As the month of August approaches, the dust is beginning to be swept off the helmets and shoulder pads in area locker rooms and several statewide publications have made their predictions as to what they expect from Dublin, Hico and Lingleville in the 2016 football season.
For the Lions, their district scenery changes a bit.
With realignment occurring earlier this spring, the Lions were placed in a new district which will likely prove to be one of the most competitive in the 3A Division II ranks.
Joining the Lions in 2016 in district 4-3A DII is Cisco, Coleman, Eastland, Tolar and Bangs. Both Cisco and Coleman finds themselves in the pre-season top 25 rankings according to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine at No. 7 and No. 18 respectively.
"We’re really excited about being in this district," said Dublin head coach Bob Cervetto. "It’s probably the toughest in 3A DII and I believe that. It's full of great schools and they’re doing great things. But Dublin has made the post-season for two years in a row now so we’re excited. It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be teams fighting for their lives every week and we’ll see how it goes."
Dave Campbell predicts the district to play out with Cisco winning the crown, followed by Coleman, Eastland, Tolar, then Dublin and Bangs rounding out the group.
If the predictions ring true, that would end Dublin’s historic post-season streak of two consecutive appearances in 2016.
Also seeing some new faces in their district this upcoming season are the Hico Tigers.
After starting their season 0-5 in 2015, the Tigers rallied to finish the regular season with a 4-6 record and are joined by newcomers Crawford and Valley Mills in district 7-2A DI this season.
The Dave Campbell Texas Football magazine predicts Crawford to take home the district title, followed by Goldthwaite, Hico, DeLeon, Valley Mills, San Saba and Hamilton respectively.
Both Crawford and Goldthwaite represent the district in the pre-season top 25 rankings with Crawford sitting at No. 7 and Goldthwaite coming in a No. 13.
Lingleville could be a wild card this season in the 1A Division I ranks as they enter season number two under head coach Troy Sparks.
After taking the Cardinals to a 3-7 record in his first season, Sparks’ team is predicted to finished fourth in district 11-1A DI, behind Gorman, May and Gordon.