VYPE Football 2020: Needville, El Campo in a District 12-4A-DI dogfight
Welcome to the 2020 football season. What a weird offseason it was for everyone. There was not a summer camp circuit for player to go showcase their talents at. In-person recruiting came to a screeching halt and the COVID-19 Pandemic has affected everyone.
But VYPE has still done what we have always done when it comes to previewing Texas high school football here in Houston. With that said - here is the District 12-4A-DI Preview.
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VYPE Preseason Awards
MVP: Johntre Evans, El Campo
Offensive MVP: Rueben Owens, El Campo
Defensive MVP: Blake Boenisch, Needville
Breakout Player of the Year: Trevor Baker, Needville
Sleeper Team: Stafford Spartans
(Bold Denotes Playoffs)
District 12-4A-DI will be a neighborhood dog fight. El Campo is getting all the juice with the likes of Johntre Evans and Rueben Owens, but… not so fast. Needville won the title last year and returns and ton of talent. The battle for the third and fourth spot will be competitive as well with Stafford, West Columbia and Brazosport vying for the postseason.
Needville Blue Jays
The district champs return 15 starters from a 10-3 team that went to the Regional Semis. All eyes will be on QB Trevor Baker after the departure of all-world RB Ashton Stredick. Baker threw for over 2,000 yards and had 25 scores but he's the story. His featured WR will be Walker Warncke, who does it all for the Jays. He combined for nearly 700 yards of offense and had four INTs on defense. Blake Boenisch (6-foot-4, 320-pounds) will get pressure up front on defense and should dominate the line of scrimmage with his size and experience. Needville's balance gives the Blue Jays a slight edge for the district title.
El Campo Ricebirds
The Ricebirds reached the Regional Semis in 2019 after a 10-3 season. Great season, right? But there is a different buzz around El Campo. A lot of that has to do with Newcomer of the Year Rueben Owens, the No. 1 recruit in Texas for the Class of 2023. Owens went off for over 800 yards as a freshman. He is a 6-footer, who can run and catch with the best in the nation. But he's not the only star. Junior Offensive MVP Johntre Evans also rushed for over 1,700 yards and had 26 touchdowns, while Utility MVP Charles Shorter pitched in another 1,100 yards. Coach Wayne Condra has to rebuild the OL, but these guys don't need much of a seam. The defense will be led by second-teamers Nathan Willis and Kaden Alcalais.
West Columbia Roughnecks
West Columbia Roughnecks fell to the Needville Blue Jays 34-17 as their only loss in district play. They are out for revenge but only return eight starters. Jamaurion Woodard (734 yards, 7.81 yards/carry) and Jordan Woodard (749 yards, 9.73 yards/carry) are a two-headed monster in the backfield and will carry the offense. The brothers are a perfect fit for the throw-back Wing-T. On the line, Justen Hobbs will lead that group The defense only returns three but Chris Smith, Koby Herrera (95 tackles) and Kole Kelley are legit studs. Developing depth is key to their postseason hopes.
Coach Ken Savanah has some "guys" stashed away over in Stafford. Fourteen starters return for the Spartans, who snuck into the playoffs last year. Savanah is going with the youngster Brayden Batiste at QB, but he will really lean on a nasty defense to carry them into the playoffs. Kaleb Roberts will lead a defense that also features LB Kenneth Steward and DLs Trevin and Quardale Patt (6-foot-4, 220-pound) and Isaiah Bogerty (6-foot-4, 190-pounds). Other players to watch include WR/S Jaydon Johnson, S Churchill Williams ans SS Marcus Lane. If the offense can stay consistent and game-manage, the Spartans will by vying for the playoffs in their new district.
Mark Kanipes isn't afraid of a challenge. After being a lead assistant for Pearland and Tony Heath, he took the head job at Santa Fe. At Santa Fe, he built the Indians into a respectable program. He also went through a campus shooting that shook the community. He knows about adversity and is doing a great job at Brazosport. The Exporters return 11 starters from a team that bowed out in the first round of the 2019 playoffs. The emergence of QB Kariyen Goins is a huge bright spot for B-Port. The sophomore is a dangerous dual-threat. The other stud is CJ Calhoun, who will lead the defense at LB. If Goins continues to grow, the Exporters will sneak a playoff spot.
Bay City Black Cats
Coach Robert Jones has a rebuild on his hands. The new coach takes over an 0-9 team that returns 13 starters, however. This is a tough district and can expose opponents quickly. Avery Smith is the team's best player and will be the signal-caller in 2020. He will follow the lead of his top OLs Logan MacLennan and Jesse Oros. LB Trent Monroe can make plays on defense but he's going to need help keeping OLs off of him. A win this season for Bay City?A win.