Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


June 27, 2014

Tough sledding: Upcoming GC football schedules offer a lot to ponder

Corsicana —

For some Golden Circle football programs, the UIL’s realignment meant a better competition draw, and favorable travel arrangements. For others, far from that.

The football schedules, for the most part, are in. And for the most part, the UIL was none too kind to the area. Fans of Corsicana’s Tigers and in Kerens will likely agree. So may the Golden Circle’s four Division II 1A schools, who leave a cozy five-team district an eight-team mash-up that added Chilton and Italy.

Here’s a look at both district and non-district schedules around the Golden Circle, and remember, classification names have changed. The UIL simply did away with 6-man, which is now 1A. The old 5A is now 6A:

Buckle up and hold on

Let’s start at the top with the big dog, or cat, if you will. The Tigers’ schedule is both refreshing in a sense, and just downright brutal in another.

Those East Texas drives locals love to lament are back, plus one. If Nacogdoches wasn’t enough, Lufkin’s in the new District 16-5A. 

Oh, and so is Ennis, the I-45 rival that went 14-1 and played state champion Aledo as well as anyone last year.

But let’s back up to non-district first, now just three games. The Tigers open at Justin Northwest (8-3 playoff team in the old 5A), and then host two playoff teams from 4A last year, The Colony (8-3) and Granbury (9-2). OK, so what?

The Tigers have not played any of the three in the modern era (since 1970). That’s interesting in itself.

As for district, the Tigers open with Lindale and Jacksonville. The final five weeks are simply brutal, and three of them are on the road. There may be some debate on considering the 20-mile trek to Ennis a break.

The final five games are against teams that made the playoffs in 2013. Four are ranked in Texas Football’s preseason Top 18 (Ennis at 4, John Tyler at 8, Lufkin at 12 and Whitehouse at 18), and three of them (Ennis, Lufkin and John Tyler) make the coaches’ Top 10 preseason poll.

Oh yeah, and that other playoff team, Nacogdoches ... it’s a road game, too.

Fuel surcharge break

Blooming Grove, Mildred and Rice now find themselves in 9-3A DII, and boy should they all be happy. Gone are the nearly three-hour drives to Tolar and Millsap. Try getting through Arlington, Mansfield, Cleburne and/or Fort Worth on a Friday around 5 p.m.

The three GC schools are in manageable six-team district with Maypearl, Palmer and Rio Vista. Safe bet the folks in Palmer are thrilled, too.

And all of the schools have interesting non-district slates. Blooming Grove opens up with GC-mate Dawson, and also travels to Italy ... a real gas saver. 

Mildred has two very interesting home games to open the year, facing surging Malakoff and renewing its rivalry with Kerens, which should be a no-brainer as close as they are. 

Rice hosts coach Jerry Baldridge’s former school and GC-mate Frost in the second game of the year. The Bulldogs also travel to Brock, which is making its UIL district debut (in 4-3A DI) after going 7-2 as an independent last year.

Thanks for nothing

Kerens has to feel good about seeing Italy go. But who did the UIL replace the Gladiators with? Try perennial power Alto and Price Carlisle.

The Bobcats remain in a district with Cayuga and Cross Roads, as they should, but Grapeland has also joined the new District 11-2A DI. 

The non-district games also start with a bang: Italy, Mildred and bitter Trinity River rival Malakoff. At least two of the three are at home. The non-district slate ends with two teams (Grand Saline and Itasca) that combined to go 0-20 last year.

Get your track shoes on

The four smallest GC schools had the luxury the last two years of having their own district, with Meridian along for the ride. They are all back together, with a couple of new friends.

Calling Chilton a friend might be hard to swallow, though. Same with Italy, which joined the district.

The Pirates open the season No. 5 in the Texas Football preseason poll. Hubbard is 15th. The Jaguars owned the best program in the Golden Circle last year, and lost in the second round to the fleet-footed Pirates, 28-6.

For good measure, 1-9 Dallas Gateway also joins the district.

In terms of non-district, Hubbard might have the toughest slate in the state. Cayuga, Bosqueville and Bremond all made the playoffs last year and combined to go 30-7. 

Frost has continued it’s opening Saturday night tradition at venerable Pennington Field in Bedford with Chico.

Wortham gets a Corsicana-like travel night Sept. 5, when the Bulldogs travel to Cushing, which is a short drive from Nacogdoches.



2014 Golden Circle Football Schedules


Corsicana Tigers

Aug. 29 at Justin Northwest 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 5 The Colony 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 12 Granbury 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 19 Open

Sept. 26 at Lindale* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 3 Jacksonville*# 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 10 at Nacogdoches* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 17 Whitehouse* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 24 at John Tyler* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 31 Lufkin* 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 7 at Ennis* 7:30 p.m.

*Denotes District 16-5A games



Blooming Grove Lions

Aug. 29 at Dawson 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 5 at Dallas Life 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 12 at Italy 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 19 Grapevine Faith 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 26 Riesel# 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 3 Open

Oct. 10 Maypearl* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 17 at Palmer* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 24 Mildred* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 31 at Rio Vista* 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 7 Rice* 7:30 p.m.

*Denotes District 9-3A DII games



Mildred Eagles

Aug. 29 Malakoff 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 5 Kerens 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 12 at Elkhart 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 19 at Quinlan Boles 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 26 Eustace# 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 3 Open

Oct. 10 at Rio Vista* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 17 Maypearl* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 24 at Blooming Grove* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 31 Rice* 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 7 Palmer* 7:30 p.m.

*Denotes District 9-3A DII games



Rice Bulldogs

Aug. 29 Dallas Gateway 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 5 Frost 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 12 at Brock 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 19 at Oak Cliff Life 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 26 Cayuga 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 3 Open

Oct. 10 at Palmer* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 17 Rio Vista*# 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 24 at Maypearl* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 31 Mildred* 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 7 at Blooming Grove* 7:30 p.m.

*Denotes District 9-3A DII games



Kerens Bobcats

Aug. 29 Italy 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 5 at Mildred 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 12 Malakoff 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 19 at Grand Saline 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 26 at Itasca 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 3 Open

Oct. 10 Cayuga*# 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 17 Grapeland* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 24 at Cross Roads* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 31 Alto* 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 7 at Price Carlisle* 7:30 p.m.

*Denotes District 11-2A DI games



Frost Polar Bears

Aug. 30 vs. Chico@ 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 5 at Rice 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 12 at Axtell 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 19 Open

Sept. 26 at Italy* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 3 Dallas Gateway*# 7:30

Oct. 10 Meridian* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 17 at Dawson* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 24 Chilton* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 31 at Hubbard* 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 7 Wortham* 7:30 p.m.

*Denotes District 10-2A DII games


@Bedford's Pennington Field


Hubbard Jaguars

Aug. 29 at Cayuga 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 5 Bosqueville 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 12 at Bremond 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 19 Open

Sept. 26 Dawson* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 3 at Chilton* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 10 Dallas Gateway* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 17 Wortham*# 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 24 at Italy* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 31 Frost* 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 7 at Meridian* 7:30 p.m.

*Denotes District 10-2A DII games



Wortham Bulldogs

Aug. 29 Legacy Prep Christian Academy 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 5 at Cushing 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 12 Life Oak Cliff 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 19 Open

Sept. 26 Meridian* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 3 at Dawson* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 10 Chilton* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 17 at Hubbard* 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 24 Dallas Gateway*# 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 31 Italy* 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 7 at Frost* 7:30 p.m.

*Denotes District 10-2A DII games



Dawson Bulldogs

No schedule




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