In Texas, football is a sport that knows no one season, and the publication of ďDave Campbellís Football MagazineĒ this week has ignited discussion of the upcoming fall campaign ó especially among fans of area high school teams.
For many teams around Brownwood, state rankings are as common as district championship picks. The Brownwood Lions are solidly in the top 10, holding down No. 7 in Campbellís computation, but thatís the good news. The downside is that two other teams in the Lionsí District 16-4A are ranked even higher. What proved to be the toughest district in the state last year looms as even better this season.
This is exactly the situation for which the format sending three teams from each district was designed, and Brownwood benefited from it by making a deep run into the 2006 playoffs after advancing as that third team.
Meanwhile, Early, Bangs, Coleman and Goldthwaite are among the area high schools Campbellís publication has also singled out for success.
And some of the best six-man football in the state will be played at nearby stadiums, Richland Springs is picked to claim its third state championship in four years, and great things are also expected from the teams fielded by Blanket, Brookesmith, May, Santa Anna and Zephyr.
Some may suggest itís rushing the season to be thinking ahead right now. The first day of summer is still more than a week away. But for many Texans, itís never too soon to be thinking about football, and the preseason prognosticators have begun to fan the flames.
Predictions, of course, are just that, but they reflect the achievements of last year along with the success of established programs. For many teams, though, the bar has been raised with the expectation of success. It will be a fascinating year.