we're no. 2

Kel Williams hauls in a touchdown pass from Gunner Capps. Williams is one of several standouts returning for the 2019 season.

The Carthage Bulldogs will find themselves in an unfamiliar position when the 2019 football season starts as they are ranked No. 2 in Class 4A Division I.

State champion Waco La Vega holds down the top spot in Dave Campbell’s Texas Football after beating Liberty Hill in the finals. The Bulldogs fell to Liberty Hill in the state semifinals.

Regaining the top spot or even holding onto the No. 2 ranking won’t be easy as seven of the 10 teams they play in the regular season, as well as the team they are scrimmaging against, are ranked.

The Bulldogs’ scrimmage with Pittsburg pairs them against the No. 13 team in 4A Division II.

After the opener on the road against an unranked Class 5A team, Carthage has three straight games at home against Liberty Eylau (No. 19 in 4A Division II); Marshall (No. 4 in 5A Division II) and Gilmer (No. 7 in 4A Division II).

After an open week, the Dawgs go to Texarkana to face Pleasant Grove, the No. 1 team in 4A Division II.

Carthage opens District 10-4A Division I play on the road against No. 12 Van. After facing unranked Chapel Hill and Palestine, Henderson comes to town with a No. 8 ranking. The Bulldogs beat the Lions during the regular season and in the Region III-4A Finals.

The Dawgs close out the regular season on the road at No. 16 Kilgore.

The only other ranked teams by DCTF in the region are No. 5 Midlothian Heritage, No. 11 La Vernia and No. 24 Navasota.

The Carthage-Midlothian Heritage game last year was played at The Star in Frisco and the only time they led in the 50-49 thriller was a two-point conversion at the end of overtime period.

The magazine predicts that Carthage will beat Henderson in the regional finals, but fall to Waco La Vega in the title game.

Bulldogs picked to win 10-4A

The magazine’s predicted order of finish for 10-4A has Carthage in the top spot, Henderson second, Van third, Kilgore fourth, Palestine fifth and Chapel Hill sixth.

Carthage’s Kelvontay Dixon is the preseason Offensive Player of the Year in district and Henderson linebacker Brady Odom is the preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

Bulldogs well represented on All-State team

Carthage ended up with three first-team players on DCTF’s All-State team — wide receiver Kelvontay Dixon, offensive lineman Ty’Kieast Crawford and linebacker Rayvon Ingram.

The magazine’s 2018 team had offensive lineman Kevion Booty on the first team and quarterback Gunner Capps and Ingram on the second team.

Beckville picked 6th in 11-2A

The Beckville Bearcats under new coach Cody Ross were picked to finish six in the seven-team district this season.

Garrison, Tenaha, Joaquin and Timpson are picked to take the four playofff spots for the district.

Beckville’s Carlos Campos was selected as the kicker on the 2018 All-State team.