Bremond enters the 2017 campaign riding a 47-game win streak. Even though the Tigers lost Roshauud Paul, who rewrote the school’s record books, Bremond has the pieces to continue the tradition of success. While Bremond welcomes back Kaidyn Peralez in the backfield, the Tigers are working in new receivers for quarterback Michael Pruitt.
Hubbard hopes to take over the top spot in the district this season as nine starters return on offense and eight starters are back on defense. All of that experience adds a wealth of depth for the Jaguars.
Chilton is another team with a wealth of experience coming back this season. The Pirates seem poised for playoff football. Meridian should lock up the final playoff spot behind four-year starter John Anderson returning as quarterback.
- LAST SEASON — 16-0 (5-0)
- RETURNING STARTERS — 7 offensive, 7 defensive
- COACH JEFF KASOWSKI — 72-13 at Bremond
Playoff history: 71-24-2 in 30 trips, most recently 2016; 4 state championships (1981, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Base offense: One-back shotgun
Base defense: 5-2
Outlook: Jeff Kasowski’s hopes for this 2017 Bremond team came out in three parts. The first, to play hard. The second, to play great defense. And lastly, find a way to put points on the board now that Roshauud Paul is gone. Paul led Bremond to three state titles and owns all of the program’s offensive records.
But just because he’s gone doesn’t mean the Tigers’ winning ways have reached their end.
“We’re riding a 47-game winning streak and three state titles,” Kasowski said. “That’s kind of the expectation around here. We’ve got a good amount of the kids back that we had last year. We’re excited about what could happen.”
Seven starters each return on offense and defense as 35 total lettermen return from last year. As the season kicks off, the backbone of this Bremond squad lies in the trenches.
“It’s the offensive and defensive lines,” Kasowski said. “They’ll keep us in games and give our little guys a chance to get better at the skill positions.”
One skill position with plenty of experience returning is at running back. Kaidyn Peralez is back after rushing for 1,308 yards to go with 402 receiving yards for 23 touchdowns. Most of the spots being filled this year are quarterback and receiver.
“Michael Pruitt has been working at quarterback during the offseason,” Kasowski said. “He’s the guy we have penciled in right now.”
8/31 vs Whitewright (at Ferris) 7:30
9/8 Iola 7:30
9/15 at Milano 7:30
9/22 at Reicher 7:30
9/29 Thorndale 7:30
10/13 at Chilton 7:30*
10/20 at Frost 7:30*
10/27 Meridian 7:30*
11/3 at Hubbard 7:30*
11/10 Dawson 7:30*
- LAST SEASON — 5-5 (2-3)
- RETURNING STARTERS — 9 offensive, 9 defensive
- COACH JULIAN KEGGINS — 5-5 at Chilton
All-time: 464-337-25 since 1922
Playoff history: 38-22 in 24 trips, most recently 2015; 2 state championships (1972, 2006)
Base offense: Pro
Base defense: 4-2-5
The Pirates have a motto for this season: dig deep. That stems from coach Julian Keggins’ hope for this year’s team.
“I want them to play really hard,” Keggins said. “I want them to be really physical with people and impose their will. We know what we want to do. We want to make the opponent quit and shut down. Mentally that’s what we’ve worked on through the offseason is to push and dig deep. I hope our kids do that each week and wear people down once we reach the third and fourth quarters.”
Chilton returns nine starters on each side of the ball after last year’s 5-5 season. Cameron Fields recently won the starting job under center for the Pirates.
“He split some time at quarterback last year,” Keggins said. “Like they say, the cream rises to the top. He rose to the top. He makes the right decisions and facilitates the offense. He’s doing pretty good.”
Meanwhile, Jevon Davis will join Fields in the backfield as running back after rushing for 817 yards last season.
“He’s the best player on the team,” Keggins said. “He’s a good running back. He can throw the ball and run it. He has good leadership and is a hard player. He’s not the best athlete but he’s the best football player.”
9/1 Granger 7:30
9/8 at Rosebud-Lott 7:30
9/15 Normangee 7:30
9/22 at Axtell 7:30
9/29 at Malakoff Cross Roads 7:30
10/13 Bremond 7:30*
10/20 at Meridian 7:30*
10/27 Hubbard 7:30*
11/3 at Dawson 7:30*
11/10 Frost 7:30*
- LAST SEASON — 2-8 (1-4)
- RETURNING STARTERS — 4 offensive, 5 defensive
- COACH RONNIE STRIPLIN — 0-0 at Dawson
All-time: 398-444-27 since 1927
Playoff history: 10-15-1 in 17 trips, most recently 2010; 0 state championships
Outlook: In the past six years, the Bulldogs have won only four games. Ronnie Striplin, in his first year at the helm, is ready to bring change to Dawson. His goal for his inaugural season is to be competitive in every game this season.
The Bulldogs return four offensive starters and five defensive starters from a year ago. Overall, Dawson will be young this season with only four seniors and four juniors.
All-district selections defensive end Luke Dotson and linebacker Montana Steele will be key on the defensive side for the Bulldogs. Offensively, the youth on this Dawson team will need to step up for a team that scored five points per game a season ago.
