SIDELINE OBSERVATIONS: The 2013 football season is upon us

Published: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 04:33 PM.

Baker again plays in District 1-1A, along with defending state champion Northview, Freeport and Jay.

An overtime loss to Freeport in 2011 cost the Gators a trip to the playoffs. And a 41-34 loss to the Bulldogs kept Baker out of the playoffs last year.

If the Gators can beat Freeport and Jay, they'll assure themselves a spot in the playoffs, and their game at Northview on Nov. 1 will decide the district championship.

Storylines for Crestview and Baker will unfold in the weeks to come.

How will Crestview's offense look once first-year coach Tim Hatten pulls out all the stops? Will the Bulldog defense, led by Denzel Ware and Kyle Koontz, be up to the task to stop offensive powers Leon, Rickards, Pine Forest, Pensacola and Niceville?

Baker coach Matt Brunson, in his third year at his alma mater, says this is the strongest Gator squad he has had.

Will the added muscle equate to a playoff spot and a run at a state title? Baker tailback D.J. Thomas rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a junior last year. Will he be able to carry Baker into the playoffs this year?

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