If you've ever wondered how big of a deal Texas high school football is, leave it to a New Jersey newspaper's Web site to update us on the Associated Press preseason polls that were released this morning.
There are several area programs with high hopes for the 2009 season, and that was reinforced when the polls were released today with the votes of 25 sports writers from across the state, including The Dallas Morning News' Brandon George and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Eric Zarate.
In Class 5A, there's no surprise as defending Division II champ Katy checks in at No. 1, in front of defending Division I champ Allen. Cedar Hill, with one of the state's top running backs (Ben Malena) and linebackers (Aaron Benson) checks in at No. 3. Other area notables are Euless Trinity (No. 6), Southlake Carroll (No. 7) and the talent-laden Dallas Skyline Raiders at No. 8.
Allen (8) and Cedar Hill (2) were the only teams other than Katy to receive first-place votes.
Garland, DeSoto, Wylie and Arlington Bowie also received votes.
In Class 4A, again there was an unquestioned favorite to no one's surprise as defending Class 4A Division I state runner-up Longview is the top team in the state with 17 first-place votes.
There's a tie at No. 2 between two-time defending state champion Lake Travis (5 first-place votes) and upstart Denton Guyer (2), who lost to Longview in the semifinals last year after turning its program around from a 1-19 start to a 12-3 record last season.
Quarterback Jordan Taylor and running back D.J. Jones have their Denison Yellow Jackets checking in at No. 4 with a lone first-place nod.
Other area notables are Everman (No. 5), Highland Park (No. 6), Dallas Carter (No. 8) and Aledo (No. 10).
Sulphur Springs, Ennis and Fort Worth Dunbar also received votes.
In the Class 3A poll, District 9-3A was once again represented very well as the defending 3A Division II runner-up Celina program is ranked No. 3 and will be looking for its record ninth state championship. The Bobcats' district foe, Prosper, is ranked No. 9 after winning the 3A Division I state title a year ago but losing quite a bit to graduation.
Adam Boedeker is a sports writer/award-winning blogger for the Denton Record-Chronicle. The season begins a week from today!