preseason state rankings, Bangs comes in at No. 23 overall.
The Early Longhorns, picked to miss the playoffs by Texas Football, are favored by ‘FNF’ to end a postseason drought that extends to 2008.
Led by returning tailback Jake Fisher, the Longhorns — coming off a 3-7 season — are expected to place fourth in the District 3-2A Division I race behind Wall, Bangs and Ingram Tom Moore.
Districts in 2A and 3A are taking four teams to the postseason for the first time, but Early first-year head coach Kent Hawthorne expects the Longhorns to make an even greater impact in the 3-2A race during his initial season.
Outside Brown County, in the Class 2A ranks the Comanche Indians are picked to place sixth in the seven-team District 4-2A Division I race.
The Indians posted a 3-7 record under head coach Stephen Hermesmeyer a year ago, but are tabbed to place behind Eastland, Breckenridge, Merkel, Clyde and Dublin. Indian offensive lineman Marshall Wirtz is a preseason all-state pick by ‘FNF.’
In District 4-2A Division II, the Coleman Bluecats are predicted to finish on the outside looking in terms of the postseason with a fifth-place projection.
The Bluecats, under the direction of head coach Brad Ballard, are expected to finish behind Cisco, Colorado City, Hamilton and Ballinger in the district race, according to ‘FNF.’ Coleman posted a 2-8 record a year ago.
Dropping down to Class A, the Goldthwaite Eagles and San Saba Armadillo shared the District 5-A Division I championship with the Hico Tigers a year ago.
While Texas Football expects Goldthwaite to win the district crown this season, ‘FNF’ gave the nod to Hico, with Goldthwaite tabbed to finish second. San Saba is expected to place third, followed by De Leon and Santo. Just three teams in Class A advance to the postseason.
Goldthwaite — led by preseason all-state defensive lineman Jagger Parrish — is coming off a 7-5 season and is ranked No. 20 in Class A Division I, while San Saba went 5-6 in 2012 and is unranked. Rodney Ortiz, the kicker for the Armadillos, is also a preseason all-state selection.
The magazine does not include six-man football information.
Two-a-days begin Aug. 5 with the opening weekend of the season slated for Aug. 29-31. Scrimmages will be conducted Aug. 16 and Aug. 21.