VYPE Countdown to Kickoff 2022: District 14-6A Preview
Westfield is that program that just wins year after year.
Last season marked the ninth time in the last 10 years under Matt Meekins that the Mustangs claimed the district’s top prize. Behind them were Spring, Dekaney and Nimitz.
But could some changes across the district landscape shake up the bottom of the standings, including the last two playoff spots? Let’s see.
VYPE PRESEASON AWARDS
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: PJ Hatter, Westfield
OFFENSIVE MVP: Ryan Niblett, Eisenhower
DEFENSIVE MVP: Brandon Joseph, Dekaney
BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Clourid Johnson, Spring
SLEEPER TEAM: MacArthur Generals
The Mustangs have made the playoffs for 11-straight seasons and won 10 or more games in 10 of 11 of those campaigns. In four of those, Westfield posted an undefeated regular season. Matt Meekins enters his eighth season of leading Westfield and has plenty of pieces to plug in for another big year. Gone is QB1 Cardell Williams (Tulsa) but step in transfer PJ Hatter, who comes over from Klein Oak. Hatter was a second-team, all-district selection In District 15-6A a year ago after passing for 1,538 yards and 18 touchdowns and running for another 1,231 yards and 23 scores. He is a true dual-threat option at QB for the Mustangs. Coming out of the backfield will be Dahmeir Scott (462 yards) along with Taji Atkins (404 yards), while Anthony Catchcart (428 yards) and Dajohn Palomo (370 yards) will be top targets at receiver. Defensively, they will have to replace the talented Anthony Holmes Jr. (Houston) and watch for Bryson Balka (26 tackles, 4 sacks) and Ray Jones (26 tackles, 3 sacks) to step up in the trenches.
Since Dekaney has opened its doors in 2008, the Wildcats have made it to the playoffs seven times and for three-straight seasons now. Last season, Dekaney Wildcats went 5-6 overall last season and fell in the first round of the playoffs. Anthony Williams enters his 10th season leading the Wildcats and this could be a big year for this squad. Dekaney is going to be led by four-star receiver Jonah Wilson, who verbally committed to Texas this offseason. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound receiver is a problem to cover. Davion Wilson returns at quarterback after passing for 1,024 yards and 12 scores last year. Defensively, Ty Morris (S – 85 tackles) will be a lockdown and has 13 offers, while Demanuel Brown will rush off the edge at 6-foot-4, 220-pounds (11 offers) and Xavier Rowe (6 offers – 48 tackles) will anchor the line at 6-foot-2, 315-pounds. Brandon Joseph returns for his senior season after totaling 113 tackles a year ago, 15 for loss. Also, watch out for Dashawn Bradley who will be all over the field and also 2024 defensive end Christian Nwosu.
IKE has star power heading into the 2022 season for coach Eric Jackson. This is a team that went 3-7 overall last year and 2-5 in district play. Eisenhower is trying to get back into the playoffs again after missing out in 2021. They have made the postseason in two of the last four seasons. Jackson enters year five of leading this program. Could this be the year they finish over .500 for the first time since 2015? Texas-commit Ryan Niblett will play a big factor in that. Niblett is dynamic wherever you put him on the field. Last year as a receiver he finished with nearly 800 yards and eight scores. His speed is what makes the difference. On defense, Tyler Hutcherson, a Stephen F. Austin-commit, is the next lockdown corner for the Eagles. Zacchaeus Henry will step in as QB1, while Eutimo Lauderdale will hold down the line at center. Defensively, Omar Solis (DE/LB), Darrius Adams (CB) and Braylon Oliphant (LB) will provide offenses some problems.
It is a new era for the Spring Lions. Gone is Trent Miller as he took the job at Willis this offseason. Step in Anthony Singleton, who comes over from perennial power Westfield. Nice story line for this year’s rivalry showdown between the two. Gone is a super talented senior class including Bishop Davenport (Utah State), who accounted for more than 4,000 yards of total offense and 48 touchdowns. Clourid Johnson, who got 24 snaps as a sophomore will step in for him and he will have a whole new set of receivers to throw to as well including Khalib Gates and Albert Williams, who will also flip around and play defensive back. Defense is where they will have to hang their hat a bit early with Jeremiah Jones Jr. being the top returning tackler (59 tackles) and Bryce Morton (41 tackles, 13 tackles for loss) being big pieces of that. Morton also had eight sacks a year ago. Take note of Josiah Stephens on the defensive line as well.
This could be the sneakiest team in all of District 14-6A. MacArthur is coming off a 2-8 season. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2019 and have been in the postseason just that one time since 2008. But … they have talent. They have size. And that could be a nice mix for Wayne Crawford’s crew in 2022. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun-commit Justin Williams will be a problem at receiver, standing in at 6-foot-3, 180-pounds and can go up and get any ball with his rangy athleticism. Defensively, AJ Stephens, a Rice University-commit, will be lock down at cornerback for the Generals. Other names to take note of include Khoran Brown (RB), Armando Desilos (DE), Keenan Jackson (DB), Gary Rebolledo (TE), Marquis Ladd (DB), Darius Hicks (LB) and Xavier Castillo (OG). Desilos had 97 tackles a year ago, while Jackson registered 68. The defense will be salty with some weapons on offense. It should be fun.
Cornelius Harmon comes in and takes over a Nimitz program that slid into the playoffs with a fourth-place finish last season. It was their first playoff appearance since 2015. Harmon comes over from Summer Creek where he served as the offensive coordinator of the Bulldogs. This is his first head-coaching job. The star of the team falls to three-star safety Cory Huff Jr., who this offseason verbally committed to Baylor. Huff led the defense last year with 76 tackles, three interceptions, eight pass deflections and one fumble recovery. Brayden Whitehead returns at QB1 after passing for 704 yards and six scores, while Joseph Sanders will tote the rock after busting off 949 yards and six scores in nine games a year ago. Sanders had four games with 100-plus yards rushing. Other names to remember including E’Daryus Keene (WR), Dominic Rue (ATH), and Kelyn Washom and Kamren Washom, both at receiver.
Aldine Davis is still one of the newest programs in Aldine ISD and after making the playoffs its first four years of being open, including finishing the first season in a three-way tie for the district crown, it has been a rough go. The last three years, Aldine Davis hasn’t topped three wins (3-7 is best record) as they go into year four under Scott Joseph as the head coach. Scoring will be key for them in 2022 after scoring just 192 points a year ago. Players to watch this year include Stephen Howard Jr. (DB), Cortney Davis (DE), Mauricio Jaramillo (OL), Keenan Wyre (ILB), Lamon Houston (LB), Dominick Shambo (DB), De’Marion Fearence (LB) and Reggie Berry (Center).
Cirilo Ojeda hopes that the magic dust that he sprinkled on Sharpstown football will do the same wonders to Aldine. This offseason, Ojeda was hired at Aldine as the 12th head coach in program history. Prior to Sharpstown, Ojeda was the offensive coordinator at Clear Springs High School. Ojeda started his coaching career at his alma mater Pasadena High before moving on to Fort Bend Ridge Point and then Eisenhower High. Now, Ojeda takes over an Aldine Mustang program that has gone 0-17 over the past two seasons. Joshua Johnson will the be the leader of the defense at linebacker, while Desmond Dixon could be a matchup problem on offense at receiver. Other names to remember include Anthony Joya (TE), Carlo Flores (OL), Jashyne Daniels (DB), Josue Gonzalez (S), Constantin Marin (QB) and Michael Coronado (DB/LB).