Eagles out to prove magazine wrong
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

June 16, 2006 - COMO - For the third straight year, the Como-Pickton Eagles find themselves predicted at the bottom of the district by Dave Campbell's Texas Football Magazine.

The magazine has projected the Eagles to finish fifth in the newly-structured District 16-2A ahead of the Alba-Golden Panthers after a 3-7 finish last year under coach Joe Ryzman.

"To say that we are going to be the fifth place team in district is an understatement," said CPHS coach Joe Ryzman. "I think that we are going to compete with many of our district teams, and preseason picks are always hard to do until you go out there and start playing ball games."

Ryzman said the magazine was accurate in what was said about his team for the upcoming season and said this will be a rebuilding year.

"Dave Campbell sends out questionnaires to all of the area football coaches and they are usually pretty accurate in putting into the book what the coaches input is," he said. "As far as our key losses and who we expect to do well next year, they are accurate and we have a young team coming up. We are rebuilding and Dave Campbell is aware enough of Texas high school football to recognize that."

The magazine picked Winnsboro - which dropped down from Class 3A - to win the district title, followed by Grand Saline, Quitman, Hawkins, Como-Pickton and Alba-Golden rounding out the district.

"I expected that with Winnsboro and they are one of the biggest 2A teams in the state now that they have dropped from Class 3A. They have got a pretty good team coming up this year. It did not surprise me that they were picked to win our district," Ryzman said.

"Grand Saline is going to be pretty solid and so they are going to be a contender. I did not realize that they were going to be picked ahead of Quitman - they have good athletes and are always a contender."

Winnsboro comes into the district with an enrollment of 409 students, while Hawkins has the lowest enrollment with 199.5 students. CPHS had 234 students when enrollments were calculated last year.

Former district rival Lone Oak was moved out of the Como-Pickton district and is ranked No. 14 in the Top 25 poll this season as they are picked to win District 12-2A. Edgewood and Caddo Mills also joined that district for football for the next two years.

Ryzman said after finishing the 2005 season with a record of 3-7 and losing starters Trent Vail, Brian Hicks and Clayton Humphrey due to graduation, the fifth-place finish prognosis by the magazine was based on the criteria of previous record and returning starters.

"That always is the determining factor as to where they place you in preseason picks," the coach said. "Two of the main criteria that they use is your last year's record and your returning starters that you have coming back and how good those players are."

Ryzman also said the team will be very young this year and the playoffs are once again their goal for the upcoming season.

"We have so many young kids that are coming in and playing this year that haven't played last year or have had little varsity experience. It is hard to determine in the preseason how everything is going to finish out," he said. 

"I want to make the playoffs and that is always a goal for me. We are looking at making the playoffs, but as a rebuilding team we are going to have to take that one game at a time."

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