VYPE Football 2021 Preview: District 11-5A-DII
This district is Marshall's to lose. The Buffalos have too much power and punch on both sides of the ball and are legitimate contenders for a state championship.
Coach James Williams once against boasts a team that is fast, athletic and deep in playmaking.
If that's the case, come November, Marshall could be downright monstrous. Galena Park and Willowridge are likely good bets for the postseason, while fourth place could be interesting between Sterling, Madison and possibly Sharpstown.
Austin will be no pushover either.
Fort Bend Marshall
Fort Bend Willowridge
(Bold Denotes Playoffs)
Most Valuable Player: Chris Marshall, Fort Bend Marshall
Offensive MVP: Amarion Kelly, Galena Park
Defensive MVP: Isaac Covarrubias, Galena Park
Breakout Player of the Year: Jakoby Banks, Fort Bend Marshall
Sleeper Team: Houston Madison
Fort Bend Marshall Buffalos
Coach James Williams said the offensive and defensive lines are the strength of a team that returns 13 starters from a 12-1 Regional Semifinalist.
Offensively, Marshall will need to work in a new quarterback. It could be versatile junior Jakoby Banks, who was the backup last year. He will have plenty of weapons around him in senior 6-foot-4, 185-pound WR Chris Marshall, who caught 44 balls for 1,008 yards and 17 TDs in his first year of playing football.
There's also senior RB Aaron McGowen (687 yards, 13 TDs), junior RB Jy'Adrian Wortham (546 yards, 9 TDs) and senior RB Rundrick Dudley (658 rushing yards, 17 TDs). The O-line is led by senior Christian Williams and junior Anthony Chatman.
Defensively, the Mavs have senior playmakers all over the backfield in Kansas-commit Jacobe Chester (23 tackles, 2 INTs), Adari Haulcy (20 tackles, 7 INTs) and Chris Stephens (20 tackles, INT). Senior 6-foot-5, 240-pound DE Zachary Chapman (34 tackles, 3.5 sacks) is a force up front.
Keep an eye on impressive newcomers in junior OL Jaron Wallace, senior OL Demetrius Charles, sophomore DT Koryn Randalls and sophomore RB Jarrod Howard. "This can be a special team," Williams said.
Galena Park Yellow Jackets
Galena Park returns 14 starters from an 8-3 Bi-District playoff finalist in what was a nice second season at the helm for coach Spiro Amarantos.
The versatile Amarion Kelly is the Jackets' rock. The 5-foot-10, 160-pound senior rushed for 837 yards and 15 TDs, played almost every skill position offensively and could also see time on defense and special teams this year.
Senior RB Jose Barrientos (620 yards, 8 TDs) is a nice change-of-pace back as an inside runner, an ideal complement to Kelly's explosiveness and speed. The front seven is impressive behind 6-foot-1, 240-pound senior DE Isaac Covarrubias (56 tackles, 6 sacks), 6-foot-1, 250-pound senior DE Leo Garcia (54 tackles, 3 sacks), 6-foot-3, 250-pound junior DE Tim Marshall (44 tackles, 4 sacks) and 5-foot-9, 220-pound senior LB Ray Quintanilla (44 tackles, 12 tackles for loss).
Fort Bend Willowridge Eagles
The Eagles had a fine 2020 season, going 7-3 and earning a playoff berth, but they return only six starters and 15 lettermen. Largely for that reason, coach Ramon Chinyoung will be dependent upon a potent sophomore duo in 5-foot-10, 150-pound WR Marquis Hayes (11 catches, 99 yards, TD) and playmaking 5-foot-9, 150-pound RB/DB Travis Willis.
Senior RB Javin Chatman (423 yards, 3 TDs) and 6-foot-2, 215-pound sophomore TE Quinton Iles are also key cogs to an offense that could prove to be fairly potent.
Defensively, a rebuilding unit will be led by junior LB Tulio Nunez (68 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 2 INTs), who had a dominant campaign as a sophomore, and junior DB Kaleb Williams (38 tackles). But they will need others to step up around them if Willowridge expects to remain in playoff contention.
