THE CRYSTAL BALL: Breaking down; predicting Goose Creek ISD's Week 1 matchups
LET'S KICK IT OFF
It's Week 1 as the Texas high school football season kicks off. VYPE takes a look out east as Goose Creek CISD squads hope to make a splash out of the gate. Everyone is 0-0 and getting that first win sets the tone.
Pasadena Rayburn at Goose Creek Memorial, Thursday, Stallworth Stadium on VYPE LIVE - WATCH GAME LIVE HERE
It's game one for new GC-M coach Shannon Carter, who comes over from Cinco Ranch to take over the program. He's got his work cut out for him, inheriting a program that hasn't been to the postseason since 2013. The straw that will stir the drink will be Emerson Haywood, who can play virtually anywhere on the field. Haywood will likely move to QB1 for the Pats. The offensive line has a pair of returners in center Jace Davis and tackle Braedon Paige, who will need to control the locker room and lead from the trenches. Holden Hill may be a dual-purpose athlete for Goose Creek. He's a shifty running back and can also flip to cornerback. The offense is going to need a boost, after averaging 234 yards a game last season. While the offense has some experienced pieces, the defense only returns one starter.
It's been a tough ride for Sam Rayburn, having not won a game since the 2016 season. The Texans will have a new coach in 2019 as Shaun Wynn heads back to North Shore as an assistant. Demond Stafford takes over as he comes over from Pasadena Memorial. Despite the lack of success, the Texans do have some youthful experience coming back. In the backfield, RB Julian Falcon (170 yards rushing and 89 yards receiving) and QB Bryan Aguirre (138 yards rushing and 252 yards passing) are back. Other key returners include Isaiah Walker (RB), Alexis Telles (LB), Gerardo Ledezma (DB) and Jose Lemus (LB).
PREDICTION: Shannon Carter and GC-M gets off on the right foot in 2019
Lee at Westbury, Saturday, Butler Stadium
Baytown Lee is a powder keg waiting to explode this fall. Coach Tim Finn is looking at a strong returning core of talent led by returning District MVP QB Ijenea Wooley (2,452 yards, 24 TDs passing; 912 yards, 8 TDs rushing), who is a playmaker in every aspect, RB/LB Ja'Kenan Davis (475 yards, 5 TDs rushing; 605 yards, 3 TDs receiving) is on the cusp of having a breakout season, giving Finn an explosive 1-2 punch. Defense is the only thing that will keep the Ganders from a breakout playoff appearance. LB Kyle McKiernan (55 tackles) and DE Edgar Pulido (45 tackles, 4 sacks) will lead the charge.
Coach Greg Wilson is trying to get his Huskies into the playoff conversation and he's doing it with young players. Westbury was1-9 last season but Wilson gave his youngsters some tremendous experience with hopes of breaking out this year. The defense is the strength with DB Javian Boudreaux and DE Jaden Donalson leading the way. Dual-threat QB Roland Harvey must have a big season but will have WR Langston Ellis as his deep threat. Other players to watch include Treveon Posey (DL), Walter Robinson (LB), Victor Lopez (OL), Ettiene Ntakirutimana (WR) and Malique Copeland (LB)
PREDICTION: Lee has fire-power and gets just enough stops on defense
Clear Creek at Sterling, Friday, Stallworth Stadium
The Rangers will have to find a replacement for graduated running back Calvin Hill, who rushed for 987 yards and 10 scores a year ago. Players to watch this season include athlete EJ Hawkins (400 yards rushing, 200 yards passing, 170 yards receiving) and Tayvion Haggerty on defense. Jacob Landry at quarterback could be a surprise of the year in this district. Other players to watch include KJ Watch, Amari Jackson, Trinity Olive, Shawn Jackson and Micah Campbell. The Rangers will have to be "All Hands On Deck" – which is their season motto – with big pieces to replace.
As eight offensive starters return, the Clear Creek Wildcats could be a sleeper in H-Town after a 4-6 overall and 2-4 district campaign a year ago. Reigning district Newcomer of the Year RB Rayfield Conley will be a catalyst on offense along with QB Andrew Dry (564 yards, 5TDs) and WR Matthew Etzel. The Big Man on Campus is offensive lineman Chad Lindberg, a Georgia-commit. The defense is led by DB Tyler Armstrong and LB Daqari Tuckson, but they will need some help.
PREDICTION: Clear Creek's offense too much for new Sterling in Week 1