VYPE ATX/SATX Burning Questions- Week of August 22nd
With the Fall season in full swing it's time to bring back VYPE's Burning Questions. Each week I will take a look at some questions from across the Austin-San Antonio area then give you an answer to said questions. I won't always be right, but hey who is?
Question 1: Can Westlake go for the rare 4-peat?
Heading into the 2022/2023 season Westlake is coming into the season with 3 straight state championships and a 40 game win streak. Their last loss was in pre-COVID times. A 26-25 thrilling game that saw them come up short to their rivals Lake Travis on October 11, 2019. All things considered that seems like a decade ago. But as we turn to the 2022 season Westlake will find themselves under a new Head Coach after Todd Dodge's retirement. New Head Coach Tony Salazar is not new to their program, however, being the Defensive Coordinator for the Chaps since 2014. Add in to that Cade Klubnik's graduation and an interesting question arises. Can Westlake go and get that rare 4-peat?
What do I think?
The one thing we can't forget about Westlake is that their defense will still be a major factor in this program. Salazar is a mastermind on the defensive side of the ball and will have them ready to roll this year. Not only that but their offense still returns a lot of key pieces from last season including WR, and Notre Dame commit, Jaden Greathouse. The most interesting dynamic to this equation could be does Westlake go D1 or D2. Westlake only goes D2 if Del Valle and Lake Travis make the playoffs, so D1 is almost a lock. Which means a potential matchup with North Shore in the Semi Finals. I think Westlake has a very good chance to win it all again this season.
Question 2: Is this the year a San Antonio UIL School Can win it all? (mention Falls City)
One of the questions across Texas High School Football is when will a San Antonio school win it all? Or even make the state final. Sure you have what some would consider "San Antonio adjacent" teams do it in Shiner and Falls City, with Shiner winning it all. But what about the teams in San Antonio. Cibolo Steele was the last to make a state championship in the 2016-2017 season and win it, in the 2010-2011 season. Now this isn't including TAPPS of course, just UIL. But with that being said can a San Antonio area school finally get back to the state title game?
What do I think?
First off let's remove "San Antonio Area" school like Falls City, Poth, Boerne, etc. from the equation and focus solely on the schools inside San Antonio. Brennan seems to have the best shot to get to the final game, having lost to Lake Travis in the Regional Finals last year. But not only could that opponent by Westlake this year, if they were to beat them they would most likely have North Shore, or another Houston power, waiting. Smithson Valley and Alamo Heights are other interesting teams to watch in 5A, but if there's one team that could do it, it would be Brennan.
Question 3: How will Dripping Springs, LBJ and Buda Johnson all do moving up?
New realignment means new districts, and in this case new divisions, for many UIL schools. Dripping Springs and Buda Johnson will be moving up to 6A this year, while LBJ makes the climb to 5A. All 3 schools have built up fine programs the last few years in their classifications, with LBJ coming up just short in the title game against Stephenville in 4A last season. Buda Johnson meanwhile has had a very impressive start to their career. In their first 2 UIL seasons they've gone 15-6 making it to playoffs in only their 2nd year of play. But how will they do moving up a classification?
What do I think?
Let's start with LBJ. I think the move to 5A won't hurt them to much. They will have some key pieces to replace from last years squad, but we've seen them go toe-to-toe with 5A DII powers last year, namely Liberty Hill, and win. They are playing some good competition that will help this squad grow early as they should be the favorites in 12-5A DII. If there is one team I think has the best potential to go the furthest of these 3 it's LBJ.
With that being said I think Dripping Springs and Buda Johnson find themselves in favorable positions in 26-6A. That might sound crazy when you can almost guarantee that 2 playoff positions are locked up in that district with Westlake and Lake Travis, but on paper I think these 2 teams have the potential to take the 3 and 4 playoff spots in this district where they will see themselves in the DII bracket. The bad news? One of them will see Vandegrift in the first round in all likelihood.
All things considered I see all 3 making the playoffs in their first year in a higher classification which all in all would be a win in my book.
Question 4: Will Regents return to glory?
After finally getting past their demons on the way to a state championship in the 2020 season, Regents had what, for them, was disappointing season in 2021 losing to Second Baptist in the second round in 2021. They come in needing to replace some key pieces but can they make it back to the state title game?
What do I think?
If they can lean on their defense early while their offense comes together and plays at a high level come playoffs, I think Regents can be right back in the state championship game most likely facing Dallas Christian. They will have the chance to slay some demons in the process and I think if they come into the playoffs in the right mindset don't be surprised to see Regents back to where they were the last few years before last season.
Question 5: What Week 1 game is the most intriguing? (NB vs Denton Ryan, Poteet vs Bandera)
Week 1 has some pretty good matchups in the Austin and San Antonio area. While the games might not have a lot of value as far as district positioning goes, Week 1 games against good opponents can go a long way in telling us what a team may have going for it in a season. So what's the most intriguing matchup
What do I think?
First what are some of the top games. New Braunfels vs Denton Guyer is one to watch to see what New Braunfels has this season, they could be a sneaky good team. Poteet vs Bandera is another to watch to see what Poteet can do after losing its leading rusher. Dripping Springs will immediately get a taste of 6A talent taking on Vandegrift.
But the #1 game to watch has to be on Saturday when Steele takes on Brennan. This Week 1 matchup is two of the best San Antonio teams going head to head. A convincing win by Brennan here could go a long way to showing they do have the best chance of going all the way as a San Antonio team, especailly as their district play starts in Week 3. On the other end Steele looks to be all business this year with a vicious non-district schedule that includes Brennan, Lake Travis, Hutto, Midland Legacy and Fort Bend Christian Academy. They may not win them all, but starting off on the right foot could be a big boost come playoff time for Steele. It may be Week 1, but this game could have huge confidence boosting implications for one or both teams. Plus it's in the Alamodome for the KSAT Pigskin Classic? Oh yeah, this is the one to watch.