A move up to Class 6A won’t keep the Lufkin Panthers from making their 19th straight trip to the postseason according to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine, which hit local newsstands earlier this week.
The publication, which previews more than 1,400 high school football teams from across the state, has Lufkin among the competitors for the District 12-6A crown. The Panthers are picked to finish in second place behind The Woodlands, which is picked to win 12-6A. Those teams are picked to finish ahead of Beaumont West Brook, Conroe Oak Ridge, Montgomery, Conroe and College Park.
The Panthers are also picked as the No. 37 team in the state according to the magazine. The Woodlands is picked as the 17th-ranked team.
“There’s a lot to like, especially at the skill positions,” the magazine said of Lufkin. “QB Rodgers (2,142 yards passing, 23 TDs) is a reigning district offensive MVP and Phillips and DB Fields were both first-team all-district selections.”
Kordell Rodgers has some lofty praise as well as he is picked as the Preseason Offensive MVP. Rodgers also recently committed to Texas State.
The Woodlands’ defensive lineman Michael Purcell was named the Preseason Defensive MVP. Players to watch for the Panthers included Rodgers, Dhailon Phillips, Kahlil Brown and Malik Jackson.
Top juniors were Savon Fields, Isaiah Phillips and Jeremiah Davis. Lufkin will also be playing at the top classification after spending the past two seasons in Class 5A.
The Panthers’ enrollment of 2,198 is easily the lowest in the district. Enrollments for the other schools in order are The Woodlands (4,280), Oak Ridge (3,897), Conroe (3,673), College Park (2,854), Montgomery (2,511.5) and West Brook (2,495).
The Panthers also had players recognized individually among the state’s best players. Among the top 300 recruits in the state are Rodgers at quarterback, Phillips at wide receiver and Fields at defensive back.
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football also features previews of NFL, collegiate and high school teams from across the state. It can be found at local scores.