EVAN REN: How good is this Hamlin defense? Good enough to make one superstitious

HAMLIN — Sportswriters have an annoying habit of placing teams in Arlington three months in advance and I’m certainly among the guilty parties.

This drives coaches, who are generally a superstitious lot, absolutely nuts. And frankly, I don’t blame them. 

So … knowing full well that it’s too early for such assertions, I’m not going to put the Hamlin Pied Pipers in Jerry World in mid-September. I’m not going to say they’re a better team than the one that played for a Class 2A Division II state championship a year ago. I won’t even say they’re the regional favorite. 

I really don’t need to. Hamlin’s 3-0 record and No. 2 ranking in Class 2A DII speaks volumes anyway. 

But there is an aspect about this club that cannot be overstated and can no longer be ignored: The Pied Pipers are playing extraordinary defense. And they’re doing it without some of their top defenders from a year ago — most notably the unblockable Austin Lozano, who has since signed as a defensive lineman at Abilene Christian University. 

Is this what you expected? I didn’t. 

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