Apr 22, 2020
Coaches Corner: McKinney Boyd Girls Track & Field Coach - Keith Pierce
Photo By Bradley Collier
There are three legitimate threats for the district championship.
Reigning champ Jersey Village returns loaded to defend its throne. Stratford had a breakout season last year and has the talent on both sides of the ball to make some serious noise.
Cy-Fair waded through the waters of a youth movement in fine fashion and is hungry to return the gold trophy to Cypress. Memorial and Cypress Creek are no slouches, and we’ve got an inkling that this could be the year Northbrook breaks through.
PREVIOUS DISTRICT PREVIEWS (2022)
Jersey Village Falcons
Cypress Creek Cougars
Cypress Ridge Rams
Spring Woods Tigers
VYPE PRESEASON AWARDS
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER:Rashon Estes, Jersey Village
OFFENSIVE MVP: Noah Rankin, Stratford
DEFENSIVE MVP: Cooper King, Stratford
BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR:Trey Owens, Cy-Fair
SLEEPER TEAM:Cypress Creek
JERSEY VILLAGE FALCONS
The Falcons return 17 starters (10 offense) from an undefeated district champion that went 11-1 and finished as an Area finalist. Coach David Snokhaus enters his 26th year at the helm of the program and will have plenty of talent in year No. 27. Pacing the spread offense is junior QB Adam Tran (2,062 yards, 16 TDs), senior WR Arbrie Carter (558 yards, 5 TDs receiving; 144 yards, 4 TDs rushing) and senior RB Rashon Estes (1,322 yards, 20 TDs; 252 yards, 2 TDs receiving). Senior OL Reagan Gill (SMU-commit, 6-foot-5, 310) and Mateo Ortiz (6-foot-2, 305) are three-year and two-year starters, respectively. Stirring Jersey Village’s 4-2-5 defense are senior 6-foot-2, 190-pound OLB Freddie Hudson (60 tackles, 2 INTs, 2 sacks), senior DB Chris Noble (51 tackles, 6 INTs), senior DB Darius Johnson (7 INTs), senior LB Francisco Zamaripa (45 tackles) and junior 6-foot-1, 230-pound DE Malik Slone (4 sacks). Snokhaus said experience is a strength but concerns are depth and health.
Stratford is on the rise, returning 13 starters (7 offense) from a 10-2 team that lost to Katy in the Area playoffs. It was the first time the Spartans won at least 10 games since 2015. The offense has the chance to be special. Senior Nash Rankin (2,742 yards, 26 TDs; 200 yards, 6 TDs rushing) is back to call the shots. His primary target will be sophomore
WR Luke Rives (1,021 yards, 9 TDs), who broke some program receiving records last year. Senior 6-foot-4, 235-pound TE and Baylor-commit Hawkins Polley (426 yards, 5 TDs) and senior WR Jake Brand (561 yards, 3 TDs) add to what will be a lethal receiving corps. Senior 6-foot-4, 245-pound OL Hudson Perroni is catching more and more attention on the recruiting radar. Senior 5-foot-11, 220-pound LB Cooper King (95 total tackles, 6 sacks) and senior 6-foot-2, 235-pound DL Hunter Jones (10 tackles for a loss) make for a dynamic pass-rushing duo.
After going 10-2 and winning a district title in 2020, Cy-Fair had a bit of a reloading season in 2021 with only six starters back. Despite a considerable number of sophomores seeing varsity time, the Bobcats still went 7-4 last year and won a playoff game. As a result of the youth movement, 15 starters are back, including nine on defense. Offensively, sophomore 6-foot-4, 200-pound QB Trey Owens (1,677 yards, 15 TDs) leads the pack, and he’ll have a pair of strong WRs in junior 6-foot-2, 185-pound Owen Carter (493 yards, 6 TDs) and senior Kyle Chambers (481 yards, 4 TDs). Defensively is where Cy-Fair will star, however, thanks to a plethora of playmakers led by senior DE Ethan Anderson (13 tackles for loss, 5 sacks), junior 6-foot-2, 195-pound DE Cole Link (11 tackles for loss, 5 sacks) and sophomore 6-foot-3, 240-pound DL Landon Rink (9 tackles for loss, 4 sacks). The run game and secondary will be initial points of concern for Cy-Fair.
