2017 3A Region III Football Outlook

If you’re like me, June and July are two of the hardest months to get through as a Yoe sports fan as there is just not a whole lot going on. However, we are now under two months away from the start of two-a-days, with scrimmages and the regular season not far behind that. This week I want to analyze what you should expect out of region III in 2017. The region should still be considered very dangerous, even though Malakoff suffered a shocking loss to Yoakum out of region IV this past season. Besides the Yoemen, here are some of the teams that I expect to see in the regional semifinals and state quarterfinals come December.


1. Teague (10-3/6-1; Regional Semifinalist)

# of seniors lost: 17 of 44

# of all-district players lost: 1 1st team offense; 2 2nd team offense; 4 1st team defense; 3 2nd team defense

# of all-district players returning: UTIL MVP; Offensive Lineman MVP; 3 1st team offense; 1 2nd team offense; 1 2nd team defense


The past three years, Cameron and Teague have met somewhere in the playoffs. In all three of those games, Cameron came out victorious, including this past year’s 23-6 win. Teague returns plenty of offensive playmakers, including brothers Antonio (quarterback) and Tyrese (receiver) Heard. Tayvis Coleman, which saw playing time against Cameron the past three years, will return for his senior year at running back. There have been rumors that Antonio could be making the move to receiver with his brother. If the Lions have another quarterback that they are grooming, that would be an ideal move as the Heard brothers would be tough to stop in open space. In general, I believe the passing game has hurt Teague the past two years, so how good this team can be in 2017 will largely depend on what they are getting through the air.


2. Rockdale (11-2/6-0; Regional Semifinalist)

# of seniors lost: 17 of 46

# of all-district players lost: Offensive MVP; 5 1st team offense; 3 2nd team offense; 3 1st team defense; 1 2nd team defense

# of all-district players returning: MVP; Defensive MVP; 2 1st team offense; 1 2nd team offense; 4 1st team defense; 3 2nd team defense


Since joining 3A back in 2010, Cameron has lost a total of only 15 games in seven seasons. 20 percent of those loses (3) have come to the Rockdale Tigers. Like most other teams in the state, the Tigers have questions that will have to be answered, but the potential to be very good is there again. JaQualyn Crawford is a dynamic receiver that will be taking his talents to the next level. Finding someone that can get him the ball will probably be Rockdale’s biggest need. If they can fill that void, the offense has potential to be dangerous. Defensively, Rockdale is returning 9 all-district players, so improvement on that side of the ball should come to no surprise to opponents.


3. Malakoff (14-1/7-0; State Quarterfinalist)

# of seniors lost: 12 of 30

# of all-district players lost: MVP; Defensive MVP; Returner MVP; 3 1st team offense; 3 2nd team offense; 5 1st team defense

# of all-district players returning: Kicker MVP; Offensive MVP; 1 1st team offense; 2 2nd team offense; 1 1st team defense; 3 2nd team defense


The Tigers lost some really good talent off of last year’s state quarterfinalist team that ended Cameron’s run of state championship games at four. Included in that group were dynamic, speedy receivers Tyler Russell and QT Barker. Malakoff still has bullets left to build around, including QB Judd Miller and running back Breashawn Williams. The Tigers will have to replace a majority of the offensive and defensive lines, but there is still talent coming up in a system whose entire sub-varsity went undefeated (7th-JV) in 2016.


3. Franklin or a team from 11-3A or 12-3A?

This is the area where it starts to become more gray in terms of top contenders. There is always going to be a team that comes out of nowhere and surprises someone. Franklin, with the tradition that they have, would not be considered a surprise. We know the Lions will try to bounce back after a tough first round loss to Teague. After that, maybe there is a team from the two Southeast Texas districts that can step up. 11-3A swept 12-3A in the first round, but 9-3A and 10-3A swept 11-3A in the area round. Woodville makes the most sense as the district champion from 11-3A a season ago. La Marque has 5 state championships to their name, but they will have to prove there is still enough talent in the system to win on the state’s biggest stage.