Whitehouse and Troup are featured in the 2017 Pigskin Preview sponsored by CBS19 and Christus Trinity Mother Frances Health System.
Troup is not selected as one of the teams to vie for the District 9-3A title, but gets a nod for a possible dark horse.
“Troup… could be the spoiler that upsets the balance of power once district begins,” said Pigskin Preview correspondent Mickey Smith.
The Pigskin Preview polled the district coaches for potential standings. Defending title-holder Elysian Fields received the most votes to repeat as the loop champion.
The order of finish, according to the poll by the coaches, includes West Rusk, Arp, Waskom, Troup, Beckville and Harleton.
District 9-3A had a strong showing in the State playoffs in 2016, and most prognosticators look for an equally powerful performance in 2017. Arp advanced to the State semifinals, and Elysian Fields advanced to the third round of the playoffs. Waskom and West Rusk were knocked out in the first round.
Elysian Fields, Arp and West Rusk were listed among some of the pre-season top-20 polls. Troup will have a battle with all three teams, but head coach John Eastman has the pedigree to help guide Troup into the playoffs. An upset win could propel Troup into a playoff run.
Pigskin Preview predicts a spot in the playoffs for Whitehouse. The Wildcats are expected to battle Ennis for the top spot in the District 17-5A standings. The Wildcats could claim the championship with a home victory over Ennis in the district opener.
“If the Wildcats can manage an upset against the district favorite [Ennis}, expect them to roll through the rest of the season,” said Pigskin Preview correspondent Clayton Neville.
According to the district coaches, the order of finish includes Ennis, Whitehouse, Corsicana, Nacogdoches, Lindale and Jacksonville.
District 17-5A teams were shutout in the first round of the 2016 State playoffs by teams from District 18-5A. Ennis, Corsicana, Whitehouse and Jacksonville fell in the bi-district playoffs, but could have a stronger showing this season.
According to the Pigskin Preview, District 17-5A teams will be more experienced this season and Whitehouse and Corsicana are “stacked with emerging stars.” The preview indicates the competitive nature of the district has stepped up a level and “every team is capable of winning.”
Despite the tough pre-district schedule, Neville said the Wildcats “will only get better and gel as a unit.”
District 17-5A is expected to be a more competitive group in 2017.
“Expect close games and exciting football out of District 17-5A,” Neville said.
Friday Night Football magazine also picked the order of finish for each district. According to the magazine, the order for District 9-3A is Arp, Elysian Fields, West Rusk, Beckville, Waskom, Troup and Harleton. For District 17-5A, the magazine predicts the final standing as Ennis, Corsicana, Jacksonville, Whitehouse, Nacogdoches and Lindale.