Clifton looks to repeat atop the district standings in 2017.

Depth at the skill positions will be vital for theCubs. Marc Gutierrez is due for another big year after he rushed for nearly 2,000 yards and 27 TDs.

Hoping to knock Clifton from the top spot are Rice and Corsicana Mildred. Both teams have plenty of experience returning on both sides of the ball.

Dallas Triple A Academy was a late scratch for the 2017 season.

Clifton Cubs

  • LAST SEASON — 7-5 (6-0)
  • RETURNING STARTERS — 7 offensive, 6 defensive
  • COACH CHUCK CANIFORD — 18-18 at Clifton

All-time: 565-351-39 since 1919

Playoff history: 30-31-3 in 31 trips, most recently 2016; 0 state championships

Base offense: Two-back

Base defense: 4-3

Outlook: This year’s senior class is the first that Chuck Caniford has had in the Clifton football program for all four years of high school. Because of that, those upperclassmen have a good understanding of the system Caniford put in place for the Cubs.

“They’ve run it for four years,” the Clifton coach said. “We spent a lot of time in the spring teaching the scheme and doing 7-on-7. That familiarity with what we’re doing makes it easier to focus on fundamentals and not have to teach where to go.”

Clifton will be led by running back Marc Gutierrez, who rushed for nearly 2,000 yards last year.

Each of the past three years, Clifton has advanced to the second round of the playoffs. This season, the Cubs feel like they can take it to the next level.

“The guys have set the bar that they want to play in December,” Caniford said. “Those expectations are high. Offensively we feel good running the football. We have to do a better job in the passing game. A lot of that is on us coaches to help them get things and be effective with them. Defensively it’s a continued progression of what has been done here the last couple of years. We play fast.”

Schedule

9/1 Hillsboro 7:30

9/8 Crawford 7:30

9/15 at Maypearl 7:30

9/22 at Bruceville-Eddy 7:30

10/6 at Rice 7:30*

10/13 Dallas A Plus 7:30*

10/20 at Mildred 7:30*

11/3 Rio Vista 7:30*

11/10 at Blooming Grove 7:30*

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