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Take your pick Kennedale #4 or #7 …

This the time of year that high school football prognosticators wave their wands and forecast the future for prep football in Texas.?{{more: continue…}}One of the early birds has been Dave Campbell?s Texas Football who has predicted the 2018 state championship to go Argyle over reigning and twice champ Carthage in Class 4A DI and West Orange-Stark over Gilmer in 4A Division II.?

It is mostly guess work when predicting the finals, but naming the top contenders in each classification is not so difficult. You take the usual suspects, look at past record, subtract or add points for loss or increase of returners, especially team stat leaders, and look at the coach. A solid consistent winning program along with an established head coach can get you in the polls. Star performers and depth can boost your ranking into the top 10.
Dave Campbell?s Texas Football preseason rankings:
(key – team, record and returning starters)
  1. Argyle (12-1, R-15),?
  2. Carthage (16-0, R-10),?
  3. Stephenville (12-3, R-15),?
  4. Waco La Vega (14-1, R-11),?
  5. Liberty Hill (10-3, R-11),?
  6. Midlothian Heritage (12-1, R-11),?
  7. Kennedale (14-2, R-9),?
  8. Henderson (11-3, R-9),?
  9. Wichita Fall Hirschi (11-3, R-9),?
  10. Melissa (12-2, R-14).?
Rounding out the top twenty are Kilgore, Celina, Navasota, China Spring, Fischer Canyon Lake, Sealy, Dumas, Decatur, Houston North Forest and El Campo. Note: a perennial favorite for the top 20 in Class 4A, Abilene Wylie, has move up to Class 5A for the next two years, at least.
The Coaches poll:
  1. Carthage,
  2. Argyle,?
  3. La Vega,?
  4. Kennedale,
  5. Stephenville??
Early take on Kennedale …??
Kennedale?s strengths this year are in the backfield with the team led by veteran senior Evan Jowers (6-1, 200, 4.7) who will be starting his third year as quarterback. He has grown into the position and is a dual threat as a runner and (gasp) a passer in an offense known to run the ball 95% of the time. A late season injury slowed him some, but he finished the year with 1,869 total yards with 8 TDs by rush and 12 by pass. He was a 1st Team All-District selection last year.
The biggest name on the offense belongs to running back DJ Kirven, who was a dual threat last year along with graduated running back Jaden Knowles. Those two combined for over 4,500 yard of offense and 78 TDs. Kirven, a pre-season all-state pick, rushed for 2,298 yards at 10.2 yards per and made 41 touchdowns. A senior now and an AP All-State HM, Kirven (5-8, 175, 4.5) is in the driver?s seat in this run oriented offense.
Noise will be made by senior wide receiver Jaden Smith who at 6? 4??, 180 with 4.6 speed will keep any defense wary. Smith, who was 1st team All-District last year, had 475 yards receiving and 6 TDs for the year.
Two others on this team hoping to take a major impact on a somewhat depleted defensive squad include linebacker Jalen Myers, small and compact, never-the-less, he had 92 tackles and 8 sacks on last year?s senior led defense. Myers was 1st Team All-District Defense last year. This year he will be assisted by defensive back JD Coffey?(6-0, 170, 4-7) who was the defensive surprise of last year. Coffey not only made the team as a freshman but led the defense with 94 tackles and 7 interceptions. For his play, he was named to the AP All-State 1st Team Defense and was named District Defense Newcomer of the Year.
Significant players from last year moving into leadership positions this year will be safety senior Kade Stephenson (6-0, 180, 4.6); junior 1st Team All-District defensive tackle Jamal Marshall (6-0, 300); junior defensive back/running back Spenser Roof (6-0, 170, 4.6). Other players to watch are senior 2nd Team All-District linebacker Darrian Scott, senior tight-end Carrington Roblow, senior 2nd Team All-District offensive lineman Cameron Hanna, defensive lineman Tre Davis, linebacker Kameron Russell and defensive back Marlete Joyner.
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football is out on newstand now throughout Texas and at? 2018 Texas Football.? It also includes reviews for high school football from 1A to 6A plus college football in Texas.

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