Despite the drop to 4A, Longview still has 5A calibur talent. They will be solidly an East Texas team - but as they move to 4A, the travel will come down quite a bit. They made it to the regional finals last season losing in a tough game to Pflugerville. They only return 3 starters, but the JV and Freshman had a combined two losses between them. With one of the top quarterbacks in 4A returning, Longview is poised to have a run to the state championship. Coach John King may actually run a little more in the new district. They haven't lost a district game in nearly four years - but they may be at more risk this season for a loss in district for the first time in quite sometime.
Everyone is talking about Quarterback Aaron Johnson. His athletic prowess is off the chart. Coaches are in awe of him - and opposing coaches already have sleepless nights trying to defend him. Two receivers give Longview depth they haven't had in some time with Casey Fortson and Aaron Hollins. The running game will be a little bit down this year, but for them to have a deep run, one of the two projected starting running backs will have to step up. Jonathon Oliver got the most playing time last season, but Alex Easley could shine as a change of pace back. Terrance Carter has offensive line size and defensive tackle speed. He may see time on both sides of the ball before long.
Chris Knighton is moving from the offense to the defense. Chris Knighton was a standout at offensive line and will try to take on defensive tackle capabilities. The secondary is blazing with speed. Melvin Templeton is the senior rover and will be the key to the defense. Conrad Cooks will lead the linebacking corps - but look for a couple sophomore linebackers to step up and could be a force by the time district starts. The defense is lacking the major size it has had in the past, but it will try to compensate with speed that should rival some of the faster 4A teams. Marty Hobbs will take over placekicking duties. Longview has always had above average kickers and this season should be no different.
Longview starts the season with a non-district tilt that would make most 5A teams cringe. Games against Allen, Tyler Lee and Lufkin will get the Lobos motor going. The team will need to be tested with the district championship in week four against Texas High. Longview has won 4 straight district championships and will look to get to their fifth straight title. They have made the playoffs for seven straight seasons and should make it an eight - especially with 56% of the teams in the district making the playoffs in the district. Longview will get week ten off, which should give it a slight edge heading to the playoffs. Look for Longview to continue the same success at the 4A level with potentially a deeper run - depending how the seeding works out.