While changes are expected from year to year, especially in football, things will look much different in Class 2A than in years past as it was split by the University Interscholastic League into two big-school and small-school divisions with the top two finishers in each district advancing to the newly formatted playoffs.
For the smaller schools like New Waverly, it was a welcome change as now the Bulldogs won’t have to deal with teams like Daingerfield, Woodville or Newton in the playoffs.
While Trinity would have to eventually face those teams down the road if the Tigers can return to the playoffs, a dramatic change to the football landscape can provide a fresh start for Trinity, which has had more than its fair share of struggles the past few seasons.
With two more months until the next football season kicks off, it’s hard not to think about what will unfold this fall.
The more things change ...
While there will be three new teams in New Waverly’s small-school district this fall with Hemphill, San Augustine and Deweyville, Dave Campbell has Corrigan-Camden, which he has ranked sixth in the state, finally getting past New Waverly to win the District 10-2A championship, something it has been unable to do the past two years. The Bulldogs are slated to finish second, just ahead of Groveton to grab the district’s final playoff spot.
It’s hard to argue against the top two teams in the district as Corrigan and New Waverly are the only teams in the district to advance to the playoffs last season. Groveton finished fourth in District 21-2A last season, missing out on the playoffs by one game. Hemphill finished with a 4-6 on the season as Deweyville won just one game and San Augustine finished a winless campaign.
For the past two years, New Waverly and Corrigan have played some pretty memorable games with the Bulldogs edging Corrigan, including last fall’s thriller in which New Waverly won 37-34 on a game-winning 27-yard field goal by senior Will Bohanon. In 2008, New Waverly provided the only points in the fourth quarter to win on the road 21-14.
On both occasions, the game, which has developed into a competitive rivalry, ultimately decided the district championship, so it’s no coincidence that Texas Football has tabbed it as the game to watch in the district.
While Corrigan-Camden and New Waverly are the preseason favorites in the district, if the two Bulldogs squads are to remain at the top, they’ll do so with some new faces.
New Waverly will be without a handful of players in two-time district MVP Tyren Watts, Kyren Watts, last fall’s Co-Offensive MVP X’Zavious Harrison, Kody Coleman and Eli Amador, who have helped lead the Bulldogs to two straight outright district titles.
Like New Waverly, Corrigan will be losing plenty of talented players, including Co-Offensive MVP Rodolpho Nava, Daryl Hulett, JoCourtney Johnson and Greg Nobles.
New Waverly will be relying heavily on seniors Dillian Scott, Donnie Woods, Kevin Major and Micah Bohannon, who will take over as quarterback, to pick up the slack. In Dave Campbell’s magazine, head coach Ken Craig says that Scott has big-play potential any time he touches the ball.
Other players who could step up and make an impact are linebackers Tate Maddox and Glen Hogle and linemen Cole Bohannon, Anthony Offutt, Thomas Clark and Tucker Saxton.
Likewise, Corrigan has holes to fill and will attempt to do with senior running back Eric Durham, who rushed for more than 1,200 yards and 15 touchdowns last season and Dave Campbell expects to be the district’s offensive MVP, and offensive lineman Mark Armstrong.