|Beating the Odds: Como-Pickton picked sixth for second consecutive year|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
July 7, 2005 - COMO - Some things apparently must stay the same.
After making it to the bi-district round of the 2004 Class 2A playoffs, the Como-Pickton Eagles find themselves in a similar prediction by Dave Campbell's Texas Football Magazine.
For the second-straight year, the magazine has projected the Eagles to finish sixth in District 17-2A ahead of the Alba-Golden Panthers after a third place finish last year with an 8-3 record. The Eagles lost to Omaha Paul Pewitt 49-14 in the bi-district round of the playoffs.
"Honestly, I never pay much attention to Dave Campbell and what their predictions are because it is just that - a prediction," C-P head coach Joe Ryzman said. "I really haven't given it much thought anyway."
With only 16 varsity players on the team last year, Ryzman said many factors could have played a part in the way the predictions were handed out this year as 19 players will suit up for the varsity team.
"I think, I really don't know to be honest because I don't know what it is that they make their assumptions off of and make their predictions off of," the coach said.
"The fact that we are low enrollment and the fact that our returning starters were two-way starters and the returning letterman are a lot less than the other schools could have been contributing factors."
Of the seven teams in the district, Ryzman sees Caddo Mills as a sleeper for the district title after losing 16 lettermen from last year's 2-8 squad. Caddo Mills was projected second last year by the magazine but wrapped up in sixth place in the district standings.
"Caddo Mills is a sleeper this year and I think they will have as good of a chance as any to win the district title, and I think they are being over looked," Ryzman said. "I think Grand Saline and Quitman with their enrollment numbers will be competitive year in and year out. "
Grand Saline has 344 students in the high school, while Quitman has 343 students enrolled in its high school. Como-Pickton has the second lowest enrollment in the district with 204 students.
Grand Saline is projected to finish second in the district and picked to be the Division 1 representative in the playoffs, while Quitman is expected to drop from last year's first place selection to third this year.
Quitman went 12-1 last season and return only eight starters as all of their skill players and their top two defensive linemen graduated.
Ryzman said after the magazine hit the newsstands and the players saw the projections for the 2005 season, some of the seniors were not surprised with what they saw in the magazine.
"You know, when the Dave Campbell's came out a couple of my seniors who came around really didn't have anything to say about it one way or the other and that tells me that it didn't surprise them that we were chosen where we were chosen," the coach said. "The kids have taken it as a challenge and they are ready for the challenge."
The District 17-2A projected finish according to prep football expert Carl Padilla of Texas Football magazine puts Edgewood on top of the district followed by Grand Saline, Quitman, Lone Oak, Caddo Mills, Como-Pickton and Alba-Golden.