On offense Daingerfield will be scary good at the skill positions as nearly every key player is back including junior QB Tyler Boyd who threw for 2418 yards and 24 touchdowns while rushing for nearly 900 yards and 15 touchdowns. Boyd runs the Tigers offense perfectly as he throws a great deep ball and is not too quick to pull the ball down and run, although when he runs he's dangerous. KoKo Smith who was the District 17-2A MVP is back to lead the ground game after a monster playoffs. Smith totaled 1487 yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior along with 182 receiving yards. Smith is a tough runner who once out in the open is not going to be caught. Maybe the top unit on offense is receivers led by Texas commit Chris Jones who had 1046 yards and 12 touchdowns. Jones is a speedy deep threat who forces defenses to alter their game plans. Joe Lafayette, Keyaris Garrett and Floyd Chisum are all excellent complimentary guys with Garrett having potential to be an excellent possession receiver. The one question mark on offense will be the offensive line where there will be some new faces. Shayvion Hatten is the most physically gifted of the group and his 6'4 frame has scouts intrigued at his potential.
On defense Daingerfield has seven starters back but they suffered two big losses as DT Zavian Gilstrap and LB Carl Moore. Those will be big losses but there's plenty of talent to fill the gaps in. The defensive ends will be two of the best in East Texas as second team all 17-2A Chris Robertson and 17-2A newcomer of the year Donald Bryant give the Tigers two athletic edge pass rushers. The linebackers in DHS' 3-3 stack scheme won't make a lot of plays but they will be important in taking on blockers to free the secondary up to make plays in the running game. The secondary will be tremendous with first team all state safety Scott Irvin along with Division 1 prospect Garrett Hughes leading the way. Joe Lafayette and Desmond Johnson add depth as both were second team all district.
Expect Daingerfield to be a prohibited favorite to repeat as state champions as with as much overall talent that's back its hard to not name the Tigers the favorite. However Daingerfield's program does have some experience being prohibited favorites to win state as in 1984 the Tigers were coming off a 16-0 season when they allowed a total of eight points all season. After rolling to a 15-0 record in 1984 Daingerfield was heavily favored against Medina Valley but DHS fell in one of the biggest upsets in Texas High School History 21-20. Daingerfield will need to simply remember that piece of history and they should win the title.