July 16, 2017 – All five Shelby County varsity football programs will be able to start preparing with non-contact practices on August 7. The first day contact will be allowed during practices is August 11.
The Center Roughriders will be trying to improve on a 6-5 season in 2016. The ‘Riders reached the bi-district round of the playoffs last season and were 4-2 in district competition. District 9-4A predictions have Center picked to place fifth, with Carthage, Henderson, Kilgore, and Palestine leading the way. Chapel Hill and Bullard are picked to finish behind Center, according to Dave Campbell’s Football Magazine. Center is shown to have six returning starters returning on offense and four returning defensive players.
Coach Barry Bowman has had his teams humble the projection authorities before, including his first year at CHS in 2015 when the ‘Riders were predicted to finish out of playoff contention. Center posted an impressive 10-3 season before being eliminated by Gilmer in the 2015 Regional playoffs.
The Joaquin Rams are picked to place fourth in District 11-2A Division I. San Augustine, Alto, and Price Carlisle are projected to finish in the first three spots. Shelbyville and Cushing are picked to finish behind the Rams. The Rams have six offensive, and six defensive, starters returning this season.
Joaquin finished with a 7-4 season mark and reached the bi-district round of the playoffs after going 4-2 in conference action. Coach Wade Lawson will do his best to surprise the projectionist and make a run at the conference title.
The Shelbyville Dragons, also in District 11-2A Division I, are picked to place in fifth position. The team has eight returning starters on each side of the line of scrimmage. With 17 returning veterans, the Dragons have the potential to surprise the teams picked to beat them. The Dragons were 2-8 last season and posted a 1-4 district mark.
The Tenaha Tigers went 13-1 last season, had a 5-0 conference mark, and went to the Division II Class 2A Regional Finals last season. Tenaha is picked to place first in District 11 2A Division II. Projected next are Overton, Timpson, Grapeland, Wortham, and Mount Enterprise.
The Tigers will return 23 lettermen. Coach Craig Horn will have ten starters return on offense and eight will be back defensively. One of Coach Horn’s returning starters is his son CJ who was Dave Campell’s TexasFootball.com’s preseason Player of the Year for Class 2A.
Timpson will return eight offensive starters and nine defensively. Coach Kerry Therwanger and the Bears went 5-5 in the regular season, and were 3-2 in conference play. They were bi-district playoff finalist.