The Colcord Hornets have been to the playoffs 11 times in the last 13 years. They lost in the first round in 2009, and this year should prove more difficult.
The reconstructed District 2A-8 features four playoff teams from last season; two from Class A and two from Class 2A.
"All of our 2010 games will be tough," said Colcord coach Bud Simmons. "We hope to continue on and pick up where we left off in a very competitive district."
The Hornets have six returning starters on defense, including Chris Aguilar, who was second on the team in tackles last season.
"He's very aggressive and physical," Simmons said. "He can play outside linebacker somewhere at the next level."
Moving on up
After an 11-2 season and a quarterfinal appearance in the Class A playoffs, Salina coach Matt Williams and his Wildcats have moved up to 2A.
They will be led by second-year starter, senior quarterback Dillon Manchell, who threw for 1300 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.
The offensive line and skill players will have some experience, but moving up a class can cause problems.
"We must have our new faces on the offensive and defensive line develop and come on quickly," Williams said.
Salina is picked to finished fourth in the district, but if its linemen learn quickly, it could be at the top come season end.
Bigger Commerce team ready to compete
Whenever a team goes to a bigger class, coaches usually worry about one thing — size.
"We will have a bigger offensive line than usual," said Commerce coach Willie Ng. "Plus, our skill position players have speed and experience."
That's a good sign. The Tigers are returning 16 total starters, including senior Bryson Sullivan, who plays running back and safety.
Sullivan ran for more than 1,300 yards and scored 22 touchdowns total. He has received interest from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College.