It's been a while since John Tyler missed the playoffs and the Lions, who dropped to 5A, are ready to right the ship. Check out the 7-5A, DI preview:


Mascot: Lions

Coach: Ricklan Holmes (6th season, 56-20)

2017 result: 5-5, missed playoffs

Returning starters/lettermen: 14/23

Offense: Multiple Spread

Offensive notables: WR KeAndre Street, Sr., 6-2, 200 … OL Chance Billington, Sr., 6-3, 305 … ATH Devlen Woods, Sr., 5-9, 170 … ATH K’Lon Warren, Sr., 5-10, 170 … RB Cameron Grant, Sr., 5-10, 190 … RB Roderick Hawkins, Sr., 5-7, 195 … K Frankie Sanchez, Sr., 5-9, 165

Defense: Multiple

Defensive notables: DL JaBralen Yarber, Sr., 6-0, 280 … S Isaiah Johnson, Jr., 6-0, 175 … LB Kameron Mayfield, Jr., 6-0, 220 … LB Tyrell Jones … LB Tyrone Williams

2018 outlook: John Tyler was at home in the postseason for the first time since 2007, a miss that has the Lions chomping at the bit to get back to action, this time in Class 5A, DI. Offensively, the Lions are looking at quarterback, a race that’s between Woods and Warren, who both had double-digit touchdown passes in 2017. Whoever the signal caller is will benefit from Street, one of the top prospects in East Texas who will continue the pipeline to the University of Houston from Tyler. Billington, who has five Division I FBS offers entering the season, lead an offensive line full of ‘speed, size and experience,’ Holmes said. Grant is a player to watch at running back as well. Defensively, Barber leads the way up front ahead of the linebacker duo of Mayfield (5 TFL, INT) and Lane (41 tackles, 2 TFL). A long offseason, paired with experience, should have the Lions primed to right the ship in 2018.

Did you know: Street joins John Tyler alumni Tyus Bowser, Greg Ward, Braylon Jones, Bryson Smith and Dekalen Goodson as Houston players.


Mascot: Bulldogs

Coach: Mike Fecci (9th season, 54-46)

2017 result: 8-4, 5A, DI area

Returning starters/lettermen: 10/24

Lettermen lost: 28

Offense: Spread

Offensive notables: QB Cameron Constantine, Sr., 6-0, 195 … TE Brandon Frazier, Jr., 6-6, 230 … RB Hunter Cahe, Sr., 5-9, 180 … QB Dillon Markiewicz, Jr., 6-4, 220 … OL Austin Marliewitz … OL Cameron Coker … OL Zach MacMahon

Defense: 4-3

Defensive notables: DL Landon Teel, Sr., 6-1, 265 … LB Carson Criss, Jr., 5-10, 210 … DL Chibunie Ugwunzie … LN Max Fecci

2018 outlook: After an area-round appearance, Fecci doesn’t expect too much off a drop off from his team in 2018. QB Constantine is the top returning passer and rusher. Defensively, the Bulldogs return five starters, led by Criss (125 tackles).

Did you know: McKinney North is looking for its third-straight playoff appearance. The Bulldogs last made it past the second round in 2014.


Mascot: Pirates

Coach: Kody Groves (6th season, 48-18)

2017 result: 6-6, 5A, DI area

Returning starters/lettermen: 14/30

Lettermen lost: 28

Offense: Spread

Offensive notables: RB Seth McGowan, Jr., 5-11, 205 … WR Cam Lampkin, Sr., 5-10, 170 … QB Dylan Brown, Sr., 5-11, 170 … K Dylan Brown, Sr., 5-8, 175 … WR/TE Kam Allen, Soph., 6-4, 200 … OL Ian Mitha

Defense: 3-4

Defensive notables: CB Dorian Morris, Sr., 6-0, 170 … LB Bershard Glaspie, Sr., 6-2, 205 … S Jalen Hodo, Jr., 5-11, 175 … DB Chris Muldrow

2018 outlook: Size doesn’t matter for Poteet, the smallest 5A, DI team in the state. What the Pirates have is numbers with 14 returning starters at key positions all over the field. Groves has high praise for McGowan, who put up 1,100 total yards and 15 touchdowns in six games as a sophomore. Dale (2,250 total yards, 19 TDs) is back at quarterback and has two-way starter Lampkin (1,200 yards, 10 TDs) out wide. Defensively, Morris at CB brings back 50 tackles and three picks with elite speed.

