District 3A-4 notes: Chandler gets respect as favorite; Little Axe after another playoff berth
Chandler getting respect as favorite
Chandler coach Neal Bacon has only four offensive starters and five defensive starters returning from last year's 7-5 team, but the Lions are still being picked by the District 3A-4 coaches as the favorite.
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District 3A-4 coaches' poll 1. Chandler (7-5) 2. Star Spencer (12-2) 3. Bristow (6-4) 4. Prague (6-5) 5. Perkins-Tryon (5-5) 6. Little Axe (8-3) 7. Bethel (2-8) 2009 records in parentheses
For that prediction to come true, it will mean Bacon and his staff did a good job developing their skilled players. Aside from a couple of running backs who contributed around 400 yards apiece, the Lions have an almost entirely new backfield and receiving corps.
But Bacon has been pleased with the growth of his offensive line, led by center Tony Soto and tackle Tyler Gray, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound senior.
And the defensive line looks to be one of the team's strongest areas, led by end Barry Parks.
"He has a great work ethic on the field and in the classroom," Bacon said of the 6-foot-2, 190-pound senior who also aids the offense as a goal-line option at tight end.
Last season, Parks caught 12 passes for 212 yards and five touchdowns.
Little Axe trying to repeat playoff appearance
It's been a wild 10 months in Little Axe, with the Indians earning their first home playoff berth in school history last fall, then seeing a tornado rip through their stadium in May.
But the Indians are ready to get back to the postseason behind 17 returning starters.
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