In this space a couple of weeks ago I dissected Texas Football Magazine and commented on its predictions of where the Mineral Wells Rams and the other schools in our area would end up in the district standings.
Knowing that most high school football fans buy the annual publication each year – or at least have heard about it – it was a pretty safe bet that my readers understood the publication I was commenting on.
Well, Texas Football is not the only game in town, and hasn’t been for the past four years.
In its fourth year, “The Old Coach Friday Night Football” magazine is an annual publication that deals with high school football only, and like TF makes its annual predictions on each district.
A lot of football fans may be familiar with “The Old Coach” Web site, which features a fan message board where coaches, players and fans can mingle via the typed word on its many threads in its fan forum section.
Personally, I don’t know of one coach who does not at least read The Old Coach message board. It makes for very interesting reading, to say the least.
“The Old Coach” has been around awhile, and the “The Old Coach Friday Night Football” is basically a spin off of its Web site and popular fan message board.
Like TF, The Old Coach magazine looks at each and every district and the teams in those districts.
But The Old Coach actually has more written about each team compared to Texas Football as it deals with high schools only.
TF also deals with the Big 12, Texas colleges, the national college football scene and the National Football League.
The Old Coach also has a feature I enjoy – a special page dedicated to all of the head football coaching changes in the state.
Having been around awhile, I like looking at the listings on this page of all the coaching changes.
The Old Coach also employs a popular and well-informed former east Texas sports radio talk show host, David Smoak, to write an annual column.
This year “Smokey” has a long but interesting feature on the top high school defenses of all time in Texas high school football. This is a must read for serious fans of the high school grid game.
Before I get into dissecting The Old Coach’s predictions on our teams I will say the magazine lacks big time in one important area – six man football.
If they were to ask me how to improve the magazine, I would say to quit omitting six man football. That is a huge fan base that the magazine is ignoring.
But in its defense, they may just not have the staff at the moment to deal with all of the tiny-town six man football schools, and maybe when it gets to be more popular and sells more magazines six man will be included some day.
Right now The Old Coach Friday Night Football magazine can be purchased at Metroplex Barnes and Noble and Hasting’s stores, and at various magazine racks (check WalMart locally). You can also go to the web site (theoldcoach.com) to order the publication.
But now I will get back to the gist of my column – commenting on The Old Coach’s comments concerning our teams.
The Old Coach has fallen into the same trap as Texas Football, predicting the Rams will place fourth in District 6-3A.
Keep in mind a new high school football rule that begins this year in Class 3A allows four teams from each district to make the playoffs in all “team” (football, volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball) sports, so at least TOC feels the Rams will make the playoffs.
But taking a page from TF, TOC feels Lake Worth will finish third and Springtown second. Of course, Kennedale is TOC’s 6-3A champion, and again, there won’t be much if any argument there.
TOC has basically done what TF did – reprint last years standings. Their argument is that the Rams play at Lake Worth this year and were beaten at home last year by the Bullfrogs. Therefore, the publication’s stance is that Lake Worth will beat Mineral Wells.
My argument is the Rams could finish second in this district.
Although it is not alarming that “outsiders” would pick MWHS fourth, I know that the 2013 Rams have a lot of pride, and that the Lake Worth game is circled on their collective calendars. This team has a score to settle with the Bullfrogs and the talent to have a right to think that way.
I also wouldn’t “give” Springtown a W against the Rams. Anyone who went to last year’s game knows the score was not indicative of the actual game. Springtown for darn sure knows it.
This is a rivalry game, and going back for many years anytime the Rams and Porcupines hook up anything and everything but the usual has happened, just like last year.
And besides, a rivalry game is really a coin flip. The game is at Ram Stadium, and like with Lake Worth, the Rams have a score to settle with Pojo.
Of course, the three games between MWHS, Lake Worth and Springtown will shape the district standings from second to fourth place. But the magazine has to predict an order, and all that will do is put another clipping on an already crowded bulletin board in the Rams field house.
Another carbon copy of a TF prediction. Of course, in defense of both magazines, Millsap was 0-10 last year.
But like I stated previously in this space, Millsap gained a ton of experience last year when players not-ready-for-prime-time stepped in because of injuries and gained a solid year of experience.
Millsap will not go 0-for this year and will make a late push for a playoff spot.
Wow. Same deal. TOC has the ‘Cats in fifth place, just like TF. That’s last in a five-team district.
Santo may have lost some key players, but they have good talent coming back. However, they play in one of the toughest 1A Division I districts that features state-ranked Goldthwaite, Hico (TOC’s choice for district champion) and San Saba.
Santo will need to beat San Saba and De Leon to make the playoffs, and with the Wildcats playing San Saba at home Santo will be in the hunt for a playoff position.
Make it four for four. Like TF, TOC has Perrin to finish fourth in District 8-A, Division II, another tough 1A district that includes defending state champion Munday, Muenster and Electra.
But TOC likes Muenster to upset Munday for the district title.
Perrin surprised a lot of football fans last year with a 4-6 record. This year they will have to defeat Era, Petrolia and Electra to gain the playoffs. This year the Electra game is at Perrin, and I look for the Pirates to gain a playoff spot in 2013.
Gordon, Strawn, CCS
Oops! As stated earlier, TOC omits the six man game.
Here in Palo Pinto County, six man is huge with two teams – Gordon and Strawn – with legit chances of bringing home state championships in their respective divisions.
CCS? Well, let me just tell the TOC writers that you can’t have a better interview than chatting with Warriors head coach Bryan Horton, who is talkative, informative and entertaining, to say the least.
My lone suggestion to TOC magazine is to put in place a six man prognostication section for its fifth edition.