It’s district prediction time

Predictions are similar to home improvement projects around the house.

It’s important you do them – the need is there. You’re kind of intrigued about the task at hand, but you also don’t have much of an idea what you’re doing.  

You’re hoping everything goes as planned (or predicted), but when it’s all said and done, you may look back and ask “What was I thinking?”

I’m awful with home improvement projects, and I’m probably not much better at predictions. Both can leave me in hot water, whether it’s like when we had a pipe burst this summer under the sink or like when a town’s fans don’t take too kindly to my forecast of their team. 

Having said that, here’s my educated guess at what’s going to happen in district action. I play things pretty conservative in life (poker is a good example) and these predictions will reflect that.

We should know more about these teams in a few weeks.

5-4A

1. Denton Guyer; 2. Rider; 3. Nelson; 4. Lake Dallas; 5. Azle; 6. Denton; 7. WFHS; 8. Brewer.

Why: Can’t argue with Guyer and Rider in the top two spots. Nos. 3-5 are pretty close I think. Nelson has a really good RB in Tylor Blake (1,520 yards, 19 TDs) and I think it’s ready to get back in playoff mix. I was impressed with Nelson’s coach at Oil Bowl. Went with Lake Dallas over Azle based on pedigree – the Falcons have 10 straight playoff berths. I think the ceiling for WFHS this year is sixth. I’ll be thoroughly impressed if WFHS can crack that fivesome at the top.

5-3A

1. Graham; 2. Vernon; 3. Burkburnett; 4. Iowa Park; 5. Hirschi.

Why: The first two are pretty safe, although I can see Vernon giving the Steers a heck of a game on Oct. 11. After that, the last three are a tossup. I don’t like leaving Hirschi out. I’m picking the Huskies against Bowie and announced in my first podcast yesterday (bit.ly/19O1nGl) that the Huskies have a decent shot at a 3-0 start. But I’ve seen an improved Iowa Park team in a scrimmage and Burkburnett has the most guys back of the three teams plus the Bulldogs have had more success making the playoffs. If you look at last year, Hirschi played both Graham and Vernon better than the others and probably should have been third. The Huskies getting third this year wouldn’t surprise me, but I need to see them closing out games first.

5-2A I

1. Whitesboro; 2. Pilot Point; 3. Boyd; 4. Bowie; 5. Callisburg; 6. Paradise; 7. Ponder

Why: Because I think Whitesboro with RB Collin Kilcrease should be the favorite. He’s one of the best RBs in all of 2A. Pilot Point will be tough and Boyd is on the road for Jackrabbits, who should be better on offense but will be hard to replicate the last two years of defense. I felt pretty good about Bowie being a playoff team last year and it ended fifth. This year, the Rabbits get Callisburg (which lost a decent amount) at home in Week 10 and a win there will wrap up a playoff berth.

5-2A II

1. Jacksboro; 2. Holliday; 3. City View; 4. Henrietta; 5. Nocona; 6. Alvord.

Note: The Tigers should win the district title unless some serious injuries hit. In talking with district coaches, there could be a big gap from first to second. Maybe someone will close that gap, but I think spots 2-5 are all pretty close. It wouldn’t surprise me if Henrietta or Nocona took second. It’s just hard to know what to expect from the Indians (who lost so much) or the Bearcats (who should be better, but by how much?). Holliday is the safe pick for second because of tradition, but there are still lots of questions with the Eagles. Only thing that’ll surprise me is if City View doesn’t make the playoffs. I think this is the year the Mustangs put it together. Last year, the three playoff teams were very stout – best area 2A group we’d had in a few years. I’m not sure the four that advance this year will be quite as good overall. But there’s a lot to like about Jacksboro.  

3-A I

1. Seymour; 2. Quanah; 3. Windthorst; 4. Archer City; 5. Olney

Note: To me, both the Archer County teams are wild cards. The Panthers and Indians are the two favorites (and totally interchangeable right now), although I could see the Trojans putting everything together (they had spurts last year and fared better than I expected against Quanah and Anson) and making a run at the district title. Although it’s worth noting Windthorst plays both favorites on the road, while Quanah gets both at home. Archer City could be a wild card because I think the Wildcats will be a lot better and maybe could pull off an upset.

8-A II

1. Muenster; 2. Munday; 3. Electra; 4. Perrin-Whitt; 5. Petrolia; 6. Era.

Note: This is an intriguing district. I like the top three to make the playoffs, but last year Perrin-Whitt took Electra to overtime and could have made it interesting. I think Muenster will win the district. I could see Electra finishing second, but Tigers must, must, must stay healthy. The Moguls – like Nocona – are a real unknown. I know what L.J. Collier can do, but football isn’t a one-man team.