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Football: Decatur projected to make region final – Northwest tabbed to win district

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, July 21, 2018
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Familiar Foes

FAMILIAR FOES – Decatur’s Alec Uselton carries the ball during a playoff game against Wichita Falls Hirschi in 2017. The Eagles and Huskies are projected to meet in the Region I final this year. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Friday night lights are almost upon us.

Local teams will begin their preseason workouts Aug. 6, and the first game of the year is scheduled for Aug. 31.

With just over a month until kickoff of the 2018 season, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football has projected Northwest to win a district championship and three other Wise County schools to make the playoffs.

Decatur was picked to finish second in District 4-4A Division I behind Wichita Falls Hirschi. The Eagles lost to the Huskies twice last year, including a 58-28 loss in the 4A Region I quarterfinal.

After UIL realignment in February, several of the top 4A teams in the state moved out of Region I. Only one of DCTF’s top 10 4A teams remain in Region I – Hirschi. The Eagles will see them at least once this year in district play.

DCTF picked the Huskies to beat Decatur in the Region I final.

“If you look at the difference in our region – not saying anything bad about the teams that are [in Region I], because there are certainly some capable, really good teams and some that beat us last year – but anytime you remove Argyle, Stephenville, Brownwood and [Abilene] Wylie from your region, you just improved your chances of getting further,” said Decatur coach Mike Fuller.

Down the road in Bridgeport, the Bulls were picked to finish fifth in District 3-4A Division II behind Graham, Iowa Park, Vernon and Aubrey.

Bridgeport snapped a two-year postseason drought in 2017, going 3-8. The Bulls lost to Godley in the bi-district round.

In District 4-3A Division I, both Boyd and Paradise are projected to miss the playoffs. DCTF predicts Brock to win the district with Whitesboro, Pilot Point and Bowie finishing second, third and fourth.

The Panthers have not qualified for the postseason since 2008 and will be under the direction of new coach Joe Koch, who took over for former athletic director and head coach Ronnie Gage in May.

Paradise went 3-7 last season.

“I think the Dave Campbell’s report is probably fair,” Koch said. “We haven’t done anything to prove otherwise. It’s one of those ‘show me’ deals.”

Boyd narrowly made the playoffs in 2017, knocking off the Panthers in the regular season finale to clinch a berth. The Yellowjackets were 3-8 last year.

In District 4-2A Division I, Alvord and Chico are expected to make the playoffs and finish third and fourth. Lindsay is picked to win the district with Seymour taking second.

The Bulldogs went 2-9 in 2017 and lost in the bi-district round to Celeste. Chico went 3-8 last season and fell to Valley View in the bi-district round.

Coming off a 6-4 season, Northwest is picked to win 4-5A Division II. The Texans’ potent offense returns 1,400-yard rusher DeMareus Hosey and 1,000-yard receiver Quentin Lee. Hosey was named among the top 30 backs in the state.

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