Cumby picked to make the playoffs this season by Dave Campbell's Magazine

By JOSEPH ELERSON, News-Telegram Sports Writer

June 18, 2008 - CUMBY - A year after making their first playoff appearance in 26 years and the loss of their head coach Kent Hawthorne to Weimar, the Cumby Trojans are predicted to finish in the top three in District 14-A by Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine.

The prognosticators have picked the Trojans as the third-place in District 14-A.

The magazine picked No. 11-ranked Quinlan Boles - which finished the 2007 season at 10-1 overall and undefeated in district - to win the district title, followed by Wolfe City, Cumby, Celeste, Dallas Gateway and Fruitvale rounding out the newly formed district.

The Trojans go into the 2008 season with a new head coach by way of former New Diana defensive coordinator Edward Perez, who took over for Hawthorne May 20.

Cumby will be looking to return to the playoffs, but will be without the services of junior quarterback Brixx Hawthorne, who moved to Weimar with his father during the offseason. Hawthorne was an All-State quarterback and punter one year ago with 1,693 yards passing and 1,023 yards rushing.

On defense, Cumby is led by senior lineman Jason Wallace, junior safety Rodney Hobbs (97 tackles), sophomore linebacker Donnie Rodriguez and junior linebacker Tanner Gomez (138 tackles, one INT).

Meanwhile, the Hornets are led in the backfield by standout Joe Gilliard - who has amassed over 3,000 yards and 48 touchdowns the past two seasons - along with sophomore quarterback Kailob Wallace. On defense, Boles is led by linebacker Kelly Dodson, cornerback Andy Allen, safety Casey Holt, linebacker Dustin Thomsen and defensive end Chris Hornsby.

Wolfe City is predicted to once again make the playoffs after a regional semifinalist season last year under coach Todd Palmer.

The Wolves return running back James King, after he rushed for 901 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2007 along with wide receivers Alex Johnson and Caleb Fuller. On the line are Kody Woodruff, Case Martin and Justin Roundtree.

Celeste looks to bounce back from an even .500 season at 5-5 in 2007 under coach Mike Lipsey and have plenty of talent returning this season.

Quarterbacks Justin Wright and Cole Gilliam will lead the offense, along with running back Kivinly Vale while brother Fritz Vale takes over at receiver. Celeste also returns linebacker Chris Sephus, junior Joey Brock, receiver Jose Amaro, linebacker Nick Carpenter, tight end David Zachary and lineman Mike Snider and Jacob Morgan. Receiver Chase Kieffer, lineman Beau Godwin, cornerback Jesse Floyd, wing back Travis Daughtery, tight end Justen Stark and lineman Jacob Miles also return for the Blue Devils.

A new addition to the district comes courtesy of coach James Bevil and the Dallas Gateway Gators after a 4-6 season in 2007.

The Gators will use a heavy dose of running backs Troy Richardson and Tyrail Dotson, along with quarterback Brandon Williams and receiver Laderrick Long, according to Bevil.

Rounding out the district this season will be the Fruitvale Bobcats, who are looking to improve on a 1-9 season with 15 starters returning in 2008.

Players to watch for the Bobcats are linemen Rod Hoffpauir, Carie White, and Ian McCann, receivers Tyler Yates and Austin Congleton and cornerback James White.

The 2008 football season begins Aug. 29 with Zero Week action around the state of Texas.

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