2008 Centex District Preview: 25-4A

Lake Travis had a dream season in 2007 by winning the Class 4A-II state title in a thriller over Highland Park. Now the Cavs will reload for another run at a title with some newcomers to their district, including a talented Killeen squad and 4A newcomer Hutto.

How They Rank:
1 – Lake Travis*
2 – Killeen*
3 – Hutto
4 – Pflugerville Hendrickson
5 – Dripping Springs
6 – Marble Falls
7 – Lampasas
Division I playoff teams denoted by (*)

Jeff's Take:
There have been some changes this offseason for Lake Travis namely Coach Chad Morris coming over from Stephenville to take the reigns of the defending Class 4A, Division II state champions. Morris, whose offense is very similar to that of former Cavaliers head coach Jeff Dicus, still has the state's top passing prospect at the controls in Texas commit Garrett Gilbert, as well ten other starters from last season's state title team making the Cavaliers a no-brainer pick for the district title. Behind Lake Travis however is a team that could make a lot of noise in Region IV as Killeen brings some big time talent, including Texas A&M commit Rhontae Scales on the offensive line, and plenty of speed (with the likes of running back Marcus Tillman) south where their playoff drought of three seasons should end. 4A newcomer Hutto could surprise a lot of people mainly due to the return of Devin Carver, who was making highlight reel runs before a season ending injury halfway through the schedule derailed the Hippos in a very tough 3A district. Of the remaining teams Pflugerville Hendrickson has an outstanding defensive tackle in Darius Banks leading a front seven that will make Chip Killian's transition from defensive coordinator to head coach much easier. Dripping Springs figures to be greatly improved in year two under head coach Bob Schultz as quarterback Jacob Moore should have the Tigers in the thick of the playoff picture. The same can be said for Marble Falls quarterback Thor Woerner although the Mustangs have to replace 16 starters from a team that went 6-4 last season, which will make their push toward the playoffs a little bit tougher.

Team on the Rise: Hutto
If Devin Carver had not gone down last season then Hutto could have made a deep playoff run in Class 3A. Carver is back and the reason for optimism is because with him in the lineup the Hippos were clicking on all cylinders and handedly beat a couple of solid 4A teams in Elgin and Dripping Springs. Coach Lee Penland has talent in the program and the Hippos should turn some heads in their 4A debut.

Team on the Decline: Marble Falls
Last season the Mustags just missed the postseason but did post a winning record with a 6-4 finish. Making the playoffs will be an uphill climb with Lake Travis and Killeen seemingly being locks for postseason births. Thor Woerner will need his support cast to step up quickly and in a big way if the Mustangs are to avoid taking a step back.

Best Non-District Game: Week 2 Shreveport (LA) Evangel at Lake Travis
One of the state of Louisiana's most historic programs will go head-to-head with one of the state of Texas' fastest rising programs.

Best District Game: Week 4, Killeen at Lake Travis
Fans will likely get to see this district title decided in the district opener. The interesting matchup hewre is how the Cavaliers will matchup against the speed athleticism of the Roos.

PRESEASON PLAYER SUPERLATIVES
District MVP: Garrett Gilbert, QB, Lake Travis
Offensive MVP: Devin Carver, RB, Hutto
Defensive MVP: Juan Asencio, LB, Hendrickson
Best Passer: Garrett Gilbert, Lake Travis
Best Runner: Marcus Tillman, Killeen
Best Receiver: Cade McCrary, Lake Travis
Best Offensive Lineman: Rhontae Scales, Killeen
Best Defensive Lineman: Darius Banks, Hendrickson
Best Linebacker: Juan Asencio, LB, Hendrickson
Best Defensive Back: Marcus Pate, Lake Travis
Best Special Teamer: Dennis Pezzaro, K, Hendrickson

RECRUITING WATCH
Best 2009 Offensive Prospect: Garrett Gilbert, QB, Lake Travis
Best 2009 Defensive Prospect: Darius Banks, DT, Hendrickson
Best 2010 Offensive Prospect: Nehemiah Hicks, TE, Hutto
Best 2010 Defensive Prospect: Juan Asencio, OLB, Hendrickson
Best 2011 Prospect: Michael Brewer, QB, Lake Travis


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