0AT10/23 - 7:00PM
Football: Season preview of District 6-4A Division II
Longview, Texas (Longview News-Journal) — A season preview of football teams in District 6-4A Division II.
Coach: Mark Sartain (2nd season, 69-73-2)
2013 result: 3-7, 1-5
Returning lettermen/starters: 19/15
Lettermen lost: 11
Offensive notables: WR Waylon McFadin, SR, 5-8, 165 (30 catches, 479 yards, 1 TD) … WR Michael Spurrier, SR, 6-1, 165 (24 catches, 302 yards, 2 TDs) … OL Blane Peveler, SR, 6-3, 230 … QB Garrett Plumlee, SR, 5-8, 150 … WR James Wallis, SR, 6-0, 175 (11 catches, 219 yards, 1 TD) … OL Dillon Green, SR, 5-9, 200 … OL Cameron Hawkins, JR, 6-1, 220 … FB Julio Banelos, SO, 5-9, 175.
Defensive notables: ATH Hagen Tucker, SR, 6-1, 225 (63 tackles, 12 TFL, 7 sacks, 1 INT) … ATH Garrett Self, JR, 6-1, 175 (24 tackles, 1 INT) … DT Breylon Bradford, JR, 5-10, 250 (38 tackles, 1 sack) … DB Ta’vin Hunter, SR, 5-10, 165 (32 tackles) … SS Blake Ramo, SR, 5-9, 165 (29 tackles, 2 INT).
2014 outlook: The Panthers showed flashes of improvement in the first season under Mark Sartain. If Spring Hill is going to take the next step, it will have to start on offense. The Panthers had trouble scoring at times in 2013, being held to 14 points or fewer in six different games. Plumlee will have the benefit of getting to play at the end of the season in 2013 after an injury to starter Jacob Rooney. That experience, coupled with the return of playmakers McFadin and Spurrier should help boost the Panthers on offense. The biggest weapon for Spring Hill, however, is likely on special teams with senior kicker/punter Troy Duran. As a junior, he punted 42 times for an average of 40 yards with a long of 69 yards. Duran also made four field goals and was 19 of 21 on point-after attempts. The defense was a strong point for the Panthers in 2013 and can be again with the likes of Tucker, Self and Bradford returning.
Did you know? Spring Hill hasn’t made it to the playoffs since 2007, the last time it finished with a winning record.
Coach: John Berry (1st season, 0-0)
2013 result: 7-7, 2-4
Returning lettermen/starters: 23/18
Lettermen lost: 5
Offensive notables: RB James Reese, SR, 5-10, 178 (1,700 yards rushing) … FB Justice Centers, JR, 5-11, 210 (23 catches, 400 yards rushing) … QB Nick Canaguier, SR … FB Daylon Mack, SR, 6-2, 315 (47 carries, 296 yards, 10 TDs) ... ATH Marcello Jackson, JR.
Defensive notables: DL Daylon Mack, SR, 6-2, 315 (35 TFL) … FS Daylon Gordon, SR, 5-10, 168 (135 tackles) … DE Quanterious Turner, JR, 6-3, 275 ... DB Jaz Tyiska, SR.
2014 outlook: The Bears have plenty of momentum heading into the new season. Gladewater won four consecutive games, including the final regular season game just to get into the playoffs, to reach the regional finals against eventual champion Argyle. The Bears also won their first playoff game since 2001. Gladewater has plenty of firepower returning, especially on offense with only one starter graduating. The Bears also return Mack, who is committed to Texas A&M and is considered one of the top defensive linemen in the country. Mack also provides a unique offensive weapon for the Bears with his size/speed combination. Reese, Centers, Darnell McKnight and Nick Canaguier are other key players on the offense for Gladewater. Canaguier threw for 963 yards last season. The role will be reversed for the Bears this season, though. After making their way through the playoffs as a Cinderella story, the Bears will have a target on their back this time around as they open the season ranked No. 7 in Class 4A, Division II.
Did you know? The last time Gladewater finished better than .500 was 2008 at 6-4 … This will be Berry’s first head coaching job, but he was a longtime assistant at three schools in Louisiana and also spent several seasons at Longview High School before heading to Gladewater in 2010.
Coach: Andy Evans (11th season, 179-54 overall)
2013 result: 11-1, 5-0
Returning lettermen/starters: 20/12
Lettermen lost: 15
Offensive notables: WR Deyanta Roberson, SR, 6-2, 180 … ATH Chaston Brooks (5 punt returns for TD) … QB J.D. Taylor, JR, 6-2, 190 (1,300 yards passing, 700 yards rushing) … OL Brent Shankles, SR, 5-9, 200 … WR Martin Williams, SR, 6-2, 190 … C Curtis Watkins, SR, 5-10, 200 … RB Carlos Pocasangre, SR, 5-11 170 … OL Austin Peters, SR, 6-4, 260 ... RB Denarius Earl, JR, 5-5, 145.
Defensive notables: LB Kyshaun Smith, SR, 6-2, 185 … LB Devon Boyd, SR, 5-10, 170 … FS Jordon Nelson, SR, 6-0, 180 … DL Ryan Hyde, SR, 6-0, 200 … DE Malek Allen, SR, 6-1, 215 … DE Chris Starling, SR, 5-10, 185 … DT Dameion Lopez, SR, 6-1, 200 ... DT Colby Blackmon, JR, 5-10, 240.
2014 outlook: The Eagles are moving up in classification after an undefeated regular season last year. Tatum has several seniors at its disposal, including Roberson, who has received plenty of Division I interest. Brooks provides a dynamic threat on special teams after returning five punts for touchdowns last season. Taylor is back under center for the Eagles after compiling 2,000 yards of offense as a sophomore – 1,300 through the air and 700 on the ground.
Did you know? Tatum hasn’t lost a regular season game since Oct. 19, 2012. Tatum’s varsity and junior varsity both went 10-0 in the regular season in 2013.
See more from Jack Stallard and company at ET Varsity.