Did you know: Morris holds eight offers entering the season, including Louisiana Tech, Navy, North Texas and SMU


Mascot: Raiders

Coach: Mike Dormady (1st season; 37-27 overall)

2017 result: 2-8, missed playoffs

Returning starters/lettermen: 15/18

Lettermen lost: 17

Offense: Spread

Offensive notables: RB Corbin Johnson, Sr., 5-9, 175 … OL Jacob Pryor, Sr., 6-1, 255 … WR Xavier Smith, Jr., 5-9, 170 … QB Zach Haaland, Jr., 6-2, 180

Defense: 3-4

Defensive notables: LB Randy Armstead, Sr., 5-10, 185 … DB Dakota Jackson, Sr., 6-0, 165 … DB Joaquin Salmon, Sr., 5-11, 160 … LB Quinton Younger, Jr., 6-0, 205

2018 outlook: Dormady inherits a two-win team from a year ago but, as is a trend in 7-5A, DI, returns a lot of players on both sides of the ball. Johnson (1,679 yards, 22 TDs) is a home-run threat and Haaland rose to the starting role as a sophomore, finishing with over 1,800 total yards and five touchdowns. Defensively, Jackson and Younger lead the charge for the Raiders.

Did you know: Dormady previously coached at Boerne after being the offensive coordinator at Colleyville Heritage.


Mascot: Wranglers

Coach: Jeff Neill

2017 result: 7-3, missed playoffs

Returning starters/lettermen: 11/19

Lettermen lost: 23

Offense: Spread 2 Back

Offensive notables: WR Dylan Wright, Sr., 6-5, 205 … RB Ty Jordan, Jr., 5-18, 185 … OL Kyree Miller … ATH Neal Johnson, Sr., 6-4, 215 … OL Christan Landaverde, Jr., 5-7, 235 …

Defense: 3-4

Defensive notables: LB Quinterrius Hargrave, Sr., 6-0, 225 … DB Jamal Clemons, Sr., 5-9, 170 … DB Paul Christopher … CB Aaron Lowe

2018 outlook: Offensively, the Wranglers are primed for a big show in 2018, led by standout Wright, one of the state’s top receivers who holds offers from the likes of Alabama, Texas, Texas A&M and Michigan. Johnson is the top returning pass and projects as a tight end at the next level and will benefit from Jordan, who rushed for 777 yards and nine touchdowns as a sophomore. Defensively, Lowe is another prospect for West Mesquite.

Did you know: RB Jordan is a three-star recruit on 247Sports with nine total offers entering the season, including Houston, SMU, Illinois and Kansas.


Mascot: Bearcats

Coach: JD Martinez (3rd season, 9-12)

2017 result: 5-6, 5A, DI bi-district

Returning starters/lettermen: 7/12

Lettermen lost: 22

Offense: Spread 2 Back

Offensive notables: QB Blaise Bentsen, Sr., 6-5, 225 … OL Chris Tobar, Sr., 6-1, 285 … OL Christian Smallwood, Jr., 6-4, 280 … WR Tate Bethel, Soph., 5-11, 170 … OL Rudy Vasquez

Defense: Odd

Defensive notables: DL Tekarious Walton, Sr., 5-11, 280 … S/LB Gage Smith, Jr., 5-11, 175 … DL Ivan Cavillo … DB Cross Pike

2018 outlook: Youth is served for the Bearcats this season but the experience is back at key spots, led by Bentsen (130-235-7, 1,582 yards, 13 TDs; 97 carries, 642 yards, 5 TDs) with a few key blockers up front. Martinez is high on Bethel, who will be at receiver while being the backup quarterback. Pike is an underclassmen who can have an impact on both sides of the ball. Smith is the leading returning tackle (51 tackles, 4 INTs).

Did you know: Bentsen holds offers from Air Force, Bucknell and Fordham, among others.


Mascot: Tigers

Coach: Gerry Stanford (2nd season; 7-4, 54-26 overall)

2017 result: 7-4, 5A, DI bi-district

Returning starters/lettermen: 9/20

Lettermen lost: 32

Offense: Spread

Offensive notables: QB Coltin Clack, Sr., 6-3, 215 … ATH Chris Sutton, Sr., 5-8, 175 … WR Chris Lyles, Sr., 5-9, 175 … OL Ladd Preston, Sr., 5-11, 250 … RB Trakeci Cooper, Jr., 5-11, 170 …

Defense: 3-4

Defensive notables: LB Darryl Maxwell, Sr., 5-9, 185 … DL Demarquis Vaughn … DL Deandre Brown … DB Lyles … DB Seth Willis

2018 outlook: Stanford took the reins in 2017 and led the Tigers back to the playoffs. Year two will be a test as Texas High looks to reload, especially on defense. While that happens, the offense, led by Clack (1,003 yards, 10 TDs, 169 rushing yards, TD), will lead the charge. Clack has Sutton (811 yards, 9 TDs) and Lyles (31 catches, 300 yards, 2 TDs) to lean on. Defensively, Maxwell (34 tackles) is one holdover as the Tigers look to build on this past season’s success.

Did you know: Clack has committed to Arkansas State, choosing the Red Wolves over opportunities from SMU, Southern Miss, UTSA and ULL, among others.

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