Memorial had a solid year last season and returns 10 starters (5/5) from a 7-5 Area finalist. The offense starts with junior 6-foot-2, 195-pound QB Chase Goodwin (1,301 yards, 13 TDs), who will be taking snaps full time for the first time. He’s a Columbia-commit. Senior WR Kyle Siblik (772 yards, 16.1 yards per catch, 8 TDs) and senior RB Ethan Spears (524 yards, 12 TDs) are big-time weapons on the perimeter and in the backfield. Those three could be a potent trio, even more so with senior 6-foot-5, 320-pound OL Max Wang and junior Jack Ramsey steadying the front. Memorial’s defensive anchors are senior LB Grayson Lincecum (106 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 3 sacks) and senior DB Tyler Frankenfield (45 tackles, 2 INTs). Junior Luke Boehm is a potential breakout star who can make plays on either side of the ball.
CYPRESS CREEK COUGARS
Cypress Creek saw the opposite end of the spectrum last year. After going 4-6 and making it to the playoffs in 2020, the Cougars went 4-6 and saw themselves on the outside looking in last season. The Cougars return 16 starters (8/8). They will have the offensive juice, after averaging 34.3 points last year behind the prolific performances of junior QB Brad Jackson (2,791 yards, 29 TDs), junior RB Dominic Ramirez (650 yards, 6 TDs rushing; 517 yards, 5 TDs receiving) and sophomore WRs Jamon Richardson (449 yards, 14 yards per catch, 4 TDs) and Rashod Richardson (220 yards, 12.2 yards per catch, 5 TDs). Defense is where Cy Creek needs to get going after surrendering 41.6 points per game last season. There’s got to be more help around junior stalwarts Gavaun Washington (DE) and Keshawn Lamont (DB). Junior LB Deon Washington and senior LB Geramiah Smith could be the answer.
CYPRESS RIDGE RAMS
The Rams have a lot of question marks as 10 starters (5/5) return from a 2-8 campaign but there are intriguing pieces. The offensive line is in good hands with junior Jeremy Barajas, 6-foot-3, 360-pound junior Braylon Williams and 6-foot-7, 340-pound freshman Reginald Lee. The Rams’ top skill player is senior RB Joe Gaines III (333 yards, 2 TDs), who also has the versatility to be effective in the slot. No one is set yet at quarterback. On the defensive side, 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior LB Emiliano Soldevilla (54 tackles, 1 sack) might be the most athletic player on the team and is a special teams dynamo because of his penchant for blocking kicks.
“We may not be able to compete physically with some other schools, but we’re always going to put our best out there,” third-year coach Andres Gomez said. “The scoreboard does not define who we are. It defines where we are.” And despite going winless for the second straight year, Gomez is confident the Raiders are making progress. Northbrook had four games last year where it was within a touchdown in the fourth quarter. It lost another game in double OT. There’s promise. In all, 13 starters (8 offense) are back, including senior LB Angel Reyes, senior WR Marquell Hannah, junior LB Dade Delva, senior OL Charley Belloso, junior DE Julian Cruz, junior QB Brandon Dillard, junior WR Daniel Espinoza and junior WR NJ Swinney. Gomez expects to be better overall on defense, and the skill positions on offense will be more experienced. Concerns are depth and size in the trenches on both sides of the ball.
SPRING WOODS TIGERS
The Tigers graduated 24 lettermen and return just 13 from a 4-6 team last season. Ten starters (5/5) are back. There is experience on both sides of the ball along the lines. Offensively, senior 6-foot-1, 280-pound OL Isaac Gutierrez, junior 6-foot-4, 220-pound OL Jairo Martinez and senior 6-foot-3, 23-pound OL Isaiah Dunbar are formidable up front. There will be a new QB following the graduation of three-year starter Isaiah McKnight. Junior Derek Loflin could prove to be a consistent contributor out of the backfield. He has the versatility to also be a factor on defense if need be. Speaking of defense, senior tackle Matt Emerson is the rock. Also keep an eye on junior DB Michael Davila and junior RB Roderick Bunton.
