The UIL really had to stretch the rubber bands when it was coming up with this head-scratching district. (Believe it or not, they really do use rubber bands.) The loop’s northernmost school, Mount Calm, sits 119 miles away from the southernmost, Dime Box, which is located southeast of Lexington, in Lee County.
However, the thump-thump of knocking opportunity is audibly present in all four towns. None made the playoffs in 2019, so there is no true, clear-cut favorite.
Dime Box is “athletically gifted,” said new Oglesby coach Jeb Dixon, but the Longhorns are still a bit of an unknown as they’ll be playing their first full UIL season. They went 4-1 as an independent in 2019. Oglesby, Mount Calm and Buckholts are in similar positions, in that they’re all breaking in new, yet experienced, head coaches. Oglesby’s strong numbers — the Tigers have 15 players out — could be the edge.
DISTRICT 14-1A DIV. II PREDICTIONS
Team (enrollment) 2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ‘15
1. Dime Box (43) 4-1 — — — —
2. Buckholts (38) 3-7 (1-2) 4-6 7-4 2-7 1-9
3. Oglesby (47) 2-7 (1-2) 1-9 2-7 7-3 6-4
4. Mount Calm (48.5) 2-8 (1-2) 0-10 2-8 2-8 10-1
QB: Blake Scott, Dime Box
RB: Ian Markum, Oglesby
Rec: Jer’perion Gilbert, Dime Box
Line: Luis Torres, Buckholts
Def: Landon Baker, Mount Calm
2019: 2-7 (1-2), did not make playoffs
Head coach: Jeb Dixon (first season)
Returning starters: 1/1
Playoffs: 13-12 in 12 trips, most recently 2016
State titles: None
Outlook: New Tigers coach Jeb Dixon worked seven years as Jonesboro’s defensive coordinator before spending the past three seasons as Gorman’s athletic director. Now Dixon’s happy to get back close to home. He grew up in Gatesville, and his uncle Ray Martin is a former Oglesby coach.
RB/LB Ian Markum should lead the charge on both sides of the ball, as the team’s most experienced reader. Dixon is also counting on two other seniors, WR Davin Barrow and WR Nash Shaw, to serve as examples for the younger players, which include five freshmen. Junior Blake Thompson has a chance to be a playmaker as well.
“I think we can be a player and compete for a district championship,” Dixon said. “We’ve just got to get these kids coached up and see what they can do.”
8/27 vs. Woodson (at Strawn) 6:30 p.m.
9/4 at Morgan 7:30 p.m.
9/11 at Iredell
9/25 at Eagle Chr. 7:30 p.m.
10/2 Prairie Lea 7:30 p.m.
10/9 Burnet Smoking for Jesus Ministry 7:30 p.m.
10/23 at Mount Calm*
10/30 Buckholts* 7:30 p.m.
11/6 Dime Box* 7:30 p.m.
Mount Calm Panthers
2019: 2-8 (1-2)
Head coach: Tom Duncan (first season)
Returning starters: 3/3
Playoffs: 1-2 in 2 trips, most recently 2015
State titles: None
Outlook: New Mount Calm coach Tom Duncan faces a steep challenge in 2020, given that he’s dealing with a current roster of seven players. But Duncan has encountered challenges before. In addition to past head coaching stints at Covington and Star, he also served in the military and had a tour through Baghdad.
Duncan likes his team’s quickness, though the Panthers are young. One player blessed with experience is junior RB/LB Landon Baker, the district preseason defensive player of the year by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. Duncan called Baker “a workhorse,” and QB/DB Flavio Morales is another fine tackler in addition to being the team’s top passer. SB/LB Blake Fowler will also get plenty of chances to run and throw the pigskin.
Mount Calm is hoping to add at least two more players to the roster to add depth, as they’re dealing with eligibility issues. “If we can finish the season, we’ve got a chance, but it’s tough with just seven,” Duncan said. “The biggest thing is teaching these kids to get better every day.”
8/28 at Forestburg 7:30 p.m.
9/4 at Cranfills Gap 7 p.m.
9/18 at Penelope 7:30 p.m.
9/25 Bynum 7:30 p.m.
10/2 at Aquilla 7:30 p.m.
10/8 Jonesboro JV 7 p.m.
10/23 Oglesby* 7:30 p.m.
10/30 Dime Box* 7:30 p.m.
11/6 at Buckholts* 7:30 p.m.
In this Series
- 41 updates