Arlington Seguin (5-5, 3-4). Coach: Carlos Lynn.
Burleson (5-5, 3-4). Coach: Jason Tucker.
Cleburne (1-9, 1-6). Coach: Phil Young.
Crowley (5-6, 4-3), lost in DII bi-district. Coach: Chris James.
Everman (8-3, 7-0), lost in DII bi-district. Coach: Dale Keeling.
Granbury (6-5, 4-3), lost in DI bi-district. Coach: Scotty Pugh.
Joshua (0-10, 0-7). Coach: Jerry Bird.
Mansfield Summit (9-3, 6-1), lost in DI area. Coach: Travis Pride.
THE BIG QUESTION: Are there more final standings surprises in store from 7-4A to compare with the 2010 season?
When the dust settled in a reshuffled District 7-4A last season, Everman and Mansfield Summit finished in the top two spots as expected. Everman came into the season having won at least nine games in 10 straight seasons and Summit was dropping down from a pretty successful run in Class 5A.
But it would have been difficult to predict the third and fourth playoff spots would go to Crowley and Granbury.
Crowley, coming off a 3-7 season, hadn’t been to the playoffs since 2001. But that drought was nothing compared to Granbury, where the last previous playoff excursion came in 1977. Granbury was 1-9 in 2009 and 0-10 in 2008.
For teams like Burleson and Arlington Seguin that finished only a game out of third place, or even for one-win Cleburne or winless Joshua, the Crowley and Granbury success stories could prove inspirational this fall.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
DB Steven Aikens, DL Devante Richardson, Arlington Seguin; QB Barrett Cain, OL Derek Baldeschwiler, Burleson; WR Cooper Walls, Cleburne; LB Kyron Minter, RB Larry Cheeks, Crowley; LB Lincoln Richard, QB Devynn Birdow, DE Jacob Kennedy, Everman; RB Brandon Davis, OL Johnny Shepard, OL Jason Shepard, Granbury; RB/DB Riley Davis, Joshua; LB Micah Awe, DL Cortez Harris, DL Jacolby Robinson, Mansfield Summit.
DID YOU KNOW?
Everman’s first-round playoff exit snapped a string of five straight seasons in which it advanced at least to the third round. ... Granbury offensive lineman Johnny Shepard was named Class 4A all-state second team. ... Cleburne’s Cooper Walls, an all-district selection, is the top returning receiver statistically with 663 yards and four touchdowns. ... Crowley running back Larry Cheeks is the district’s leading returning rusher after gaining 1,121 yards and scoring 11 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2010. ... Burleson quarterback Barrett Cain returns after a frustrating 2010 when he missed nine games with an injury. ... Everman, known to favor the run over pass, has the top returning passer in Devynn Birdow. He threw for 998 yards and 14 touchdowns last season.
PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS