Here we go again. At least, we hope so.

The 2021 season is scheduled to start this week and if all goes well, state champions will be crowned at AT&T Stadium in Arlington in December.

We made it through last season with Shiner winning the Class 2A, Division I state championship and Hallettsville advancing to the Class 3A, Division I state final.

But there’s no question COVID-19 had an impact. Schedules changed and in some cases games were canceled, practices were restricted and attendance at games was limited.

As this season approaches, the delta variant has reared its ugly head and hospitalizations are again on the rise.

Louise postponed the start of practices a week because of the virus, and other schools have had coaches and players miss workouts either because they tested positive or were exposed to someone who had and were forced to quarantine.

If we are able to turn our attention to the field, this season figures to be a memorable one.

Refugio and Shiner are ranked No. 1 and 2, respectively, in the Class 2A, Division I state poll and seem headed to another fourth-round showdown.

First-year El Campo coach Chad Worrell inherits a talented Ricebirds team, ranked No. 4 in the Class 4A, Division I state poll, and will attempt to duplicate the success he had at Brock.

Running back Jonathon Brooks is playing at Texas, but Hallettsville returns an experienced team that will be seriously challenged in District 12-3A, Division I by Yoakum and Columbus.

Falls City has been to three straight Class 2A, Division II semifinal games and the No. 6 Beavers return eight starters on offense and defense.

There always seem to be surprises and upsets along the way.

Myself (@mikeforman21), Peter Scamardo (PLScamardo2), Sam Fowler (@FowlerSports14), Kevin Alstrom (@mayirsi), Billie Garcia (BillieG_vicad) and our staff will do our best to keep you informed.

We hope to return with our weekly Facebook preview show, and with stories online at advosports.com and in the Victoria Advocate.

Teams can help their fans follow  their progress by sending game reports to sports@vicad.com, and cumulative individual statistics each week to mforman@vicad.com.

The Built Ford Tough High School Player of the Week will return and coaches should send nominations to mforman@vicad.com on Saturday.

Cuero won a state championship in 2018, Refugio won a state title in 2019, and Shiner won the state championship last season.

The quest for another state title is about to begin.

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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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