May 01, 2021
15 Aug, 2022
It was a very busy weekend on the tournament volleyball scene with some of the biggest tournaments of the year happening in Week 1.
The John Turner Classic and Katy ISD/Cy-Fair ISD Tournaments were some of the biggest and there were some great performances. Check out our Big 3 from this weekend.
Remember Big 3 Nominations are taken every Wednesday morning until 10 am for Tuesday's games and the following Monday at 10 am from tournaments or the previous Friday night match. Please email them to email@example.com or DM us on Twitter @vypehouston.
Lily Hopkins, Tomball
The Alabama-commit had a big weekend for Tomball at the Katy/Cy-Fair Tournament. Hopkins was named to the All-Tournament Team after recording 119 digs, 21 assists and 10 aces.
Skylar Skrabanek, Tompkins
It was a huge week and weekend for Katy Tompkins. The Falcons went on to win the Katy/Cy-Fair Tournament and improved to 9-0 on the season. They defeated Cy Creek, Cy Park, Klein Collins, Seven Lakes, A&M Consolidated, Cypress Ranch, SA Brandeis and Canyon to win the tourney.
Junior OH Skylar Skrabanek was a big factor. In 23 sets played she registered 64 kills and 77 digs. Skrabanek was named the Outstanding Hitter for the Katy/Cy-Fair Tournament.
Ariana Brown, Conroe
Conroe is off to an 11-0 start to the year. Yes, you read that right. The Tigers have roared out of the gates and a big reason why is the play of Ariana Brown. The senior registered 134 kills, 78 digs and a .333 hitting percentage in the first week of the season. Brown was also named the Austin ISD Tournament MVP. In the first match of the season, Brown also slammed her way past the 1,000-career-kill mark and sits at 1,118 for her career.
Sydney Jordan, Ridge Point – 73 kills, 56 digs, 6 aces in John Turner Classic which Ridge Point went 8-1 in.
Lindy Godwin, Tomball – 127 assists, 60 digs, 4 aces in KISD/CFISD Tournament
Ana Garza, Alvin – 73 kills, 48 digs, .321 hit% in VolleyBash Tournament
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Klein Collins coach Adrian Mitchell took a chance last season playing several sophomores in key roles. It paid off with a district title in 2021 and now the Tigers are hungry for more.
Tomball was the surprise of the Region a year ago, advancing to the State Semis.
Who will be this year’s biggest breakout team?
Cain will either rebuild or reload this season. From the looks of it, the Hurricanes have plenty in the cupboard to reload. Klein Forest will take another big step under coach Johnathan Wilson, as Waller makes a move up to Class 6A.
VYPE PRESEASON AWARDS
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Tucker Parks, Klein Collins
OFFENSIVE MVP: Kaleb Black, Klein Oak
DEFENSIVE MVP: Daniel Moore, Klein
BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Parker Jenkins, Klein Forest
SLEEPER TEAM:Klein Forest
Klein Collins Tigers
It was a tale of two seasons for Klein Collins in 2021 as the Tigers went 0-4 in non-district play before running the table in District 15-6A to take the crown. The reason? They Tigers were tremendously young in the two-deep roster, but extremely talented. The Tigers return Offensive Newcomer of the Year Tucker Parks at quarterback, who has developed into a college-level prospect. Collins does it up front and unanimous first-team selection Jackson Felkins anchors the big men. He will be helped by Aven Rendon and Blake Cruz. Carrying the ball will be junior Michael Wilson. On the outside stretching the field will be Ty Stamey, a big 6-foot-6 target with great hands. The defensive side of the ball is Collins’ calling card. The program was built on tough, hard-nosed tackling and fundamentals. The District Defensive Newcomer was defensive back Chris Gant, who will patrol the secondary with the experienced corners Asa Brown and Eli Wyatt. Juniors Antoine Milon and Mason Faye will stuff the run up front and pressure the quarterback. Both were second teamers. The linebackers will be led by Bryce Adeokun and Gage Luellen.
Klein Cain Hurricanes
Klein Cain is at a crossroads. The football team has set the bar high going into its fifth year of varsity ball under the direction of coach James Clancy. The Hurricanes are 17-6 overall and 10-2 in district play over the past two seasons. Trust in Coach Clancy. “We have established the expectations. Now we seek to execute and continue to raise the bar.” The Hurricanes must replace the District Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year in Matthew Golden and Lukia Rawls, who were cornerstones of the budding program. The baton will be passed to quarterback Lance Awe, receiver Jaelen Smith and linemen Gibson Pyle and Joseph Foxworth. Smith and Pyle were all-district first teamers and Foxworth earned a second-team nod. Grayson Dunbar will be a trusted safety valve for Awe as an all-district tight end.The defensive side of the ball will be solid in the back end. Patrick Batiste and Davin Martin are all-district returners, while Isaiah Byrd and Eric Solomon III round out the secondary unit with experience. Tyler Edwards will anchor the defensive line.
