Gilmer Coach Jeff Traylor is all smiles. He's no longer in the District of Doom.
"I'd drive to West Texas and back to avoid playing those teams," said Traylor with a smile.
The former 16-3A is no more. But the District of Doom remains alive. The 2014 version may be even better than year's past. District 9-4A Division One includes Brownsboro, Palestine, Carthage, Henderson, Kilgore and Chapel Hill.
"We're excited about the challenge," said Carthage head football coach Scott Surratt. "Coach Wood (Kilgore) and I are great friends and coach Angel of Palestine and coach Sitton at Chapel Hill. It will be fun, but I don't know how much fun it will be to get your tail kicked."
Sitton says every week will be a fight.
"It's going to be some tough football," said Sitton. "Every team in that district has a chance to be competitive so it's going to be a tough one."
The new district 9-4A Division I, owns seven state championships in the past decade.
Carthage, Kilgore, Chapel Hill and Henderson has all won championships since 2004. Carthage and Kilgore just met for the 3A division one state title. The rematch is set for district play.
"If you're in a real tough district, sometimes you're beat up for the playoffs," said Surratt. "A positive of it, it will get you ready for any kind of football."
That's the life of a coach in East Texas.
"It's East Texas football," said Wood. There's great football teams, like the district we came out of. Hopefully if you can come out of that thing healthy and make the playoffs you can make a run."