In 2017, East View and head coach Robert Davies missed out on the postseason by one game in a stacked District 19-5A that featured juggernauts such as Cedar Park, Hutto, and cross-town rivals Georgetown.
With a new UIL mandate that splits Class 5A into two divisions, East View now avoids those schools altogether.
Just like that, the chances of the Patriots playing postseason football for the first time since 2014 shoot right up. Of course, it's not a guarantee, but the emergence of one of the strongest senior classes in East View's brief history give the school on Highway 29 a solid chance.
It starts with running back Zion Hester, East View's leading rusher from 2017, who is part of an offense that returns six of their 11 starters from last season. Hester appeared in all ten games and ran for 815 yards and five touchdowns on 136 carries, looking to only improve on that behind a more experienced offensive line.
Jackson Coulson, a junior quarterback and a fellow holdover from last season's 4-6 squad, will also benefit from that refined O-line, taking over the starting job. Last season, Coulson was pressured into dangerous situations amid a lack of support at the line of scrimmage and never got into a rhythm in his sole start.
In that start, the then-sophomore held his own, going 9-15 with 192 yards, and further showing out in the spring 7-on-7 competition. Look for the starting quarterback to find his wideouts more effectively with an increase in time to operate.
On defense, the Patriots return four starters from last year's squad, most notably defensive lineman Trevon Watts and free safety Justin Henry, each bringing with them some toughness and experience. East View's defense will need to take a step in the right direction early on this season given last year's result, as the Patriots surrendered 40 or more points five times in 2017.
Against some pass-heavy offenses in this new district, the defense will be tested often, but Davies' team will be ready. Like mentioned, this program finished just a game outside the postseason in a tougher district; just one or two strong games from a hefty defensive core could solidify a playoff spot this time around.
East View joins Bastrop, Cedar Creek, Brenham, Elgin, Marble Falls, and two schools new to varsity ball, Pflugerville Weiss and Leander Glenn, in the newly-formed District 13-5A, Division II. The Patriots open the 2018 campaign at home, hosting Westwood at Birkelbach Field in Georgetown on Aug. 31.
Follow @HCNSports on Twitter for the latest news on all local sports.