9/1 Ranger 7:30
9/8 Bartlett 7:30
9/15 at Rio Vista 7:30
9/22 at Wortham 7:00
9/29 Itasca 7:30
10/13 Meridian 7:30*
10/20 at Hubbard 7:30*
10/27 Frost 7:30*
11/3 Chilton 7:30*
11/10 at Bremond 7:30*
Frost Polar Bears
- LAST SEASON — 6-5 (2-3)
- RETURNING STARTERS — 6 offensive, 5 defensive
- COACH COY BARKER — 9-12 at Frost
Playoff history: 8-9 in 9 trips, most recently 2016; 0 state championships
Base offense: Spread option
Base defense: 4-3
Outlook: The Polar Bears will be young this season. With so much youth taking the field for Frost, coach Coy Barker’s biggest priority for the season is consistency.
“We’re rebuilding,” Barker said. “We graduated nine seniors. That’s a lot for us. I’m looking for this group of kids to come out and do everything they can to play with consistency.”
Frost returns six offensive starters and five defensive starters from last year’s 6-5 playoff team. The offense will be led by Caleb Curl on the offensive and defensive lines.
“He’s got really good feet for a big guy,” Barker said. “In our scrimmage on Friday he did a phenomenal job. He’s a four year starter. He’s knows the game.”
Curl will make way for fullback Brandon Fulmer. He missed three games a year ago but still managed to rush for 540 yards and six scores.
While the Polar Bears work for consistency this season, Barker is certain that Frost’s strength will be its cohesiveness.
“This is my third year here,” Barker said. “My message since I’ve been here is that we’re about creating a family. The kids have bought into that concept. We have to be united in what we do. That will allow us to overcome some of our youth. Consistency will be what we strive for. We will accomplish it through cohesiveness and by working as a team.”
9/1 at Malakoff Cross Roads 7:30
9/8 at Ranger 7:30
9/15 Itasca 7:30
9/22 vs Grapeland (at Athens) 7:00
9/29 Millsap 7:00
10/13 at Hubbard 7:30*
10/20 Bremond 7:30*
10/27 at Dawson 7:30*
11/3 Meridian 7:30*
11/10 at Chilton 7:30*
LAST SEASON — 4-7 (2-3)
RETURNING STARTERS — 9 offensive, 8 defensive
COACH RUSSELL ANDERSON — 14-10 at Hubbard
All-time: 474-335-28 since 1910
Playoff history: 14-20-1 in 22 trips, most recently 2016; 0 state championships
Base offense: Multiple
Base defense: 3-4
Outlook: Hubbard lined up for a defensive drill, with coach Russell Anderson as quarterback. The defense focused on not giving up any big plays. Because a big play allowed led to up-downs.
Once the drill ended, the Jaguar defense had given up only one play over the top. The rest of the time, the defense plugged up the line of scrimmage against run plays and were within arm’s reach of the receiver on pass plays.
“I really feel like defensively we’ll be stronger than we were last year,” Anderson said. “We’ve been known for defense here at Hubbard for a while. Our kids play really hard and are physically tough. I think that will carry over this year. That will be one of the keys to our football team is our defensive unit.”
Hubbard is an experienced group this season. The Jaguars return 20 lettermen, losing only four from last season. Nine starters return on offense to go with eight returners on the defensive side.
Defensively, the Jaguars are led by linebacker Kolby Pederson who finished with 84 tackles last season.
“Their work ethic is great,” Anderson said. “Our kids have come out in practice and the pace and tempo have been fantastic, as well as the effort they’re giving. I’m extremely pleased.”
Offensively, Hubbard will go to work behind a solid and physical front line. As for the skill positions, the Jaguars are a little thin.
“We have to make sure that we stay healthy,” Anderson said. “Right now one of the key battles is at quarterback between Jayson Oliver and Logan Morris. Neither one has won the job outright. They’re both battling. We’ll see how that goes and then we’ll go from there.”
9/1 at Bartlett 7:30
9/8 Blooming Grove 7:30
9/15 at Valley Mills 7:30
9/22 Granger 7:30
9/29 at Riesel 7:30
10/13 Frost 7:30*
10/20 Dawson 7:30*
10/27 at Chilton 7:30*
11/3 Bremond 7:30*
11/10 at Meridian 7:30*
Meridian Yellow Jackets
- LAST SEASON — 7-5 (3-2)
- RETURNING STARTERS — 6 offensive, 4 defensive
- COACH CHRIS ROBERTS — 18-15 at Meridian
All-time: 576-341-9 since 1920
Playoff history: 8-23-1 in 25 trips, most recently 2016; 0 state championships
Base offense: Power Spread
Base defense: 4-2-5
Outlook: The Jackets welcome back a familiar face under center as John Anderson returns for his fourth year as starting quarterback. A season ago, Anderson threw for 1,896 yards, ran for 545 yards and scored 29 times.
Anderson will have a new-look receiving corps as only six starters return on the offensive side of the ball. Derek Malott is back after hauling in 271 receiving yards a year ago. Meridian’s offensive production won’t rely solely on Anderson’s arm, as the Jackets return an experienced running back in De’Marius Parks who ran for 652 yards last season.
Defensively, Meridian will have some work to do as only four starters return. Mallott will lead the way after the defensive back finished with 41 tackles last year.
9/1 Reicher 7:30
9/8 Riesel 7:30
9/15 at Crawford 7:30
9/22 at Moody 7:30
9/29 Rosebud-Lott 7:30
10/13 at Dawson 7:30*
10/20 Chilton 7:30*
10/27 at Bremond 7:30*
11/3 at Frost 7:30*
11/10 Hubbard 7:30*