VYPE Football 2021 Preview: District 24-6A
Clear Springs ran away with the 24-6A title last season, going undefeated, but the Chargers have a new head coach in tow.
Plus, there are plenty of threats to their crown, including Dickinson and its Texas A&M-commit duo of Donovan Green and PJ Williams, and Clear Falls, which had the best postseason run of any 24-6A team going all the way to the state quarterfinals.
Don't be surprised if the playoff picture is tossed and turned in 24-6A this season, especially at the top.
(Bold Denotes Playoffs)
Most Valuable Player: David Smith, Clear Falls
Offensive MVP: Noah Thomas, Clear Springs
Defensive MVP: Tyree Woods, Dickinson
Breakout Player of the Year: John Baldwin, Clear Brook
Sleeper Team: Clear Brook
Clear Falls Knights
Coach Zach Head's Knights produced an incredible and memorable run to the State Quarterfinals last season, falling to eventual State Champ Katy High.
The good news for Clear Falls fans is they return 15 starters (10 on defense) from that 7-4 team. Head's keys to success this season are building upon that inspiring postseason run, continuing the player-led culture, and replacing several starters on the offensive line while breaking in a new quarterback.
He has a strong, veteran core in senior 5-foot-10, 170-pound WR Luke Vidal (707 yards, 9 TDs), senior 6-foot, 210-pound OLB Keewan Grismore (86 tackles, 2 INTs), senior 5-foot-8, 155-pound SS Tristan Zarella (48 tackles, 4 INTs), senior 6-foot, 180-pound LB Kannon Garza (98 tackles, INT), junior 5-foot-9, 180-pound RB David Smith (803 rushing yards, 11 TDs; 107 receiving yards, 2 TDs) and junior 6-foot-1, 180-pound DB/WR Max Williams (62 tackles, 16 pass breakups, 3 INTs; six catches for 110 yards).
There is more than enough in the cupboard for another magical year.
Coach John Snelson's team motto for this season is "#TRE" -- Total Relentless Effort. It's what he believes it will take for his Gators to return to the top of the district and avenge last year's early playoff ouster.
Twelve starters return from a 5-3 team, including some monsters in senior 6-foot-4, 225-pound TE Donovan Green (456 yards, 4 TDs) and senior 6-foot-4, 255-pound senior OL PJ Williams. Both are committed to Texas A&M. Senior 5-foot-7 WR Reggie Sanders and senior 6-foot-1, 245-pound OL Micah Barnett add speed and power to the offense.
Quarterback will be a competition between sophomore Deuce Solomon, who can deadlift 405 pounds, and senior 6-foot-2, 190-pounder Luke Martin, neither of whom took a varsity snap last year.
Defensively, the Gators are anchored by junior 5-foot-10, 195-pound LB Layden Roque (51 tackles, 2 sacks), senior 6-foot-1, 225-pound LB Tyree Woods (37 tackles) and senior 5-foot-10, 170-pound DB Kolby Harris (2 INTs). Junior 6-foot, 170-pound DB V.J. Glover is also someone to keep an eye on.
Clear Springs Chargers
The Chargers are under new leadership as Anthony Renfro returns to take over. Renfro, previously an assistant coach at Clear Springs, takes over for Craig Dailey, who left this spring to take over Seguin High. Renfro will have plenty to work with, including seven starters on offense, as Clear Springs looks to make the playoffs for the 13th consecutive season.
There is a lot of firepower offensively, led by senior 6-foot-5, 185-pound WR and Texas A&M commit Noah Thomas (883 yards, 22.1 yards per catch, 7 TDs), senior RB Ky Woods (869 yards, 11 TDs) and sophomore RB Xai-Shaun Edwards. Senior 6-foot, 170-pound QB Cody Kuhlmann is likely to take over the starting spot after serving as backup last season.
