Texas football ‘bible’ predicts Troup will make playoffs

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If there is any substance to predictions, Troup will still be playing football following the regular season.

According to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine, Troup has been selected to finish second in the District 10-3A, Division II standings in 2018.

The Tigers were realigned by the University Interscholastic League to a new district that includes Alba-Golden, Arp, Frankston, Harmony, Grand Saline, Quitman and Winona. Arp is the only holdover from the last district, so Troup will be facing mostly new district opponents.

For the 2018 football season, Troup will scrimmage Sabine and Union Hill. The Tigers will open the regular season at Tenaha and will host Carlisle the second week of the season. Troup will conclude the pre-district slate with a trip to Elkhart.

Most of the remainder of the 2018 schedule will feature teams on or north of the Interstate-20 boundary starting with a trip to Grand Saline to open district competition. Home games will follow with Harmony and Quitman and the Tigers will hit the road for a trip to Frankston, one of two opponents south of the Interstate. Troup will host Alba-Golden and finish the road games at Winona. The regular season finale will be at home with Highway 135 rival Arp.

The Tigers finished the 2017 season with a 5-5 record but were 3-1 after the first four games of the schedule. They dropped four of their next five games only to rebound with an upset win over playoff bound Elysian Fields in the season ender.

Texas Football magazine gives the nod for the District 10-3A title to Harmony. The Eagles won the district championship last season (8-3A, Division II) and finished with an 11-1 season mark and a trip to the area round.

Losses to Beckville and Arp kept Troup out of the playoffs last season but Texas Football predicts that the Troup Tigers will return to the playoffs for the first time since the 2013 season.

Arp is selected as the team to take the third seed in the district. With the two-point victory over Troup, Arp reached the first round before falling in the State playoffs last season.

Winona, which also reached the first round of the playoffs, is picked to finish fourth in the district standings. The Wildcats finished 4-7 for the year.

Grand Saline, Alba-Golden, Frankston and Quitman will have to improve to reach the playoffs in 2018, according to the magazine.

Troup’s season opener with Tenaha will be the first contest between the two schools since the 2002-2003 seasons. Troup won both of those games. Tenaha is in District 11-2A, Division I, and is predicted to win the district crown by Texas Football magazine. The magazine also picked Tenaha at number 11 in the top 20 of the class in the State.

Carlisle’s trip to Troup will be the first since the 1996-1997 seasons. The Indians (Price Carlisle) completed the 2017 season with a 9-4 mark and are predicted to win the District 10-2A, Division I title.

The game with Elkhart will be the first since the 2010-2011 seasons. The Elks are in District 11-3A, Division I and they finished last season with a 3-7 record. Elkhart is not predicted to reach the State playoffs in 2018.

Troup has not faced Grand Saline since at least before the 1990s, if at all. The Indians won one game last season. It will be a good test for a district opener for Troup.

The Tigers will host Harmony, the predicted loop winner for the second game of the district slate on Friday, Oct. 5. The two schools met as district opponents during the 2012-2013 seasons and they split the two games. Troup and Harmony also played each other as non-district opponents during the 2004-2005 seasons. Troup won both games.

Harmony is ranked 11th in the Class-3A, Division II poll for 2018.

Frankston is one of the more familiar opponents for Troup. The two squads have met on the gridiron a dozen times in the past 25 seasons. The most recent was the 2014-2015 seasons. The teams split the games. Frankston finished 1-9 and did not win a district game last season. The Indians are not predicted to advance into the State playoffs.

Alba-Golden is another team that has not had any recent history with Troup. The two teams have not played at least since the 1990s, if at all. The Panthers did not win a district contest in 2017, but they did post a 3-7 mark.

Winona eased into the State playoffs in 2017. The Wildcats finished at 4-7 and will renew the series with Troup after the two schools played each other in the 2014-2015 seasons.

The Highway 135 rivalry with Arp will continue in 2018. Arp won the last four games and has a 12-6 edge in the series since the 1996 season. Arp split the district schedule last year at 3-3 and posted a 4-7 mark for the season.

After reeling off seven consecutive winning seasons from 2000 to 2006, Troup fell on hard times with four straight losing seasons (eight wins in four years). The Tigers followed with three winning season but have not posted a winning season in four years. The 5-5 mark last season was the best of the past four years.

The following reflects the series standings (since 1996) with Troup opponents and season records for the 2017 season:

Tenaha (Aug. 31 at Tenaha) Troup lead series 2-0; 2017 records, 15-1 (season)/5-0 (district).

Carlisle (Sept. 7 at home) Troup lead series 2-0; 2017 records, 9-4/2-3.

Elkhart (Sept. 14 at Elkhart) Troup lead series 5-1; 2017 records, 3-7; 1-6.

Grand Saline (Sept. 28 at Grand Saline) series tied 0-0; 2017 records, 1-9/1-5,

Harmony (Oct. 5 at home) series tied 1-1; 2017 records, 11-1/5-0.

Quitman (Oct. 12 at home) Troup lead series 2-0; 2017 records, 0-10/0-6.

Frankston (Oct. 19 at Frankston) Troup lead series 9-3, 2017 records, 1-9, 0-5.

Alba-Golden (Oct. 26 at home) series tied 0-0; 2017 records, 3-7/0-5.

Winona (Nov. 2 at Winona) series tied 3-3; 4-7/2-3.

Arp (Nov. 9 at home) Arp lead series 12-6; 4-6/3-3.

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