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Sam Mattingly of Magnolia West Football
The battle for the district is in full swing, on both of H-Town’s public and private school scenes.
The regular season has passed its midway point in football, and the postseason is looming in volleyball as teams enter round two of district play, so the tension has never been greater. Inevitably, that means audiences should be in for a show, as the stakes continue to rise.
Given that fact, it’s time to detail some of this week's most anticipated matchups, as the race for a district title continues.
Jamey Wright (VYPE)
In her first year as head coach, Dr. Collea McKinney has invigorated Cy Ranch Volleyball to remain one of the city's top contenders. The Mustangs currently stand to be the favorites of District 16-6A with an overall record of 29-5, not to mention an undefeated (10-0) record against their district counterparts.
Junior Vanderbilt-commit Taylor Porter is dominating from the outside-hitter spot, as she has nearly eclipsed the 400-kill mark on the year, while also leading the team in digs. Taryn Gilreath (Sr. S/RS) and Zora Bello (So. S/RS) have also been key contributors to Cy Ranch's success with only a few vital district matchups on the horizon.
Speaking of, Bridgeland (24-11; 8-2 in district) is experiencing a late-season resurgence, following a crucial victory against another familiar contender in Langham Creek.
Raylee Schaffner (Sr. OH) has been the war-hammer in the Bears' pursuit of a district title, while TCU-commit Alice Volpe (Sr. DS) has been the maestro of the operation, with nearly 600 digs this Fall. Additionally, senior setter Lauren Baek (452 assists) and senior OH Nylah Gray (323 kills) make up an exemplary Bridgeland squad, which should prove to make for an entertaining bout against Cy Ranch this Friday.
Avery & Amber Craig of Tomball Memorial Volleyball
Tomball Memorial is undoubtedly on a hot-streak. After finishing fourth in the district a year ago, this team seems poised for a championship as they currently boast an overall record of 31-8, with an undefeated (9-0) district campaign thus far.
The Wildcats possess a slurry of play-makers, such as senior OH Avery Craig (Kill-leader--326), senior libero Anahi Alvarao (Dig-leader--614), and Sydni Halfmann (Assist-leader--510), which have propelled Tomball Memorial into the forefront of the district race.
After being defeated by the Wildcats (3-2) earlier in the season, the Cougars are looking to make a statement against their rivals near the tail-end of the regular season.
Tomball (23-10; 9-1 in district) has been on a tear of their own, winning each of the last five games they've played. The reigning District 15-6A MVP Kaitlyn Davis (Texas State-signee) is averaging four kills per set, leads the team in digs, and appears to be on the cusp of obtaining back-to-back honors. Madalyn Hoot (Sr. S) and Reese Smith (Jr. L) have also been exemplary throughout the Fall.
The battle for Tomball is upon us, so don't miss out.
Doug Brown (VYPE)
Bradley C. Collier (VYPE)
Fulshear has been nothing short of dominant throughout the first half of the Fall schedule. As it stands, the Chargers maintain a record of 6-0 (4-0 in district) following their recent 61-29 win over Friendswood. With the remainder of the their schedule on the horizon, this could be the year that the Chargers take the district title.
Under the direction of coach Nick Codutti, Fulshear's offense has been a powerhouse in the Class 5A scene. It all starts with senior RB Davion Godley, who's averaging north of 170 rushing yards per game, while leading the team with 8 scores thus far. Deuce Barrington (Sr. QB) has also been solid (10 passing TDs), while junior RB Patrick Broadway II has also been a key contributor to the scoring (7 TDs).
Don't sleep on Magnolia West, though.
The Mustangs (4-2; 3-1 in district) will prove to be a worthy opponent against their district counterpart. Junior QB Bryson Broadway has been electric through six weeks (17 passing TDs), and his connection with senior WR Brandon Taylor (8 TDs; 100 ypg) will be one worth observing.
Furthermore, Mag West's defense has also been relentless, particularly from their front-seven. Jr. DL Brandon Mills has been an impressive pass-disruptor, as he currently leads the team with eight sacks, while the Mustangs' tackle-leader (12 per game) Stanford-commit Sam Mattingly (Sr. LB) will surely be a force worth reckoning when these two teams face off on Thursday.
The Eagles (31-8; 8-0 in district) have been on fire through the second half of the season, as they are currently on an insane 19-game win-streak, which puts them on top of the district standings.
Senior Dominique Phills headlines Dawson's offensive push, with nearly 400 kills to her name. Addison Moss (Sr. S/OH) and Kennedy Jones (Jr. MH) have also been key contributors on the offense, with Moss in particular leading the team in assists (567). Sophomore DS Jenna Thedford and Reese Loyd (Sr. DS) have also been playing exceptionally well on the defensive side.
