For decades, the various writers at Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine have tried their hand at not only previewing and forecasting college and pro football, but taking an extended look at high school football, as well.
The 2017 version of the magazine hit the stands recently, and predicts some interesting events, as usual, for Kilgore-area teams.
The writers of the high school portion have Kilgore ranked 10th in the Class 4A preseason poll. Here’s the bad news: they have Carthage (the defending 4A state champion) ranked No. 1, and another Kilgore foe, Henderson, ranked ninth. Both Carthage and Henderson are in Kilgore’s district (9-4A Division I), and the magazine went ahead and picked those two to finish in front of the Ragin’ Red in the district standings. They have Carthage beating Henderson for the Region III title, and going on to win the state championship yet again.
No Kilgore-area player made the magazine’s preseason super team, but KHS wide receiver Jonathan Shepherd was listed in the top 300 (recruits; Shepherd recently verbally committed to Oklahoma State). They also have Kilgore quarterback Patrick Jackson under the “best of the rest” category, but as a receiver. Both Shepherd and Jackson are seniors.
Jackson is the magazine’s pick as preseason offensive most valuable player. Kilgore has won the district championship the last two years, and has gone 3-1 against Henderson and Carthage in that time frame. The magazine picks 9-4A DI as one of its districts to watch, one of the state's toughest.
In an interesting side-note, the magazine has selected Gilmer as its pick to win the 4A Division II state title, over West Orange-Stark.
The magazine picks Sabine to finish fifth in six-team District 8-3A Division I; West Rusk is picked to finish third in District 9-3A Division II; Overton is forecasted to finish second in 11-2A Division II; and Leverett’s Chapel is picked third in six-man district 16-1A DI.
West Rusk running back Jaylon Garland, who ran for 1,252 yards in a shortened season last year, is named a "money player" in 3A.
Overton is ranked 20th in the magazine's 2A preseason top 20.
As far as Kilgore College, the magazine predicts Trinity Valley will win the Southwest Junior College Football Conference title for a record-setting fifth straight year, and that KC will finish second.
The magazine is carried by area retailers for $10.95.
The News Herald’s own football preview will be a part of the print edition on Wednesday, Aug. 30.