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Dave Campbell's: AHS, Cooper picked to lead their districts in 2016

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The countdown to the start of high school football is now less than a month away. All across the state, schools are gearing up for another season, and the excitement couldn't be bigger in West Texas. KTXS begins the run up to football, with a look at Dave Campbell's Texas Football predictions for this season, starting with Abilene's 6A and 5A schools.

3-6A:

The Abilene High Eagles are in unfamiliar territory in 2016. After the UIL realignment in January, the program sees conference foes like Permian, San Angelo Central, and Odessa High become non-conference opponents. New this year, the district now welcomes in DFW friends from Keller ISD, Weatherford, and Fort Worth Haltom. Abram Smith is back in the spotlight, picked to be the district's preseason offensive MVP, after rushing more than 1,000 yards coming off knee surgery in 2014. Look for the Eagles, who return key players on both sides, to be big factors in the new district. Here's how the preseason poll looks for 3-6A:

Abilene High Keller Fossil Ridge Keller Central Keller H.S. Keller Timber Ridge* Weatherford* Fort Worth Haltom*

*= projected to miss postseason

4-5A:

In district 4-5A, we take a look at the Cooper Cougars who come off a rollercoaster 2015 season that ended as regional semifinalists. Not as many changes to the district after the realignment, but the addition of Lubbock Coronado and Lubbock Monterey brings in a bigger test for the Coogs. Austin Smith returns at the helm under center after a 2,311 yard passing season, with preseason offensive MVP pick Devin Johnson (1,117 yards rushing, 13 TD's in 2015), and receiving standouts Jwan Hong and Myller Royals. Don't forget defensive leaders Zach Goodson (81 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 INT in 2015) who leads a strong front with CB Terreon Paige ( 3 INT – 2 returned for TD's in 2015). It's a team loaded with stars, that shouldn't take a lot of time getting re-gelled. Here's how Dave Campbell's Texas Football sees the district playing out:

Cooper Lubbock Cooper Lubbock Monterey Lubbock Coronado San Angelo Lake View* Lubbock H.S.*

*= projected to miss postseason

Stay-tuned to KTXS, as we go through the rest of the Big Country, leading up to the start of the season.

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