TPI 3A E. Texas Top 10: #1 Tex. Liberty-Eylau

After a respectable 8-2 season, most thought Liberty-Eylau would be first round fodder for Gilmer. The Leopards however had other ideas and they stunned the Buckeyes and then used the momentum to win their second state title in school history.

2006 was a year to remember for the Texarkana Liberty-Eylau Leopards as after their huge upset of Gilmer in bi-district, L-E rolled on to the Class 3A Division 1 State Championship after a thrilling 35-34 win over Robinson. The Leopards are locked and loaded once again in 2007 for a possible state title run, but they will have to replace QB Will Middlebrooks who led the Leps offense for 3 years. However the Leopards do not have a bare cupboard as Coach Brady's squad has 8 offensive starters and 7 defensive starters back along with help from a 7-2 JV squad.

The Liberty-Eylau offense is paced by all state running back LaMichael James who has several big time schools after him. James posted over 2000 total yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior. Look for even more of the offense to go through James in 2007, with the Leopards having a big question mark at the QB position. Jeremy Wigham is the top threat at WR for L-E as he hauled in 20 catches for 411 yards and 4 touchdowns. Look for Texarkana Liberty-Eylau to have a solid offensive line once again in 2007 led by LT Daniel Rhone.

The Leopards defense at times was overlooked by their high powered offense but Defensive Co-Ordinator Barian Brown has put together a solid Base 50 scheme and with 7 starters back look for L-E to be even better on defense in 2007. FS Stacik Vaughn leads the defense as he posted 107 tackles to lead the team. The top prospect on defense may be hard hitting LB Charles Jones who notched 74 tackles in 2006. Liberty-Eylau's defense is built on speed and the Leopards don't have much size and what could cause them problems in 2007 is a team with a big offensive line who runs the ball.

Overall, look for Texarkana Liberty-Eylau to again be right in the mix for a state championship. Liberty-Eylau however will have to answer their big question at QB, if they can address the QB situation they will be a favorite to win it all once again. However teams like Gilmer, Kennedale and Royse City will all be poised in Region 2 to take the crown from L-E.


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