The East Bernard Brahmas rolled through the 2012 season en route to 15-0 record collecting the Class 2A Division II State Championship against Mildred at Cowboys Stadium. A few months later, the Brahmas, minus Rice commit Trevor Long, who is out for the season with an ACL injury, open the season as the MaxPreps.com National Small School top ranked team. Along with QB Grant Aschenbeck, the Brahmas return RB Cedrick Perkins, WR Garett Polak and TE/DE Nathan Hlavinka.
Rounding out the top five on the MaxPreps Small School National Rankings, Clairton (PA) opens the 2013 season on a 63 game winning streak and a number two ranking. Number three is Clearwater Central Catholic out of Clearwater, Fla. followed by Dillon (SC), and Bishop Hartley from Columbus, Ohio.
Other Texas teams in the first 2013 installment of the MaxPreps Small School National Rankings includes Canadian, Refugio, Cameron Yoe, FW All Saints and Newton.
The Canadian Wildcats open with some pretty high expectations and it places them in the Top 10 at number nine. The Wildcats, who were 10-3 in 2012, returns most of their players on both sides of the ball including QB Ben Arbuckle, WR Boston Hudson, LB Andrew Ezzell and WR Braiden Galla.
Two spots later at 11, is the team that East Bernard defeated in the 2A Division II Regional Final. The Refugio Bobcats, ho come off a 12-1 season, returns QB Travis Quintanilla. Quintanilla has the opportunity to become one of the state's prolific passers in the 103 year UIL history. Throwing for over 4,000 yards and 57 touchdowns in 2012 certainly puts him in striking distance of some all-time career passing marks.
One spot below the Bobcats at number 12, is the reigning Class 2A Division I State Champion Cameron Yoe Yoemen. The return of LB Somari Wright and QB Jason Kopriva gives the Yoemen a golden opportunity match that 15-0 record and capture another state championship at the Phone Booth in Arlington in December.
SPC Division I Champion All Saints comes in at 14 and the Saints are the odds on favorite to repeat as SPC Division I champions in 2013. Among the returnees for the Saints is Ohio State commit Demetrius Knox and QB Foster Sawyer, who is considered to be one of the state's top quarterback prospects.
Last but not least, the Newton Eagles enter the season at 16 in the National Rankings. The Eagles are considered to be the biggest threat to Cameron Yoe's chances at repeating as Class 2A Division I Champions and returns RB Kevin Shorter. Shorter in 2012, rushed for 1,800 yards and scored 31 touchdowns. LB Anthony Hadnot also returns to the Eagles and should help the defense make another deep-round run.