Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local Sports

June 28, 2014

Troup shuffled into a demanding District 8-3A-II

League includes last year's state runner-up, Waskom

TROUP — Troup has a new district home for the next two school terms as the University Interscholastic League assigned the Tigers to District 8-3A-II back in February.

Of particular interest is the fact that a trio of the Tigers' long-time rivals — the Arp Tigers, West Rusk Raiders and the Frankston Indians — are also district-mates of Troup.

Three of the league's teams, Waskom, New Diana and Elysian Fields, may not be familiar to Tiger fans, but they are certainly no strangers to Troup head coach, Dennis Alexander, who knocked heads with the Wildcats, Yellowjackets and the Eagles on many an occasion as head coach at Harleton, a school he proudly served for 10 seasons before taking over at Troup in 2012.

Waskom certainly seems deserving of its No. 1 ranking in Texas in Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine's (DCTF) pre-season Class 3A, Division II poll.

The Kitties went 14-1 last year, after going winless in 2012, and have nine starters back off of that club, including DCTF pre-season all-state choices in Kevin Johnson, June Bug Johnson and Mike Reason.

Arp is DCTF's choice to finish in the No. 2 slot, followed by Troup in third place.

Arp returns 15 lettermen and a dozen starters off of a team that went 7-5 a year ago.

It should be noted that DCTF made its predictions before the news of Troup's Blake Lynch (a Baylor commit) departure trickled out earlier this month — Lynch is apparently headed to Gilmer for family reasons.

Alexander's gang brings back 10 starters and is coming off of a 6-5 season; one in which Lynch missed the last half of the season due to injury.

Personnel questions on the offensive side not withstanding, the Tigers appear to be ready to trot out a pretty formidable defense on Friday nights.

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