If you’re a Glen Rose Tigers football fan, take out your highlighter and mark Halloween as a date to keep clear on your calendar.
Oct. 31 will mean much more to the Tigers than Halloween this year - it also marks what Texas Football Magazine has labeled as the biggest game of the regular season for GRHS.
The magazine, which hits newsstands later this month, ranks the Tigers No. 15 in the state in Class 3A. China Spring is No. 6, leading to speculation that the Halloween battle could very well determine the champ in District 7-3A.
Both schools are picked by Texas Football to reach the postseason. China Spring is the magazine’s favorite to claim the crown, while the Tigers are pegged to be the runners-up.
TFM predicts West will join the Cougars and Tigers in the playoffs as the third place team out of the league. If the picks prove right, China Spring, the largest school in the league, would take the Division I playoff route, leaving Glen Rose and West in the D-II bracket.
Behind the playoff picks, Hillsboro is pegged for fourth while No. 5 Gatesville and No. 6 Whitney bring up the rear.
Glen Rose is coming off its best season in school history, with an undefeated run through District 12-3A to secure the league crown followed by a march to the 3A-D2 Region II finals. The Tigers finished the season with a 10-4 mark.
The first Tiger listed as a player to watch this fall is 6-3, 215-pound quarterback Derek Thompson, who passed for 3,273 yards and 27 touchdowns while rushing for 508 and eight scores.
Others listed as players to watch include include linebacker Jake Powell, who made 82 tackles in 2007, and a trio of offensive linemen - Jordan Green (6-1, 230, 5.0), Garrett Lee (5-11, 298, 5.3) and Chris Meaders (5-10, 245, 5.4).
Tigers listed as top prospects include WR Ty Taylor, OL D.J. Figueroa, DL Seth Mann, DB Selby Junge, WR Austin Eschbach, LB Chris Griggers, LB Ryan Rathke, OL Aaron Hammond, DB Immanuel Morales and FB Taylor Nabours.
TFM credits the Tigers with eight returning starters on the offensive side of the ball and three on defense, making the rebuilding of that side a priority for new head coach Tommy Dunn. Dunn served as offensive coordinator under former head coach Erik Slaughter during each of the last two seasons.
Picked to make six man headlines this fall are the Hornets from Walnut Springs, Texas Football’s favorite in Division II-District 15. The Hornets are coming off an even 5-5 campaign in 2007, but return five starters on both sides of the ball.
TFM lists four Walnut Springs players to watch, two top juniors and a top sophomore. Players to watch include 5-10, 160-pound linebacker Caleb Ballesteros, who made 93 tackles, grabbed two interceptions and scored a pair of touchdowns in 2007, WR Zach Turnham (6-3, 170, 5.0), WR Jacob White (6-3, 170) and C Matthew Prechure (6-4, 220).
Top juniors listed are RB Jonathon Stack (5-8, 155) and QB Eddie Whitt (5-10, 160). The top sophomore listed is RB Cody Stack (5-10, 185).
Key losses from the 2007 roster are listed as Derek Saxon and Tillman Townley.
The Hornets are coached by Tracy Elliott.