7-in-Seven Countdown: Most Competitive Districts in 2017 - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

7-in-Seven Countdown: Most Competitive Districts in 2017

(Source: KPLC) (Source: KPLC)

We are just six weeks away from KPLC's coverage of Two-A-Days and to get ready we continue our 7-in-Seven countdown.

Countdowns will include topics from McNeese to high school football. A new countdown each week, beginning every Monday.

We continue the countdown with the seven most competitive districts this upcoming season. Of course, this is just our analysis, you never know what might happen on the gridiron this fall.

7. Class 1A - District 4 (4-1A)

We start the countdown with one of the more competitive districts over the past few years. Basile, East Beauregard, Hamilton Christian, Oberlin and South Cameron have all vied for the district crown since 2014.

This year, it looks like a one-horse race. With East Beauregard moving up to Class 2A, Oberlin is the only team in the district who posted a winning record in 2016. 

Not only were the Tigers the district's best last season, but Oberlin returns arguably three of the top 1A players in QB James Kirklin, OL Trooper Peloquin and DL Mackenzie Carrier.

The district welcomes back Basile and adds St. Edmund.

FAVORITE: Oberlin Tigers (9-3 in 2016)

CONTENDERS: Basile Bearcats (3-8), Elton Indians (6-6), Grand Lake Hornets (4-7), St. Edmund Fighting Blue Jays (4-7)

UNDERDOGS: Hamilton Christian Warriors (2-8), Merryville Panthers (1-10), South Cameron Tarpons (4-7)

6. Class 3A - District 5 (5-3A)

It's a new district for Southwest Louisiana. Iota moves to a more Lafayette based district as our lone coverage team in district 5-3A.

Northwest is the crown jewel coming off a 12-1 season and a quarterfinal trip. However, the senior-laden Raiders should take a step back coming into 2017.

Eunice will contend for the title along with Northwest, as should Church Point. Another newcomer, Crowley, will likely be there after dropping down from 4A.

Iota will look to take a step forward in a new district after improving each of the past two seasons. And who knows? Some fresh faces may do the Bulldogs some good.

FAVORITE: Eunice Bobcats (6-5 in 2016)

CONTENDERS: Church Point Bears (3-8), Crowley Gents (2-8), Northwest Raiders (12-1)

UNDERDOGS: Iota Bulldogs (2-8), Mamou Demons (0-10), Pine Prairie Panthers (3-7), Port Barre Red Devils (2-8)

5. Class 4A - District 3 (3-4A)

Next on the list, the leftovers of district 3-4A.

This district looks a lot different from the past few years, with the departure of Crowley (down to 3A), LaGrange (up to 5A), Rayne (over to district four) and Washington-Marion (down to 3A). DeRidder and Leesville are the only constants.

The 4A rivals welcome Alexandria based teams, Buckeye, Grant and Tioga to the fold. The Indians of Tioga are coming off a 10-2 season, but lose a few key seniors from 2016.

Tioga, DeRidder and Leesville should compete for the district title, with the winner of the Hooper Trophy likely being in the driver's seat for the crown.

FAVORITE: Leesville Wampus Cats (7-5 in 2016)

CONTENDERS: DeRidder Dragons (2-8), Tioga Indians (10-2)

UNDERDOGS: Buckeye Panthers (2-8), Grant Cougars (5-6)

4. Class 2A - District 5 (5-2A)

Down to the new look, district 5-2A.

This was the hardest district to figure out. Like a couple above, this is a new district for our coverage teams. Kinder, Lake Arthur, Ville Platte and Welsh join holdover Notre Dame to create a super district.

Three of the five teams had double digit wins in 2016, including deep playoff runs by the Pioneers and Yellow Jackets.

One thing is certain, Kinder, Notre Dame and Welsh will compete for the district title. 

But the question remains, how good will the Pios be? They are the favorite after losing one game over the past two seasons.

But it'd be foolish to count out Kinder or Welsh. The Greyhounds and Jackets return plenty of talent on both sides of the ball.

FAVORITE: Notre Dame Pioneers (12-1 in 2016)

CONTENDERS: Kinder Yellow Jackets (10-3), Welsh Greyhounds (11-1)

UNDERDOGS: Lake Arthur Tigers (5-6), Ville Platte Bulldogs (5-5)

3. Class 5A - District 3 (3-5A)

We continue the list with the big boys in class 5A. This district has been arguably one of the best in the state over the past few years.

The district mostly avoided change this off-season, outside adding LaGrange.

It'll be the usual suspects competing for the crown. 2016 co-champions, Acadiana, Barbe and Sulphur will all be in the mix for the district title. Depending on the progression of quarterback Colton Frank, the Gators may find themselves in the thick of the race too.

With the departure of talented quarterbacks, Sulphur and Barbe may be a step behind Acadiana coming into the season.

Regardless, this will be one of the more exciting districts this season.

FAVORITE: Acadiana Rams (8-4 in 2016)

CONTENDERS: Barbe Buccaneers (9-2), LaGrange Gators (5-6), Sulphur Golden Tors (8-4)

UNDERDOGS: Comeaux Spartans (5-6), Sam Houston Broncos (1-9), Lafayette Lions (3-7), New Iberia Yellow Jackets (3-7)

2. Class 2A - District 4 (4-2A)

Our other 2A district comes in a bit higher on the list. District 4-2A.

With Kinder, Welsh and Lake Arthur further east, our remaining teams band together for a much more even district.

Rivals DeQuincy and Vinton remain together in the district and are joined by former district 3-2A members Oakdale, Pickering and Rosepine. East Beauregard also adds its name to the fold thanks to the call up from class 1A.

There is no clear cut favorite entering the season. DeQuincy, East Beauregard, Oakdale, Pickering and Vinton should all compete for the district crown, but all have question marks entering the season.

There's no question, it'll be a log jam at the top of the district.

FAVORITE: Vinton Lions (4-7 in 2016)

CONTENDERS: DeQuincy Tigers (7-5), East Beauregard Trojans (9-3), Oakdale Warriors (4-7), Pickering Red Devils (8-4)

UNDERDOGS: Rosepine Eagles (0-10)

1. Class 3A - District 4 (4-3A)

The final entry on the list has been the most competitive district in SWLA not only in football, but baseball and basketball as well.

Iota is gone, but the Bulldogs were replaced with Washington-Marion (down from 4A) and Lake Charles College Prep (up from 1A).

Last season, Iowa, Jennings and South Beauregard made this a district race to remember and this year it should be no different. While the Jackets, Bulldogs and Knights lost talent to graduation, all three return key contributors. 

St. Louis will look to bounce back after a rough 2016 and Washington-Marion should see an uptick in success with a lower classification. Westlake will be a dark-horse in the race too.

Iowa enters as the clear favorite, but the rest of the pack will be tight on its heels.

FAVORITE: Iowa Yellow Jackets (11-2 in 2016)

CONTENDERS: Jennings Bulldogs (11-2), South Beauregard Golden Knights (9-3), St. Louis Saints (3-8), Washington-Marion (3-8), Westlake Rams (2-8)

UNDERDOGS: Lake Charles College Prep Trailblazers (5-6)

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