National high school sports Web site MaxPreps released its Xcellent 25 Early Contenders national poll, and there's three teams from Texas with two hailing from the Metroplex.
The top Texas team is at No. 3, as the Katy Tigers check in after beating Wylie in the Class 5A Division II state championship game in December to finish 13-3 in what was seen as a rebuilding year, in which they started the season 0-2. Obviously, things quickly turned around for the Tigers.
The 5A Division I champs in Allen checked in just behind Katy at No. 4 in the poll with the return of both of its quarterbacks. Starter Matt Brown went down in the playoffs with a collarbone injury and was replaced by Tucker Carter, who led the Eagles to the state championship. Must be nice to have two high-quality quarterbacks back, huh, Tom Westerberg?
The Eagles also have some stout offensive linemen returning to block for whoever is under center, though they will have to replace some offensive skill position players. They'll be tested early this coming season with what is easily one of the most difficult nondistrict schedules possible, facing Euless Trinity and Class 4A Division I state finalist Longview.
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At No. 13 is Cedar Hill, which finished 12-2 last year behind running back Ben Malena, who's committed to Texas A&M after rushing for better than 2,000 yards and 30 TDs. He'll have Adam Shead and Ricky Gonzalez returning to open up holes for him.