Cove picked 4th; Killeen schools out in Texas Football predictions
By TJ MAXWELL
Another Texas high school football season approaches and that means one thing, a Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine is on its way to mailboxes and store shelves.
A year ago, the Copperas Cove Bulldawgs were picked to miss the playoffs but a resilient bunch under new head coach and athletic director Jack Alvarez defied naysayers by locking up the fourth and final playoff spot.
This year, despite there being questions about who will be under center to open the season, Texas Football has the Bulldawgs taking the final playoff spot behind Hewitt Midway, Temple and Belton.
That scenario would leave out all four Killeen schools as well as Waco High.
The Bulldawgs return a handful of players on both sides of the ball from last year’s 7-4 team.
Texas Football lists senior running back Micah Cox, wide receiver Jahmeel Rice, senior linebacker Nate David, senior offensive lineman Aaron Shanahan and senior cornerback Jerome Gaillard as the players to watch while the top juniors are offensive lineman McKenzie Agnello, linebacker Kendall Parker and running back Brandon Ortega.
Agnello was named to the Texas Football Class of 2021 Top 100.
The top sophomore is linebacker Benny Shumaker.
Other prospects include defensive end Zachary Hoyle, defensive end Devyn Taylor, wide receiver Jaylin Smith, offensive linemen Ethan Swanner, defensive tackle Thomas Holman, cornerback Donavan Blow, kicker Cam Ryan and athlete Russel Cochran.
The Midway Panthers (DI Regional Finalist 11-2, 8-0 in District 12-6A in 2018) also return five players on each side of the ball. They are predicted to win the district again with running back Will Nixon, OL Wesley Ndago, DL Carson Byrd, LB Jahden Brown, CB Za’Carius Murray and DL Braden Endsley as the players to watch.
The top juniors are QB Jared Moore and OL Micha Koen while the top sophomore is RB/LB Zacobie Haverly.
The Temple Wildcats (DII bi-district finalists 8-3, 6-2 in 12-6A in 2018) are picked to finish second with seven starters returning on the offensive side of the ball and one returning on defense.
The players to watch for the Wildcats are highly-recruited wide receiver Quentin Johnston, RB Anthony Jackson, DB Roman Jackson, OL Markel Carter, OL Dakari White and LB Quincy Marshall.
The top juniors to watch are WR A.J. McDuffy and DL Isaiah Fach while the top sophomore is RB Samari Howard.
The Belton Tigers (DI bi-district finalists 7-4, 6-2 in District 12-6A in 2018) return five players on offense and three on defense. They are picked to finish third in the district race.
The players to watch are WR/S Jace Stephens, OL Chris Brown, K/P Logan Smith and OL Elijah Washington.
The top juniors are OL Thomas Bowman, QB Ruben Jimenez, WR Reid Pulliam and DL Derrance Daniels while the top sophomore is TE Bryan Henry.
The Lampasas Badgers are picked to finish second in the District 14-4A race behind undefeated district champions and state finalists Liberty Hill (13-2, 5-0 in District 14-4A in 2018).
The Badgers return seven on offense and seven on defense.
The Badgers’ (Area Finalists, 7-5, 4-1 in District 14-4A in 2018) players to watch are WR/DB Cameron Everts, QB Ace Whitehead, DB Koby Allen, DL Ethan Rascoe, OL Austin Kielpinski, RB Jack Jerome, WR Mike Murray, OL Johj Long, LB case Brister, DB/WR Clayton Bever, DL Dustin Engdahl, WR Jalen Porter and RB/LB Daunte Cuffie.
The Salado Eagles and Gatesville Hornets are both predicted to miss a playoff berth.
The Eagles are predicted to finish last in District 8-4A DII behind Waco Connally, Lorena, Fairfield and Robinson in the seven-team district.
The Hornets are picked to finish fifth in District 5-4A DI behind state-champions Waco La Vega (14-2, 4-0 in District 5-4A DI in 2018), Stephenville, China Spring and Brownwood in the five-team district.