The Tomball Cougars had a season to remember in 2021 as a tremendously talented senior class led the north Houston community on a ride to the Class 6A DII State Semifinals. Coach Kevin Flanigan has moved to become the district’s AD and Dave Handal becomes the new head coach. Flanigan’s former assistant once was the head coach of Galena Park High School, so he has the chops to get the job done. However, Tomball returns a total of four starters in 2022 in a tough district. New QB Carter Noyes has some big shoes to fill but will be able to hand the ball off to RB Christian Womack, who rushed for 1,200 yards last season. Abram Nicklas will lead a new offensive line and Colson Snyder will be the safety valve at tight end. Junior Keegan Deemer will lead the defense along with Ramon Pernas. The secondary will be patrolled by Matt Gainey and Coleman Ryan. Other names to remember include Carson Monrad (RB) and Carlos Alvarado (K/P). The bright side? The Cougars were able to get a ton of reps for their inexperienced players as they advanced in a 15-game schedule a year ago. And the youngsters witnessed what winning really looks like.
Klein Oak Panthers
Oak enters the 2022 season with question marks after finishing third in district a year ago and winning a playoff game.“Our culture is established as a program,” he said. “We are always going to have great players graduate and have great players coming back. The offseason is a time to put the puzzle back together and see where our young guys coming up through the program will fit in.” Carpenter returns some talented pieces starting with athlete Kaleb Black – the District Utility Player of the Year. He will be flanked in the backfield by all-district, second teamer Keishaun Wooten at running back. The defense will fly around the ball this season and will be the team’s strength. It starts up front with first teamer Daymond Anderson at tackle and second teamer Ryne Berger on the end. Second-team linebacker Alexander Marsland will step up in the hole to stop opposing running games. The secondary is salty with Timmy Bakare, Kamryn Durham, McKinley Wilson and Malachi Oldacre. The quarterback spot will be a question but make no mistake – a “Klein Oak Man” will take over.
Klein Forest Golden Eagles
The rebuild of Klein Forest football continues under the direction of coach Johnathan Wilson, a former Golden Eagle himself. He’s invested and it shows. The Eagles made huge strides last year, winning five games and one district game. Upon beating district-mate Tomball Memorial, he lived up to his promise. If Klein Forest won a district game, he vowed to his players that he would shave his head. “This year, I told the guys that if we made the playoffs this year, I would shave my head… absolutely,” he said. “I had to clear it with my wife because she wasn’t that fond of it last year. I got it cleared, so that’s the bet.” Over the past several months, Klein Forest has been the darlings of the recruiting world. The big three of Brad Spence (Arkansas), Parker Jenkins and Jelani Watkins (Houston) collected dozens of offers each over the offseason.
The strength of Klein Forest is obviously speed. Jenkins and Watkins are elite sprinters on the Golden Eagle track and field team. Jenkins will run the ball, while Watkins is the deep threat downfield. A quarterback must emerge, who will be protected by all-district, second-team selection Jossue Rios. Chandler Williams is a rangy tight end, who could have a breakout season. Defensively, the edge at linebacker will be contained by the Spence brothers – Brad and sophomore Trent – who are big-time talents. Tivrell Hollings and Robert Graves will anchor the defensive line, while Chris Minor will patrol the secondary.
The Klein Bearkats were on the outside of the 2021 playoff picture in heartbreaking fashion. The ‘Kats fell 41-36 in double-overtime to Klein Oak to miss a playoff spot. “Missing the playoffs last year hurt,” senior running back Myles Arterberry said. “We have collectively come together as a team and we’ve been working on our craft all offseason.” It’s no shock that Arterberry is giving out the marching orders as he committed to Army over the summer. The other playmakers on offense includes outside receivers Grant Jansky and Aisayah Brown, who will hope to stretch the field. Kai Powell will also help as a slot receiver. Junior Bret Kilchrist will run the offense at quarterback with hopes that his offseason and summer training will translate to Friday nights. The defense will be the strength of the team. The captain of that side of the ball is unanimous first-team, all-district pick Daniel Moore -- a hybrid safety/linebacker.
The defensive line is solid with Vincent Wells in the middle and Judah Boyce and Joey Ortego on the edge. The back end will be led by Malachi Griffiths, who has a ton of game experience and will provide senior leadership to a team that could be a sleeper in 2022.
