Industrial knows all eyes are on it in District 15-3A, Division I.
The Cobras went a decade without a district title and now look for their third straight after winning back-to-back championships.
“Everyone wants to beat us,” said head coach Jamie Dixon. “We haven’t lost a district ballgame in two years and everyone wants to be the first one to beat you in district.”
District MVP Matthew Davis and all-state safety Kaleb Figirova highlight Industrial’s 15 starters and 24 lettermen returning as the Cobras begin the season ranked No. 6 in Class 3A, Division I.
Edna will be the Cobras’ biggest threat as the Cowboys return 17 starters for second-year head coach Jimmie Mitchell.
Edna went 5-1 in district last year and returns sophomore quarterback Jaiden Clay (1,600 total yards), wide receiver Josh Muncrief (600 yards, 5 TD) and running back Dreydan Ashford (800 yards, 8 TD) to lead the offense.
“I feel like we’re a lot stronger and I feel like we’re a lot faster just because of the offseason,” Mitchell said. “The understanding of the concepts in what we’re trying to do were way better plays. You never know until you get out there and start playing, but I feel a lot more confident because of the offseason and our maturity that we have a chance to have a good football team.”
Edna is hoping to make it’s 11th straight playoff appearance.
Palacios is looking for its fourth straight trip to the post season in head coach Chad Graves’ fourth season with the Sharks.
Palacios will have a young team and will need to replace a number of linemen, but the Sharks return quarterback Anthony White who threw for 1,611 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushed for 620 yards and 12 scores.
“Staying healthy is always going to be huge for us,” Graves said. “Playing our best football and eliminating the mistakes, the self-imploding mistakes. If we can stay consistent and gradually get better every week I think we’ll be alright and have a chance to compete in our district.”
Goliad is still looking for its first win under second-year head coach Kevin Salazar as the Tigers went 0-9 in 2020.
Quarterback Reese Ruhnke is expected to be a team leader, alongside running back Jesse Martinez and linebacker Gene Ratliff.
“Our strength right now I’d say is going to be our offensive line,” Salazar said. “If we can run behind those big guys and have good ball control, that’s going to put us in good situations to eliminate touches for those strong teams like Industrial and Edna.”
Orange Grove returns quarterback Cutter Stewart, who threw for 3,407 yards and 39 touchdowns as a sophomore, as the Bulldogs look to compete for a playoff spot.