Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine has released its annual projections for high school football districts all across the state, and throughout the week we'll be revealing all the predictions for the Anderson County schools.
Today will be District 9-3A Division I – Westwood Panthers and Elkhart Elks. '
Dave Campbell has predicted the Elkhart Elks end their six-year playoff drought as the fourth-placed team in district. On the opposite end, DCTF also predicts the end of Westwood's four-year postseason absence will have to wait another year as they're slotted as number six in the seven team district.
The Diboll Lumberjacks – the reigning district champions – Crcokett and Coldspring-Oakhurst round out the top three in the district.
Despite huge losses due to graduation, the Lumberjacks still return all-stater projected defensive MVP Jeremiah Gums. The Oct. 9 Diboll-Elkhart match up will pin Gums against the projected offensive MVP R.J. Moore.
Moore rushed for over 1,100 yards in 2019.
Last year, DCTF had Elkhart and Westwood on the outside looking in when it came to the playoffs. The Elks had an opportunity to take matterrs into their own hands with a win over Coldspring-Oakhurts in their district finale.
Unfortunately, their 27-24 loss meant that Westwood needed to secure a win over Coldspring in order for the Elks to have a shot at the final playoff spot.
It marked the second year in a row the Elks destiny came down to the last week with another team responsible for if they secure a spot in the postseason.
Though Elkhart won't be dealing with Coldspring in their district finale, this years circumstances could look oddly similar as the Elks once again has a bye week during the final week of district play.
This time it will be Huntington that could determine the playoff implications for Elkhart when they square off Oct. 30.
Westwood may could stake their claim for the playoffs much earlier than the Elks. The Panthers will face all of the expected District 9-3A playoff teams in the first four weeks of district play.
DCTF Elkhart players to watch: Camden Sellers, R.J. Moore, Richard Carillo, Messiah Birdow. “The return of Moore, Birdow and Sellers give the Elks plenty of options on offense, and Carrillo isn't afraid to bring some pop from the secondary.
DCTF Westwood players to watch: Coy Elton, Donovan Barrett, Tremelle Rhodes, De'Anthony Thomas, Devonte Downie, Kylance Parish, Kamaran Savage, Matthew Gomez, Tyler Johnson, Jakob Brown, Javory Furr, John Marks, Travis Jones. “Elton and Rhodes were limited to seven games, but showed potential. Thomas was solid on both sides, and Barrett is one to watch.”