Carnegie, Mangum teams to beat
Because there are no new teams to District A-3, the coaches had a pretty good grasp on what they think they'll see this fall.
Their conclusion? Carnegie and Mangum are the teams to watch out for. Almost every coach had the Wildcats ranked No. 1 and the Tigers at No. 2 in their prediction for the district.
There's a good reason for that as both teams return a lot of starters from playoff teams last year.
The quarterback tandem of Carnegie's Taaron Burcum and Cameron Nix threw for nearly 2,500 yards and 30 touchdowns last year.
The teams meet Week 7 in Carnegie.
Baker a key for Snyder
After winning the district in 2008, Snyder took a step back in trying to reload, but coach Robert Babcock said he think his team is on the right road.
Leading the charge will be quarterback and middle linebacker Miles Baker. A four-year starter, Baker began his career on the offensive line and has made many strides in throwing the ball.
"He's a dual threat," Babcock said. "He's a great runner, but he's got a strong arm and has learned to control it more over the years."
Baker accounted for nearly 2,000 yards of total offense last year and 23 touchdowns. Snyder also has leading rusher Jordan Sherwood returning.
Sayre's Harrell a chore for opposition
Sayre coach Wes Brower won't be happy to see middle linebacker Caleb Harrell depart, but the rest of the class sure will.
Entering his senior season, Harrell has led the team in tackles the last three seasons and had 106 stops last year.
"Teams do what they can against him, but he's a special kid who finds a way to get to the football," Brower said.
Harrell isn't the only reason Brower is optimistic about the year. The Eagles return seven starters on both sides of the ball.
Mangum line crucial to success
Mangum quarterback Bryce Kilgore got a taste of what the varsity experience is like last year.
As a sophomore, he threw for 900 yards. If he's going to have success this year, it's going to be as the result of a strong offensive line.
Coach Larry Lewis said tackle Logan Hamilton and guard Jose Ochoa will go a long way in determining how the team fares.
Hamilton, 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, will be a four-year starter, while Ochoa, 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, will be a three-year starter.
District A-3 Coaches' poll 1. Carnegie (9-3) 2. Mangum (6-5) 3. Apache (5-5) 4. Hollis (6-5) 5. Sayre (6-4) 6. Snyder (5-5) 7. Burns Flat-Dill City (3-7) 2009 record in parentheses