Three’s a pretty talented crowd in District 16-6A
The district has emerged as a three-headed monster of late with powers like Cypress Ranch and Bridgeland joined by defending district champ Cypress Park as a legitimate threat in 2021. It’s as tough of a district as there is, and playoff positioning will once again be paramount. With Cypress Park losing a lot to graduation, No. 1 in 16-6A is up for grabs and will likely come to down to the final weeks of the season.
There is talent galore for programs rich in tradition, and others who are just starting theirs. Enjoy the show.
Cypress Ranch Mustangs
Cypress Woods Wildcats
Cypress Falls Eagles
Cypress Springs Panthers
Cypress Park Tigers
Langham Creek Lobos
Cypress Lakes Spartans
VYPE PRESEASON AWARDS
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Blake Baker, Cypress Ranch
OFFENSIVE MVP: Jonathan Nelson, Bridgeland
DEFENSIVE MVP: Ashton Porter, Cypress Ranch
BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Trey Morris, Cypress Falls
SLEEPER TEAM:Cypress Springs
CYPRESS RANCH MUSTANGS
The Mustangs are seeking their first district championship since 2018 after finishing runner-up each of the last two seasons. Since coach Sean McAuliffe’s 8-4 debut at the helm in 2019, the Mustangs have gone 7-3 and 6-4, respectively. But there is plenty of optimism this year with 11 returning starters (six on defense), including senior 6-foot-5, 185-pound QB Blake Baker (2,417 yards, 25 TDs passing; 434 yards, TD rushing), senior 6-foot WR Jarred Sample (748 yards, 8 TDs) and junior WR Carson Littlefield (452 yards, 4 TDs) pacing the offense and dynamic 6-foot-4, 240-pound senior DE Ashton Porter (35 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss) and senior 6-foot-2, 220-pound LB Christian Brathwaite headlining the defense. The Mustangs also have some quality depth in junior OLB Tristynn Davis and sophomore DB Matthew Ciers. All around, Ranch enters 2022 as arguably the most complete team in the district.
Bridgeland has asserted itself as a Regional threat in just four years of varsity play. Over the last two seasons, the Bears are 23-4. Last year, they were Regional Finalists. This year, however, could be a challenging one with the departure of 53 lettermen to graduation. Still, nine starters return, including seven on offense. The quarterback position, where the Bears were so spectacular over the last few seasons with Conner Weigman (now at Texas A&M), is a big question mark. Coach David Raffield said QB development is key. Bridgeland has the weapons in versatile senior Jonathan Nelson (820 yards, 5 TDs receiving; 455 yards, 7 TDs rushing) and senior 6-foot-6, 240-pound TE Reid Mikeska (229 yards, 4 TDs), but who’s going to get them the ball? That’s TBD. Defensively, Bridgeland has senior 6-foot-3, 235-pound LB Hudson Hooper (42 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss) and senior 6-foot-2, 280-pound DT Dillan Botts to count on, but the secondary is young and unproven. Keep an eye on senior OL Jacob Spenser, junior WR Oscar Nnanna, senior WR Savion Williams and senior DE Brock Knapton.
CYPRESS WOODS WILDCATS
The Wildcats went 6-5 in coach Cody Simper’s first year at the helm, but the hope is a year’s worth of experience in Simper’s philosophy results in a big year two. They return nine starters from last year, six on defense. The offense is young at the skill positions and its strength will be up front behind 6-foot-3, 270-pound senior Aiden Schumate and senior Caleb Meinhardt. Every skill position starter from last season graduated. Defense, however, is where the Wildcats could star, thanks to explosive talents like senior 6-foot-3, 232-pound LB Dylan Rogers (58 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 INTs), senior 6-foot-5, 265-pound DL/OL Terrance Green (40 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 6 sacks), senior 6-foot-2, 210-pound LB Juan Rojas (79 tackles) and senior DB Sawyer Despres (47 tackles, 2 INTs). The Wildcats have enough to stop people. But can they score?