The defense, however, is a work in progress, with only two returning starters. Senior 6-foot-3, 230-pound DL Jake Ferree (64 tackles, 5 sacks, 2 caused fumbles) and senior 6-foot-1, 195-pound DB Michael McBride (91 tackles, 2 INTs) headline that side of the ball. Renfro said adjusting to a new coaching staff and developing a core leadership group are keys for his players this year.
Clear Creek Wildcats
Clear Creek returns 10 starters from a 5-4 bi-district playoff team.
While the Wildcats graduated 40 lettermen, the talent they do have back is dynamic. That includes senior 5-foot-10, 180-pound RB Jeremiah Crum, junior 5-foot-9, 170-pound RB Rocky Ketchum and senior WRs Jeremiah Cams and Colton Jarmosco. Crum and Ketchum combined for 1,100 yards and 16 TDs. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Cams had 410 receiving yards and two TDs last year, and the 5-foot-10, 160-pound Jarmosco had 208 yards and six TDs receiving.
Coach Dwayne Lane figures to have a quarterback competition on his hands. Senior 6-foot, 180-pounder Cody Raboin is the incumbent and the veteran voice, but he'll have pressure from impressive up-and-comers in sophomore 6-foot, 170-pounder Bryson Drake and junior 6-foot-3, 170-pounder Dante Frederick.
The Wildcats' defense has just three starters returning in junior 6-foot, 240-pound DL Bruce McDermand, senior 5-foot-11, 210-pound LB Jesse Crutch and junior 5-foot-10, 160-pound DB Landen Gunter.
Clear Brook Wolverines
Clear Brook has a chance to jumble up the playoff picture in 24-6A and make significant noise. The Wolverines return 13 starters from a team that barely missed out on the playoffs last year, finishing 4-6.
Clear Brook brings back two of its top offensive threats in senior 6-foot-1, 185-pound WR Nathan Barnett (471 yards, 2 TDs) and senior 6-foot-1, 155-pound QB Cameron McCalister (1,986 yards, 14 TDs-7 INTs). Senior 6-foot, 195-pound RB Trent Lacy missed all but one game last season with an injury, rushing for 48 yards and a TD on nine carries, but he will be crucial as well.
The defense is in fine shape with senior 5-foot-9, 205-pound LB Ethan Guinn (50 tackles), senior 5-foot-11, 175-pound DB Colby McCalister (28 tackles, 2 INTs) and junior 6-foot-3, 225-pound DE John Baldwin (25 tackles, 5 sacks).
Clear Lake Falcons
The Falcons are in a rebuilding stage as they will be leaning heavily on a talented sophomore class. Only five starters and 21 lettermen return from last year's 2-6 team.
Senior 6-foot-2, 185-pound DB Julian Humphrey, senior 6-foot-4, 185-pound DB Carson Sauer and 6-foot-1, 175-pound sophomore WR/DB Hunter Moddon will play huge roles. The defensive secondary is a bright spot for Clear Lake. Sophomore 6-foot-1, 205-pounder Devin Lippold and 6-foot, 170-pound senior Tyler Durst will compete for the starting quarterback spot.
Senior RB Ethan Herrera will play a prominent role offensively after rushing for 312 yards and two TDs and catching five passes for 49 yards last season.
The Bucs have not had a winning season or playoff appearance since 2012, but if things break their way, they could have a chance to contend for a playoff spot this year and make things interesting.
Brazoswood returns 12 starters from a 1-8 team, and its strength will be defensively, thanks to senior 6-foot-5, 235-pound DE Vontroy Malone (58 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 3 sacks), senior 6-foot-1, 228-pound LB Carlos Cantu (65 tackles, INT) and senior 5-foot-9, 175-pound DB Reid Mitchell.
Senior 5-foot-11, 215-pounder Dijon James moves to RB from LB and is buoyed by a veteran line of senior 6-foot-3, 285-pounder Cade Stroud and senior 5-foot-10, 285-pounder Trevor Dyson.