M and M were our 2A favorites from July through December. But not ours alone. Most Texas HS football pundits agreed that Mason and Mart were solid preseason favorites to win their divisions. And they did....decisively.
New Deal was a surprise finalist in 2A1, as was Gruver in 2A2, a first title game for both. Now, it looks like New Deal vs. Gruver and Mason vs. Mart would have been better balanced championships. Perhaps some day, UIL will figure out a way to make the title games more competitive, whereby the strongest competitive teams will survive to meet one another in the final games.
Also, despite a drop in enrollment, it was obvious that Mart was a stronger 2A team than most teams in both divisions, excepting possibly Mason.
I'd love to have seen Mason vs. Mart in AT&T 2018.
Our final 2A rankings.
Division 1: 1. Mason 2. Refugio 3. New Deal 4. Shiner 5. San Augustine 6. Panhandle 7. San Saba 8. Tenaha 9. De Leon 10. Centerville
Division 2: 1. Mart 2.Falls City 3. Gruver 4. Hamlin 5. Wellington 6. Muenster 7. Albany 8. Burton 9. Woodsboro 10. Grapeland
I was wrong. I thought Canadian would end Newton's run. But what a great game that was. Two super-talented, superbly coached teams going against one another for the full 48 minutes.
Not often do two teams from the same district play for the title, but Malakoff clearly deserved its second shot at Grandview. Another great final.
East Bernard played Newton almost as well as did Canadian. Hats off to the Brahmas for a great season.
Our final 3A rankings:
Division 1: 1. Grandview 2. Malakoff 3. East Chambers 4. Brock 5. Shallowater 6. Yoakum 7. Franklin 8. Cameron Yoe 9. Edna 10. Goliad
Division 2: 1. Newton 2. Canadian 3. East Bernard 4. Abernathy 5. Gunter 6. Clifton 7. Holliday 8. Lexington 9. Altair Rice 10. Buffalo