Tomball Memorial Wildcats
The year 2021 was one to forget for the Tomball Memorial Wildcats. The ‘Cats went 2-8 overall and 0-6 in district play. With coach Sam Parker at the helm, that likely will never happen again. He is one of the most innovative coaches in the city of Houston. Back in the fold are offensive weapons Espen Ramos, Chase Lovick and Cory O’Bryant. Ramos and Lovick can play any offensive skill position and must be accounted for. QB Reed Odell threw for over 1,500 yards last season and should even get better with an offseason under his belt. Clayton Schupp is a massive OL but will need some help. The defense is what needs improvement from a year ago. The push up front will need to come from Jalen Ellis, Cole Vedder and Ayden Abuzlam. Linebackers Bayden Poe, Kevin Fair and Hayden Winsor will patrol the middle of the field and DBs Colin Helmer, Matthew Bess and Nyle Hughes will anchor the secondary. Getting back in the district win column is key for Tomball Memorial before talking about a playoff spot.
Change has come over in Waller, Texas. The Bulldogs move up from Class 5A to 6A and legendary coach Gene Johnson has moved into the admin building. Offensive coordinator Marcus Mendoza takes over the head coaching job as Waller looks to improve on its 4-5 record from a year ago in a new landscape. The offense should be able to move the ball with Jaiden Stevens, Geiman Leighton and Kolby Karsteter controlling the line of scrimmage for QB Jordan Duncan, RB Alex Bars and receivers Austin Bice and Matthew Brown to do work. The defense has some pieces as well. The front seven is the strength with the likes of Dwayne Salters and CJ Woodson leading the charge. The next layer at linebackers are Ta’Shawn Justice and Branson Bean, who look to slow down the offenses in District 15-6A. It will be a tall order to make the jump to Class 6A this season, but Waller could be a sleeping giant in the next few years as that community continues to grow.
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Westfield is that program that just wins year after year.
Last season marked the ninth time in the last 10 years under Matt Meekins that the Mustangs claimed the district’s top prize. Behind them were Spring, Dekaney and Nimitz.
But could some changes across the district landscape shake up the bottom of the standings, including the last two playoff spots? Let’s see.
VYPE PRESEASON AWARDS
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: PJ Hatter, Westfield
OFFENSIVE MVP: Ryan Niblett, Eisenhower
DEFENSIVE MVP: Brandon Joseph, Dekaney
BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Clourid Johnson, Spring
SLEEPER TEAM: MacArthur Generals
The Mustangs have made the playoffs for 11-straight seasons and won 10 or more games in 10 of 11 of those campaigns. In four of those, Westfield posted an undefeated regular season. Matt Meekins enters his eighth season of leading Westfield and has plenty of pieces to plug in for another big year. Gone is QB1 Cardell Williams (Tulsa) but step in transfer PJ Hatter, who comes over from Klein Oak. Hatter was a second-team, all-district selection In District 15-6A a year ago after passing for 1,538 yards and 18 touchdowns and running for another 1,231 yards and 23 scores. He is a true dual-threat option at QB for the Mustangs. Coming out of the backfield will be Dahmeir Scott (462 yards) along with Taji Atkins (404 yards), while Anthony Catchcart (428 yards) and Dajohn Palomo (370 yards) will be top targets at receiver. Defensively, they will have to replace the talented Anthony Holmes Jr. (Houston) and watch for Bryson Balka (26 tackles, 4 sacks) and Ray Jones (26 tackles, 3 sacks) to step up in the trenches.
Since Dekaney has opened its doors in 2008, the Wildcats have made it to the playoffs seven times and for three-straight seasons now. Last season, Dekaney Wildcats went 5-6 overall last season and fell in the first round of the playoffs. Anthony Williams enters his 10th season leading the Wildcats and this could be a big year for this squad. Dekaney is going to be led by four-star receiver Jonah Wilson, who verbally committed to Texas this offseason. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound receiver is a problem to cover. Davion Wilson returns at quarterback after passing for 1,024 yards and 12 scores last year. Defensively, Ty Morris (S – 85 tackles) will be a lockdown and has 13 offers, while Demanuel Brown will rush off the edge at 6-foot-4, 220-pounds (11 offers) and Xavier Rowe (6 offers – 48 tackles) will anchor the line at 6-foot-2, 315-pounds. Brandon Joseph returns for his senior season after totaling 113 tackles a year ago, 15 for loss. Also, watch out for Dashawn Bradley who will be all over the field and also 2024 defensive end Christian Nwosu.
