VYPE 2022 Countdown to Kickoff: District 9-5A-DI Preview
This new mesh of a district brings together what was District 11-5A, 10-5A and 9-5A from the last two years.
The Houston ISD programs move in to join Galveston Ball. Out of this district, only three teams made the playoffs a year ago – which means there will be a new team in the playoffs in 2022. So, let’s shake it out.
Galveston Ball Tornadoes
VYPE PRESEASON AWARDS
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Seth Williams, Galveston Ball
OFFENSIVE MVP: Chase Devaughn, Madison
DEFENSIVE MVP: Jeremiah Malbroue, Houston Sterling
BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Shaun Crawford Jr., Waltrip
SLEEPER TEAM: Austin Mustangs
GALVESTON BALL TORNADOES
For Galveston Ball, last year’s season ended at 5-6 overall and with a first-round loss to eventual Class 5A Division I State Champion Katy Paetow. Last season was the first time the Tornadoes had been in the playoffs since 2017 and only the second time since 2009. Sheldon Bennight enters year three at the helm and saw improvement from year one to two. In 2020, the Tors went 1-8 and last year improved the win total by four. The good thing for the Tors is that they bring back a lot of offensive firepower back with seven starters back. Unanimous first-team, all-district quarterback Seth Williams returns to operate the offense after passing for 1,740 yards and 17 scores a year ago. District Newcomer of the Year Will Cianfrini will be his top target after reeling in 33 catches for 505 yards and one score. Other names to remember on offense include Matthew Glenn (TE). Defensively, Stefanos Pothos – a secondteam, all-district pick – returns after recording 76 tackles in 2021. Other names to take note of include Aiden McNamara (DB), Will Leach (CB) and Jonah Williams (DB). This team has the pieces to win this district.
The Marlins will be under new leadership in 2022 as Jason Davis takes over the program. He comes in following a season where Madison made the playoffs for the first time since 2017 and won six games, also the most since 2017. The cupboard is not bare though as he does return six starters on offense and four on defense. The offense will be solid up front with second-team, all-district offensive linemen Joseph Buggs, Korey Dupree and Joyce Badibanga all set to return. That should create nice space for first-team, all-district running back Chase Devaughn to work in. Last year, in 11 games, Devaughn rushed for 1,643 yards and 14 scores for the Marlins. He had nine games with over 100 yards and averaged 7.6 yards per carry and 149.4 per game. Devaughn’s seasonhigh in rushing came against Houston Austin last year, busting off for 281 yards and scoring two touchdowns on 20 carries. He scored four touchdowns against Northside for that season-high mark. Devaughn has offers from UIW and Southwestern. Jacorian Hail (312 yards, 5 TDs) will return as the top target at receiver along with Darnell Riley as the Marlins look for a new signal-caller. Defensively, watch for Korey Dupre and Buggs to shore up the line.
The Raiders have made the playoffs for three-straight seasons and have gone to the postseason in six of the last seven years. Last season, Sterling’s run came to an end in the Bi-District round. Kanavis McGhee enters year eight of leading the Raiders’ program. Linebacker Jaylin Williams will quarterback the defensive unit after being named the District Newcomer of the Year last season as a freshman. Offensively, first-team, all-district running back Cameron Patterson is back after rushing for 458 yards and nine scores. Defensively, Williams was a first teamer after recording 38 tackles, 0.5 sacks and six quarterback hurries last year. Other key returners include Jeremiah Malboure (86 tackles and 3 sacks), Garrett Green (78 tackles) – a second-team, all-district pick – and Tyler Tillman, who had two interceptions last year and six pass deflections. Other names to remember on defense include Damien Terry II (DL), Christopher Norman (DL) and DeAndre Menefee (DT).
Could this be the year that Waltrip busts through the glass ceiling and make the playoffs for the first time since 2017? If you look back, at one point the Rams went on a streak of nine-straight seasons of making the playoffs. They are coming off back-to-back 1-8 campaigns and as coach Jeremy Kirt enters year three of leading the program there is optimism around the locker room. Why do you say? Because Waltrip brings back 15 starters, including nine on offense from last year. Second-team, all-district receiver Shaun Crawford Jr. will lead that group, while defensive end Mathew Adekiya – a second-team, all-district pick – will be the leader on the line. Watch for Tramayne Black to come rumbling out of the backfield as well as he enters his senior seasons. Other names to remember include Demetrius Winkfield (OL), Ian Aguirre (LB) and Marcus Kent (DL).
As Theo Young enters year five of leading the Austin Mustangs, the hope is to get them back into the playoffs for the first time since 2017. In that season, they went 8-2 overall, capping a nice back-to-back run of plus-.500 seasons. Last year, Austin went 2-8 after going 4-4 in 2020. The Mustangs return just second-team, all-district cornerback A’marick Wilson to the mix as far as all district selections go. With just five starters back on each side of the ball, there will need to be some guys who step up. Other names to remember for this squad include Jamison King (OL), Chad White (OL/DL), Kevyn Martines (RB) and Toddrick Ward (DE).
Over the past two seasons, the Buffs have played a total of 11 games. In 2020, COVID affected their season and Matt Puente and staff lost a year of development. Now, with things getting back to normal and playing a full season in 2021 (1-9), they are hoping to keep building. With seven starters back on offense and eight on defense, they have the bodies with experience to build a base off. Some of those include Carlos Herrera (ATH), Kevin Bautista (DB), Alex Moreno (DL), Gonzalo Trigo (RB/LB) and Alexander Hammontree (WR).
Under the direction of Cirilo Ojeda, the Apollos turned a corner over the past two seasons. They snapped a 22-game losing streak in 2020 and last year went 3-7, which was the most wins in a season since 2017. Now, Ojeda is off to lead Aldine and step in Matt Torres, who was the offensive coordinator under Ojeda. With six starters back on both sides of the ball, Sharpstown could be in a good position to jostle for that fourth-place spot. First-team, all-district offensive lineman Theophile Nsabimana returns to the squad this season to lead the front line. Thien Vo (DE) will lead the defensive line and has started for the past three seasons. Other names to take note of include Xavier Hayes (OL), Danny Kiza (DB) and Westly Robinson (DB).
Last year was a down year in a lot of ways for the Panthers. Under Michael Porter, who enters his 10th season leading the program, Northside suffered its first winless season since 2011 and ended up scoring zero points along the way. So, take the 2021 campaign and just crumple it up and throw it in the waste basket. Here comes the Panthers in a new-look district hoping for better prospects. Jordan Harris and Kendal Carter will pace the rushing attack for the Panthers and also flip to the other side of the ball and play linebacker at times. Other names to take note of include Jhkori Smart (WR/DB), Quavorious Gordon (TE/DE) and Emanuel Dominguez (OL/DL).
It has been a bit of rough go for Wisdom of late. The Generals haven’t won a game since the 2018 season and are on a 33- game losing streak entering the 2022 season. But we saw Sharpstown snap its losing streak a year ago, so maybe Wisdom is next. Under the tutelage of Jacque Tinsley, the Generals do return six starters on offense and five on defense in what will be his sixth season. Names to remember off this squad include Hani Ali (RB/LB), Michael Bamson (DL) and John Nsenguwera (QB). Josiah Holmes (TE/ DB) could have a breakout year. Also, watch for Jaylon Thomas (OL).