Through four weeks of non-district play, TAPPS D-II District 2 teams have prepared for what comes next: the start of league play.
In doing so, they have been noticed by the state's coaches.
Of the seven district teams, four are ranked in the top 10 of this week's TAPPS coaches poll, including top-ranked Dallas Christian. The other three are receiving votes.
"Every week is a chance to lose a game," Bullard Brook Hill coach Scott Ryle said. "It's unbelievable how tough this district is and you have to be ready to play every game."
Now those squads begin playing each other, starting with what could be the biggest game of the season in D-II District 2.
Dallas Christian (4-0) plays at No. 8 Grace Community (2-2) from Clyde-Perkins Stadium on Friday, a rematch of last year's top two finishers. The Chargers won last year 16-14, the Cougars' lone district defeat.
All Saints (2-2), on a two-game winning streak following a 10-game losing skid, rose to No. 10 in this week's poll and hosts No. 9 Bullard Brook Hill (4-0), one of three unbeaten teams in the league. Both teams have first-year coaches eager to open district with a win.
"It's a very solid district," All Saints coach Drew Starnes said. There's no weak team in the district; there's no gimme wins. Every team is solid, every team is well-coached.
"It's a very competitive district. ... Top to bottom I think it's the best division in the state."
While Bishop Gorman (1-3) isn't currently ranked, the Crusaders offense will give anyone fits, averaging 46.3 points and 674 yards per game. TKG is among those receiving votes along with Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill (2-2) and Friday's opponent, Carrollton Prince of Peace (3-0).
The TC-CH Tigers went to the state title game last year in Division III while the Eagles nearly equaled last year's win total after returning nine starters on both sides of the ball.
The quality from top to bottom means every game will be competitive, Crusaders coach Coby Gipson said.
"The average margin of victory in the district this year regardless of who wins will probably be the least amount it's been as long as I've been at Gorman," Gipson said. "Every team's had a little success in non-district. I'm sure everybody's confident."
No matter a team's success in non-district, all teams are now 0-0 as the second phase of the football season begins.
"It's just good to take a measurement from the pre-district and head into district with a new start," Grace coach Mike Maddox said. "We're all undefeated right now and I think all seven teams in the district are ready to try to make their mark."
Staff writer Chris Parry contributed to this report.
TAPPS D-II District 2 Preview Capsules
All Saints Trojans
Coach: Drew Starnes
2015 Record: 2-8 (0-7 D-II District 2)
Quick Slant: After 10 straight losses dating back to early in the 2015 campaign, first-year coach Drew Starnes has the Trojans on a two-game winning streak heading into district. QB Tanner Towns (423 rushing, 215 passing) and Garrett Brown (292 rushing) give All Saints a potent 1-2 combo running the ball as the Trojans eye a first playoff berth in Division II.
Bishop Gorman Crusaders
Coach: Coby Gipson
2015 Record: 8-3 (5-2 D-II District 2)
Quick Slant: The cynic would say it took the Crusaders 91 points to secure their only win this year. The optimist would say they're averaging 674 yards per game against tough competition. In three games, sophomore QB Jake Smith has thrown for 1,730 yards, 16 TDs and 4 INTs - a staggering 576.7 yards per game.
Bullard Brook Hill Guard
Coach: Scott Ryles
2015 Record: 4-6 (3-4 D-II District 2)
Quick Slant: So far so good for new coach Scott Ryles, whose Guard are racking up 389.0 yards while allowing 244.5 per game. Brook Hill has beaten a team from Florida, Mount Vernon, Dallas and Katy in non-district play. QB Hood Taylor has completed 66 percent of his passes for 616 yards while Jermiah McGowen has 519 yards and six TDs on the ground.
Carrollton Prince of Peace Eagles
Coach: Larry Thexton
2015 Record: 4-6 (2-5 D-II District 2)
Quick Slant: The Eagles have yet to complete a pass this season but are nonetheless unbeaten. QB Jackson Garrett leads the offense with 463 yards and five TDs rushing. With an odd number of teams, Prince of Peace doesn't have a district game on the final week so the Eagles scheduled former league foe Frisco Legacy Christian and had its bye this past week.
Dallas Christian Chargers
Coach: Mike Wheeler
2015 Record: 13-2 (7-0 D-II District 2)
Quick Slant: The reigning district champion finished state runner-up in 2015 and has been impressive through four games, winning by an average margin of 37 points, including avenging its loss to Fort Worth Christian in last year's title game. QB Garrett Cody (510 pass, 329 rush) leads the Chargers in passing and running.
Grace Community Cougars
Coach: Mike Maddox
2015 Record: 10-2 (6-1 D-II District 2)
Quick Slant: The Cougars went through a tough non-district slate without QB Chris Wilhelmi, last year's 2,000-yard passer and 1,000-yard rusher who has been out injured. Last year's district runner-up has rushed for 305 yards per game without Wilhelmi, with Uchenna Uduma (72 carries, 532 yards, 8 TDs) emerging as a standout runner.
Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill Tigers
Coach: Chris Wesley
2015 Record: 10-4 (7-0 D-III District 2)
Quick Slant: The Tigers lost in the TAPPS Division III state title game last year and are now back in Division II after two years in D-III. TC-CH graduated a 2,500-yard passer, 1,100-yard rusher and 800-yard receiver but has still averaged nearly 350 yards per game this year, with Justin Deboskie averaging 125 yards on the ground.
TAPPS Division II Football Coaches Rankings
No. Team (Previous)
1. Dallas Christian (1)
2. Fort Worth Christian (3)
3. Grapevine Faith (2)
4. Austin Regents (4)
5. San Antonio Holy Cross (9)
6. Midland Christian (6)
7. Houston Second Baptist (5)
8. Grace Community (7)
9. Bullard Brook Hill (8)
10. All Saints (NR)
Dropped out: Houston Lutheran South (10)
Others receiving votes: Carrollton Prince of Peace, Houston Lutheran South, Austin Hyde Park, Fort Worth Southwest Christian, Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill, Bishop Gorman, San Antonio Christian, San Antonio St. Mary's, Sugar Land Fort Bend Christian, Frisco Legacy Christian, Corpus Christi St. John Paul II
TAPPS 5A Volleyball Coaches Rankings
No. Team (Previous)
1. Victoria St. Joseph (2)
2. San Antonio Holy Cross (3)
3. Grapevine Faith (1)
4. Austin St. Michael's (5)
5. Sugar Land Fort Bend Christian (7)
6. Austin Regents (9)
7. Carrollton Prince of Peace (6)
8. Midland Christian (4)
9. Austin Hyde Park (NR)
10. San Antonio Christian (NR)
Dropped out:Bullard Brook Hill (8), Austin St. Dominic Savio (10)
Others receiving votes: Brook Hill, Corpus Christi Incarnate Word, St. Dominic Savio, Fort Worth Southwest Christian, San Antonio St. Mary's, San Antonio Providence, Houston Lutheran South, All Saints, Laredo St. Augustine