TYLER - For most of their history, Mike Maddox has been the man in charge of the Grace football team.

But a few months ago, he surprised a lot of people by stepping away from the sidelines. Now the Cougars are led by Norm Thompson, and he takes over a team that has high expectations once again.

Grace is coming off of a trip to the state quarterfinals in 2016 and while they did lose some key players from that team, they also return quite a bit of talent. The TAPPS preseason poll has Grace ranked 8th in the state, and while that's nice, the team is trying to avoid the talk about high expectations.

Coach Thompson says, "We'll play everyone else hard. You could put us 8 or 9, you could put us 1 or 2, we don't care as long as we're on top, that's the only thing that matters."

The Cougars will be tasked with replacing star quarterback Christopher Wilhelmi, but as has been the case over the last decade or so, they should still be in the mix to compete for the district title.


Thurs. Aug. 31 vs. Waxahachie Life (at All Saints)

Fri. Sept. 8 vs. Canton

Fri. Sept. 15 at Waskom

Fri. Sept. 22 vs. Malakoff

Fri. Sept. 29 at Dallas Christian

Fri. Oct. 6 vs. Cedar Hill Trinity Christian

Fri. Oct. 13 at Cistercian Prepatory School

Fri. Oct. 20 - BYE

Fri. Oct. 27 vs. Prince of Peace

Fri. Nov. 3 at Bishop Gorman

Fri. Nov. 10 vs. Brook Hill