TEMPLE, Texas — In Central Texas, Class 4A has long been, arguably, the deepest class in the area.
At one point in 2019, every local 4A Div. II team was ranked in the top half of the statewide computer rankings, according to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. Then, La Vega played in the Div. I state championship game for the second year in a row.
Heading into the 2020 season, it looks to be more of the same.
DCTF has La Vega and Lampasas ranked first and third, respectively, in the preseason Div. I rankings.
“I think the greatest compliment you can give a coach is that playing your team isn’t fun,” DCTF Managing Editor Greg Tepper said. “And playing La Vega isn’t fun.”
He continued about Lampasas and said Badger QB Ace Whitehead, a University of Texas baseball commit, is one of the best athletes in all of Texas high school football.
In Div. II, which features Div. I drop-downs China Spring and Gatesville, four local teams are ranked in DCTF’s preseason Top 25 (No. 15 Connally, No. 18 China Spring, No. 21 Salado and No. 22 Mexia.)
“I know four-eight is a disappointing year and that’s not what they’re trying to do there,” Tepper said of China Spring. “But they’re dropping to Div. II, which I think helps.”
He added that Connally is still picked to repeat as district champion, but loses major pieces where the Cadets don’t return star power.
“They lose four Division I signees,” Tepper said. “That’s ridiculous at the 4A Div. II level.”
Tepper said the district's dark horse is Salado. The Eagles are picked third in District 9-4A Div. II behind Connally and China Spring but ahead of Robinson.
Meanwhile, Mexia moved from the local Div. II district to District 7-4A Div. II with East Texas schools is in the middle of a surge after head coach Frank Sandoval left the Blackcats to take charge at West Mesquite.
The Blackcats finished second in District 8 a year ago but replaced Sandoval with former Paul Pewitt coach Triston Abron, who led Pewitt to a state title game in 2019. The Blackcats will shift their offense entering 2020, but Tepper expects them to continue the path they’ve been on the past three seasons.
Watch our full conversation with DCTF managing editor Greg Tepper below.
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