SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (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 local districts this upcoming season. Of course, this is just our analysis, you never know what might happen on the gridiron this fall.
7. Class 2A - District 4 (4-2A)
This was a district I got dead wrong a season ago. Although I can guarantee you, I wasn't alone.
While I called for Rosepine to surprise everyone, I wasn't expecting a 10-2 season with an undefeated run through district.
The Eagles may even be a better team this year. Rosepine returns plenty of talent and is arguably, the biggest team in the district.
DeQuincy was only a win over Rosepine away from a co-district title and you can expect the Tigers to not make the race easy despite their losses on offense. Losing big-time talent is also a theme with Vinton, East Beauregard and Oakdale.
Pickering is likely a year away from being in contention as the Red Devils switch offense and defensive schemes.
I called for a log-jam in 2017, but this season I think the Eagles are the clear-cut favorites.
FAVORITE: Rosepine Eagles (10-2 in 2017)
CONTENDERS: DeQuincy Tigers (5-6), Oakdale Warriors (3-8),
UNDERDOGS: East Beauregard Trojans (3-6), Pickering Red Devils (0-10), Vinton Lions (4-6)
6. Class 2A - District 5 (5-2A)
Boy, was this a great district a season ago? Two of the teams played for state championships.
Kinder and Welsh played a thriller during the regular season, as did Notre Dame and Kinder.
Once again this is a three-horse race at the top, although it's heavily shifted in Notre Dame's direction.
The state champion Greyhounds lose Zach Hayes and a host of other stars, while Kinder parts with an impressive senior class that includes two-star prospects Jordan Cordova and Joey McNeely.
Lake Arthur could also be improved and come in with momentum after winning a playoff game a season ago.
FAVORITE: Notre Dame Pioneers (11-1 in 2017)
CONTENDERS: Kinder Yellow Jackets (7-6), Welsh Greyhounds (13-1)
UNDERDOGS: Lake Arthur Tigers (5-6), Ville Platte Bulldogs (3-8)
5. Class 1A - District 4 (4-1A)
We move down to our lowest classification, but certainly not the lowest form of competition.
St. Edmund ruled the roost with a perfect 7-0 district record a year ago, but Basile was a win over the Blue Jays away from the same record. Elton, Oberlin and Merryville were each a step behind in the race.
This season, Basile looks to be poised to take the biggest leap coming off a 9-4 season. The Bearcats return their biggest two play makers in Reed and Ashford. St. Edmund (Luke Doucet), Oberlin (James Kirklin), Merryville (Desmond McCain) and Elton (Keshawn Lyons) meanwhile all lose their top offensive player from 2017.
Grand Lake and Hamilton are hopeful to right the ship, along with South Cameron who despite low numbers, will still field a team.
FAVORITE: Basile Bearcats (9-4 in 2017)
CONTENDERS: Elton Indians (7-4), Grand Lake Hornets (2-8), Merryville Panthers (6-6), Oberlin Tigers (7-5), St. Edmund Fighting Blue Jays (10-2)
UNDERDOGS: Hamilton Christian Warriors (2-7), South Cameron Tarpons (0-9)
4. Class 4A - District 3 (3-4A)
Leesville towered over the district a season ago with a perfect 4-0 record. The Wampus Cats' closest game was a 27-0 victory over DeRidder. I don't expect that type of domination again with Leesville losing such a strong senior class.
Tioga looks to be the best threat to dethrone Leesville as the Indians feel good about their young but experienced passing attack that's returning. Tioga is just two seasons removed from a 9-1 regular season. DeRidder meanwhile loses a boatload of starters, but quarterback Lane Armer and Greg Woodard are still in place and give the Dragons a fighting chance for the district title.
Buckeye took a step forward a season ago, as they hope to build on their momentum.
FAVORITE: Leesville Wampus Cats (10-2 in 2017)
CONTENDERS: DeRidder Dragons (6-4), Tioga Indians (7-5)
UNDERDOGS: Buckeye Panthers (5-6), Grant Cougars (1-9)