The Hornets sure look like district champs again. Holding a two-game lead with five games to play — and winning the first seven district games by an average of 29 points — the Huntsville boys are on pace to repeat as champions of 18-4A.

Another district championship is only one of the Hornets’ goals, though. Coach Doug Anderson’s 2007-08 group has designs on a lengthy playoff run, even though Huntsville’s postseason road likely goes through both Houston Yates and Beaumont Ozen.

Before they start thinking about the playoffs, Anderson said the Hornets still have plenty of work to do. They still have games with Livingston, Willis, Caney Creek, Brenham and Montgomery, and a newly scheduled nondistrict tilt with Class A Thorndale on Feb. 5, before they move forward to the postseason.

Anderson said Tuesday it’s going to be a challenge to keep his players focused because the Hornets should not have any real problems getting through the last part of the regular season. Following a tough 76-58 victory at Waller, Anderson talked about his plans for the next two to three weeks.

“What we’ve got to do — me, coach (Larry) Carlson and coach (Jay) Oliphant — is we’ve got to keep the intensity level up in practice,” Anderson said. “It’s a goal of ours to get to the playoffs, but we also want to finish undefeated in district.

“We’ve got to keep working and keep improving because we want to be peaking when we get to the playoffs.”

Whaley, Williams get some ink in winter edition of Texas Football — Madisonville running back Chris Whaley and Huntsville tight end Jared Williams were both mentioned in Dave Campbell’s Winter 2008 edition of Texas Football magazine, on sale now on area newsstands.

An all-state running back who helped the Mustangs win a District 19-3A championship last fall, Whaley will be one of the state’s top recruits next school year.

In a story titled, “Class Acts,” Texas Football’s Jake Shaw takes a “sneak peak” at some of the high school players to watch in 2009 and beyond. Whaley makes the “Four More To Remember” list for ’09.

“College coaches didn’t want Madisonville head coach Greg Morgan to make their offers to Morgan’s coveted running back, Chris Whaley, public information,” Shaw writes. “Morgan said they wanted their 2008 classes signed before doing so.

“But we can tell you this — the seven scholarship offers out to Whaley all come from BCS programs.”

Whaley rushed for 2,119 yards and 28 touchdowns last season. In three seasons with the Mustangs, the big (6-3), strong (220 pounds) and speedy (consistent sub-4.5-second times in the 40-yard dash) has rushed for 5,015 yards and 64 touchdowns.

In the magazine, Morgan compared his talented young back to a former Palestine High School star who made a huge splash as a rookie this season for the Minnesota Vikings.

“He’s that big of a kid, similar to Adrian Peterson,” Morgan said of Whaley. “Peterson is faster than him. But Chris — he’s still fast. He’s plenty fast.”

Williams, a senior who is headed to Rice after he graduates from HHS this spring, was mentioned in a story called, “Gateway to Signing Day.” Texas Football calls Williams the top sleeper in Rice’s 2008 signing class.

Verbally, Williams has agreed to a scholarship offer from Owls coach David Bailiff; he’ll make it official on Feb. 6, which is national signing day for high school seniors to ink college letters of intent.

“Tight end Jared Williams received a few scholarship offers, but the 6-3, 235-pound Huntsville standout combines his size with speed and also plays defensive end,” Texas Football says.

AOA swimmers headed to state — Four boys from Huntsville’s Alpha Omega Academy are heading to San Antonio next week for the TAPPS state swimming meet.

Senior Kyle Coleman, junior R.J. McDown, sophomore Kelly Ferguson and freshman Forrest Lowe will team up for the 800- and 1,600-yard freestyle relays at the state meet.

Lowe will also compete in the 100-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly. Coleman earned spots in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races and Ferguson is a state-meet alternate in the 50 and 100 freestyle.

“This is our first-ever swim team, so these guys have done a great job,” Lions coach Talara Cox said.

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