CYPRESS FALLS EAGLES
The Eagles have not made the playoffs since 2019 and are 6-13 over the last two seasons. Depth is a concern this year but there is hope that they can snap the playoff skid. Eight starters return, five on defense. Offensively, Cy-Falls will lean on junior RB Trey Morris (1,069 yards, 6 TDs) and junior WR Ajani Cargile (286 yards, TD). Junior Saul Zaragoza leads the way up front. Defensively, senior 6-foot-3, 220-pound DL Obi Okeke (60 tackles), senior 6-foot-8, 250-pound DL Chase Edwards, junior S Reid Meekins (30 tackles) and junior LB Anthony Herrera (55 tackles) are prolific playmakers who make up a unit that should be the strength of the team, at least early on. Coach Chris Brister said keys this year are establishing a strong running game, stopping the run and establishing continuity on the offensive line.
CYPRESS SPRINGS PANTHERS
The Panthers have not made the postseason since 2003. But 2021 still saw some progress under first-year coach Oji Fagan. Springs went 2-8 last year, which was as many wins as the three previous seasons combined. With 15 starters back, including nine on defense, Fagan is hopeful the turnaround can continue in a bigger way this season. Junior QB Harrison Mass (635 yards, 4 TDs passing; 313 yards, TD rushing) and junior RB Tim Saunders (248 yards, 2 TDs) make for an intriguing 1-2 punch in the backfield. Junior WR Ashton Blake is a capable playmaker on the perimeter. The defense is experienced and talented behind leaders like senior 6-foot, 210-pound LB Jayven Jackson (69 tackles, 3 sacks), senior 6-foot, 180-pound DB Isaiah Keller (49 tackles, INT) and senior 6-foot-1, 180-pound LB Lonnie Leary Jr. (49 tackles, 6 tackles for loss). Do not be surprised if the Panthers break out in 2022.
CYPRESS PARK TIGERS
The Tigers had their best season in varsity year No. 4 last year, going 9-2 and capturing the district championship along the way. Can Park repeat? If so, a lot of unknowns will have to be answered as 32 lettermen graduated and only three starters return, including one on offense. Two certainties are senior TE/DE Nathaniel Troxel and junior QB Deyon Batiste. They are two of the more experienced talents on the roster, though both saw limited playing time on a stacked team last year. Coach Greg Rogers said the keys this year are giving relentless effort, playing with the power of the team and having competitive excellence.
LANGHAM CREEK LOBOS
The Lobos are looking to get into the playoffs for the first time since 2018 after going 10-19 over the last three seasons. Experience won’t be on their side this year as only 11 lettermen and five starters, four on offense, return. The anchor of it all is senior 5-foot-11, 170-pound WR Jaquaize Pettaway, an Oklahoma-commit who had 794 receiving yards and seven touchdowns last season. However, there are tons of questions marks around the dynamic playmaker. The defense is especially thin with only junior 6-foot-1, 190-pound LB Corien Powers back.
CYPRESS LAKES SPARTANS
It’s been a tough go of late for the Spartans. They are winless over the last two seasons and have three winless seasons over the last five years. This year’s Lakes team is young but has talent. Ten starters return, five on each side of the ball. The defense has some exceptional playmaking with senior LB Donavon Carter and senior DE Junior Monkam. Sophomore DL Roderick Joseph is certainly someone to watch out for. Offensively, the running game will spur the Spartans, thanks to senior Daniel Green and junior Jayvion Wolf. They will carry the majority of the load as kinks at QB and OL need to be straightened out. The Spartans will be more competitive this season but still might be a year away from really making an impact in a loaded district.
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