IKE has star power heading into the 2022 season for coach Eric Jackson. This is a team that went 3-7 overall last year and 2-5 in district play. Eisenhower is trying to get back into the playoffs again after missing out in 2021. They have made the postseason in two of the last four seasons. Jackson enters year five of leading this program. Could this be the year they finish over .500 for the first time since 2015? Texas-commit Ryan Niblett will play a big factor in that. Niblett is dynamic wherever you put him on the field. Last year as a receiver he finished with nearly 800 yards and eight scores. His speed is what makes the difference. On defense, Tyler Hutcherson, a Stephen F. Austin-commit, is the next lockdown corner for the Eagles. Zacchaeus Henry will step in as QB1, while Eutimo Lauderdale will hold down the line at center. Defensively, Omar Solis (DE/LB), Darrius Adams (CB) and Braylon Oliphant (LB) will provide offenses some problems.
It is a new era for the Spring Lions. Gone is Trent Miller as he took the job at Willis this offseason. Step in Anthony Singleton, who comes over from perennial power Westfield. Nice story line for this year’s rivalry showdown between the two. Gone is a super talented senior class including Bishop Davenport (Utah State), who accounted for more than 4,000 yards of total offense and 48 touchdowns. Clourid Johnson, who got 24 snaps as a sophomore will step in for him and he will have a whole new set of receivers to throw to as well including Khalib Gates and Albert Williams, who will also flip around and play defensive back. Defense is where they will have to hang their hat a bit early with Jeremiah Jones Jr. being the top returning tackler (59 tackles) and Bryce Morton (41 tackles, 13 tackles for loss) being big pieces of that. Morton also had eight sacks a year ago. Take note of Josiah Stephens on the defensive line as well.
This could be the sneakiest team in all of District 14-6A. MacArthur is coming off a 2-8 season. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2019 and have been in the postseason just that one time since 2008. But … they have talent. They have size. And that could be a nice mix for Wayne Crawford’s crew in 2022. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun-commit Justin Williams will be a problem at receiver, standing in at 6-foot-3, 180-pounds and can go up and get any ball with his rangy athleticism. Defensively, AJ Stephens, a Rice University-commit, will be lock down at cornerback for the Generals. Other names to take note of include Khoran Brown (RB), Armando Desilos (DE), Keenan Jackson (DB), Gary Rebolledo (TE), Marquis Ladd (DB), Darius Hicks (LB) and Xavier Castillo (OG). Desilos had 97 tackles a year ago, while Jackson registered 68. The defense will be salty with some weapons on offense. It should be fun.
Cornelius Harmon comes in and takes over a Nimitz program that slid into the playoffs with a fourth-place finish last season. It was their first playoff appearance since 2015. Harmon comes over from Summer Creek where he served as the offensive coordinator of the Bulldogs. This is his first head-coaching job. The star of the team falls to three-star safety Cory Huff Jr., who this offseason verbally committed to Baylor. Huff led the defense last year with 76 tackles, three interceptions, eight pass deflections and one fumble recovery. Brayden Whitehead returns at QB1 after passing for 704 yards and six scores, while Joseph Sanders will tote the rock after busting off 949 yards and six scores in nine games a year ago. Sanders had four games with 100-plus yards rushing. Other names to remember including E’Daryus Keene (WR), Dominic Rue (ATH), and Kelyn Washom and Kamren Washom, both at receiver.
Aldine Davis is still one of the newest programs in Aldine ISD and after making the playoffs its first four years of being open, including finishing the first season in a three-way tie for the district crown, it has been a rough go. The last three years, Aldine Davis hasn’t topped three wins (3-7 is best record) as they go into year four under Scott Joseph as the head coach. Scoring will be key for them in 2022 after scoring just 192 points a year ago. Players to watch this year include Stephen Howard Jr. (DB), Cortney Davis (DE), Mauricio Jaramillo (OL), Keenan Wyre (ILB), Lamon Houston (LB), Dominick Shambo (DB), De’Marion Fearence (LB) and Reggie Berry (Center).
Cirilo Ojeda hopes that the magic dust that he sprinkled on Sharpstown football will do the same wonders to Aldine. This offseason, Ojeda was hired at Aldine as the 12th head coach in program history. Prior to Sharpstown, Ojeda was the offensive coordinator at Clear Springs High School. Ojeda started his coaching career at his alma mater Pasadena High before moving on to Fort Bend Ridge Point and then Eisenhower High. Now, Ojeda takes over an Aldine Mustang program that has gone 0-17 over the past two seasons. Joshua Johnson will the be the leader of the defense at linebacker, while Desmond Dixon could be a matchup problem on offense at receiver. Other names to remember include Anthony Joya (TE), Carlo Flores (OL), Jashyne Daniels (DB), Josue Gonzalez (S), Constantin Marin (QB) and Michael Coronado (DB/LB).
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