Football is still a couple of months away, but it’s never too early for Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine preseason rankings. The magazine last year took over the Associated Press Texas High School football rankings.
The preseason rankings have two Wharton County teams.
The El Campo Ricebirds and the East Bernard Brahmas both received top 10 rankings.
After being forgotten about after missing the playoffs two seasons ago, the Ricebirds stormed back and made the third round, winning 10 games last season. Even with a down year, in five seasons with Wayne Condra as the head coach, the Ricebirds have won 69.5 percent of their games.
The Ricebirds lost a lot of key linemen on the offensive and defensive side of the ball through graduation. However, they will return a lot of key contributors, including their three top running backs Jontre Davis (District 13 Offensive MVP), Charles Shorter (Utility Player of the Year), and Rueben Owens (Newcomer of the Year).
With talent all over the field for the Ricebirds, they will enter the 2020 season ranked ninth in 4A-D1.
El Campo finds themselves in a new district and region for the next two seasons. In 4A-D1 Region III District 12, the Ricebirds will have very familiar opponents, they will play Bay City, Brazosport, Columbia, Needville and Stafford.
The rankings have El Campo as the best team in Region III.
The top 10 teams in order: 1) Waco La Vega, 2) Argyle, 3) Lampasas, 4) Corpus Christi Calallen, 5) Port Lavaca Calhoun, 6) Springtown, 7) Corpus Christi Miller, 8) Dumas, 9) El Campo, 10) Decatur.
Head coach Wade Bosse has been on a roll the past few seasons.
The East Bernard High School football team has won 48 games over the past four seasons with Bosse at the helm.
More importantly, the Brahmas have reached the Class 3A, Division II state semifinals back-to-back seasons.
Little surprise, the expectations are once again high entering the 2020 season and the media agrees.
The Brahmas check at seventh overall in the poll.
The top 10 teams were ranked in the following order: 1) Gunter, 2) Canadian, 3) Daingerfield, 4) Paul Pewitt, 5) Newton, 6) Abernathy, 7) East Bernard, 8) Franklin, 9) Eastland and 10) Holliday.
No. 4 Paul Pewitt defeated East Bernard in the state semifinals in Waco last year to earn match up with Gunter.
Gunter won the 2019 title and the defending state champions enter the 2020 season ranked No. 1.
East Bernard is the highest-ranked team in Region IV entering next season.
The Brahmas must replace 15 seniors who were selected to the District 14-3A DII all-district team last year.
But East Bernard does bring plenty on offense with junior quarterback Dallas Novicke at the helm and Devin Chapman in the backfield along with several returning offensive linemen.
The Brahmas’ district number remained the same at 14-3A-DII but the members were completely shuffled.
Brazos and Rice Consolidated, Danbury, Tidehaven and Van Vleck join East Bernard in District 14.
- Ryan Dunsmore of the Fort Bend Herald also contributed to this story.