District 14-1A Div. I saw: Jonesboro, Evant | High school

As if the Jonesboro Eagles weren’t tired enough of running into May in the playoffs, they can now see the Tigers even earlier in the season.

Jonesboro has one of the most storied six-man programs in Central Texas, but lately few six-man teams in the state can match May’s run, which will be looking for its third consecutive trip to the game of state championship in 2022.

“Adding May to the district brings a bit of a different feel, maybe a bit more urgency,” admitted Jonesboro coach Eddie Gallegos.

May and Jonesboro are the favorites to go 1-2, but there are plenty of candidates to play the spoiler. After all, none of the five teams in the loop recorded a loss last fall. Lometa made the second round of the playoffs, Santa Anna started the year 6-0 before a late stumble, and Evant went 5-5 but hosts the most starters of any team at 14-1A.

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Jonesboro Eagles

2021: 11-1 (3-0), reached 1A Div. I regional qualifiers

The Head Coach: Eddie Gallegos (14th season: 132-29)

Returning starters (O/D): 3/3

Playoffs: 35-35-2 in 36 trips, last in 2021

Outlook: Jonesboro won its first 11 games in 2021 before May fired the Eagles in the second round of the playoffs, marking the second straight year Jonesboro’s season ended at the hands of May, who is now a district opponent.

The team’s speed should be a plus for the sixth-placed Eagles, but the head coach Eddie Gallegos still wanted his defense to play faster after his last scrum. “We can’t be back on our heels,” Gallegos said.

TB/LB Caleb Christel (6-1, 195) should be one of the best playmakers in the region. He rushed for 1,070 yards and 20 touchdowns, had 703 and 13 scores, and added 88 tackles on defense. Not too shabby for a guy who was in his freshman college season.

Jonesboro lost RB/DL Tyler Wilson to an injury in Week 4 last year. After offseason surgery, Wilson is poised to make up for lost time on both sides of the ball. “If he can stay healthy he will be a great leader for us,” Gallegos said. Jonesboro’s third senior is RB/DB Jaden Domeland he’ll likely see an increase in litters in his high school swansong.

Jonesboro has 24 players out, so depth should also be a team strength.

08/26 at Coolidge 7:30 p.m.

9/9 at Austin St. Stephen’s 7 p.m.

09/17 at Greenville Christian 2 p.m.

9/23 at Burnet Smoking for Jesus Ministry 7:30 p.m.

9/30 Austin Hill Country 7 p.m.

14/10 at Santa Anna* 7:30 p.m.

Elks of Evant

2021: 5-5 (1-2), did not make the playoffs

The Head Coach: Brandon Young (first season)

Returning starters (O/D): 4/4

Playoffs: 0-1 in a six-man appearance since 2009, most recently in 2018; 0-2 in two 11-man appearances

Outlook: New head coach Brandon Young supports an Evant schedule that is still competitive, but hasn’t always translated into playoff appearances. The last time the Elks made the playoffs was when the current senior class was in eighth grade.

To transition from Hunters to Hunters, the Elks will need exceptional performance from Returnees in all RB Districts hunter white and LB Louis Arellano. They are both talented players, so it’s not out of the question. Unfortunately for Evant, a player he relied on moved to Waco, as a QB Cason Ingram enrolled at Eagle Christian Academy. This will give White a boost as the team’s best attacking playmaker.

8/26 at Stephenville FAITH Home School 7:30 p.m.

9/9 at Cherokee 7:30 p.m.

23/09 in La Rochelle 7:30 p.m.

28/10 at Santa Anna* 7:30 p.m.

11/4 at Jonesboro* 7:30 p.m.

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