Houston Sterling Raiders
Sterling is hopeful for a fourth straight playoff appearance. The Raiders return 11 starters from a 5-5 Bi-District playoff finalist, but a lack of depth and decreasing numbers in the program are concerns.
The offensive line is strong behind 6-foot-4, 260-pound senior LaQuincy Steamer and 6-foot-2, 260-pound senior Jamaal Hickman. Junior RB Cameron Patterson (309 yards, 4 TDs) could be in for a breakout year, and senior WR Herman Daniels had four of his nine receptions last year go for touchdowns.
Senior DB Jeremiah Miller and junior 6-foot, 175-pound DB Jeremiah Malbroue are the core of a talented secondary, but the defensive front seven has question marks.
Houston Madison Marlins
It's been a rough few years for Madison, with seven total wins over the last three seasons. The Marlins are hoping this is the year they return to the playoffs for the first time since 2017. Madison returns 18 starters from a 3-6 team.
Coach Shawn Narcisse has a plethora of versatile playmakers at his disposal, led by senior QB/WR Damon Jones Jr. (827 passing yards, 8 TDs; 617 rushing yards, 6 TDs), junior RB Chase Devaughn (278 rushing yards, 214 receiving yards, 7 total TDs) and junior WR/DB JaCorian Hail (407 receiving yards, 4 TDs).
Hail, who had four interceptions last season, is also a key component on defense, where he pairs with senior 6-foot-1, 285-pound DL Maurion Williams- Jack (45 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 6 sacks) to pose a formidable duo.
Houston Sharpstown Apollos
The good news is Sharpstown snapped a 21-game losing streak last season that dated back to 2017. The bad news is the Apollos had just that one win to show for all of last year. Better, however, is that 17 starters return, including senior WR/DB Kashala Kapyamba (143 receiving yards, 3 TDs; 64 tackles, 3 INTs) and senior WR Jaqwailin Williams (299 yards, 2 TDs). Senior 6-foot-1, 255-pound WR/DL Fechal Kouldiati is another two-way playmaker. He had 59 yards and a touchdown on four catches to go with 45 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, five sacks, three fumbles caused and two fumble recoveries. Senior RB Luckyboy Collins (173 rushing yards, 2 TDs) and junior DL Vo Thien (36 tackles, 9 sacks) are also players to keep an eye on.
Houston Austin Mustangs
Austin went 4-4 last season and, because of COVID-19 protocols, did not play non-district games. Still, the Mustangs finished just short of qualifying for the playoffs, a considerably impressive feat. Twelve starters are back, seven on defense.
The offense is ignited by senior WR Dashawn Gagnon and 6-foot-2, 265-pound senior OL Xavier McDonald, but there are questions in almost every other area of the unit.
Defensively, Austin can be competitive behind 6-foot-1, 215-pound senior DL Walter Ward (22 tackles, 4 sacks) and 5-foot-11, 205-pound senior LB Nickolas Wiser (21 tackles).
Houston Nothside Panthers
Northside returns eight starters from a 2-7 team and is looking to get back to the postseason for the first time since 2018. The Panthers graduated much of their offensive firepower. Senior RB/LB Khamani Hayes is the team's primary offensive threat, and he'll have veteran stalwarts up front in 5-foot-10, 275-pound senior guard Jontae Winn and 6-foot-1, 255-pounder Pablo Hernandez. Junior 6-foot-2, 194-pound TE/ DL Jacob Yarbrough provides stability for a rebuilding defense. Most of Northside's players are playing both ways due to a lack of overall numbers in the program. Health is the No. 1 priority for the Panthers.
Houston Waltrip Rams
Waltrip brings back 14 starters from a 1-8 team. Leading the way are senior RB Kahlen Sam (656 yards, 6 TDs) and senior 6-foot-1, 221-pound RB/LB Joseph Amaya (31 tackles).
Sam is the Rams' top returning offensive performer. Amaya led Waltrip in tackles last season. Senior QB Maximus Cuevas is expected to direct the offense.
Senior Joe Gonzales is a defensive standout, and linemen Matthew Pico (5-10, 300) and Emmanuel Ceballos (5-11, 240) steady things up front on both sides of the ball. Sophomore DB Earlvon Bennett could be in for a breakout season.