2008 San Antonio District Preview: 29-5A

The final 5A district from the greater San Antonio area only features one true San Antonio team, Southwest who just happens to be the preseason district favorite. Four teams from this new look league made the playoffs in 2007 which should make for some great games this fall.

How They Rank:
1 – San Antonio Southwest*
2 – Laredo Alexander*
3 – Laredo United
4 – Eagle Pass
5 – Laredo United South
6 – Del Rio
7 – Laredo Martin
8 – Eagle Pass Wynn
Division I playoff teams denoted by (*)

Jeff's Take:
When the number of returning starters from the previous year equal the team's win total from the previous season and both of those numbers are in double digits, that certainly can get a fan base excited. Thus Southwest fans have a reason to be pumped about their Dragons as Coach Matt Elliot's team returns 11 total starters from a team that went 11-1 in 2007, including one of the top rushers in the greater San Antonio area in senior Stephen Salinas, who racked up over 1,900 yards and 34 touchdowns in 12 games as a junior. After the Dragons, the rest of the district is really a toss up. Laredo Alexander will score points, and likely in bunches with senior Jerry Lopez and his 3,300 yards and 29 touchdowns back in the fold but their defense only returns two starters from a 4-6 ball club. Nonetheless having the best quarterback in the league is a huge plus and the Bulldogs will sink or swim depending on how Lopez's supporting cast develops. United, Eagle Pass, and United South all made the postseason in 2007 but United's recent run of success and Eagle Pass' 13 returning starters from a nine win club put the Longhorns and the Eagles in the drivers seat for the final two playoff spots.

Team on the Rise: Whoever can win a playoff game
Four teams from this district were playoff teams in 2007 but that is about where the story ends. The only win for the four teams was Southwest's double-overtime win against Clark. For these South Texas teams to get some respect from the rest of the state, they need to start producing come November.

Team on the Decline: United South
The Panthers only have eight returning starters from a team that went 7-4 and made the playoffs last season and to get back there they will need difference makers to emerge on both sides of the ball in a hurry.

Best Non-District Game: Week 0, Georgetown vs Southwest
The Dragons could get a lot of exposure if the can perform well against the Eagles in the Alamodome to kick off the season

Best District Game: Week 6, Southwest at Alexander
Who will win out – Southwest's ground game or Alexander's aerial attack?

PRESEASON PLAYER SUPERLATIVES
District MVP: Stephen Salinas, RB, Southwest
Offensive MVP: Jerry Lopez, QB, Alexander
Defensive MVP: Jonathon Rodriguez, LB, Southwest
Best Passer: Jerry Lopez, Alexander
Best Runner: Stephen Salinas, Southwest
Best Receiver: Juan Zavala, United South
Best Offensive Lineman: Isaac Manzano, Eagle Pass
Best Defensive Lineman: Aric Hogg, United
Best Linebacker: Jonathon Rodriguez, Southwest
Best Defensive Back: Isiah Mezquiti, Eagle Pass
Best Special Teamer: Felipe Gaytan, K, Martin


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