Dawson may currently be in first place, but Pearland (30-10; 7-1 in district) is just one game behind their rivals.
Cora Wolford (Jr. S) has been dishing out assists (690) left and right to some of the Oilers' weapons -- Avery Koonsen (So. OH/DS) and Nadia Dunn (Sr. OH) -- while senior libero Mia Ramirez has already surpassed the 300-dig mark to anchor the team's defense.
Given that Dawson defeated them earlier in the season, you best believe that Pearland will be ready for this anticipated rematch.
The stars of 2023-24 Bridgeland Bears Volleyball
In the grand scheme of the upcoming final placements for the respective Houston districts, this past week was instrumental towards each team's potential fate.
Bridgeland experienced a meteoric rise in our rankings, following their decisive victory over district opponent Langham Creek, which firmly placed the Bears in the No. 2 spot of the treacherous Katy ISD district. In other Class 6A news, Tompkins toppled Seven Lakes, while the likes of Ridge Point, College Park, Dawson, and others continue to ascend the charts.
Not much has changed in the Class 5A scene, other than Magnolia West undergoing a surge in the back-half of the regular season, which bodes well for a coveted spot in the postseason. Additionally, Montgomery is experiencing a similar trend after defeating Lake Creek in a 3-2 set nail-biter.
In the private school scene, FBCA remains the prime H-Town candidate for a TAPPS title as the Eagles continue to pick up speed in the waning moments of the regular season. Meanwhile, Rosehill Christian and Legacy Prep are making a case for themselves as worthy contenders in their respective conferences.
THE VYPE RANKINGS
Class 6A Top 20 (Numbers in parentheses indicate current record)
1. Grand Oaks Grizzlies (38-1; 12-0 in district)
2. Cinco Ranch Cougars (28-5; 12-0 in district)
3. Stratford Spartans (32-6; 9-0 in district)
4. Cypress Ranch Mustangs (28-5; 9-0 in district)
5. Pearland Dawson Eagles (31-8; 8-0 in district)
6. Deer Park Deer (27-9; 7-0 in district)
7. Tomball Memorial Wildcats (31-8; 9-0 in district)
8. Pearland Oilers (29-10; 7-1 in district)
9. Katy Tompkins Falcons (23-9; 10-2 in district)
10. College Park Cavaliers (20-7; 9-2 in district)
11. Bridgeland Bears (23-11; 7-2 in district)
12. Langham Creek Lobos (29-9; 7-2 in district)
13. Clear Springs Chargers (26-12; 8-0 in district)
14. Ridge Point Panthers (26-13; 11-1 in district)
15. The Woodlands Highlanders (27-14; 9-3 in district)
16. Fort Bend Austin Bulldogs (24-14; 10-2 in district)
17. Atascocita Eagles (22-10; 9-0 in district)
18. Tomball Cougars (22-10; 8-1 in district)
19. Seven Lakes Spartans (21-14; 8-3 in district)
20. Katy Jordan Warriors (25-11; 8-3 in district)
Class 5A Top 10
1. Barbers Hill Eagles (32-7; 9-0 in district)
2. Friendswood Mustangs (21-9; 8-0 in district)
3. Fulshear Chargers (28-4; 8-0 in district)
4. Foster Falcons (26-8; 8-1 in district)
5. Baytown Sterling Rangers (16-14; 6-3 in district)
6. Magnolia West Mustangs (16-14; 6-3 in district)
7. Goose Creek Memorial Patriots (22-12; 6-3 in district)
8. Montgomery Bears (24-15; 4-5 in district)
9. Magnolia Bulldogs (17-16; 4-5 in district)
10. Manvel Mavericks (18-17; 6-1 in district)
Private School Top 10
1. Fort Bend Christian Academy Eagles (27-3; 10-0 in district)
2. Lutheran South Academy Pioneers (32-7; 9-1 in district)
3. Episcopal Knights (26-9; 4-0 in district)
4. Concordia Lutheran Crusaders (31-11; 6-1 in district)
5. Rosehill Christian Eagles (21-8; 10-0 in district)
6. Legacy Prep Lions (23-3-4; 4-1 in district)
7. St. John's Mavericks (17-9; 5-1 in district)
8. Kinkaid School Falcons (9-10; 3-2 in district)
9. The John Cooper School Dragons (17-8 3-2 in district)
10. Second Baptist Eagles (12-11; 3-3 in district)