The “football Bible” is here, and its forecast for Kilgore-area teams, while not bleak, probably couldn’t be described as rosy, either, unless you’re a West Rusk fan.
Coach John Frazier’s Raiders, the only high school program in the News Herald’s coverage area to have a change in the new University Interscholastic League’s recent realignment, are the pick of the Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine to win the District 8-3A, Division I championship. The Raiders moved up from 3A Division II to 3A DI.
The magazine forecasts Kilgore High School to again make the playoffs in District 10-4A, DI, but as the third seed behind Carthage and Henderson.
Both Sabine High and Overton High are picked to finish last in their respective districts, unfortunately, and Leverett’s Chapel is headed for a third-place finish (among four teams) in their six-man district.
Kilgore College will finish just outside the Southwest Junior College Football Conference’s playoff teams, the magazine predicts, coming in fifth in the eight-team conference.
Of course, all of this is in good fun from a publication that for almost six decades has tried to preview – and ultimately forecast – the next fall’s football season for not only the high school teams (all of them), but for the junior college teams, all of the college programs in the state, the Big 12 Conference, the Southeastern Conference, the Southland, the Sun Belt, the Southwestern Athletic Conference, the Lone Star Conference, the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, the national scene (including Heisman Trophy and national championship playoff picks), and the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans, as well. Whew.
And for the most part, they’ve been doing this since 1960, with 2018 their 58th season of publication. It was started by Campbell, the former sports editor of the Waco Tribune-Herald, and some of his Waco staff. Incredibly, the first magazine was published out of Campbell’s kitchen, with University of Texas tailback Jackie Collins on the cover.
Costs have gone up a bit since then, though – the cover price on issue one was 50 cents. Copies of this year’s magazine sell across the state for $10.95. Campbell, now in his 90s, is a part of it again with his lengthy editor-in-chief letter in the opening pages.
This year’s cover, as seen with this story, features first-year Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher, with a foldout of Houston defensive star Ed Oliver just inside.