2008 Centex District Preview: 12-5A

After a two-year absence from Class 5A, Copperas Cove is back but their league has changed dramatically since they left. A&M Consolidated and Bryan are still solid clubs but Temple saw a resurgence last season. Can the Wildcats keep their momentum going or will the Bulldawgs reclaim their spot at the top?

How They Rank:
1 – Temple
2 - Copperas Cove
3 – Bryan*
4 - A&M Consolidated*
5 - Killeen Shoemaker
6 - Killeen Ellison
7 – Belton
8 - Harker Heights
Division I playoff teams denoted by (*)

Jeff's Take:
As long as Temple has Lache Seastrunk in the backfield their offense will be able to keep pace. The key for a long playoff run will be if the defense, led by junior linebacker Derrick Davis, can come up with key stops at key moments in games. Copperas Cove lost a talented senior class, but Division I prospects like Tanner Brock and Josh Boyce are still on board and the Dawgs have plenty of young talent in the program. Bryan and Consol are clearly the best of the rest as they once again post solid squads. Shoemaker can score in bunches but will they be able stop anyone is a huge question? Ellison has an outstanding safety in Daniel Cobb but graduated a talented senior class while Belton and Harker Heights still need time for their young players to develop for their respective second year head coaches.

Team on the Rise: Shoemaker
You will not find a better or faster pair of receivers in Central Texas than Maurice Porter and Derrick Mays, who can both score in the blink of an eye. Add in junior dual threat quarterback Jamielle Showers and a breakway running back in Dion Demers and you have all the makings of an explosive offense. If Coach Ken Gray can find some defense, then the Grey Wolves could nab their first postseason birth in school history.

Team on the Decline: Ellison
Buddy McBryde was promoted to head coach after Bret Boyd left to start a new program at Goose Creek Memorial. The Eagles are going to a run based offense that will likely depend on a running game led by Cobb and it remains to be seen how that will work. Six starters do return on defense, but there have to be guys step up to fill the leadership void left by the departing seniors.

Best Non-District Game: Week 3, Plano at Temple
When you talk about tradition, it does not get much bigger than this matchup of Wildcat's. Throw in the head to head matchup between Temple's Lache Steastrunk and Plano's Rex Burkhead and you have the makings of a classic.

Best District Game: Week 4, Bryan at Shoemaker
If the Grey Wolves are to make the playoffs, then the district opener is a must win since they get a physical Bryan club at home.

PRESEASON PLAYER SUPERLATIVES
District MVP: Tanner Brock, LB, Cove
Offensive MVP: Lache Seastrunk, RB, Temple
Defensive MVP: Kyle Voss, LB, Belton
Best Passer: Patrick O'Quinn, Consol
Best Runner: Lache Seastrunk, Temple
Best Receiver: Maurice Porter, Shoemaker
Best Offensive Lineman: Arthur Mackey, Cove
Best Defensive Lineman: C.J. Goosby, Bryan
Best Linebacker: Tanner Brock, Cove
Best Defensive Back: Daniel Cobb, Ellison
Best Special Teamer: Josh Boyce, KR, Cove

RECRUITING WATCH
Best 2009 Offensive Prospect: Josh Boyce, WR/KR, Cove
Best 2009 Defensive Prospect: Daniel Cobb, S, Ellison
Best 2010 Offensive Prospect: Lache Seastrunk, RB, Temple
Best 2010 Defensive Prospect: Derrick Davis, LB, Temple
Best 2011 Prospect: David Cobb, DB, Ellison


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