This district has a tremendous amount of talent from top to bottom, but just like last year, I think the race to the top comes down to two East Texas squads: Longview and Tyler John Tyler.
Longview brings back a more experienced team and Lobos head coach John King has full confidence that his team will be even better in 2017.
As for the John Tyler Lions, they lose a lot on offense with Bryson Smith and Damion Miller, but they should be stacked again defensively. Houston commit Dekalen Goodson and SMU commit Tre Allison should lead the way on that side of the ball. I think both the Lions and Lobos will make deep playoff runs, but I like CUJO by a hair to win the district title.
Pick: Tyler John Tyler
A sharing the 11-6A district title in 2016, Tyler John Tyler and Longview appear to be in position for much of the same in 2017. Each of the two return a ton of talent at key positions, but I think John Tyler holds the slight edge.
There’s no replacing a a host of all-district contributors headlined by Bryson Smith and his nearly 5,000 yards and 55 total touchdowns, but reloading is the next best thing and John Tyler certainly does that. With a pair of high-level backs in Justin Samples and Cameron Grant returning, along with a crop of quality pass catchers and a stout front seven defensively, John Tyler just seems way too loaded to fall short within the district in 2017.
Pick: Tyler John Tyler
Tyler John Tyler despite losing an outstanding quarterback in Bryson Smith will have several players returning especially on defense to have them in contention for not only the district title but a state title as well even with Longview hot on their trail.
John Tyler returned to 6A last season and had no issue with the return as they went three rounds deep in the playoffs last year. John Tyler will probably have a deeper run this year especially with the personnel returning defensively.
Defensive lineman Dekalen Goodson and linebacker Tre Allison will be leading the way with six other returning players on defense that garnered all-district honors last season. With the amount of experience returning on a defense that only gave up an average of 18 points a game last season, John Tyler will be a force to be reckoned with.
Prediction: Tyler John Tyler
I think this one comes down to a battle between Tyler and Longview, but unlike my coworkers, I’m taking Longview here.
The Lobos dressed 13 sophomores last year, and even though they’ve lost a good offensive line, I think the continuity is enough to take down that tough Tyler team. John Tyler won’t be the only potential pitfall here, Rockwall and Tyler Lee will be good as well, but I’m taking Longview overall.
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