District 21-3A 2009 Outlook

Texas Prep Insider regards every team as vital in Texas. Today we begin coverage of our talented 3A districts. We have you covered with free snapshots, but stay tuned for more information on your favorite teams and players.

District 21-3A 2009 Overview
Predicted Order of Finish (Division I teams in all CAPS):
1. West Orange-Stark
3. Bridge City
4. Sour Lake Hardin-Jefferson
5. Hamshire-Fannett
6. Orangefield

2008 Season Recap (season finish):
West Orange-Stark has enjoyed many strong seasons under coach Dan Hooks. Only a handful stand out more than 2008 when the unbeaten district champion Mustangs (12-1) defeated Coldspring and Caldwell before falling to Gilmer 35-23 in Division II. Hardin-Jefferson (4-6) also reached the Division II bi-district, falling 46-14 to Cleveland.

Silsbee (6-5) also reached the regional semifinals before dropping a 48-33 battle against Navasota. Bridge City (4-4), Hamshire-Fannett (3-6) and Orangefield (1-7) missed the postseason in 2008.

2009 Breakdown:
Class 3A football has a quandary: so many elite teams with pedigree, speed, talent, recent success that only a handful are ranked by every website.

Liberty Hill, Gilmer, Celina, Carthage, Giddings and West Orange-Stark are consistent top five picks by most prognosticators. In 21-3A, the WO-S Mustangs are a legitimate state contender with powerful defending state champion Carthage as their major Region III obstacle. While WO-S is ranked in the top 8, Silsbee also received preseason ranks.

If you recall, the Mustangs are an annual threat to get to a state semifinal or better, and they accomplished that in 4A football not long ago. Speed powers WO-S in 2009 with WR-KR Trey Franks (5-11, 180) using his 4.38 speed to take three punts to the end zone last year. DB James Haynes (6-1, 188) is another burner with DE Steven Cook (6-1, 235) powering the defensive line.

Silsbee will enter the season with the returning district MVP in QB Jeremy Johnson (6-2, 180), who threw for 1,876 and 18 TDs in 2008 and runs well with 4.5 speed. RB Chris Barnes (5-8, 165) and WR Jarrian Rhone and WR Prentice Lane will provide the offense's weapons.

Bridge City will make a push into the postseason with QB Josh Lemoine, RB Matt Menard and CB Zach Heinze providing the Cardinal horsepower. Lemoine threw for 1, 094 yards and 8 TDs while Menard scored 4 TDs as varsity newcomer of the year.

Hardin-Jefferson returns 9/6 starters, which will help the Hawks in the playoff hunt. QB Blake Venable (6-1, 185) and RB Jacoby Turner (5-11, 175) will keep points on the board for the Hawks.

Hamshire-Fannett will depend on QB Jake Minaldi, who rushed for 637 yards and 8 TDs, and RB Justin Scully (6-0, 190). Orangefield also returns 9/6 starters, including DB Quinton Evans, OL Tyler Whitmire (6-2, 275) and RB Chase Parker.

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