3A DII Region III Top 25 Teams
9. West Rusk
After winning back-to-back state championships while representing region II, Waskom will now be shifting over to region III where there are going to be plenty of state title contenders. District 9 and 10 have all six teams ranked inside the top 16 and they will be matching up in the bi-district round of the playoffs this year.
9-3A will be the toughest district in the state for division II. It will remain to be seen if the Wildcats can repeat the success of the past two years, but until there appears to be a decline in results, the #2 spot is justified. Waskom will get plenty of challenges throughout the year, which will include contests with Arp (16 returning starters) and West Rusk (13 returning starters). We feel all these teams will be in the post-season but the order could change by the time we get there.
Could we see the top two teams in the state play each other in the regional finals? That could be the case as Newton has secured the #1 spot in the rankings. Newton was far from "down" last season, playing a tight 8-point game with Franklin in the third round of the playoffs. Crockett showed us their explosive offense on multiple occasions last season. If they can combine that production with an improved defense, they will be hard to stop.
11-3A could be one of the most wide open districts in the region. Clifton is our pre-season favorite but was just 4-7 last season. Dallas Triple A Academy is now joining UIL and you never know what you will get from a new team. Rice and Rio Vista are slated to be playoff contenders, but Blooming Grove could pose a threat to either team if they can reload.
The teams in 12-3A were happy to see that they would no longer have to deal with the Franklin Lions. Jewett Leon was the only team to scrape the armor of the Lions the past two seasons and now gets the nod at the top of the district even though they missed out on the playoffs in 2015. We should see the likes of Marlin, Buffalo and Bruceville-Eddy battle it out for the next three spots.