The University Interscholastic League continues to keep us interested in what's going on with the state of fall sports and how exactly it'll look. With schools resuming summer workouts Monday, and mandatory practices just a few weeks away, we'll take an early look at how the schedule pans out for the Elkhart Elks.
The Elks will see a new slate of teams during their four-game non-district stretch this year. Last season, the Elks got out to a 3-0 start. Their 42-14 win over Troup in week three marked the first time in 15 years they sat undefeated after three weeks.
With new head coach Luke Goode at the helm, they'll hopefully look to pair another good start with a playoff appearance.
Aug. 28 Elkhart opens their season at home against the Buffalo Bison. Buffalo finished 8-2 last season before falling in the area round to Rogers 36-33.
The following week, the Elks travel to battle the 2A Grapeland Sandies. The Sandies lost only two games last season before they met Mart in the playoffs. The Elks continue their 2A slate with a battle against the San Augustine Wolves, Sept. 11.
No doubt it could be a measuring stick for Elkhart as the Wolves went undefeated through the 2019 regular season before losing to eventual state champion Refugio, 29-21, in the semifinals.
The Elks conclude their non-district stretch Sept. 18 on the road against Corrigan-Camden. The Bulldogs battled a season of highs and lows in 2019. They began their season on a three-game winning streak that was followed by back-to-back losses.
They rattled off another three-game winning streak before dropping their final two district games. Their season ended in a 41-21 loss against Paul Pewitt in the area round of the playoffs.
Elkhart's district run opens at home with a rivalry game against the Westwood Panthers, Sept. 25. The Elks took down Westwood 34-13 in their district opener last year. Elkhart has won seven of the last eight meetings in the rivalry, and a four-game streak going back to the 2016 matchup.
The Elks match up against the Crockett Bulldogs on the road the following week. Crockett took last year's battle, 28-6, against the Elks but were held to their lowet scoring output of district play. The Bulldogs had scored at least 32 points in six of their first seven games.
Oct. 9, the Elks host visiting Diboll Lumberjacks who went 11-1 during their 2019 campaign. Oct. 16, the Elks travel to play Coldspring-Oakhurt. The past two seasons, the district match has presented win-or-go home type of playoff implications for the Elks as the final game of their district schedule.
The game will still be impactful, but the Elks will have two other district games to follow.
Oct. 23, the Elks host the Trinity Tigers who posted an 0-10 last season. Elkhart concludeds their season against Huntington Oct. 30, which means they'll once against have the final district week as their bye.