Bulletin Staff Report

Although it won’t hit newsstands until next week, advance copies of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football have been mailed out and fans of two area high school football teams will find their teams ranked among the state’s pre-season elite. The 2008 magazine has Brownwood and Early both ranked third in their respective classes.

The magazine says that the Lions have to be considered “immediate contenders” to reach the Region 1 finals, which it says is the toughest region in the state. To get there, the Lions will have to get past a couple of 2007 state semifinalists in their own district — Snyder and Abilene Wylie. Even with that challenge, the magazine picks the Lions to come out on top of District 2-3A.

Brownwood was one of 11 teams that moved from 4A to 3A for the upcoming season.

The Lions have a pair of players on the magazine’s pre-season all-state team, quarterback Casey Pachall, who has committed to TCU and defensive back Kenny Vaccaro, who has committed to the University of Texas. Offensive Lion Stavion Lowe is also expected to sign to play college football at the D-1 level.

The Lion’s season-opener against Burnet makes the magazine’s “Dream Tour” lineup — possibly because it is part of the Texas Football Classic held annually at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

The Longhorns have advanced to the third round — or beyond — of the playoffs each of the past three seasons and Texas Football predicts they will advance out of Region 1 and face Kirbyville for the Division 1 state championship.

The Longhorns also have a game on the magazine’s “Dream Tour” lineup. It will be a battle between the state’s pre-season numbers one and three when the Longhorns face Cisco in their Week 0 (Aug. 29) matchup.

Quarterback Nick Lyle is the Longhorn’s sole pre-season all-state player, but Early does return a number of key players from last year’s state-semifinalist team. They are picked at the top of District 8-2A, with Coleman, Brady, Bangs, Comanche, Dublin and San Saba expected to follow.

Goldthwaite is not listed among the pre-season Top 25 in class 1-A by the magazine, but they are projected to finish second in District 25-1A and be the Div. I representative in the state playoffs.

At the six-man level, Richland Springs, Zephyr and Sidney all made the pre-season Top 10 lists in their respective divisions, Richland Springs at fourth in Div. I; Zephyr at fourth and Sidney at ninth in Div. II.

Richland Spring is projected to win District 9, with Santa Anna projected at fourth. In District 10, May is picked third, Blanket fourth and Rising Star sixth.

Zephyr is project at the top of District 13, with Brookesmith listed at sixth. In District 14, Sidney is projected to finish on top, with Mullin in fourth.

Jason Hughes of Zephyr and Stephan Ortiz of Sidney both made the magazine’s honorable mention Coverboy list. Hughes, it said, “knows how to fill a stat-line: last fall he rushed for 1,727 yards, passed for 1,348 yards and had 11 interceptions.” Ortiz is “on pace to become the premiere player in Div. II,” the magazine said.

This year's edition marks the 49th year that Dave Campbell’s Texas Football has previewed every level of football in the Lone Star State. This year’s edition also contains a story titled “The Art and Science of Realignment,” which explains how the UIL draws its district maps and describes some changes to the system that may be on the horizon.