Cowboy’s Sixshooter UIL Division I Top Teams

I could be way off, but here’s my thoughts on the preseason top 10.
I have 11 teams listed because I believe there is a tie for the number ten spot.

1. McLean Tigers
In 2018, the Tigers were the single most dominant team in six-man. Graduation removed a lot of top-notch talent from their roster, but that doesn’t mean they’re done. Ben Crockett will be back for another season, and he has proven that he can’t be easily stopped. McLean also has several players ready to step into starting positions and prove themselves.
Before two-a-days began, Coach Linman told me “we’ll have six good kids on the field”. A knowledgeable friend attended McLean’s second scrimmage and verified it. In his words “they are scary this year. I don’t think there’s anyone in D1 that is going to challenge them.”

2. Milford Bulldogs
Milford finished last season in the number two spot, losing the championship game to McLean. The loss of Smith and Schrotke will have an impact on the Bulldogs, but there are still enough talented players who can fill their spots. If this team can become fundamentally disciplined, they’ll have a shot at winning it all this year.

3. White Deer Bucks
The Bucks had a good season in 2018, unfortunately district foe McLean had a better season. White Deer lost twice to McLean- once in district and again in the quarter-finals.
White Deer returns the bulk of a very talented squad, and will be looking to redeem themselves. This is definitely a team to keep an eye on.

4. Balmorhea Bears
If you follow Texas six-man, you know Vance Jones has turned Balmorhea into a perennial powerhouse. The Bears have been a quarter-final, or better, team since 2015. Every year they lose high end talent to graduation, but someone always seems to step up and fill the spot. I don’t expect this year to be any different.

5. Ira Bulldogs
Ira is consistently a playoff team, but they don’t seem to be able to get past the quarter-finals. Coach Goodwin hopes he can lead his team over that hump this season, and with five returning starters on both sides of the ball he may be able to do it. The Bulldogs’ experience will help, but they’ll need to be fundamentally sound to get where they want to be.

6. Leakey Eagles
Leakey was my dark horse team last year, and they didn’t disappoint me. The players bought into Coach Williams program, and were rewarded with a trip to the semi-finals their first year in six-man. The Eagles will be returning enough experienced players to give them a good shot at returning to the semis, but don’t expect them to be satisfied with stopping there. They will be hoping for a trip to AT&T Stadium.

7. Sterling City Eagles
Sterling City finished 2018 at 9-2. They return five offensive and four defensive starters. If they can stay healthy, and improve every week, they should be able to win a district title- and make a good playoff run.

8. Borden County Coyotes
The Coyotes only made it two rounds deep last year, and will have just three starters returning. I’m including them in the top ten because of tradition and coaching, but they will have to really step up if they hope to make a deep run this year.
Coach Richey sounded optimistic about his team. In his words “I really like our team chemistry and work ethic. This has been a very good preseason working group.”

9. Blum Bobcats
I asked Coach Thornhill if there was anything he wanted to say about the upcoming season, and he outdid himself. “We have five starters returning on both sides of the ball. This group has worked extremely hard from Nov 23 of last year. When you have a group that comes in the Monday after a loss and genuinely asks what they need to do to not have to ride the bus home as a loser, you know it is step in he right direction. After the first step comes the work, and we were 96 percent attendance this summer. These kids work and they work hard. We have as much talent as anyone in the state and work as hard than any of them. The only problems will be can we stay healthy and continue to our work people during the week? Can we keep this train on the track through the storms that develop through the year with 16 year old young men? We will be noticed but I’m not sure if they will be worried about us- we will see Saturday on the largest stage of the week.


10. Garden City Bearkats
Garden City only has one returning starter, but they have ten seniors who have been waiting for their chance to shine. Like many of the other teams in this list, coaching and tradition keep them among the top teams. Coach Jones verified my thoughts. “We are confident that a few of these seniors will step in and fill those spots.”

10. Gorman Panthers
The Panthers will have three returning players on each side of the ball- including an All-state player on both sides. Coach Dixon put things into fewer words than I would have. “Both of my All-staters will have to have big years, and some young guys have to step up for us. We will learn a lot the first two weeks- we start the season with Milford and Strawn.”