BY RUSSELL HUFFMAN
DeLeon’s Bearcats are getting some love from Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine with a number four ranking, the preseason coach of the year in David Yeager and defensive lineman Kelan Hodges being named preseason All-State.
Did somebody forget about quarterback Kevin Yeager? Nope, he’s the preseason District 7-2A offensive MVP pick while Hodges is Texas Football’s pick on the opposite of the ball as defensive MVP.
Yeager threw for 3,054 yards last year and 43 touchdowns while Hodges recorded 10 sacks and 100 stops and is what the magazine describes as a player who “returns as the nightmare of any offense.”
What did it take for someone to beat out a quarterback like Yeager that led his team to 12-1 record and a region semifinalist berth? The answer would be Burton’s Caleb Harmel who scored 73 touchdowns with 2,065 yards rushing and 2,674 yards through the air.
The two schools won’t meet in the playoffs because of DeLeon being a 2A D1 school while Burton is D2, but don’t worry there’s going to be plenty of offensive and defensive highlights for the Bearcats in 2018.
There’s even a little debate/controversy to start the preseason chatter in local coffee shops. Texas Football ranks DeLeon #4 while Texas High School Coaches don’t even have the Bearcats in the top five. Throw in the fact the coaches poll had Crawford at number five and Dave Campbell’s crew has them finishing second in district and you just might have a full-blown argument.
One thing is for certain football games are won on the football field and all the predicting in the world doesn’t win championships, but defense does
.Yeager is quoted as saying “Hodges is tougher than a $2 steak. He’s extremely fast and strong and relentless.”
In addition to Yeager and Hodges as players to watch the magazine also lists WR/DB Chris Cox, DL/RB Tony Evans, WR/DB Eli Gilmore, DL/OL Colton Smith, OL/LB J.T. Morris, WR/DB Jeffery Hodges, OL Tanner Sylva, WR/DB Jorge Gonzales, WR/DL Landon Wilkerson, DL Kirk Bellomy, OL/DL Erik Sides and WR/DL Kaleb Reyna.
The predicted finish for District 7-2A is DeLeon, Crawford, Hico, Goldthwaite, San Saba and Valley Mills. Things look even brighter farther down the tunnel with DeLeon picked to make it to the state title game before losing against Refugio.
Again it’s a good thing the games are decided on the field or there wouldn’t be much reason to go and DeLeon has been a slow pot just simmering on Yeager’s back burner since a season-ending loss to Mart in the playoffs last year.
We can’t wait to see when coach Yeager turns up the heat!