The talent that Lufkin, Texas has put out of over the decades is undisputable.
Dez Bryant and Keke Coutee are household names having played with the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans, respectively. But names like Ken Houston (NFL Hall of Fame), Reggie McNeal, Jorvoskie Lane, Terrence Kiel, Rex Hadnot and Carrington Byndom all hail from the Deep East Texas town.
So, who could be the future?
At 6-foot-2 and over 210 pounds, junior RB Caleb Berry could be the next Big Man on Campus to wear the purple and gold. He has rushed for over 600 yards and has 11 scores entering the postseason, and coach Todd Quick is going to need him to tote the rock in clutch situations during the playoffs.
Berry pulled his first offer last week from the University of Arkansas. While there may be some uncertainty with Razorback coach Chad Morris being fired, there is no uncertainty that Berry will be a high-major DI back.
The state's No. 5 Class 5A DI team faces Texas High School in the first round of the playoffs. With winning their district, they host the Texarkana school on Friday at Abe Martin Stadium.
And here we go.
It's the most exciting 6-week ride in all of high school sports – the UIL football playoffs.
We will be looking at the Class 6A brackets in H-Town.
CAN ANYONE MAKE A RUN IN DI, REGION II?
Cypress Ranch faces Stony Point; Klein Oak opens with Aldine MacArthur; Cypress Woods faces Cedar Ridge and Spring hosts The Woodlands.
Can any of these teams make a run to the Regional Semis? Not likely. No. 11 Klein Oak is VYPE's top-ranked team in this side of the bracket. Oak should get by MacArthur but that could be a wrap.
No. 17 Cypress Woods should get by Cedar Ridge, but then would face the winner of The Woodlands and No. 20 Spring. That game is up for grabs, but VYPE is going with the Lions. Cypress Ranch should get by Stony Point, but have been very inconsistent this year.
No one gets past the third round from the city.
THE REGION (III) OF DOOM
The "Region of Doom" is Region III. No. 3 Cy-Fair should face No. 1 Katy in the second round, while No. 2 North Shore will likely get Pearland Dawson in Round 2. In the bottom part of the bracket, No. 4 Atascocita will face No. 5 Dickinson in the second round – the winner will play No. 7 Tompkins in Round 3.
Prediction? North Shore will face Atascocita again in the Regional Finals.
TOMBALL MEMORIAL COULD SHOCK DII, REGION II
Going to the DII level, it's somewhat wide open. Bridgeland will play in its first-ever playoff game and will need a huge effort to get by Vandegrift.
No. 10 Klein Collins won their district again and faces Dekaney in Round I. They should be on to Round II to face an undefeated Vandegrift. That could be the end of the line. No. 6 Westfield will have its hands full against Klein Cain, but will get by to play No. 14 Tomball Memorial. Tomball Memorial is built for a playoff run with a good running attack and solid defense. They will get the farthest in this region by a Houston-area team.
IT'S A WIDE-OPEN DII, REGION III
This bracket is a mystery. Cypress Creek will likely beat Westside to face Mayde Creek. West Brook and Strake Jesuit will match-up in the second round. Memorial will use a ground attack to get by the Heights, while Katy Taylor should push around Elkins. Humble will be dangerous and get by CE King, while George Ranch will wrap up Clear Falls' high-powered offense.
So, who are the favorites to get out of the Region? Strake Jesuit and Humble are our best guess.