El Campo and Bay City will be among familiar company in District 12-4A, Division I.

The district lost Fulshear and Sealy, but picked up Stafford to join Brazosport, Columbia and Needville.

“We’ve all been in a district before,” said El Campo coach Wayne Condra. “It’s one of those districts that’s very talented from top to bottom and it will be a battle each and every week. It’s going to take everybody getting out there and doing what’s necessary every week.”

The No. 9 Ricebirds have a number of players returning from last year’s team, which advanced to the regional playoffs.

“I know a lot of teams lost a lot of senior leadership, but with the guys coming up they’re still going to be strong,” said first-year Bay City coach Robert Jones, who was an assistant at Brazosport last season. “El Campo will be the frontrunner with those three running backs coming back.”

Jones graduated from Bay City and used the sport-specific time in strength and conditioning to install the offense and defense.

“The extra time this summer helped us,” he said. “We implemented our offense and defense over the summer, by the time Aug. 3 rolled around the kids jumped right in from the stuff that we had put in previously.”

The biggest change for the district was moving from Region IV to Region III.

“It’s a big thing as far as the speed you see,” Condra said. “The thing about it is when you break down 4A, Division I this year, Region IV is loaded. They have a lot of great teams there like Region III. We have our district and we’re looking at the districts in East Texas. It’s going to a tough battle to get through the region and a tough matchup when you get to that semifinal game.”

Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or by email at mforman@vicad.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mikeforman21

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Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. He has worked at the Advocate since 1982. He has a bachelor's degree from SMU and a master's degree from UCLA.

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